JVC X30 or X9?

ascanio1

Standard Member
Hi to everyone,

I searched all the forum and I could not find specific buying advice for JVC projector:

I came across a store which sells new JVC X30 and new JVC X9 for the same price (I'm not too interested in 3D and I watch only documentaries and movies).

The main differences between the X30 and X70/X90 are contrast and 4K. Since the X9 has better contrast than the X30, and both don't have 4K, I would assume that the X9 is better suited to my needs than the X30.

Please advice and comment! Help me chose what's better for my needs.

Thanks in Advance!
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
The X30 replacement may well have e-shift included and also the new Sony HW50 may also include reality creation, both machines will be released in the next 3-4 months and spec announcements should be known in the next 3-4 weeks.

It may be worth waiting to see what the press releases for these new models are before jumping now if pseudo 4k interests you.Other than that the X9 if available for the same price as the X30 is a very good deal although unless your room is optimised for contrast (as your other thread) and you also get a professional calibration you may not see that much difference between the X9/X30.
 

ascanio1

Standard Member
Thanks, you're really helpful and I appreciate your time and expertise. Really.

Yesterday I watched the X30 and X70 side by side. I noted another, bigger (for me), issue: colour!
I'm now using a Yamaha DPX1200 and this, old, surpassed, device has better (more neutral) colours than the X30!
The X70 and DPX1200 are remarkably similar.

I don't really need E-shift... but the difference is visible in the sense that the pixels really do become invisible (even close up).

1. Can a good professional calibration bring the X30's colours to match (or near) the X70/DPX1200 or the different chips just make it impossible to get the same neutral skin tones and whites?

2. Do you think that there is a chance that the X30 replacement will have e-shift?

3. What JVC use the same colour chip of the X70? Only the X9 or also the X7, HD750, HD900?

Again, I really appreciate those who invest their time and knowledge to help others. I hope one day I will be able to do likewise.

Thanks
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Thanks, you're really helpful and I appreciate your time and expertise. Really.

Yesterday I watched the X30 and X70 side by side. I noted another, bigger (for me), issue: colour!
I'm now using a Yamaha DPX1200 and this, old, surpassed, device has better (more neutral) colours than the X30!
The X70 and DPX1200 are remarkably similar.

I don't really need E-shift... but the difference is visible in the sense that the pixels really do become invisible (even close up).

1. Can a good professional calibration bring the X30's colours to match (or near) the X70/DPX1200 or the different chips just make it impossible to get the same neutral skin tones and whites?

2. Do you think that there is a chance that the X30 replacement will have e-shift?

3. What JVC use the same colour chip of the X70? Only the X9 or also the X7, HD750, HD900?

Again, I really appreciate those who invest their time and knowledge to help others. I hope one day I will be able to do likewise.

Thanks

1. It might depend on which mode the X30 was in as there is a reasonably accurate mode that gives pretty good colour gamut results (unlike the previous lower tier models such as HD350 and HD550 which were always oversaturated in any mode). It may have been demod in a mode that shows the more oversaturated colours (whether deliberate or not to show the improvement of the more expensive model, is another matter ;) ). The greyscale and gamma can be calibrated to near perfect on the X30 (same as the X70/90) but there are only colour and tint (plus chosing the correct mode) options for setting the colour gamut, whereas the X70/90 have a 7 axis CMS to perfect the colour gamut.

In short a good pro calibration of an X30 (as per the AVForums review of this model) should give results that are pretty close enough for all but the most exacting of viewers. Though the higher tier models will have more accuracy still of course due to the CMS. You certainly shouldn't need to suffer the neon greens and oversaturated reds of the older HD350 and HD550 models (which themselves could be reigned in a little using the limited controls, but best with an external VP).

2. I don't think it likely that the X30 replacement will have E-shift (In fact I believe this was the comment made by GaryB who is our 'inside man' at JVC). Of course they may surprise us given that the new HW50 from Sony might have a similar 'faux 4k' operation which would put JVC under pressure to compete.

3. As far as I know the models all use the same DILA chips, though each generation is reported to have improved/refined the process which results in higher claimed contrast and lumens. The higher tier models have the best chips selected (a bit like computer CPU chips) so are in fact the same item, just to a tighter spec. If you want to get the tighest tolerance machine, then the X90 is basically a 'blue printed' X70 with the best of each parts selected. For the X70 over the X30 option you're paying for the CMS and the E-shift.

Hope this helps. :thumbsup:
 
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ascanio1

Standard Member
as there is a reasonably accurate mode that gives pretty good colour gamut results
Thanks, this is important info! I might want to go to a different dealer to see the X30 colour balance and skin tones.

In short a good pro calibration of an X30 (as per the AVForums review of this model) should give results that are pretty close enough for all but the most exacting of viewers.
That's very good news. I thought that colour balance, whites and skin tones could not be corrected or improved beyond a certain level even by a professional tuner. I thought that they depended mainly on the colour chip.


3. As far as I know the models all use the same DILA chips, though each generation is reported to have improved/refined the process which results in higher claimed contrast and lumens.
Is the DILA chip the colour chip? If yes, I'm pretty sure that the colour chips are different. Or so the dealer told me.


For the X70 over the X30 option you're paying for the CMS and the E-shift.
Hope this helps. :thumbsup:
Oh, yes it did! I was under the impression that I was paying also for the better colour and that was what motivated my help request!

Thanks a lot! This is exactly the sort of comment that I was looking for! Much appreciated! :smashin:
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Answered below in red:

Thanks, this is important info! I might want to go to a different dealer to see the X30 colour balance and skin tones.

Might be worth a read of the X30 owners thread and also finding the AVforums review of it to confirm which mode it needs to be put in for the most accurate result.



That's very good news. I thought that colour balance, whites and skin tones could not be corrected or improved beyond a certain level even by a professional tuner. I thought that they depended mainly on the colour chip.

No the colours depend on the CMS of the higher tier models or just choosing the optimum mode on the X30. The X70 when calibrated it should offer 'perfect' colour gamut, but the best mode for the X30 isn't as bad as the previous range in term of oversaturation. Note that buying an X70 and not calibrating it may waste much of the advantage of the CMS as the THX mode may not be perfect out of the box and will drift from new in the first 100 hours anyway.




Is the DILA chip the colour chip? If yes, I'm pretty sure that the colour chips are different. Or so the dealer told me.

Not sure what the dealer is on about as it's common knowledge that all the X30/70/90 range use the same DILA chips, just graded according to end use. If they are referring to the CMS (Colour Management System) circuitry as a chip then I suppose this might be what they mean by 'colour chips being different'. The cynic in me suggests that the dealer is trying to exagerate the differences between models to justify the doubling of price. ;) I wonder if the demo room isn't up to showing the differences hence the need to 'talk up' the differences. Let your eyes be the judge (but when the X30 is in it's 'best mode' for a fair comparison).


Oh, yes it did! I was under the impression that I was paying also for the better colour and that was what motivated my help request!

To be clear: With the X70/90 you are paying for the DILA chips that meet higher specs than the X30 (hence the higher claimed contrast), the CMS and the E-shift feature. I'm not dismissing these advantages, but if your room is less than ideal (not just blacked out, but dark walls and ceilings too) then the differences between the X30 and X70 aren't as huge as the price difference might imply. ;)


Thanks a lot! This is exactly the sort of comment that I was looking for! Much appreciated! :smashin:
No problem, glad to help. :smashin:
 

ascanio1

Standard Member
@ Everyone helping me,

Thanks, guys! All this priceless info is really helpful.

A couple of days ago I went back, with better knowledge and strong of the Forum's help. The dealer was... a little less adamant on his positions and conceded a few facts. I think that now he understood clearly that I am supported in my decisons.

So much so that he called me just now and invited me to watch the X30 and X70 side by side again but after a thorough, professional, calibration of both devices to their respective best potential, by using specific tools (he did not mention which).

I'm scheduled to go today, again.

You guys, I really appreciate your help. It is incredible how many dumb buyers, like me, can get fooled and talked into the wrong decision by smart dealers who won't lie and yet, without technically lying, will manage to convince you to buy what they want.

Again, you're probably saving me thousands of bucks and, more important, helping me to get what I want.
 

ascanio1

Standard Member
@ Kelvin,

Thanks, dude, super helpful!

Answered below in red:
Originally Posted by ascanio1
Thanks, this is important info! I might want to go to a different dealer to see the X30 colour balance and skin tones.

Might be worth a read of the X30 owners thread and also finding the AVforums review of it to confirm which mode it needs to be put in for the most accurate result.

> I did, and there are a few reviews about colour but in absolute terms and not relative to X70 or (better) DPX1200 which are my reference points. So I can't use these reviews as buying or decisive parameters.


That's very good news. I thought that colour balance, whites and skin tones could not be corrected or improved beyond a certain level even by a professional tuner. I thought that they depended mainly on the colour chip.

No the colours depend on the CMS of the higher tier models or just choosing the optimum mode on the X30.
>:confused: so what's the role of the so scrutinized and ever important colour chips if, in the end, you can get the perfect balance by properly calibrating a pj?

The X70 when calibrated it should offer 'perfect' colour gamut, but the best mode for the X30 isn't as bad as the previous range in term of oversaturation. Note that buying an X70 and not calibrating it may waste much of the advantage of the CMS as the THX mode may not be perfect out of the box and will drift from new in the first 100 hours anyway.
> Yes, this is obvious. I will calibrate (or have calibrated) any pj.



Is the DILA chip the colour chip? If yes, I'm pretty sure that the colour chips are different. Or so the dealer told me.

Not sure what the dealer is on about as it's common knowledge that all the X30/70/90 range use the same DILA chips, just graded according to end use. If they are referring to the CMS (Colour Management System) circuitry as a chip then I suppose this might be what they mean by 'colour chips being different'.
> No, they actually refer to the colour chip being different. I insisted, by phone, today. The explanation was that the colour is produced by a chip between the lamp and the lens. And he insisted that this chip makes the difference between the X30 and X70 colour. He said that, yes, I can improve the X30 whites and skin tones but they will never be as good as on the X70 because of the different colour chips.

> And he also insisted that the following models (HD 750, HD950, X7, X9, X70 and X90) have a better colour chip than the lower tier models (HD550, X3, X30).

Is he lying?

The cynic in me suggests that the dealer is trying to exagerate the differences between models to justify the doubling of price.
I wonder if the demo room isn't up to showing the differences hence the need to 'talk up' the differences. Let your eyes be the judge (but when the X30 is in it's 'best mode' for a fair comparison).

> very likely, but is he lying about the colour chips? Not what produces the contrast and blacks but the skin tones and general colour neutrality.

Oh, yes it did! I was under the impression that I was paying also for the better colour and that was what motivated my help request!

To be clear: With the X70/90 you are paying for the DILA chips that meet higher specs than the X30 (hence the higher claimed contrast), the CMS and the E-shift feature. I'm not dismissing these advantages, but if your room is less than ideal (not just blacked out, but dark walls and ceilings too) then the differences between the X30 and X70 aren't as huge as the price difference might imply.

> But, if I understand correctly, you confirm that the colour chips are the same. The only difference are the tollerances, right?

Thanks a lot! This is exactly the sort of comment that I was looking for! Much appreciated!

No problem, glad to help.
Again Kelvin, thanks! Super useful discussion!
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I think you've got it sussed now. Just to be clear: If you set the X70*'s CMS to neutral and the same mode as the X30 then apart from the extra contrast/sharpness of the tighter tolerance DILA chips, the colours would be the same. It is purely the CMS that brings the colours into spec on the X70 not the DILA chips. There still might be an optimum mode to chose for calibrating an X70 prior to adjusting the CMS, but I haven't followed the threads for a while.

However I do seem to remember reading that the CMS in the X70 wasn't as linear as the older HD750/950 so you can still get oversaturation in some parts of the colour gamut I think at lower stimulation levels. Back when it was X3 verses X7, then there was a strong arguement for buying an X3 and an external video processor like the Lumagen Mini3D rather than the X7. Of course the VP can't give the extra contrast of the X7. With the X30 verses X70 you have the addition of the E-Shift feature, but of course the price difference is huge between the two models. Down to the buyer's choice of course.

I don't remember if you said what the prices for the X30 and X9 were? You will get more contrast from the X9 as well as the CMS, but this might be harder to spot if the demo room isn't ideal. It may also be wasted if your viewing room isn't ideal. EDIT: Just checked your OP and saw they were the same price, but you don't say what price. Be aware that X30s can be found well under their original retail price especially if you go for the version without the 3D glasses and transmitter.

* Applies for X7, X9 and X90 also.
 
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ascanio1

Standard Member
Yes, I think I got the gist of it.
X30 X70 X90 X7 X9:
1. same colours,
2. same DILA chips,
3. different DILA & other parts tolerances,
4. different calibration tools,
5. different contrast,
6. different detail (e-shift).

X30, New = 2,500$ (but rapidly, very rapidly dropping further - next month should be able to pick up a new one for 2,200/2,300USD)
X30, JVC refurbished (w/ full JVC 2 yr warranty) = 2,200$ and dropping fast.
X70, New = 6,700$ beyond budget
X70, Ex dealer demo = 5,700$ w/ old lamp, beyond budget
X9 New = 3,800$ beyond budget (price dropping fast)
X9, JVC refurbished (w/ full JVC 2 yr warranty) = 2,800$
X7, New = 2,500$ (dropping fast, on a par w/ new X30)

For used pjs (even only one week old) you have to reduce the price by about 50% but you still get 1 yr warranty and no lemons in Japan. Dealers and private will always declare any faults or problems. I just missed a used X70 (2 weeks old) at 3,800$ by a few days because I was busy posting...
:suicide:
Actually, just as well, it was beyond budget anyway! :(

I've decided: I'm going for a factory refurbished X9 with 2 yrs warranty, new lamp and even free delivery!

Basically I'm getting a new X90 but with 1:10000 less contrast and no e-shift, for the price of a new X30!!!!

Kelvin and kbfern, I really don't know how to thank you for your time, expertise, advice and patience! If you ever pass by Tokyo, or plan a week holiday, you are super welcome to stay at my place, I have an extra guest room!

Actually I would like to thank everyone who is helping me with my 3 threads (this, media player and darkening the room) because you guys saved me a ton of money and, more important, you are helping me get exactly what I want!

Thank you to all!
 

ascanio1

Standard Member
So this is it:
JVC X9, refurbished by JVC, 2 yrs warranty, new lamp and free delivery. All for under 2,800$
:)
After tomorrow I'll go to the dealer to buy it.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
That is a steal.:thumbsup:
 

ascanio1

Standard Member
Wait a moment...
I forgot that the X9 is way, way, way less bright than the X70/30. I totally forgot about it...
I have a 4.9 lens/screen distance and a 140" no gain 16:9 screen...
Might not be able to go that way...
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Wow that's a steel, but also wait a moment: There shouldn't be a huge difference between the two in terms of lumens output when in an accurate mode. I can't remember the claimed lumens off hand, but I thought it wasn't much more than 10% between them. Then take into account that the eye needs a much bigger difference than 10% to even notice, then it shouldn't be that critical.

Goes back to which modes the dealer was showing it in and whether the iris ('aperture' in the menus) is set to same level on both projectors: With these projectors it could be very easy to set them up to favour one over the other if the viewer isn't familiar with the settings. ;)

Having said that I think for a 140" diagonal you might be pushing it a little with no gain. I have a 112" wide 2.35:1 screen (which is equal to a 128" diagonal 16:9) but it has 1.3 gain. I was using my old HD350 in high lamp mode, but also at minimum zoom (which gives the least light output due to the way the lens works) and I had plenty of spare 'clicks' on the iris t make it brighter as the lamp aged, but even with 250 hours on it (initial dimming should have occured) it was still capable of hitting 12fL. The newer X9 should give more output than my old HD350 in the same settings, so it shouldn't really be an issue, but I can't do the maths at the moment to compare your area to mine and the difference in gain.

I would want to know that it has the newer design of lamp fitted as X9s and X90s (and all derivatives) had issues with early lamp dimming, which was resolved with an improved lamp.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
On the x3, I had aperture at half way for my 132" scope (140ish " equivelant) for 1.0 gain so had brightness to spare. The extra lumens on the x models is therefore very useful and should be ok for your screen as long as lighting is controlled.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Did you use high power or just Eco lamp mode Soup? It's more that the suggestion that the X9 is much dimmer, it really shouldn't be noticable unless you had a meter (or a big variance in iris settings or the lamp).
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
KelvinS1965 said:
Did you use high power or just Eco lamp mode Soup? It's more that the suggestion that the X9 is much dimmer, it really shouldn't be noticable unless you had a meter (or a big variance in iris settings or the lamp).
Eco mode Kelvin. Yes, that's what I was saying, if all the x models have similar output then it should be ok for his screen and you shouldn't see a big difference between x30 and x9 so I don't understand the variance, must be set up and settings as in theory the x9 shouldn't look dimmer than the x30. Based on my experience of x3 brightness i was trying to say that the x9 should translate as pretty much the same and therefore be ok.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I just found out why the sudden questions about brightness: The OP has a similar thread on AVS and they tend to be more concerned with having very bright images than we are. I've often seen mention of 22fL and higher as a target compared to the more typical 12-14fL we seem to aim for.

Honestly, what I'd do is buy a basic lux meter (they are around £60 over here so I doubt much more in Japan) and find out what you are watching now: Put up a 100IRE pattern and measure the lux at the screen. From this you can work out the lumens you are currently used to. Knowing what you find acceptable is very useful and helps cut through the varying opinions. I actually found I was watching at about 5fL when I first got my lux meter, yet thought it looked fine. I did ramp up the iris settings to get 12fL and recalibrated and at first found the image almost too bright. I still think I'd struggle with 22fL or higher, but I tend not to like too much brightness on any display including my laptop.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
KelvinS1965 said:
I just found out why the sudden questions about brightness: The OP has a similar thread on AVS and they tend to be more concerned with having very bright images than we are. I've often seen mention of 22fL and higher as a target compared to the more typical 12-14fL we seem to aim for.

Honestly, what I'd do is buy a basic lux meter (they are around £60 over here so I doubt much more in Japan) and find out what you are watching now: Put up a 100IRE pattern and measure the lux at the screen. From this you can work out the lumens you are currently used to. Knowing what you find acceptable is very useful and helps cut through the varying opinions. I actually found I was watching at about 5fL when I first got my lux meter, yet thought it looked fine. I did ramp up the iris settings to get 12fL and recalibrated and at first found the image almost too bright. I still think I'd struggle with 22fL or higher, but I tend not to like too much brightness on any display including my laptop.
Yes, our American friends in general tend to be into high brightness. I'm using an nd4 filter on mine to try and reduce it!
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Joel Silver also said that with HD material we should target 20fL, and SD material because it's older and more prone to image noise should be set up differently. Even so, I'm more a fan of a projected image looking 'cinematic' and by that I mean having a similar reflectance level to that found in a commercial theatre. So for me, I prefer 9 to 12fL. 20fL is getting closer to plasma levels (36fL+) and some technologies like DLP can tend to look a little more video like when brighter.

But that's just my personal preference. :)

Gary
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I targeted 12fL for BluRay/HD sources and had the option of another setting with the iris closed a couple of steps for DVD giving 8-9fL (probably based on your comments in a previous thread :D).

I know if I'm sat out in my conservatory and it gets dark I find I have to put a light on as the TV hurts my eyes. Even though the light sensor is switched on and drops the back light to minimum giving maybe 24fL. Each to their own though, hence my suggestion that the OP tries to find out scientifically what they are already used to and consider acceptable.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
A few years ago I remember a lot of people on avs saying how they prefer a bright image without actually knowing what they had. Some eventually bought meters and were shocked to find they only had 7fL or more, yet had been convinced it was much more.

Gary
 

ascanio1

Standard Member
Goes back to which modes the dealer was showing it in and whether the iris ('aperture' in the menus) is set to same level on both projectors: With these projectors it could be very easy to set them up to favour one over the other if the viewer isn't familiar with the settings. ;)
No, it's not the dealer. It's AVS forum's member's recommendation. But the dealer, then, did say that there is a lumen difference between X30, 70, and 90 and that dis decreases as contrast increases. He also confirmed that the X9 was even dimmer than today's X90.
Forgive my ignorance... but, in principle, does a dark room require more or less lumens?


I was using my old HD350 in high lamp mode, but also at minimum zoom (which gives the least light output due to the way the lens works) and I had plenty of spare 'clicks' on the iris t make it brighter as the lamp aged, but even with 250 hours on it (initial dimming should have occured) it was still capable of hitting 12fL. The newer X9 should give more output than my old HD350 in the same settings, so it shouldn't really be an issue, ...
Well, our rooms' brightness, size and viewing distances may differ. I'm going to install black curtains all around but, as of now, it's a shiny white all around, including ceiling and carpet! So my lumens needs may change after I darken the room.
Today Lens distance is 4.9 (mounted behind the wall).
Viewing distance is 4.7 but across a 3.6 arc.
Room size 4.9x3.6x2.4
All in metric


I would want to know that it has the newer design of lamp fitted as X9s and X90s (and all derivatives) had issues with early lamp dimming, which was resolved with an improved lamp.
If I remember correctly the consideration are base on past season's lamp debates between x9 and X3 etc.
So it would be nice to understand (and I will ask) if lumens output considerations are based on the past, troubled, lamps or if it is inherent to the design.

@ Soupdragon,
I'm interested in your X3/X9 comparison bcs I guess it was made with the old lamps, right? Do you know if the new lamps have increased the lumens output?

I am not worried by 10/100/1000 lumens difference (I can't do the maths factoring in room's brightness, size etc). I'm concerned whether the X9 light output inferiority will or will not make viewing enjoyable.

And, to work this one out, Kelvin's advice is the best so far: measure what I'm used to now.

... The extra lumens on the x models ...
Sorry, the extra lumens of the X model compared to which other models? The HD series or the X30/70 with X3/7/9?

I just found out why the sudden questions about brightness: The OP has a similar thread on AVS
Yes, exactly. I was super worried!

Honestly, what I'd do is buy a basic lux meter and ... cut ... is very useful and helps cut through the varying opinions.
Yes. Will do it today! Excellent advice! Thanks. I have a Minolta Flash Meter V from my photography days. Would this work? It's flash meter not continuous light meter.

A few years ago I remember a lot of people on avs saying how they prefer a bright image without actually knowing what they had.
The whole point why I'm here, and why I'm so grateful everyone helping me, is because the only thing that I know very well is not to assume that I know anything very well! Not even what I want.

You're all saving me lots of money but, more important, you're helping me to first understand and define what I want and then buy the best instruments to get it with my "limited" budget. Limited is a euphemism considering that many, whole, HT are built with much less!

So, next step, get a light meter and find out what I like.
 
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soupdragon

Distinguished Member
@ Soupdragon,
I'm interested in your X3/X9 comparison bcs I guess it was made with the old lamps, right? Do you know if the new lamps have increased the lumens output?

I am not worried by 10/100/1000 lumens difference (I can't do the maths factoring in room's brightness, size etc). I'm concerned whether the X9 light output inferiority will or will not make viewing enjoyable.
Hi
I've not seen the other models, just the X3. I was referring to stated lumens for the x models which are all 1300 (except x70/90 which are 1200)

Mine was old lamp x3 but not too many hrs on it. I understand the issue was that as they approached around 4/500 hrs the output started to drop. I'm not that close to the discussion on new lamps and how they fair though. As a starting point therefore, all the x models should output very similar. As a side note, while they are all rated with similar output, what that means after calibration is worth looking into. You would hope that they would all still be able to output a similar lumens calibrated but its not something I've looked into but I would be surprised if a calibrated x30 and a calibrated x9 had a large variance in light output.
 

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