Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-NX7 4K Projector Review- Picture Quality 2

JVC DLA-NX7 4K Projector Review- Picture Quality 2: 4K SDR and 4K HDR, 1080P Material, HDTV and Sports.

4K SDR and 4K HDR

While most Blu-ray UHD content is available in HDR10, a lot of 4K streaming material is still only 4K SDR. The DLA-NX7 had no problems delivering sharp detailed 4K imagery.

While JVC’s Pixel Shifting models do a very nice job emulating the original 4K content, when you do a side-by-side comparison with a true 4K projector, the resolution difference is truly noticeable.

With the introduction of the Apple 4K TV, the amount of HDR streaming movie content has increased dramatically. 4K HDR content can deliver expanded color space with better highlight and shadow detail, but even the brightest HDR projectors can struggle to faithfully reproduce HDR.

The JVC DLA-NX7 delivered one of the best HDR pictures I have seen from a projector. I would say that the HDR image is now on par with the Sony projectors like the VW695ES (native 4K). The JVC also delivered excellent HDR skin tones post calibration.

In most situation’s the NX7 auto tone mapping feature did a great job balancing the need to deliver respectable full screen brightness while still producing bright highlight detail. Without the color filter engaged, the NX7 could not reach DCI- P3 but sometimes without the filter engaged I found HDR colors appear richer and more vibrant. Solely chasing the widest color space at the expense of brightness usually will not deliver the most accurate, best looking HDR picture. While we focus a lot on color gamut (Rec709, P3, Rec2020) we also need to be just as concerned with HDR color volume.

HDR color volume is a combination of color gamut and color brightness. It is easy to see how brightness affects color. Pause a colorful HDR scene and zoom the image size down. The colors will look more vibrant because they are projected brighter. Therefore, I recommend always using high lamp mode during HDR viewing because it increases the average frame level and makes color pop more.

Regardless of lamp mode, when the color filter is engaged, screen brightness will normally drop between 15-30%. Due to a projector’s limited brightness capabilities, is sacrificing more brightness to achieve a wider color gamut worth the sacrifice? While this decision is up to the individual viewer, based on my viewing experience the answer is usually no. I created both a “HDR Wide Color” and a “HDR Bright” mode, I found that I personally prefer the brighter calibration when viewing most HDR.

HDTV AND SPORTS

The fact is most TV shows and live broadcast will continue to be produced in HD for at several more years so good 4K upscaling will continue to be important. The JVC 4K upscaling was excellent. Whether I was watching 720P sports form ESPN or 1080p Blu-ray content, it looked very good. Most 4K movies do not have enough fine detail to make the difference between watching 4K SDR and HD noticeable. You can even fine tune the amount of detail displayed using the Multiple Pixel Control settings, but I mainly depended on the Natural modes default settings.

The JVC DLA-NX7 produced great overall brightness and managed 1,767 lumens in high lamp and at mid-zoom. While this amount of brightness might be overkill when watching movies in a darkened room, it is an absolute benefit when viewing live daytime sports or a TV show in a room with higher ambient light. While many 4K UHD DLPs can produce much higher max brightness, their brightness advantage quickly disappears once those projectors are calibrated. In addition, single-chip DLP projectors that have relatively low Color Light Output (compared to its white light output) don’t often produce bright rich colors, however the DLA-NX7 can deliver an equal amount of color and white lumens.

The JVC’s great black levels and high brightness combined with overall great color (calibrated or uncalibrated) delivered HD picture quality rivaling projectors costing substantially more.

Overall Picture Quality

Whether you are watching HD, 4K or HDR, the DLA-NX7 delivered an excellent picture. Out-of-the-box the picture quality looks better than most. Its main competition being the more expensive SONY VW695ES.

While my time with the DLA-NX7 was short I would have been happy to have the projector as part of my reference system for as long as possible. The DLA-NX7’s great black levels are addicting and will be missed as I revert back to the greyer black of my personal projector.

Above are a few more images from Movies and TV shows. As noted elsewhere, there is some color shifting in these images, so they don’t fully represent how good the JVC DLA-NX7 looks in person.