Posted on Wed, 07 Jun, 2017
Posted by Bob

The JVC DLA-X5500 4k projector delivers class-leading levels of contrast from its D-ILA technology for deep blacks and brilliant whites.

It’s a busy time here at The Audio Affair Blog for projectors; we’ve just recently covered the Sony VPL-VW550ES 4k projector, and today we look at JVC’s contender in the 4k arena, the DLA-X5500.


It’s been said that the ‘big three’ Projector manufacturers, all have their own speciality: Epson have cornered the market with well-priced, high-performance HD projectors, whilst Sony have led a trail with 4k technology.

Where JVC have excelled, is in the fantastic contrast, and shadow free presentation afforded by their proprietary D-ILA technology…

JVC D-ILA Technology

JVC’s D-ILA (Direct-Drive Image Light Amplification) Technology, was introduced by JVC in 1977, and since then has been responsible for JVC projectors gaining a reputation for excellent contrast with deep blacks and natural ‘film like’ images.

The key to the smooth imaging and great contrast of D-ILA technology is a highly advanced development of LCD technology. It is, however, unlike a conventional LCD and is referred to as LCOS, or Liquid Crystal On Silicon.

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 00.54.53

The key advantages offered by D-ILA can only be understood in acknowledging the inherent pitfalls which can befall other technologies. Many of these use a form of highly miniaturised electro-mechanical process or other similar technique; all of which require a physical space between pixels.

The physical space between pixels, or in some cases the connections between nanotransistors, can give trace to tiny lines across the image. Whilst the very best versions of this technology reduce these to a minimum, it can lead to ‘shadowing’ or some might say a slightly ‘artificial’ image.

In contrast, the three combined D-ILA panels (one for each primary colour) allow light to pass through without these potential aberrations, resulting in an extremely natural ‘film like’ manner. It also allows for a better control of light passing through, resulting in exceptional contrast.

Compare and Contrast – The JVC DLA-X5500

A telling consequence of JVC’s D-ILA technology comes in the form of its quoted contrast specifications. Many manufacturers at this price point fail to provide a contrast ratio specification whatsoever; when it *is* published, it is usually in the form of a ‘dynamic contrast ratio’, which is somewhat akin to publishing ‘Peak Music Power Output’ ratings for amplifiers.

In contrast (pun very much intended), JVC publishes a native contrast ratio of 40000:1 an impressive figure, difficult to compare directly due to other manufacturers’ lack of published data. If we use the JVC DLA-X5500 dynamic contrast ratio of 400000:1 however, it beats another BIG name 4k projector’s 350000:1 ratio, and at half the price.

the JVC DLA-X5500 is equipped with a 2x zoom lens, with an automatic opening lens cap. The 2x zoom lens gives potential projector distances from the screen between 11 and 23 feet.

As most home projection rooms aren’t purpose built for the job, the projector is often forced to sit offset to the screen. Lens shift of +/-80% vertical and +/- 34 % horizontal allow easy centring of the image.

Add in dual HDMI with HDCP2.2, RS232 and LAN connections, and it’s clear to see that the JVC DLA-X5500 is a versatile, great value 4k projector, which delivers results beyond its price tag.

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