Posted on June 28, 2019 By Nikki Zelinger
NEC NP-MC382W Projector Review – Special Features: Accepts 4K Content, PC-Free Presenting, Wireless Capabilities, Advanced Networking, Star Student Education Program, Virtual Remote
Though the MC382W has WXGA (1280×800) resolution, it can accept 4K content. Does this mean the projector can project in 4K? No, but it can take your 4K image and down-res it to WXGA, which is the business and education world’s 720p. On their sales page, NEC states that this projector is “fully upgradable to 4K when available,” and I can only assume that means they’ll be coming out with a firmware update in the future.
The need for 4K projectors in the K-12, and even university environments, is pretty slim to none. Save for applications that require a highly detailed image, such as in engineering, architectural, scientific, and possibly even medical areas of study, most classroom environments will do just fine with WUXGA (1920×1200) and WXGA resolution. Most projectors found in K-12 schools are WXGA, save for maybe high school classrooms that have been recently upgraded.
The NEC NP-MC382W has an on-board media player that allows for the playback of files via a USB flash drive, if those files are saved in jpeg format. I have all of my presentation slides, website screenshots, infographics, and x-ray samples saved to a flash drive as jpegs, so I was able to quickly view my files via the USB input on the back of the projector, and the media player.
There are two screens you’ll see before you view your files. The first shows all of the folders held on the flash drive, as you can see from the photo above.
The second screen, once you choose the folder you want to view, shows the names of your files, but not a thumbnail image. For this reason, I would suggest naming your files in a way that will make it easy for you to quickly know what you’re looking at. For a presentation that requires you to have your slides in a certain order, I would even go so far as to preface the name with a 01, 02, 03, and so on.
The NEC NP-MC382W has wireless capabilities! Via the optional wireless module (NP05LM1), you can connect up to 16 devices simultaneously. You can connect the same amount of devices via a wired connection, but this MultiPresenter function allows for screen mirroring of up to 16 mobile devices, like iOS and Android phones and tablets. This also falls under the PC-Free Presenting category. Should you want your students, staff, or colleagues to be able to present via their mobile device, the wireless module is a must-have.
The NEC NP-MC382W has advanced networking in the form of command and control software. NEC provides their proprietary NaViSet Administrator 2 and Crestron RoomView for the command and control of this projector. With software like this, the IT department can monitor the status of each projector in the fleet, including power, lamp, and temperature.
If a teacher leaves the projector on in their classroom, or a presenter in a conference room forgets to turn the projector off after a meeting, the projector in question can be turned off via NaViSet Administrator 2 or Crestron RoomView from a computer, rather than the tech person having to physically walk to the location and turn the projector off.
Many projector manufacturers have their own special pricing to provide deals to educators, and NEC called theirs the Star Student Education Program. Beyond the discounted price of the projector units themselves, Start Student provides extended warranties on most NEC products, as well as trade-in/trade-up recycle rebates.
So, who’s it specifically for? This excerpt is from their website:
“NEC Star Student is valid for public or private, accredited, not-for-profit educational institutions invoiced in K-12 schools, colleges, universities, home schools, or administrative school districts in countries in North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean.”
The NEC NP-MC382W has a $999 list price, and a street price of $549. With the education pricing, educators can expect to pay $495 as of May of 2019. That’s good savings when buying a fleet of projectors for a school district. Buying just 10 of these, you’d be saving $540 using education pricing versus street, and $5040 versus the list price. It adds up!
Virtual Remote is an app that turns your mobile device into a remote control for the NEC NP-MC382W. Using your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you can turn the projector on and off, switch the inputs, access and navigate the menus, etc. You can control the picture, aspect ratio, mute the A/V signal, freeze the frame, and put the projector in ECO mode, as well as control volume and digital zoom.
This $0.99 cent app is worth the dollar if you’d rather use your phone than the standard remote control. The Virtual Remote app will also come in handy if your remote control get misplaced, as it may in a K-12 environment.
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