Picture Quality Comparing the Projector's Picture Quality
For the side-by-side images below, the Epson 8500UB is on the left, and the DLA-RS25 is on the right.
In my mind, there is no aspect of picture quality (keeping brightness out of the equation) where the Epson projectors can beat out the JVC projectors. That makes the real issue, "am I getting my money's worth when buying the much more expensive projector?" or "I realize the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB does a great job, but will I be truly happy, knowing that I could have bought the JVC and would have an even better viewing experience?"
The answers will be personal decisions, which will most strongly be determined by the level of perfection you demand, and the budget you have. Your room comes into play too. For example, if your room has white/off-white walls, ceilings, that will negate some of the advantage of the JVC's better blacks.
For both, out of the box performance could be improved, but just barely!!! This is a big change of last year, and in both cases, thanks are deserved to both companies for getting THX certification. No, make that for having a THX mode. In both cases, the THX mode provides excellent results, right out of the box. Neither THX mode allows a whole lot of modification. The JVC allows almost no changes, and the Epson though offering a little more, still is limited in the THX mode. But then, what the hell, it looks great. We got better results after our calibration with both projectors, but, truth is, that may be more due to lamp variation from one projector to another than our skills as calibrators.
We calibrated the JVC RS25, and it looked a little better than the THX mode. Even the older JVCs without the THX mode always had a great "out of the box mode" (Cinema 2, for the RS20). Our calibration resulted in just a tad more pop to the image, but essentially the same, perhaps a tiny bit more green than THX mode.
The Home Cinema 8500UB, by comparison, also has a great THX mode, and calibrates really well. Still, the skin tones aren't quite as natural as the JVC offers. It's a little bit less "natural" feeling, just a tad hard by comparison. That's more of a dynamic issue than color, but we're talking skin tones, and the JVC is the more natural of the two.