Spending an additional $3,000 to step up from JVC’s entry-level 4K projector DLA-NX5 to the JVC DLA-NX7 offers several benefits. First the DLA-NX7 has double the contrast (80,000:1 native, 800,000:1 Dynamic) of the DLA-NX5 (40,000:1 native, 400,000:1 Dynamic). This increase in contrast is noticeable in rooms/theaters with very low ambient light.
The DLA-NX7 can also reproduce a wider color gamut. JVC claims the DLA-NX7 delivers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space (about 90% BT.2020). Note: This is achieved via a color filter which will reduce the FPJ’s lumens output slightly. Lastly JVC claims that the DLA-NX7 brightness (1,900 lumens) is slightly higher than the DLA-NX5 (1,800 lumens)
If you are looking for a projector to view mainly SDR content in a room with higher ambient light, the DLA-NX5 might be a better value.
The top of the NX-series lineup is the DLA-NX9 which retails for $9,000 more than the DLA-NX7. So what do get for the money?
First, in addition to being both THX® 4K Certified and ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) Licensed, the DLA-NX9 is built with hand selected components. Next the DLA-NX9 claim brightness (2,200 lumens) is 300 lumens higher than the DLA-NX7 (1,900 lumens).
A large portion of the cost increase is due to the improved optics. The DLA-NX9 uses the same 100mm all-glass lens assembly found in the DLA-RS4500K which is JVC’s flagship 4K laser projector. The higher quality lens assembly results in sharper focus, better color reproduction as it also helps further boost the DLA-NX9 contrast ratio (100,000:1 native, 1,000,000:1 dynamic).
Finally, by combining native 4K D-ILA devices with JVCs proprietary 8K e-shift technology it can deliver an 8K (8,192 x 4,320) projected image. 8k e-shift is not the same as native 8K, but it will result in a sharper more detailed image compared to native 4K. The DLA-NX9 does not support 8K signal input but it will upscale your HD and 4K content.
So, is the DLA-NX9 worth more than double the price of the of the DLA-NX7? Except for the most discerning home theater enthusiasts, I think the DLA-NX7 would be a better choice.
Compared to the competition, I have yet to find a single chip consumer 4K DLP projector that could come anywhere close to the color fidelity, contrast and black level of the DLA-NX7. It is not even a fair fight as the DLA-NX-7 is in another league. If you have the budget to step up from a 4K DLP projector to a 4K D-ILA, you should absolutely do it.
Epson makes some great 4K e-shift projectors like the LS10500 ($7,999). It offers benefits of a laser light engine including low maintenance and long lamp life. However, it lacks the resolution, brightness, and native contrast of the DLA-NX7.
The JVC NX-series projector’s true competition is Sony 4K projectors. For several years I conducted side-by-side FPJ shootouts at CEDIA on matching 180” screens. The JVC projectors always offered more contrast and black level while the Sony model delivered more resolution. Now that JVC has introduced projectors with native 4K imagers, they have eliminated Sony’s resolution advantage. Looking at Sony FPJ lineup, the VW695ES ($9,999) is comparable to the DLA-NX7 ($8,999). The JVC offers the same 4K resolution but with higher contrast and better black level for $1,000 less. It would be hard to justify buying the Sony unit over this JVC. I will truly miss the JVC DLA-NX7 when I have to ship the review unit back.