Projector Reviews

NEC NP-PA653UL Projector Review – Picture Quality

NEC NP-PA653UL Projector Review – Picture Quality: Color Modes, Text and Image Quality, Handling X-Rays in DICOM SIM. Mode, Handling HD Video Content, Handling 4K Video Content

Color Modes

I was highly impressed with the color of the NEC NP-PA653UL, though not surprised, as this projector is 3LCD and those tend to have great color, in my experience. There are seven Color Modes that are quite similar in color, with minor differences here and there. Those Color Modes are: High-Bright, Presentation, Video, Movie, Graphic, sRGB, and DICOM SIM.

High-Bright performs quite well for a brightest mode. It does have stronger greens and yellows than the other modes, though not so strong that skin tones look sickly. In fact, when you look at the photo in the slider above, you can see that the woman in our test image has regular-colored skin, as opposed to a green tint like I’ve seen on many other projectors. If your viewing room or hall has uncontrollable ambient light, you will be able to use High-Bright to combat it, without sacrificing good color.

Presentation Mode is similar to High-Bright in color, so it is difficult to see any real difference in the photos. The main difference is that blues are slightly more saturated, and greens slightly less so. This is another bright mode, so if you prefer the color of Presentation to High-Bright, you don’t have to sacrifice much in the way of lumens, as you will read on the following page.

Video Mode has darker blues and magentas than the previous two Color Modes, making it more true-to-color, but it doesn’t do as well on skin tones as Presentation. I favor Movie Mode – that one has the most even color of all the Modes. I took the photos seen on this page in Movie Mode. This is still a bright mode, as you will see on our Performance Page.

Graphic Mode is, again, similar to the Video and Movie Modes. It does have darker greens, blues, and magentas than Movie Mode, but appears to be slightly less saturated. sRGB Mode has more saturated magentas and reds, and DICOM SIM. is not suitable for anything other than viewing what it’s supposed to – x-rays and other negative films.

Text and Presentation Quality

The NEC NP-PA653UL is incredibly sharp! Text and presentations look beautiful with this projector. It’s so sharp, in fact, that the projected image appeared sharper than other projectors with the same resolution. I’m currently reviewing a $12,000 Casio projector that is 4K UHD, rather than WUXGA, and the sharpness is comparable.

That said, I took photos of presentations, infographics, and websites to show just how sharp the PA653UL really is. Of course, the photos don’t do the projector justice, but are here instead to provide you with a jumping-off-point. The projector is so sharp that, depending on the size of the screen, 8 point text may even be readable at the back of the room. 12 point font looks great, but don’t take my word for it – check out the images of the presentations and infographics, and the images of websites that follow.

Handling X-Rays in DICOM SIM.

Quick story – I was late in getting this review out because my cat, Krishna, had a blockage in her stomach from eating things she’s not supposed to and had to be rushed to the vet. Three days and a giant bill later, she was all good to go. The silver lining of that story? Now I have x-rays to project whenever I review a projector with DICOM SIM. Mode.

That said, the x-rays looked great in DICOM SIM. Mode. I can clearly see her organs, the blockage, and how there’s other stuff hanging out in her large intestines that had trouble moving along. If you’re not familiar with the anatomy of cats, don’t fret – all you need to know is that the x-rays looked as good in DICOM SIM. on the NEC NP-PA653UL as they did on the actual x-ray films when viewed on the veterinarian’s computer.

Handling HD Content

The PA653UL does beautifully handling HD content. The 3LCD technology makes the colors vibrant and clear, and the sharpness really pays off when viewing movies and TV. It’s unlikely that this projector will be used to view many films, so I’ll keep this section short. The projector handles HD content spectacularly, with vibrant, realistic colors and excellent skin tones.

As you can see from the images in the slider above, the PA653UL did an excellent job when projecting The Hunger Games and Casino Royale. These photos were taken in Movie Mode. I only took photos of the two films mentioned above, so I’ve grouped the images from each film together.

The high brightness of this projector, and the equal color-to-white-lumen ratio of 3LCD, makes this projector’s image really pop. If you think the NEC NP-PA653UL did a great job on handling HD content, just wait until you see the photos of it handling 4K UHD with HDR. That’s in the section below, and was what really wowed me about this projector.

Handling 4K UHD Content

I had watched a few 4K movies on the NEC NP-PA653UL – The Fifth Element and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Both looked absolutely amazing, but neither took my breath away like Journey to Space with HDR. I love space, so much so that I’ve even made Rorschach artwork out of the high resolution, royalty-free nebula photos provided by Nasa. I’ve never seen 4K footage of space, and it was an emotional experience for me as I was struck by awe and wonder of the vastness and beauty of space.

Alright, enough about me and my love affair – the point is that the footage looked so amazing that I decided to use only photos from Journey to Space. It’s an educational film, and therefore is more relevant to this review than the photos of The Fifth Element I was going to take, so…

These photos were taken in Movie Mode. I used the HDR version of the film to test out its abilities, and the difference between Journey to Space HDR and watching the HD films without it was astounding. Click on the photos in the slider to open the larger files so you can see just how awesome this projector does handling 4K UHD content.