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

JVC LX-NZ3 4K Laser DLP Projector Review – Summary: Highlights, Value Proposition, Pros and Cons

HIGHLIGHTS

The LX-NZ3 is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $3,699. It utilizes JVC’s BLU-Escent™ laser phosphor illumination to deliver 3,000 lumens with 20,000 hours of worry-free operation.

For years, JVC DILA Projectors have been using their e-Shift technology to create a very good 4K UHD image. They also deliver JVC’s award-winning black levels. Last year JV introduced their first native 4K projector and this year they have launched six new native 4K DILA projectors.

JVC has also added a couple of 4K DLP based projectors to their lineup starting with the LX-UH1 and now the new LX-NZ3. Now, JVC offers two different 4K projection options to better fit the price points and needs of a wider variety of consumers.  Except for the DLA-RS4500K which retails for $29,999, the LX-NZ3 is the only laser projector in JVC’s current lineup.

Another notable thing about the LX-NZ3 is it’s HDR performance. On a lot of projectors, HDR video can appear dull due to a lack of brightness. The LX-NZ3’s AUTO TONE MAPPING feature tries to eliminate this problem. This feature uses the average and peak brightness information found in HDR10 metadata to automatically adjust the LX-NZ3’s settings to deliver the best HDR picture possible.

A more advanced version of this feature, found in JVC’s higher-end NX-series models, gives those projectors the ability them to measure HDR metadata dynamically (frame by frame or scene by scene) for more precise adjustment.

Regardless, this version of the AUTO TONE MAPPING really made a noticeable improvement in the HDR picture. Unlike most HDR compatible projectors in the LX-NZ3’s price point, it was rare that I felt a need to make any manual tone mapping adjustments during HDR viewing.

VALUE PROPOSITION

By utilizing a DLP chip, JVC was able to introduce a 4K laser projector that retails for less than any of their lamp-based D-ILA models. To get a 4K DILA projector from JVC, you would have to spend an additional $2,300 to step up from the LX-NZ3 to the JVC DLA-NX5. The DLA-NX5 does offer much higher native contrast. This increase in contrast is noticeable in rooms/theaters with very low ambient light. The NX5 is also much quieter and includes higher quality motorized lens

However, the LX-NZ3 brightness (3,000 lumens) is significantly higher than the DLA-NX5 (1,800 lumens).

If you are looking for a projector to view mainly SDR content in a room with higher ambient light, the LX-NZ3 might be a better value.

I have yet to find a single chip consumer 4K DLP projector that could come anywhere close to the color fidelity, native contrast and black level of a good LCoS projector like the JVC DLA-NX5. It is not even a fair fight as the DLA-NX5 is in another league. If you have the budget to step up from a 4K DLP projector to a 4K LCoS projector (JVC D-ILA or Sony SXRD), you should absolutely do it.

The LX-NZ3 also has laser illumination which eliminate the need to replace projector bulbs. Since the LX-NZ3 is a single-chip DLP projector you will never have any convergence problems since there’s nothing to converge. LX-NZ3 laser light engine combined with the DLP imager ensures over a decade of virtually maintenance free operation.

Epson makes some great 4K e-shift projectors like the LS10500 ($7,999). It offers benefits of a laser light engine including low maintenance and a long lamp life. However, it is double the price, twice the size, and lacks the resolution and brightness of the LX-NZ3.

A quick competitive search uncovered the Optoma UHZ65 which is one of the few home theater 4K DLP laser projectors in the LX-NZ3’s price point. Both the Optoma UHZ65 and JVC LX-NZ3 are 4K DLP laser units that can deliver a claimed 3000 lumens of brightness. The UHZ65 utilizes Texas Instruments larger 0.66” DLP Chip which due to its 2716 x 1518 micro array might deliver a sharper 4K image but the projector is larger and retails for nearly $900 more than the LX-NZ3.

Overall, I was pleased with the picture the LX-NZ3 delivered in my media room. If you are looking for a bright, compact 4K projector with the worry-free operation provide by laser illumination, the LX-NZ3 should be on your short list.

PROS AND CONS

JVC LX-NZ3 Pros

  • 3000 lumens (color and white)
  • Laser Light Engine
  • 20,000 Hour Lamp Life ((High Lamp Power)
  • Native 4K UHD Resolution
  • DLP chip delivers a sharp picture
  • 4K HDCP 2.2 (18Gbps) for 4K@60p HDR playback
  • Compatible with HDR10 and HLG
  • Auto Tone Mapping to optimize HDR10 viewing
  • Good 4K upscaling
  • 1-year parts/labor warranty

Cons

  • High Lamp Power mode could be quieter
  • Black Level and Contrast could be better
  • No motorized lens
  • Not compatible with 3rd party anamorphic lenses

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