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JVC LX-NZ30 4K DLP Projector Review

Posted on July 16, 2023 by Philip Boyle
Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector - Projector Reviews - Image
The LX-NZ30 is the newest DLP to be added to JVC's 2023 line of home theater projectors.

The JVC LX-NZ30 is an HDR-compatible DLP home theater projector that can deliver 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160). With a retail price of $3,499, 4K resolution, and a new higher-power laser light engine, this projector promises JVC performance at a highly competitive price.

JVC lists the LX-NZ30 as producing a respectable 3,300 ANSI lumens of brightness, which is brighter than their previous model. The laser source is rated to last 20,000 hours in HIGH POWER mode, allowing use for several hours a day, every day for a decade. Even when the light source power setting is set to ECO mode, the LX-NZ30 has more than enough light for a home entertainment space, including those that may require lights-on viewing.

Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image

The JVC LX-NZ30 does not use the company's commonly used D-ILA imager. Instead, the NZ30 uses a 2nd Generation 0.47" Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) with Texas Instruments' XPR technology.

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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector in Black - Projector Reviews - Image
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JVC DLA-NZ7 Specs
Price$3,499
TechnologyLaser DLP
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160 Pixel Shifting
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3300 ANSI Lumens
Light SourceBLU-Escent Laser Diode
Contrast∞:1 Dynamic
Zoom Lens Ratio1.6x
Lens Shift60% vertical, 23% horizontal
Dimensions15 7/8 x 13 1/8 x 5 1/4 (w x h x d))
Weight13.01 lbs (5.9 Kg)

 

Overview

The LX-NZ30 is a follow-up to the LX-NZ3. You can click on the link to read our full review of that projector. The JVC LX-NZ3 is a high-performance 4K UHD/HDR home theater projector using JVC's BLU-Escent laser light source technology. The LX-NZ3 has a brightness of 3,000 lumens, designed to cut through ambient light effectively, so there is no need to pull the curtains when watching television or movies. The laser also removes the need to be concerned about lamp life as it offers 20,000 hours of long life. The projector has many performance and convenience features, including JVC's original Auto Tone Mapping, high-quality optics, and excellent contrast designed to deliver the best possible image in almost any environment.

At first glance, the JVC LX-NZ30 appears to be the same projector as the previous model, the LX-NZ3. But when I started looking closer, it became clear that the new LX-NZ30 is, in many ways, a significant upgrade in features and performance over the LX-NZ3. Let's get into a little more detail.

Jvc Lifestyle Concept Art - Projector Reviews - Image
The JVC LX-NZ30 provides high-quality 4K images at a very competitive price. 

To start with, JVC has upgraded the projector BLU-Escent laser light source. This new projector features an upgraded 105-watt BLU-Escent blue laser diode that outputs an additional ten watts over the previous model. This boost in power enables the light output of the NZ30 to increase to 3,300 ANSI lumens, 300 lumens more than the previous model's 3,000 ANSI lumens of rated brightness. You may be rolling your eyes and thinking, "Phil, who cares about an additional 300 lumens of brightness?". Three hundred lumens of additional brightness when a projector is already in the 3,000-lumen range can sometimes result in a visible difference in luminance, color, and contrast. This brighter light source also improves peak brightness when projecting HDR content.

Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Laser Light Source - Projector Reviews - Image
JVC's original laser diode light source offers depth and dimensionality to projector imagery.

The LX-NZ series has consistently delivered high-quality video, even in rooms where ambient light can't be fully controlled, but the new LX-NZ30 takes this one step further.

One of the most significant changes to the LX-NZ30 4K laser projector is that JVC has tossed its hat into the gaming segment with a compelling performance boost. JVC has improved the LX-NZ30 to support 120 Hz and 240 Hz gaming at 1,080P. In addition, the projector's lowest latency mode is less than 1.5 frames (at 4K 60 Hz), enabling smooth, low-lag images even on screens much bigger than 100 inches, offering large-screen gaming to what was already a high-quality home theater experience. The LX-NZ30 supports input lag ratings such as 4K 60@25 ms, 1,080P 60@25 ms,1,080P 120@12.5 ms, and 1,080P 240Hz@6.25 ms.

JVC has added a new DisplayPort for a fast, low-latency connection to a personal computer. There is a new high-speed USB Type-C connection. The existing HDMI 2.0 ports, the DisplayPort, and the USB-C connection all support up to 4K HDR content.

JVC has also added a new wired LAN connection with the projector's RS232 connection. This new connection allows the projector to be added to an existing wired network for advanced management and control capabilities.

Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector with HDR - Projector Reviews - Image

The LX-NZ30 is compatible with HDR10 and HLG content and includes a basic version of JVC's Auto Tone Mapping feature. We say this a lot at Projector Reviews, but it's worth saying again. HDR is tough to do on a projector. HDR consumer content (4K Blu-ray and streaming) is mastered for playback on a flat panel, not a projector, so it’s produced at a variety of brightness levels ranging from 1,000 nits (292 fL) to 4,000 (1167fL) nits.

The bad news is that this class's projectors generally produce between 100 nits (29 fL) and 200 nits (58 fL). This means no HDR-compatible Home Theater projector can reproduce all brightness found in consumer HDR content. As a result, HDR projectors utilize tone mapping, which compromises between maintaining bright highlight details and delivering full-screen brightness.

JVC is one of only a handful of companies with the expertise to make auto-tone mapping not just work but work well. JVC D-ILA projectors benefit from the company's expertise in auto-tone mapping. That same HDR processing is found in this projector.

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The projector can utilize Max CLL and Max FALL metadata embedded in HDR content to optimize the unit's HDR performance. Users can fine-tune HDR content with the MAPPING LEVEL ADJUSTMENT feature. Like the LX-NZ3, the NZ30 also has a Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) picture mode to ensure users are ready for live future HDR broadcasts.

Even if the LX-NZ30 doesn’t offer dynamic HDR tone mapping found in JVC's higher-end 4K DILA projectors. its AUTO TONE MAPPING capabilities deliver a notable improvement in HDR reproduction.

The JVC LX-NZ30's new geometric distortion correction features enhance ease of installation, providing an extensive list of analog and digital adjustments for the most complex installations. The LX-NZ30's horizontal and vertical lens shift and zoom function like the previous model, but they are now equipped to correct geometric distortions, including four-corner adjustment and advanced warping correction.

JVC 4K DLP Model Comparison
ModelLX-UH1B/WLX-NZ3B/WLX-NZ30N/W 
Price$2499$3699$3499 
Resolution4K e-shift4K e-shift4K e-shift 
Light SourceLampBLU-Escent LaserBLU-Escent Laser 
Brightness2000 ANSI lumens3000 ANSI lumens3300 ANSI lumens 
Dynamic Contrast100,000:1Infinity:1Infinity:1 
Zoom1.6x1.6x1.6x 
Device0.47" DMD (1920 x 1080)0.47" DMD (1920 x 1080)0.47" DMD (1920 x 1080) 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • $3,499 MSRP
  • NEW - 2nd Generation TI 0.47" DMD with XPR technology
  • Displays 4K (3,840 x 2,160) 
  • 3,300 Rated ANSI Lumens
  • Lamp Life: 20,000 Hours (HIGH POWER mode)
  • Contrast: ∞1 Dynamic Laser Dimming
  • High frame rate gaming 4K 60@25 ms, 1080P 60@25 ms,120@12.5 ms and 240 Hz@6.25 ms
  • Zoom Lens Ratio: 1.6:1
  • Lens Shift: 60% vertical, 23% horizontal
  • HDR10/HLG Compatible
  • HDR Auto Tone Mapping
  • DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity
  • Dual HDMI with HDCP 2.3
  • USB Type-C supports direct connection from a PC and 4K HDR content
  • WARPING and CORNER ADJUSTMENT modes 

HARDWARE

CHASSIS

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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
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Physically the new JVC LX-NZ30 is identical to the previous model. The projector measures 15 7/8 x 13 1/8 x 5 1/4 inches (405 x 145.8 x 341 mm) and weighs 13.01 lbs (5.9 Kg). Last year this chassis was considered relatively small and light for a DLP projector with its specifications, but compared to some newer and brighter competitive DLP projectors in 2023 falls in the middle of the pack depending on which mainstream projector brand you compare it with. The LX-NZ30 is smaller than the JVC D-ILA projectors.

Like its predecessor, this new model is available in black and white. When looking at the face of the LX-NZ30, the front is slightly curved, with the lens on the right with manual zoom and focus controls located around the lens. On the left, there is an IR sensor.

On the top, directly above the lens, are the vertical/horizontal lens adjustment knobs. A simple control panel and three indicator lights are on the top rear. The hot air exhaust vent is on the projector's left side, while the air intake vent is on the right. All the inputs and connections are located on the rear of the chassis.

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The control panel of the LX-NZ30 is standard, with the POWER button on the left plus a MENU and HIDE button. There are four directional buttons for menu navigation and an OK/ENTER button in the center. Finally, to the right is the INPUT selector to toggle between sources and a BACK button which takes you back up one level in the menus.

JVC has added several notable upgrades from last year's model and new connectivity options. They've also added a new DisplayPort for connecting to a computer, an upgrade to HDCP 2.3 for the HDMI 2.0 ports, and improved frames per second and reduced input lag.

The LX-NZ30 only has two HDMI inputs and it does not support HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) or eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel). My theory is that JVC believes that the LX-NZ30 will be connected to an A/V Receiver so the majority of video switching will be done through that device. 

For "old school" command and control, there is a traditional serial RS-232C port (DB9 connector) and a USB terminal for service and firmware updates.  There is also a new USB Type-C connection for USB direct connection (USB-C to USB-C cable only) from a laptop, and the HDMI connections support up to 4K HDR content. JVC has also added a LAN connection and upgraded the USB Type-A port to provide up to 2.5A compared to last year's 1.5A port and a single 12volt trigger output that can control a screen or motorized shades. 

The LX-NZ30 does not include internal streaming services or built-in smart features. , so users must add an external media device such as an Apple TV or Roku. Since the LX-30 is designed to be utilized as part of a home entertainment system, it doesn't include a built-in speaker system.

LENS ASSEMBLY

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Regarding placement flexibility, the LX-NZ30 offers 1.6X zoom, an excellent zoom range. Most home theater projectors have zoom lenses ranging from 1.1:1 to 1.6:1, depending on the brand and model.

Here are the throw distances for the LX-NZ30 for filling anywhere from an 80-inch up to a 200-inch diagonal 16:9 screen. The measurements in the chart below represent measuring from the front of the projector's lens to the front of the screen.

The optics on the NZ-30 perform exceptionally well, with no visible chromatic aberrations on the projected image and a clean focus that only softens at the extreme edges of the screen.

The LX-NZ30 offers a decent amount of analog horizontal and vertical lens shift, increasing the projector's installation flexibility without introducing performance reductions that occur when using digital geometric corrections. While we strongly recommend squaring and installing the projector without digital modification, we also understand it's not always possible.

Remember, like most projectors, the more horizontal shift you use, the less vertical adjustment you will have available.

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Throw Distance for a 16:9 Screen
80 inches124.4" (3160 mm)253.9" (6450 mm)
110 inches137.4" (3490 mm)279.5" (7100 mm)
120 inches150" (3810 mm)305.1" (7750 mm)
130 inches162.6" (4130 mm)305.7" (8400 mm)
140 inches175.2" (4450 mm)356.3" (9050 mm)
150 inches187.8" (4770 mm)381.9" (9700 mm)
200 inches225.6" (5730 mm)458.7" (11650 mm)
Throw Distance for a 2.35:1 Screen
100 inches131.5" (3340 mm)268.1" (6810 mm)
110 inches144.9" (3680 mm)295.3" (7500 mm)
120 inches158.3" (4020 mm)322" (8180 mm)
130 inches171.7" (4360 mm)349.2" (8870 mm)
140 inches185" (4700 mm)376.4" (9560 mm)
150 inches198.4" (5040 mm)403.1" (10240 mm)
180 inches238.2" (6050 mm)484.3" (12300 mm)

In addition to the projector's 60% vertical and 23% horizontal lens shift, JVC has included powerful digital image correction tools, including digital keystone, four corners, and warping corrections that should allow a geometrically accurate image regardless of the room or screen shape challenges.

The warping function allows the projection of natural-looking images that match the form of the screen by moving the cross points of vertical and horizontal lines to correct distortions of the image when projected onto an uneven screen surface, as well as cylindrical or spherical surfaces. Some of these new features sound like they come from a digital signage projector. However, remember these adjustments also allow users to install a curved cinema or an immersive gaming experience.

JVC also has new aspect ratio sizes to the capabilities of the projector. In addition to 16:9, 4:3, and 16:10, the company has added 2.35:1. The projector also will display 4:3 native and 16:9 native.

MENUS

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  • Benq Lh730 Projector Menu - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Lh730 Projector Menu - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Lh730 Projector Menu - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Lh730 Projector Menu - Projector Reviews - Image

The LX-NZ30 has a less complex menu system than JVC’s 4K DILA models. LX-NZ30’s overall menu is well-organized and easy to navigate. The images of the menu shown in this section represent only a small number of all the sub-menus available. I tried to show a couple more notable sections found in the most used sub-menus (image, setting, networking, etc.). While the font size on the menu is a little small, it is still readable at a “normal” distance. The position of the menu can also be moved.

PERFORMANCE

COLOR REPRODUCTION

The overall color tone of the LX-NZ30 leans towards the warmer end of the spectrum, which will likely be positive for most users. The JVC LX-NZ30 picture quality is outstanding. I could see no apparent issues with color accuracy, except for the projector's DYNAMIC mode, which is skewed toward the blues, as is typical.

CINEMA and NATURAL are the most accurate out-of-the-box modes for SDR content. Both these modes significantly turn down brightness, attempting to improve black levels and provide a more filmmaker mode type of experience for the user. CINEMA mode is also the mode with the lowest brightness settings. There are also two user-configurable modes to retain customized picture settings and for use after professionally calibrating the projector.

  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image

The screenshots above will provide some examples of how this projector displays color. I also include several shots of HDR and SDR content. When viewed in person, colors and skin tones will look better than those shown in these photos.

Above are images of videos and photos in 4K and HD resolution. Like all our photos, they still need to be adjusted for color, so they do not look as good as the projector produced.

A ton of content is only available in full high definition for several reasons. One reason is that only some television shows or movies have a 4K version available to consumers. Also, some streaming services, such as Netflix, offer packages that only show high-definition resolution, which requires users to pay for a higher-level package to watch content in 4K resolution.

The upscaling of the JVC LX-NX30 is very good. 720P and 1,080P content looked excellent. Even some of the better DVD's I ran through the NZ30 were watchable.

Every day more Blu-ray UHD and streaming offer 4K encoded in HDR10; however, most streaming content is still only available in SDR. Most content I watched on the LX-NZ30 had no problems delivering sharp, detailed 4K imagery.

We took the time to calibrate the JVC LX-NZ30. Since your room and screen material significantly impact the overall picture, I don't recommend using someone else's calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, your settings would probably be different. Also, the color characteristics of projectors can vary. Therefore copying someone else's results can actually be detrimental to the picture quality rather than improving it. However, I am including the before and after calibration results in my room on my screen.

Even if you do not have the LX-NZ30 professional, you can easily make BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, and SHARPNESS adjustments to optimize your projector for your room using several free test patterns are available on Murideo’s website and their YouTube channel. Check out our YouTube video on utilizing several of these test patterns called Optimize The Image of a Projector or TV Using Free Murideo Test Patterns. Murideo also has written instructions located under the resource section of its website.

We use Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software to test the projector's color accuracy.

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

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We would classify the projector's out-of-the-box picture quality as better than average. I choose to calibrate the USER-1 mode for SDR viewing in a room with low ambient light. 

The measured color temperature of all the preset picture modes was only a few hundred degrees above my D65 (6500K) target. The pre-cal Gamma measured around 2.1, which is slightly brighter than my target of 2.2.

Like many blue laser phosphor-equipped projectors, the image was slightly cool when viewing a multi-step grayscale test pattern or watching brighter content. My observations were backed up by our measurements because they showed overemphasis on the green/blue and a deficiency in red. However, the average grayscale delta E was just 3.2 which is very good for a DLP projector in its price point.

The LX-NZ30 color tracking out of the box was average but any issues can be quickly corrected using the projector's CMS adjustments during calibration. 

  • Picture Mode: User 1
  • Color Temperature: 6804K
  • Gamma: 2.1
  • Average Grayscale dE: 3.2
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 6.1

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

JVC-LX-NZ30-Calibration-SDR-Post-Results - Projector Reviews - Image

We left the projector's COLOR TEMP set at its default of 6500K. To produce better grayscale (RGB Balance), using the unit 2pt WB adjustments, I reduced the GREEN GAIN and the BLUE GAIN while boosting the RED GAIN which resulted in a noticeable improvement in grayscale. Once these adjustments were made, the color temperature was very close to D65 (6500k).

To achieve my Gamma target of 2.2, I left the GAMMA SETTING set to its default of 2.2 and just reduced the BRIGHTNESS slightly.

Our color sweep measurement showed that red was oversaturated and that there was some color shift, especially on Magenta and Cyan. The LX-NZ30 offers CMS adjustments which we used to finetune the projector color tracking. 

  • Picture Mode: User 1
  • Color Temperature: 6489K
  • Gamma: 2.19
  • Average Grayscale dE: 1.8
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 1.5

Delta E, as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy of 3 and under, is considered 'Excellent' and imperceptible by the human eye. Once The LX-NZ30 was calibrated, its greyscale and color tracking measurements were below 2. 

Like SDR, viewing HDR content, there was a little too much emphasis on green, making the image appear too cool. However, adjusting the 2-point grayscale settings produced a good RGB balance (Grayscale).

While calibration did deliver a noticeable improvement in color reproduction the LX-NZ30's SDR and HDR picture quality out of the box was better than most DLP projectors in its price range. 

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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image

BRIGHTNESS

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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image

There are two things to note about the JVC LX-NZ30. First, the images this projector creates have a cool hue to them. This exists in all the preset picture modes to some degree. Secondly, despite performing very well in my brightness measurements to my eye, the overall image that this projector produced did not seem as dynamic as I would expect from a 3000 ANSI lumen DLP projector.

I'm not saying that the image this projector creates is not bright because it is. The projector was more than bright enough to use in a room with moderate ambient light. I can't describe it any better than to say that the images the LX-NZ30 produces are very neutral. I'll post some examples of what I'm trying to describe in my photos.

The JVC LX-NZ30 has a rated brightness of 3,300 ANSI lumens. How close did the LX-NZ30 come to hitting its target of 3,300 ANSI lumens? I set the projector's Picture mode to DYNAMIC, which is its brightness mode, and I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.
At wide zoom with NORMAL (full) lamp power brightness, the LX-NZ30 measured 3,390 ANSI lumens, which JVC said it should be.

JVC LX-NZ30 SDR Picture Modes

Picture ModeBrightness Measured (ANSI Lumens)  
Natural2175 
Cinema2282 
Dynamic3390 
Gaming2256 
Animation2181 
USER 1-22174 

 

JVC LX-NZ30 HDR Picture Modes

Picture ModeBrightness Measured (ANSI Lumens)  
Natural1356 
Cinema1570 
Dynamic2070 
Gaming1651 
Animation1359 
USER 11315 
USER 21315 

HDR (HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE)

The amount of streaming content in HDR, both movies and television, has increased dramatically. HDR can deliver an expanded color space with better highlight and shadow detail for content encoded in a high dynamic range. The JVC LX-NZ30's large color gamut gives users a rich color experience, even if a bit on the warm side with most content. Overall, the JVC LX-NZ30 produces an excellent picture I like.

The JVC LX-NZ30 allows users to adjust brightness within HDR content using the HDR BRIGHTNESS mode. Users can also use HDR BRIGHTNESS to change the brightness level based on screen type, size, and room environment. HDR BRIGHTNESS combines tone mapping and light source dimming and works incredibly well.

Despite how difficult it can be for a projector, its 3,300 lumens of brightness helped the LX-NZ30 produce a good HDR picture. The projector's Auto Tone Mapping made a noticeable improvement in the HDR picture. This JVC DLP projector does a good job balancing screen brightness while still producing bright highlight detail. I didn't need to manually adjust the tone mapping when viewing HDR content.

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

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  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image

You will be disappointed if you expect the black levels of the LX-NZ30 to match a JVC 4K DILA projector. The LX-NZ30 is a DLP projector, so it cannot match the native contrast of their DILA models. The LX-NZ30 does feature dynamic laser dimming to increase the perceived contrast, but even with it, the projector's blacks were darker gray. The slide show above should provide a good idea of what I saw during my testing.

I found the projector's blacks were a little worse than several DLP projectors I've reviewed from competitive manufacturers with this model's feature set and price range. Blacks were visibly dark gray, even on my ALR screen. Using an ALR screen is a must with this projector to get the best dark-level performance it can produce.

Like the previous model, the NZ3, JVC has designed the LX-NZ30 to be used in spaces that have higher ambient light, which would prevent you from fully appreciating ultra-deep black levels anyway. In these environments, the longer life and low maintenance provided by a DLP-based laser projector such as this are more beneficial.

AUDIBLE NOISE

The LX-NZ3 noise level was noticeable but not a distraction in the projector's ECO mode, but the noise level of the LX-NZ30 dramatically increased when switching from ECO to NORMAL lamp mode. This projector is not the quietest 3,000 ANSI lumen projector I have reviewed, but unless you are sitting directly behind the projector, which is possible, although unlikely, when content is playing, the fan noise is not distracting even in the projector's higher brightness settings.

SUMMARY

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The JVC LX-NZ30 is the second in the company's NZ series of DLP projectors and is one of three currently available for sale. JVC is primarily known for their DILA 4K and now 8K projectors but offers high-quality, lower-cost DLP projectors to expand their consumer offerings. The least expensive DILA projector starts at roughly $7,000 MSRP compared to the LX-NZ30's $3,499 MSRP, and the NZ30 is noticeably brighter.

The LX-NZ30 features a high-quality JVC lens with a projected image from 80 to 200 inches in a 16:9 aspect ratio. The projector is designed for a quick and easy setup, helped by various physical adjustment tools, including horizontal and vertical lens shift controls, two adjustable feet, analog zoom control, digital keystone, and four corner adjustments. JVC even added a 2.5:1 aspect ratio to the projector.

When consumers purchase the JVC LX-NZ30, they get JVC's established projection expertise and technical capabilities. This experience provides users with a high-end JVC BLU-Escent laser phosphor illumination that can display 3,300 lumens with 20,000 hours of worry-free operation, eliminating the need to replace projector bulbs.

Like JVC DILA projectors, the newest NZ series projector takes the company's e-Shift expertise to augment Texas Instruments' XPR or pixel-shifting models to emulate the original 4K content, creating a stunning 4K UHD displayed image. When you compare side-by-side with a true 4K projector, the resolution difference should be unnoticeable to most people. The NZ30's single-chip DLP chip and its laser-light engine are rated to provide over a decade of virtually maintenance-free operation.

I would love to say that the projector's black-level performance is just as good as their higher-end projectors, but that's just not the case. I can say the black-level performance on this projector is about standard for a DLP projector resulting in darker gray rather than blacks, even with an excellent ALR screen, which I highly recommend.

JVC has paid attention to the performance of each of this projector's preset picture modes, two of which are user configurable. The LX-NZ30 produces a beautiful warm image that, with a few exceptions, I found pleasing. The projector's out-of-the-box picture quality is very nice, with no glaring issues I could detect.

The LX-NZ30 now features a GAMING mode allowing users to display 4K game content with an input lag of 25 ms at 60 fps. With this significant improvement in input lag, the NZ-30 can display 1,080P games up to 240 Hz at 6.25 ms. , 1080P 60@25 ms,120@12.5 ms, and 240Hz@6.25 ms. The LX-NZ30 competes with dedicated gaming projectors from companies like BenQ and Optima.

CINEMA and NATURAL preset picture modes are the most accurate out-of-the-box modes for SDR content. Both these modes significantly turn down brightness, attempting to improve black levels and provide a more FILMMAKER mode type of experience for the user. NATURAL mode is also the mode with the lowest brightness settings. If you are looking for a projector to view mainly SDR content in a room with higher ambient light, the LX-NZ30 might be the value in its price range from a premium projector manufacturer.

Regarding HDR performance, this projector excels, delivering one of the best HDR modes I've seen on a DLP projector in a while. Like the LX-NZ3, the NZ30 JVC has worked hard to improve the overall quality of HDR content by using its proprietary auto-tone mapping algorithms, which use the average and peak brightness information found in HDR10 metadata to deliver the best HDR picture possible with little to no adjustment needed when viewing HDR content.

Overall, I was very impressed with the picture performance of the LX-NZ30.

COMPETITION

Epson Home Cinema LS11000 $3,999 MSRP

Compared to the Epson LS11000, the JVC LX-NZ30 is 700 ANSI brighter and retails for $500 less. However, LS1100 uses Epson's 3-Chip 3LCD sensors producing equal color and white lumens. The laser light source's brightness of 2500 ANSI lumens delivers excellent out-of-the-box color performance without distracting rainbowing or other color brightness issues seen in many Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors. The 3LCD panels used in the LS11000 also delivers deeper black levels and higher native contrast. 

The Epson has equipped the LS11000 with dual HDMI 2.1 inputs that accept 4K HDR signals at 120 fps with an input lag below 20ms for a smooth, high-quality gaming experience. The LS11000 supports gaming with the latest generation of gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 and XBOX Series X, as well as gaming PCs.

The new version of Epson's 4K PRO-UHD (pixel-shifting) utilized in the LS800 is noticeably better than the previous versions. It is quicker and quieter even though the projector rapidly shifts 1/4 of a pixel diagonally and horizontally, and it does so faster than the human eye can see. This 4K PRO-UHD version quadruples the visible pixels onscreen, allowing one pixel to do the job of four when displaying a 4K image.

While 3LCD pixel shifting has improved dramatically in the past few years, it still doesn't deliver the onscreen resolution and sharpness that a native 4K or XPR-equipped DLP projector like to JVC LX-NZ30 can produce.

LG GRU510N 4K UHD $3999 MSRP

The LG GRU510N also beats the JVC in light output, delivering a whopping 5,000 ANSI lumens of brightness compared to the NZ30's 3,300 ANSI lumens. The LG GRU510N is a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) DLP projector with laser-phosphor illumination rated to deliver 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation. Like the JVC, the LG supports HDR10 and HLG with dynamic HDR tone-mapping and features horizontal and vertical lens shift backed up by 12-point geometry correction.

This LG projector is an older model but is still available for purchase. This projector offers a similar overall picture compared to the JVC. With an MSRP of $3999, it is more expensive but can regularly be purchased for around $3499, making it a compelling alternative to the JVC.

PROS

  • 4K UHD resolution provides great detail even in huge projected images
  • 105-watt laser meets the manufacturer's rated brightness of 3,300 ANSI lumens
  • 20,000 hours of rated performance and virtually maintenance-free operation
  • GAME mode supporting 4K 60@25 ms and 1080P 60,120,240 Hz at 25,12.5,6.25 ms
  • USB Type-C and DisplayPort 1.2 for easy connection to a PC
  • LAN connection (RJ-45, 10BASE-T/ 100BASE-TX) for management and control
  • New WARPING and CORNER ADJUSTMENT modes for non-traditional projection surfaces, i.e., curved screens
  • 10-bit processing provides an extensive color pallet
  • $3,499 MSRP is less than the previous model
  • 2nd Generation Texas Instruments 0.47" DMD with XPR technology
  • Displays 4K (3,840 x 2,160) using a single (1,920 x 1,080 x 4) DLP with JVC e-Shift
  • Contrast: ∞1 Dynamic Laser Dimming
  • Zoom Lens Ratio: 1.6:1 provides a flexible setup
  • HDR10/HLG Compatible with JVC Auto Tone Mapping
  • Lens Shift: 60% vertical, 23% horizontal
  • Weight: 13.01 lbs (5.9 Kg)
  • Warranty: 1-year Parts & Labor

CONS

  • Black levels are average more like dark gray with detail or crushed with none
  • Fan noise is higher than similarly specced projectors
  • No internal speaker
  • Does not support ARC or eARC functionality
  • No internal smart media features or streaming services

JVC LX-NZ30 - SPECIFICATIONS

Jvc Lx-Nz30 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
Full Specifications
Projector ModelJVC LX-NZ30
Price$3,499 MSRP
Imager TypeDLP
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160 pixels (4K e-shift)
Native Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3300 ANSI lumens
Light Source TypeBLU-Escent
Light Source Life20,000 hours (ECO)
Contrast Ratio∞:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.6x
Power Zoom/FocusYes
Lens Shift60% vertical, 23% horizontal
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio1.90:1
HDTV/4K Yes
DVI or HDMIYes
3DNo
Blu-Ray 3DNo
SpeakersNone
Noise Level (-dB)29 dB/34 dB (Eco/Normal)
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityNo
BusinessNo
ClassroomNo
PortableNo
Special Features4K e-shift, Dynamic Tone Mapping, HDR10+
NetworkingLAN
Dimensions (HxWxD)15 7/8 x 13 1/8 x 5 1/4 (405 x 145.8 x 341 mm)
Weight13.01 lbs (5.9 Kg)
Warranty1-year parts and labor

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