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8K laser projectors brighten the high-end home theater

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Preparing for the rise of 8K movies in the home cinema, JVC Kenwood has announced new additions to its high-end D-ILA laser projector family, with the new models able to input and display 8K/60p visuals with boosted brightness and contrast.

The D-ILA models launched back in 2021 could also input and display 8K content of course, but JVC has now updated the light source and the company’s three-chip “liquid crystal on silicon” display technology for the promise of much improved visuals.

The new DLA-NZ900 and DLA-RS4200 laser projectors are essentially the same model, but wrapped in slightly different skins – the former being part of JVC’s “Procision” series while the letter takes its place in the Reference series. It’s a similar story for the NZ800 and RS3200. For the remainder of this overview we’ll run with the NZ monikers.

The DLA-NZ900 boasts 3,300 lumens and 150,000:1 native contrast
The DLA-NZ900 boasts 3,300 lumens and 150,000:1 native contrast

JVC

Whether you opt for silver-accented Procision or the gold of the Reference series, all of the new high-end projectors benefit from the company’s latest BLU-Escent Laser engine – which makes use of a blue laser diode. This new generation increases brightness compared to previous models like the DLA-NZ9, shaping up as 3,300 lumens for the NZ900 or 2,700 lumens for the NZ800.

The light source combines with the third-generation proprietary 0.69-inch D-ILA chipset for native 4K visuals as well as electronic shifting to 8K – though JVC actually goes a little further with a resolution of 8,192 x 4,320 pixels. Contrast has been treated to a boost too, with the NZ900 now claiming a native ratio of 150,000:1, and the NZ800 chasing at 100,000:1.

Dynamic contrast is available too, with JVC boasting a ratio of infinity to one thanks to the laser diode gaining a new control algorithm for improved precision during dynamic adjustment of brightness output, but pitch blackness seems to involve the light source simply being disabled in this mode.

The projection size of both models starts at 60 diagonal inches, with the NZ900 able to pull back for up to 300 inches and the NZ800 topping out at 200 inches.

All of the 2024 D-ILA laser projectors launched this month feature native 4K visuals, but come with JVC's pixel-shifting technology for 8K imagery
All of the 2024 D-ILA laser projectors launched this month feature native 4K visuals, but come with JVC’s pixel-shifting technology for 8K imagery

JVC

Rather than merely run stock HDR, the projectors employ JVC’s own Frame Adapt HDR algorithm to optimize HDR10 content in real-time on a frame by frame basis, while a revised tone mapping algorithm boosts definition for HDR imagery. Yet more code is reported to make for “images that are brighter, more colorful, and have a wider dynamic range.” And a final piece of the Frame Adapt machinery is the inclusion of a Deep Black feature aimed at delivering more realistic dark tones.

A FilmMaker Mode is cooked in to disable certain quality adjustment parameters while setting the color temperature to 6500K, all aimed at offering “picture quality that is authentic to the filmmaker’s vision.” The projectors support the wide BT.2020 color space and 10-bit gradation, plus there are also filters included that are designed to match the cinematic DCI-P3 color gamut. Improvements have been made to JVC’s after-image reduction system, and motion compensation is included too. Other features of note include auto calibration, auto screen adjustment, numerous installation modes.

The NZ900 is fronted by an 18-element, 16-group all-glass 100-mm lens with an aluminum barrel, along with “five extra-low-dispersion lenses calibrated for differences in the R/G/B refractive index to reduce chromatic aberration and color fringing when lens shift kicks in.” The NZ800 is bumped down to a 17-element, 15-group 65-mm main lens.

Though there’s an Ethernet LAN port around back for cabled connection to a home network for watching online content, neither projector has Wi-Fi. At the moment, you may have some trouble finding 8K content online anyway, but JVC notes that more videos at this eye-popping resolution are on their way to YouTube, along with 8K-compatible games in the pipe as more powerful PC graphics cards arrive. In the meantime, gamers can take advantage of 4K/120-Hz HDMI inputs with support for auto low-latency.

The DLA-NZ900 is priced at US$25.999.95 and the NZ800 comes in at 10 grand cheaper. The Reference flavors are priced the same. All are expected to go on sale from next month. The video below has more.

2024 New D-ILA Projector

Product pages: DLA-NZ900, DLA-RS4200, DLA-NZ800, DLA-RS3200


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