Posted on January 2, 2020 By Phil Jones
JVC LX-NZ3 4K Laser DLP Projector Review – Picture Quality: 4K SDR and 4K HDR, 1080P Material, HDTV and Sports.
While most Blu-ray UHD content is available in HDR10, a lot of 4K streaming material is still only 4K SDR. The LX-NZ3 had no problems delivering sharp detailed 4K imagery. While Pixel Shifting models can 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.
While the LX-NZ3 could not reproduce 100% of DCI-P3 color space, I found HDR colors still appeared rich and vibrant. 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 by just pausing a colorful HDR scene and zoom in to make the image size smaller. As the image gets smaller, the colors will look more saturated because they are brighter. This is why I recommend always using HIGH LAMP Mode during HDR viewing because it increases the average frame level and makes the color pop more. The projector’s 3,000 lumens of brightness helped the LX-NZ3 produce a good HDR picture..
The projector’s Auto Tone Mapping really made a noticeable improvement in the HDR picture. In most situations, the LX-NZ3 did a great job balancing the need to deliver respectable full screen brightness while still producing bright highlight detail. Unlike many HDR compatible projectors, I rarely felt the need to make manual tone mapping adjustments during HDR viewing.
Most TV shows and live broadcast will continue to be produced in HD for several more years so good 4K upscaling will continue to be important. The 4K upscaling performance of the LX-NZ3 was excellent. You can even fine tune the amount of detail displayed using the Super Resolution settings, but I mainly depended on the Natural modes default settings. Whether I was watching 720P sports from ESPN or 1080p Blu-ray content, it looked very good. Most 4K shows and movies just do not have enough fine detail to make the difference between 4K and HD noticeable from a distance.
While 3000 lumens of brightness might seem like 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.
Whether you are watching HD, 4K, or HDR, the LX-NZ3 delivered a very good picture for its price. Out-of-the-box the picture quality looked as good or better than most DLP projectors I have seen.
Whenever I evaluate the projector’s picture, I try to consider the unit’s likely use case. If your room has some ambient light, the ability to reproduce ultra-deep blacks is not critical. Overall, I was very please with the picture quality of the LX-NZ3. It produced a bright vivid picture which really made movies, TV shows, and live sports broadcast pop in my recreation room.
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 LX-NZ3 looks in person.
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