Like many business class projectors, the MP-JU4001’s blacks were just a bit more like shades of grey. The projector does offer a dynamic laser lamp mode which increases its rated dynamic contrast to 2,000,000:1, but it still can’t reproduce the contrast and blacks of a good cinema projector. However, as I stated before, this little powerhouse does a good job for its street price of $1829.
Business class projectors in this price point can rarely match the black level of a good home theater projector, but a home theater is nowhere near as bright as this projector. Unless you are watching a dark scene in a blacked-out room, you probably won’t miss the reduced black level and shadow detail. In most applications like in a classroom, the ambient light wouldn’t allow you to fully appreciate any additional black level and shadow detail, so most would sacrifice a little for the added dynamic range provided by the MP-JU4001’s brightness.
The MP-JU4001 does have intriguing features when it comes to improving black level performance. When average projectors are used in bright rooms, the darker colors of an image deteriorate and images become unclear. Using the HDCR (High Dynamic Contrast Range) function, blurred images caused by room lighting or outside light sources are improved, and an effect similar to increasing contrast occurs.
Dynamic Black is a feature offered on many Maxell projectors that is designed to produce deeper blacks, I am pleased to say that the Dynamic Black feature performs well on the Maxwell MP-JU4001. Though obviously not a true black, the Maxell MP-JU4001 produces suitable black levels that can be described as medium-dark-grey.
While better blacks may be achievable, I believe the Maxell MP-JU4001 has what it takes to display business and education content such as presentations and imagery in a typical conference room. Also, having so much brightness available increases visible dynamic range, especially in rooms with medium to high ambient light which really makes the colors more noticeable.