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NEC NP-L102W LED Projector Review - Picture Quality

Posted on September 5, 2014 by Art Feierman
NEC NP-L102W LED PROJECTOR PICTURE QUALITY:  Color Handling and Modes, Presentations, Pictures and Videos, HDTV/Blu-ray

NEC NP-L102W Picture Modes

The NEC L102W has some very nice picture modes!

We start off with images above of each of the seven preset modes (the eighth is User).   You can read which mode the projector is in by looking at the menu in the lower right corner.

The first image is Presentation mode.  It's really the second brightest, and has a good color balance.  It's a bit punchier than Video or Movie modes, and should be your first choice of mode for most presentations.   It can be a bit contrasty on faces at times, so it's not the very best choice for viewing photos, but I wouldn't worry with the typical types of photos dropped into presentations.

Now if you need maximum brightness because you are dealing with a large projection or a whole lot of ambient light, you can use High Bright, which is a typical Dynamic mode - heavy on green - yellow.  It's not real pretty, but it will get the job done, if you need every last lumen.  These images were all taken with the same exposure, so you are seeing their relative brightness.

Video or Movie work really well for both photos and serious video viewing, which would include bringing it home to catch a movie.  Use video, in particular if you need a more natural view than Presentation.  But again, let me be clear, Presentation looks pretty good on most things.  These just are more subtle, and can't handle ambient light as well.

There's an sRGB mode should you have a color matching requirement.  As sRGB is often the dimmest mode, we normally, don't pay much attention to it.

NP-L102W Doing Presentations and Documents

Peruse the images.  There are a few slides from Powerpoint presentations, and shots of using a browser for various websites, including different news sites, (and our site, of course).   You'll find one or two zoom in close-ups to give you a better idea of the readability of the content.

For a WXGA projector, it does just fine.  Documents are all readable, even on smaller type.  There's a certain softness that wouldn't be there with a more expensive 1080p resolution projector, but WXGA is the sweet spot of quality vs cost at this time.

I found one spreadsheet I couldn't read, but that one was so zoomed out that it was effectively 6 points or less.  Even if the projector produced it so that it was readable, you'd have to be within 5 or six feet from a 100 inch screen to read it without binoculars.

Pictures and Videos

I wanted to see how well the NP-L102W would do, as a home entertainment projector, so I did manage to feed it some HDTV and one move - Catching Fire.  Those images were all taken using either Video mode (HDTV) or Movie mode (Catching Fire).  As you can see, not bad at all!

Very watchable, in fact, I did watch more than an hour of football last weekend using the NEC, before I finally decided that while it was respectable, the $5000+, 1500 lumen home theater projector that I'm also reviewing was right there.  Guess what, the home theater projector was a lot better, and higher resolution.  But, the NEC did get the job done.

And that's for home.  Seriously, the picture quality of photos and videos in the NEC's better modes are easily quality enough for very serious presentation work!

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