Projector Reviews

NEC NP-PX1005QL Projector Review-Picture Quality

NEC NP-PX1005QL Projector Review-Picture Quality: Color Modes, Black Levels and Shadow Detail, Text Readability

Color Modes

There are nine factory color presets. The following observations were generally made with the projector using its factory default picture settings.

  • Auto: The projector will automatically try to optimize itself based on the input signal
  • High-Bright Picture Mode: This is the brightest but least accurate picture mode. Recommended for use in high ambient light environments.
  • Presentation Picture Mode: This is the second brightest mode it is recommended for PowerPoint and is somewhat more accurate than High-Bright mode.
  • Video Picture Mode: The Video picture mode has a somewhat higher than ideal color temperature producing a moderately cool image.
  • Movie Picture Mode: The Movie picture mode has just a little lower than ideal color temperature giving the image a slightly warm appearance.
  • Graphic Picture Mode: This picture mode has a somewhat high color temperature giving the picture a cool appearance with a mild blue/cyan tint.
  • sRGB Picture Mode:  Displays standard color values. While this picture mode was the least bright, it delivered the most accurate colors out-of-the-box.
  • DICOM Picture Mode: This picture mode is intended for displaying black & white medical images with a unique gamma curve. Grey scale uniformity was good with the color temperature remaining nearly constant from dark greys to full white.
  • Edge Blending: Brightness and color reproduction is similar to Presentation mode.

For those who want to further fine tune the PX1005QL color reproduction, there are additional advanced color adjustments including color temperature and RGB balance (contrast, brightness). There is even a Wall Color Correction feature which make it easy to apply color correction to image projected on a screen or wall that are not white.

The PX1005QL offers several picture modes and I found the best quality, in terms of color accuracy, to be the Movie and SRGB modes. For the screen shots below, the factory default settings were used for Movie mode except the Color Temperature was set to 6500K and Gamma Correction Mode was set to Natural. Since the PX1005QL includes user adjustments for white balance, gamma, and color temperature, I am sure it could be calibrated to produce a more accurate picture.

The above screen shots give a rough idea of the color accuracy for each picture mode. Like all our photos, they remain unadjusted for color, so they do not look as good as what the projector produced. The PX1005QL reproduced very respectable colors, which is normally a huge challenge for single-chip DLP projectors that have relatively low Color Light Output (compared to white light output).

The NEC PX1005QL has HDCP 2.2 HDMI inputs can accept a 4K HDR signal. The projector will switch between SDR and HDR mode automatically as well as auto adjust for different color spaces (RGB, REC709, REC2020). While the NEC PX1005QL can display HDR, I found that the bright colors were a little dull, so I preferred watching material in SDR.

 

Video Image Quality

Overall the picture quality for displaying video is very good for this class of projector. While not perfect, the overall color accuracy was very good, with natural looking skin tones, and reasonable image contrast.

Black Level & Shadow Detail

Overall, black level performance, was fine. A single chip 4K DLP projector has more native resolution usually can’t match the black level and native contrast of a good 3LCD unit. While the overall shadow detail was good, the blacks were closer to a dark gray.

The grayish black level was more noticeable in a pitch-black room watching extremely dark scenes. However, in most large venue applications (churches, classroom, meeting room, etc.) ambient light wouldn’t allow you to fully appreciate any additional black level and shadow detail anyway, so most would sacrifice little black level for the added dynamic range provided by PX1005QL’s brightness.

I believe this NEC has what it takes to display some pretty critical content such as projecting in a museum setting or for displaying photography/videography in general. Also, having so much brightness available increases visible dynamic range, especially in rooms with medium to high ambient light which really made the colors and details pop.

Text Readability

The NEC PX1005QL image resolution and text clarity is great due the PX1005QLs native 4K UHD. Even 8-point text was very easy to read in both black text on a white background and with white text on a black background. When my attached laptop PC was set to the projector’s native 3840 x 2160 resolution you couldn’t really ask for any better readability of the projected text.

I included closeups of the first two photos to show the full text readability. There was no visible color fringing on the text indicating the projector’s lens does not exhibit any significant chromatic aberration. I was able to get sharp focus over the entire image. PX1005QL is extremely well suited for displaying presentations with lots of small text and fine details in the graphics.

For maximum sharpness, the NEC PX1005QL can accept up to a 4K@60P and NEC’s signal proprietary video processing/scaling chip did a great job upscaling the lower resolution images to the projector’s native resolution.