While 4K may make little sense on a tiny television screen, on a projector? Yes, please. Hearing these pleas is JVC, which has dropped not one but three consumer projectors said to offer a 4K-like picture. Prices start at $4,999.
The three consumer models are the DLA-X900R ($11,999), the DLA-X700R ($7,999), and the DLA-X500R ($4,999), which include a new D-ILA device, 4K inputs, e-shift upscaling for 1080p-and-lower sources, and a user-selectable Intelligent Lens Aperture.
The projectors, which according to JVC aren't technically 4K, use a system called "e-shift" which splits all incoming signals and spits them out to two 1080p panels. The image is then combined using "pixel shift" to emulate a 4K image. The technology isn't new for JVC, but this is the first time the company has offered it in a projector under $5,000.
That projector would be the entry-level DLA-X500R, which is one-third the price of the Sony 600ES, the least expensive true 4K projector in the U.S. It features a 60,000:1 native contrast ratio thanks to a new Clear Black feature that provides local area contrast enhancement.
JVC claims the Intelligent Lens Aperture produces deeper blacks while maintaining white levels and is "superior to what's delivered by competing projectors using a dynamic iris". The projectors feature an automated lens shift with memory presets for easier setup.
Pushing contrast levels even further are the DLA-X900R and DLA-X700R capable of 150,000:1 and 120,000:1 ratios, respectively.
All three new projectors feature active 3D compatibility using RF transmission, and the DLA-X900R and the DLA-X700R add THX 3D certification. The DLA-X900R ships with a 3D transmitter and two pairs of glasses.
The new JVC D-ILA home theater projectors will be available November, and meanwhile the excellent 1080p DLA-X35 will stay in the range through 2014.