Projector Reviews

NEC NP-MC382W Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality

NEC NP-MC382W Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality: Color Modes, Video Picture Quality, Text and Presentation Quality, Audio Quality

Color Modes

The NEC NP-MC382W has seven color modes, which is the highest number of color modes I’ve seen in a while. NEC really went all out to ensure there is a mode to suit each type of application this projector might be used for, whether that be in a business or an education environment. Those color modes, in order of appearance in the menu, are: High-Bright, Presentation, Video, Movie, Graphic, sRGB, and DICOM SIM.

The first of these modes, High-Bright, is aptly named, as it has the highest brightness of all the modes. As is typical of all brightest modes, High-Bright has a green-yellow tone to it, and should only be used when brightness is of the utmost importance. Luckily, there’s Presentation Mode, which has much better color than High-Bright, and can still handle situations where there is a lot of ambient light. It still has the green-yellow hue, but it is significantly more subtle than High-Bright.

There are several “best modes,” a term we use to describe modes that have the best color, and which one you consider to be best for your applications will vary based on your own preferences. The best mode for films, documentaries, and educational shows is Video. I chose Video for this purpose because it has the most accurate color. Movie and sRGB will be quite suitable as well, though they have a warmer tone that may be “too warm” in some cases.

Graphic is the best mode for presentations. I favored Graphic over Presentation because I felt Graphic did a better job of replicating the original color of the slide than Presentation, as Presentation has that green-yellow tinge to it. It definitely has a cooler tone than any of the other modes. The final mode to discuss is DICOM SIM., which is a mode reserved for viewing high contrast films like X-Rays and MRIs. I keep my kitty’s X-Rays from when she decided eating ribbons and plastic bags was a good idea on my USB flash drive to demonstrate this mode’s capabilities.

Video Image Quality

The video picture quality on the NEC NP-MC382W is excellent. Its WXGA resolution, which is the business and education world’s 720p, lends to great performance whether projecting video content via a streaming service like Netflix, an online video from a website, or from a BluRay disk. There are several modes that are well suited to using for projecting video, as mentioned in the previous section, and it will truly depend on your preferences for color. These modes all measure around the same number in terms of brightness, so you really can’t go wrong when choosing your color mode for video.

The NEC NP-MC382W does well when reproducing skin tones. This photo was taken with the projector in Video Mode.
The NEC NP-MC382W does well when reproducing skin tones. This photo was taken with the projector in Video Mode.

That said, the photos in the slider above were all taken in Video. As I said in the Color Modes section, Video’s color is the most accurate. Reds look red, whereas in the Movie and sRGB modes, reds look more like a burnt orange. A person with less experience in Color Theory might mistake them for pure red in those modes, but as an artist, I can tell you that they definitely lean toward orange. The result on video is a much warmer tone in both Movie and sRGB, which some people might prefer.

NEC NP-MC382W Journey to Space Bigelow
The NEC NP-MC382W has excellent color in multiple modes.

This is my favorite photo to take from Journey to Space, which is projected via my PlayStation and a BluRay disk. I really feel this photo shows off each projector’s depth of color and contrast. The Bigelow Space Station also has a lot of texture –  another reason I like this photo so much for review purposes. There’s that, of course, and also – how cool is it that this space station is inflatable? You wouldn’t catch me on it, but I think it’s a really awesome concept.

Text and Presentation Quality

I said this before in the PC-Free Presenting section on the Special Features page, but I’ll say it again: The on-board media player of the NEC NP-MC382W is awesome. On several previous projectors, I have used a USB plugged into my PlayStation 4 to project presentation slides for the purpose of their reviews. The Media Player on the PlayStation isn’t very good, by comparison, because some of my slides were rendered unusable – that is, they had a considerable amount of blur.