Initial setup of the DLA-X7 couldn’t be easier. Zoom, lens shift, and focus can all be done via the remote. Being THX-certified, it has a THX mode that presumably provides the best/most accurate settings for the projector. It doesn’t (more on that later), but it gets you most of the way there. If you want to go further, there are pages and pages and pages of menu settings to tweak with different color modes, gamma modes, iris settings, and more. You can fine-tune both the color points and the gamma not just for white, but also for red, green, and blue individually. You can even shift the physical RGB panels in case they’re slightly out of alignment, something that can happen with 3-chip designs. (Mine were spot-on and needed no adjustment.)
The remote has a rubbery texture that feels nicely high-end. It’s also backlit and has dedicated buttons for inputs, picture modes, and other basic features. It’s pretty much everything you’d want in a remote.
As with most new THX-Certified products (the Epson 9700UB projector that I reviewed is one exception), you’re unable to adjust most settings while in THX mode. Contrast and brightness can be adjusted, but gamma, color temperature, and other settings cannot. The problem here is that every projector is going to interact with each screen differently. (In my case, as you can see in the Test Bench, the X7’s image measured somewhat warm in THX mode.)
With all the different possible settings, it would be nice to be able to use the THX mode as a starting point and then tweak it from there so that it looks best. (You can’t even write down what the settings are in the THX mode to mimic them, as most settings are grayed out and inaccessible.) The only way the settings can be adjusted is if you hire a THX-certified calibrator to do it for you, since they have access to a special software program. Given how near perfect you can get this projector, I’d highly recommend getting it calibrated.
Out of the box, even in the THX mode, the DLA-X7 crushes whites. After questioning JVC about this issue, I was told to switch the HDMI setting in the Input Signal menu from Standard to Enhanced. Problem solved.
To make 3D work, you’ll additionally need JVC’s PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter ($79). The emitter’s instructions tell you to place it so that it faces the glasses (i.e., at the front of your theater), but the included and proprietary cable is only 6 feet long. Huh? I placed it on top of the projector, firing at the screen, and it worked fine with the PK-AG1 3D glasses ($179 each).