Projector Reviews

JVC LX-NZ3 4K Laser DLP Projector Review – Calibration

JVC LX-NZ3 4K Laser Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Notes, Best Mode SDR Calibration, Best Mode HDR Calibration

Calibration Notes

I performed two calibrations on the JVC LX-NZ3 (Best SDR Mode & Best HDR Mode). Since I was using the projector in a room with some ambient light, I set my SDR target gamma at 2.2. The LX-NZ3 can easily produce more than enough brightness for SDR viewing on my 120” screen, so I set the Lamp Source Mode to ECO to reduce noise and power consumption.

Unlike JVC’s higher end DILA based home theater projectors, the LX-NZ3 doesn’t have color filter so it cannot reproduce wide color gamut.  I measured the LX-NZ3’s gamut coverage as 97.6% of Rec709.

Best Mode Calibration for SDR

Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

Except for the Dynamic mode, which was greenish, all the picture modes reproduced respectable SDR picture quality. The two User modes along with the Natural and Cinema picture modes deliver good white balance out of the box. The difference in appearance was mainly due to different default Gamma, CMS and Picture Enhancements settings.

Note: when e-shift is set to OFF picture mode is set to a fixed picture mode

For my Best SDR Mode calibration, I chose Cinema mode as my baseline, but I could have easily achieved the same results if I had selected Natural or one of the USER modes. In Cinema mode, the default Gamma was 2.4 so under the Gamma menu, I selected 2.2 option which was close to my 2.2 target. Once the LX-NZ3 was calibrated, switching to the darker 2.4 gamma for late night viewing had no noticeable impact on white balance.

I left the Contrast, Brightness, Color and Tint at their defaults of 50 settings. I reduce Sharpness slightly and switched all JVC’s picture enhancements (color enhancement, skin tone, super resolution, etc) to 0.

In Cinema mode, the default Color is Normal which had measured average of 7200K. Prior to calibration, all the DeltaE measurements were between 2 to 10.

Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.26 Average Gamma (target 2.2)
Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.26 Average Gamma (target 2.2)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 6896K 6070K
20 IRE 7783K 6625K
30 IRE 7804K 6585K
40 IRE 7537K 6551K
50 IRE 7368K 6653K
60 IRE 7434K 6544K
70 IRE 7300K 6519K
80 IRE 7066K 6464K
90 IRE 6992K 6409K
100 IRE 7001K 6604K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Normal Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.35 (target 2.2)

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.26 @ 1967 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Picture Mode Cinema Cinema
Contrast 50 55
Brightness 50 41
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Sharpness 12 6
Gamma 2.4 2.2
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Temp Normal Normal
Color Enhancement 6 0
Skin Tone 1 0
Super Resolution 2 0
e-shift ON ON
Light Source Normal Variable LOW
RGB Gain Offset
Red 105 244
Green 100 258
Blue 95 240

White Balance calibration settings for Night mode.

Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

I used the LX-NZ3 projector’s 2-Point White Balance adjustments found under the Color Temperature menu to achieve a DeltaE average of less than 2. The projector does not have 10-Point adjustment which prevented me from fine tuning the white balance even further. Overall, post-calibration, the LX-NZ3’s white balance was good with a 6500K average.

Once the SDR calibration was completed, I placed the Lamp Source Mode into Variable Low to improve the unit’s black level and its dynamic contrast performance. After calibration, the projector’s brightness measured 1967 Lumens in ECO mode which is far more than bright enough produce for a good 4K picture on a 120” screen even with some ambient light.

Best Mode HDR Calibration

When viewing HDR content the LX-NZ3 switches to a dedicated HDR picture preset. This preset offers adjustment settings which are completely independent of the SDR versions.

Pre-calibration, the HDR mode’s white balance was very similar to the SDR Cinema Mode with an average of 7300K. Just like with SDR when viewing HDR prior to calibration the LX-NZ3 white balance was low on red, high on green (red decreasing and green increasing with brightness).

I reduced Sharpness and left Color and Tint at their defaults. The Color Temp was also left at its default of Normal. Again, using the LX-NZ3 projector’s 2-Point White Balance adjustments, I was able to a DeltaE average of less than 2.

Cinema (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Cinema (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

The JVC LX-NZ3 is one for few projectors equipped with an Auto Tone Mapping feature which does an excellent job balancing average screen brightness with the need to maintain highlight detail.

The Dynamic Tone Mapping feature is engaged when HDR10/HLG setting is in AUTO mode. When Dynamic Tone Mapping is engaged, the EOTF curve is automatically adjusted (depending on how bright the content/scene was mastered) to provide the best balance of picture brightness and highlight detail. Based on content’s metadata or its own readings, the LX-NZ3 can automatically optimize its HDR performance based on the content (10,000nit, 4000nit, 1000nit, etc).

The HDR10 Picture Tone setting can be used to manually adjust HDR EOTF tracking. Increasing the setting, raises screen brightness but clips more highlights. Lowering the setting maximizes highlight detail at the expense of overall screen brightness. While you do have the ability adjust the HDR Picture Tone yourself, the LX-NZ3 did a good job selecting the proper picture tone itself.

With the LX-NZ3’s Dynamic Tone Mapping engaged, to achieve the best compromise between overall brightness and highlight clipping on most HDR content, I set Contrast to 54 and Brightness to 55.

Overall based on the LX-NZ3 price point, I was pleased with the 4K/HDR white balance and EOTF performance after calibration. The projector’s produced nearly 2147 lumens which is more than bright enough for a good HDR picture on my 120” screen.

HDR (Best HDR) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function)
HDR (Best HDR) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 6910K 6211K
20 IRE 7787K 6377K
30 IRE 7815K 6556K
40 IRE 7522K 6516K
50 IRE 7402K 6544K
60 IRE 7417K 6513K
70 IRE 7317K 6401K
80 IRE 7067K 6322K
90 IRE 6993K 6329K
100 IRE 6993K 6329K

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Picture Mode HDR HDR
Contrast 50 54
Brightness 50 55
Color 60 60
Tint 50 50
Sharpness 12 7
Color Temp Normal Normal
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Enhancement 12 12
Skin Tone 2 2
Super Resolution 1 1
e-shift ON ON
Light Source High Variable High
RGB Gain Offset
Red 97 249
Green 92 266
Blue 95 245

White Balance calibration settings for Day mode.

HDR (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
HDR (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)