I am super excited to announce the creation and launch of the new RTJ Audio from JTR Speakers. The wait is over for this professional line of speakers and subwoofers. Behold, the custom integrators’ version with the DNA of JTR Speakers. This was designed for the dedicated theater space that is purposefully built. So, let’s begin.
While most of us were working at home and streaming too much TV in 2020, Jeff Permanian was hard at work. Jeff is the Creator of RTJ Audio and he invited us out to see what he has been working on. We visited Landrum, South Carolina in April of 2021 to witness the birth of this new project. Jeff did not disappoint. We arrived at a banquet hall full of AV gear. They were still setting up, but we could tell that this was going to be a substantial system once completed.
The first thing I noticed were the massive Towers. These are comprised of the 410 loudspeaker sandwiched in between two R1 18-inch subwoofers. The subs speak for themselves, but I felt the 410 could use some explanation. Most loudspeakers have one or two 8-inch drivers, but the 410 has 10-inch drivers, but with 4 of them! The stack is modular and can be configured whichever way you would like, or your room allows. The subs are available in single, double, or quadruple packages. These are passive subs but come with a separate rack mountable amplifier. Additionally, there are options for surround speakers in the form of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers as well as standalone bookshelf speakers.
The RTJ line shares some similarities throughout the speakers. These are point source tweeters and mids to help with time alignment. The crossovers in the speakers made them very linear in their response as well.
The configuration we used for the demo was a 7.4. They chose not to do an Atmos configuration due to the scaffolding that would have had to be brought in. Since this was a banquet hall set up / tear down in one day, there were limitations to conquer. They used a Kaleidoscape source played though a Lumagen Radiance Pro into a Stormaudio processor and a JVC NX7/ RS2000. The Screen used was a Seymour Acoustically transparent motorized screen. Once we filmed a few videos and had lunch, it was time for the demos. I will say that after some tweaks to the calibration and plugging into a couple circuits for power, the system was fully operational.
We played multiple demos from live music to movies with action and dialogue. The long and short of it is that Jeff has made a unique and impressive new set of speakers. The passion and hard work that went into the development and execution of these speakers and subs is immediately obvious. There is something very satisfying watching multiple 18-inch subs growing through their full excursion. I am not sure if I watched this or the movie more!
I was incredibly pleased to be a part of the trip as well as the RTJ Audio experience. These new speakers and subwoofers deliver that unique home theater experience that we know and love. We would love to put a full system into your next theater. Just call us and we would be happy to make that happen. Until next time guys…
Welcome to our comparison of Sony 715ES vs. JVC RS2000 Projectors. Here we discuss our experience with home theater and HiFi gear as well as tips and tricks on setup. We’re here to help out anyway we can. This will be a culmination of multiple years of experience whether it be personal or as a team effort. Sit back and enjoy the content and thanks again for joining us.
Our dream is to have a home theater in every home in the USA. What is a home theater? Is it a grouping of speakers in a surround sound configuration? Is it a TV or a projection system? Is it a designed and engineered room that looks great and is functional? The answer may not be so simple. It could be one of those or a combination of all three. We at DREAMEDIA love a two piece projection system. We’re no strangers to the leaders in the industry. Recently, I was able to test the new Sony 715s against the JVC RS2000 also known as the NX7. These are both Native 4K HDR and I must admit, I had some preconceived expectations about the Sony 4K projector given its heritage. Seeing both of these side by side laid those notions to rest. Without further ado let’s jump into this comparison.
UNBOXING AND SETUP
I thought this comparison would be easy and there would be a quick decisive winner between the two. I was mistaken. Let’s first talk about the unboxing experience. Both have easy setups, a user focused menu system and look incredible out of the box too. The Sony has a premium black finish and the monster JVC casing commands the room with its massive footprint. Start up was quick and easy with both. There weren’t any unusual noises or hiccups to get the projectors setup. For this comparison, I used a level platform that was wide enough for both projectors. Both projectors were leveled and set up to display identical sized images on a massive projector screen wide enough to accommodate both images side by side. The source was an OPPO 205 into a Trinnov processor into two identical HDMI into each of the projectors. We even used the Clarus duet power conditioner to keep the power clean for both projectors. Additionally, the throw distances were the same and menu settings between the two were mimicked as closely as possible. I say all of this in such detail to let you all know that great lengths went into making sure this was a fair fight. With a retail of $19,000 combined between the two I feel like I owe it to you all to do my due diligence.
I would also like to state that all demos used were 4K HDR (high dynamic range) disks. We did not test any 1080p or 4K SDR (standard dynamic range) content and no streaming content was used. That could be an area of exploration in later reviews.
THE VISUAL EXPERIENCE
Once setup was complete with panels aligned and focused racked, the projectors were on for over 45 minutes at this point. So, let’s tackle what matters most, the visual experience with both projectors. The first demo we played was Blade Runner 2049 in 4K HDR. The black levels were a deep black on the JVC and less pronounced on the Sony. If you have ever seen this movie, it’s a very dim and bleak movie putting it on one extreme end of the spectrum for HDR brightness. Both images were spectacular. I did notice a tad bit more sharpness on the Sony as compared to the JVC on certain scenes. Usually, the up close scenes that display Ryan Gosling’s face were razor sharp on the Sony and had a little more of a film look on the JVC. This leaves no clear winner, just differences in individual preferences.
Color accuracy was pretty close between the two. Brightness was unclear on which had the edge on the other. Where I did notice a difference was in the auto tone mapping HDR feature. Sony has not had this available on the 715ES predecessor the 695ES. Being that this is new tech for Sony they did a great job for sure, but still the winner in this feature goes to the JVC RS2000. Unlike Sony, JVC has been using dynamic tone mapping for years and they are on their 2nd iteration of it with the latest firmware in the JVC. This translates into a seamless user experience. You set the JVC up initially and you don’t have to touch the remote afterwards. Conversely, the Sony has a menu setting where you can choose how heavily or how minimally the HDR contrast affects the image. Even with the ability to use the remote to choose which setting works best for HDR it’s not a set it and forget it type of approach. I’ll expand on this in a few. Other than those few points these both give a stunning image.
The next demo we did was The Meg. This is from one extreme to another. Where Blade Runner 2049 is a very dark movie, The Meg is a very bright movie. This is largely based outside and around water during daylight. There is a scene halfway through the movie where there is a diver in the water showing the shark cage in the silhouette of the sun. The JVC RS2000 handled this perfectly without any additional input from the remote or setting manipulation. The Sony on the other hand was just on its best HDR tone mapping setting from Blade Runner. This combination of settings resulted in very blown out highlights. You couldn’t even see any discernible detail about the shark cage. With some fiddling of the tone mapping setting on the Sony the images turned out pretty similar between the two with my eyes gravitating still to the JVC RS2000 for overall more realistic image recreation.
We did several other demos after this like Mad Max: Fury Road, Game of Thrones and several others. The results were the same throughout the rest of the tested material. I’m only focusing on one specific feature in between the two because that is really the only difference between the two. Both give a very enjoyable and immersive cinematic experience. This comparison is really about splitting hairs. At this price point you would expect excellence and both deliver for sure.
Most people don’t think about this but there are some other features that aren’t specifically seen with projectors. I’m speaking to the user experience with the projector. Sony follows suit with its heritage of having a noisier fan by comparison. Additionally, the Sony 715ES gave off a fair amount of heat more than the JVC RS2000. This may not be an issue for you but I felt it fair to note it here.
CONCLUSION: Sony 715ES vs. JVC RS2000 Projectors
In conclusion, you can’t really go wrong with either. Both have their own personality and both excel in specific areas and don’t let you down with any specific fault. At this price point I would be happy to personally own either of these. They both live up to the hype. The New for 2021 Sony 715ES had the slight leg up on sharpness. The additional processing that this unit has that the outgoing Sony 695 is a massive step forward. The older Sony models used to be much dimmer but this one brings up that brightness to a very enjoyable level. Color accuracy and motion was similar in between both sets of projectors. The JVC RS2000 has the leg up on its 4K HDR recreation. It has a set it and forget it approach and that is valuable to the user experience. The black levels were stunning as well. It did not match the same sharpness as the Sony 715ES but by itself the image still looked amazingly sharp without comparison. It was not a simple task to achieve this comparison. I’ll end off here so make sure you view this related video and subscribe to DREAMEDIA Home Theater on YouTube. I hope you are all pumped to go back home and watch a good movie now!
Sounds like a cool name, right? So, you just shelled out big bucks to get your new native 4K projector and the complimenting 2.35:1/ 2.40:1 aspect ratio screen. What if I were to tell you that you aren’t getting all 8.8 million pixels of the 4K resolution on that new screen? With most projectors that have lens memory you can have multiple formats to choose from. In the case of the cinemascope 2.35:1 or the anamorphic 2.40:1 you probably chose this format screen because you are a movie lover and don’t care to have black bars at the top and bottom like with a 16X9 format screen. Even with the image filling up the ultra-wide format screen, you are still projecting those black bars top and bottom of the screen. It’s very dim, but if you hold a mirror to the over-scanned area, you will see clearly. What if I were to tell you that you can get all 8.8 million pixels on the screen, improve your overall image brightness, and therefore increase your total contrast? It’s really easy to do, the answer is an anamorphic lens.
Ok so if you have spiraled down the rabbit hole, you know that you are serious about performance. Most people are content with enjoying a native 4K projector zoomed out to fill an ultra-wide screen, but then again you’re not most people. You are here to get the best possible out of your system. There are several lenses to choose from, but the most common and widely available are the anamorphic lenses from Panamorph. There are different kinds of lenses for different types and models of projectors. Different lens models are specific to certain models or have a certain anamorphic de-squeeze ratio. I have the Paladin DCR lens. This is their flagship lens and is universal. I use this with the JVC RS3000 also known as the NX9. The projector/ lens configurator is available on their website, but if you need to, we can help you match whichever lens will work best with your projector.
Setup is easy, but takes a little time to play with to make everything line up perfectly. Once installed, make sure you go into your projector settings and enable whichever anamorphic setting needed to make the image fill up your screen. In my case, I used the anamorphic C setting in the JVC RS3000 / NX9. This setting is the same throughout the Current D-ILA lineup except the RS-4500 which is used in conjunction with the Lumagen Radiance Pro processor. Once set up you are ready to go. The full height of the reflective devices are being used and the lens physically does the desqueeze to fill up the screen left and right. This gives you back the pixels once lost on the top and bottom of the image. This increases your brightness because the pixel density has increased as well as improves your contrast because ¼ of the image isn’t physically casting black anymore. Sounds like a win win right?
I have used this setup for some time now and I feel like my experience with the projector/ lens combination has some teeth now. I love the color pop. I thought it was incredible before on my 144-inch Screen Innovations Zero Edge Pro Black Diamond screen. I’m using a 2.35:1 cinemascope screen for now and the image quality is outstanding. You really notice the increased sharpness when watching movies as well as the immersion is just that much better using the projector to its full potential. You can notice quite the difference in sharpness with or without the 8K enhancement feature.
The only real downside I see to using anamorphic lenses is that they are pricey. If the barrier to entry isn’t a concern for you then you are reaping all the benefits your projector is capable of. Setup can be time consuming, so be patient if you are setting this up yourself or be prepared to pay a little extra if you have a company come out and install this for you. This is all reflective of my experience with the Paladin DCR universal lens. There are model specific versions that just slip right into place saving you install time. These are usually less expensive as compared to the Flagship DCR lens, but the model specific ones are only available for that specific model at the time of purchase. So if you bought the NEW paladin DCR-J1 then it will slip right onto an RS1000/RS2000 or NX5/NX7 specifically. If you ever replace that projector, there are no guarantees that the lens could be used on the next series. That’s the trade off in price break for the model specific version. Again, a lot of this may be confusing so reach out to us and we can walk you through which lens is good for you now and possibly in the future as well. We have a few videos for you all to check out that we did on this topic and we plan on adding several more because we find this is a frequently misunderstood area of home theater.
Welcome back to the Blog section. Today we will discuss a quick overview of my experiences with the Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB. Epson projectors are special to me because that was the first one I ever owned. Like most people new to home theater, price and performance are at the top of the list. I started with the Epson HC5040UB. This model was current when I bought it and paired it with a nice ambient rejecting screen. I loved this combination until I upgraded to the new and improved PC6050UB.
The 6050UB was sharper, had more features for HDR and had amazing color pop when compared to the 5040UB. The 5050UB would be a more apt comparison but I chose to go with the 6050 for its included mount, spare lamp and extra year of warranty. The Epson 6050 is a 1080P resolution that does pixel shifting to recreate 4K resolution. I thought it did an incredible job and was always very crisp and sharp no matter the content. I used the projector in our living room as a TV replacement. If you have the space and an understanding wife, I highly recommend the same setup. We used the space for movies, TV watching and the occasional video game night whenever friends came to visit. I really enjoyed how the 6050 did a great job with any content we threw at it. It was excellent for fast paced sports because it had a one button toggle in between prioritizing fine or fast material.
Another key feature that ultimately led me to choose the 5040 and then the 6050 is that I love the ultra-wide formats like 2.35:1 cinemascope and 2.40:1 anamorphic. The Epson can store up to 10 format or shape specific settings. Most people order a 16×9 format screen because that is what our TVs are shaped like these days. In this instance the whole picture would be filled up when watching Most streaming or TV content. On the other hand, when you watch 2.35/ 2.40 format content on a TV or 16×9 formatted screen, the image will show black bars at the top and bottom. If seeing black bars when watching movies is not your cup of tea, you can order a 2.35 or 2.40 screen and zoom out so that when a movie is playing, the picture will fill up the entire screen and be just like you saw in the theater. The only trade off is when the format changes back to 16×9 you would have to press a lens memory setting to have the image shrink down at a fixed height to be on the ultra-wide screen. This results in a smaller image when playing 16X9 content and having black bars on the sides. Toggling between the two formats is quick and easy but if you have a 16X9 screen this feature is not needed.
I can talk about the specs of this unit all day long but that can be found anywhere. I will instead talk about my everyday use with this projector. The unit runs cool and creates low noise when on normal and low lamp mode. You can run it on high like I did and not significantly heat up your room. The projector is plenty bright as compared to other projectors in the price range. This unit is not native 4K but delivers a very crispy sharp image. You would never miss the difference in sharpness unless you saw a comparably priced Native 4K projector next to it (which there aren’t any). All in all, the Epson 6050UB is a great projector that has a long list of pros without many to tick in the cons column. I have owned two in the lineup and would gladly own another one down the road. I highly recommend this projector for the person getting into home theater or the person that has already loved 2-piece projection but wants an upgrade from the standard 1080p variety but doesn’t have the budget for a full on native 4K projector. That’s all I have for now. Thanks for checking out these blogs!
As 2020 was a slower year for some manufacturers, Samsung took to market their vastly popular Ultra Short Throw Projector. The Premiere LSP7T (MSRP $3,499) and LSP9T (MSRP $6,499) are two new models that bring the BIG television experience to any home, bringing that next level projection technology into the living room.
For this review, I will be referring to the Premiere LSP9T for comments, pros and cons. At first glance, when unboxing you can quickly see Samsung’s design features that make this a piece that can be easily accepted into any accommodating space. It is a relatively slim, gloss white box.
Setting up any ultra short throw for the first time can be a daunting task, but Samsung’s directions are pretty simple. With their documentation, it gives you the precise measurements to fill whichever size screen you have (in millimeters). I would have liked to have seen some type of jig, to make it even more simpler. This Ultra Short Throw projector can project 130” from only 9” off the wall!
Powering up, you are greeted with the setup process that showcases Samsung’s Tizen UI and software that will feel very familiar to anyone that currently owns their products. It has Android built-in with Samsungs’ touch and navigation. Getting into the tech specs, The Premiere is powered by a triple laser system, capable of performing over 20,000 hours of home theater experience at 2,800 ANSI lumens. It is the first projector capable of HDR10+, and has Acoustic Beam technology firing out of the front of the projector, which sounds great! More on that in a second.
Picture Quality – 8/10
Initially the Premiere is heavily weighted red which slightly sides more to the magenta side of things. The “Youtube” logo on the app inside of the builtin menu software looks hideous, but watching actual content the reds are more accurate especially in Filmmaker Mode (The Premiere can do 4K, HDR, HDR10+ and HLG) Filmmaker Mode turns off any enhancing features, and allows them to achieve full BT.2020 and DCI-P3 color gamuts for SDR and HDR viewing. When paired with an external player such as a dedicated 4K Bluray Player or the Zappiti Pro 4K HDR, it really comes to life. Be warned at close distances, you may notice some slight laser sparkle in bright scenes. But this can be avoided by sitting at proper seating distances. I never noticed any banding, or rainbow effect that some others have experienced.
As you do not often rate audio from a projector, the technology built-in to the Premiere is easily noticed and sounds incredible. Far better than most TV speakers you find in homes today. Their Acoustic Beam technology can throw sound to create a convincing immersive effect and is why I had to give this a high rating. With that being said, to any home theater enthusiast, you will look to pair this with a dedicated Dolby Atmos setup. But for the average living room, this is a solid all-in-one option that will give you a good experience and get the wifes’ approval in the living room without having to have multiple speakers scattered throughout the room.
In closing, the Samsung Premiere is the best all-in-one solution we have seen to date. There are certainly cheaper options but Samsung has done a fantastic job with this piece.
Vibrant accurate colors
Great dark room performance
Fully integrated Smart TV feel with Android and Tizen
Amazing and convincing sound
Not so good:
Can be a bit pricey, although any TV with similar performance at 130” will still cost tens of thousands more
Could be brighter
Better dedicated projectors out there
So is it worth your money?
In short, if you are looking for a big TV feel from an ultra short throw projector, this is it. If you’re wanting to dip your toes into the UST world this is a phenomenal option. It is certainly a little pricey but packs the performance and quality that you would expect from Samsung.