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NEC NP-V332W Projector Review - Picture Quality

Posted on December 16, 2016 by Art Feierman
NEC NP-V332W Projector Review - Picture Quality:  Color Quality, Text and Graphic Readability, Video Quality, Sound Quality The screen shots presented below are intended to give the reader an idea of picture quality.  However, when viewed in person the projected image often appeared better than what is shown in these screen shots.

Color Quality

In the brightest picture mode (which NEC calls "High-Bright"), and as shown in the 2nd photo above, the whites had a strong green tint and the saturated colors appeared very muted/dark as compared to the whites and lighter shades.  This is not unusual for DLP business/education projectors that use a clear segment in their color wheel combined with "brilliant color" processing.  The "Presentation" image mode, seen in the 1st photo above, was the second brightest and while the colors in that picture mode would not be considered really good, Presentation mode was noticeably more accurate than the High-Bright mode.  Either of these bright modes could be considered usable for making presentations where the content is focused on text and charts and where color accuracy of not especially important.  So basically these bright modes are available for situations were maximum projector brightness is needed to overcome moderate to bright room lighting.  However, there are other less bright picture modes available for when color accuracy is important.

The Video and Movie picture modes offer about one half the brightness of the brightest modes, but provide improved overall color accuracy .  The Video picture mode, as seen in the 3rd photo above, provided a reasonably accurate color balance with highly saturated colors still a little too dark, but much better in this regard than with the brightest picture modes.  The greens appeared shifted a little toward yellow in this, and all other picture modes on this projector.  The Movie picture mode, as seen in the 4th photo above, provided a warmer (a little too warm in fact) image than the Video picture mode.  As with the video mode, the saturated colors also still appeared a little too dark in comparison on the whites and lighter shades.  Skin tones in either Video or Movie picture mode should be acceptable, for typical business or classroom applications where photos or videos are being displayed.

The sRGB mode, as seen in the 5th photo above, offers better handling of highly saturated colors than do the above picture modes.  However, the overall image was excessively warm with skin tones appearing somewhat too red.

Blackboard picture mode, as seen in the 6th photo above, was not tested using the intended surface.  This photo was taken while projecting onto a matte white screen and I have no opinion how effective this mode would be when used to project onto a blackboard.

User picture mode - The NP-V332W offers two User picture modes (called User 1 and User 2).  These are intended to be used to store customized picture settings.  For my review of the NP-V332W, I did a quick calibration of the color balance/grey scale as well as adjusting the settings for Brilliant Color and Sharpness then saved these settings for the User 2 picture mode.  The specific custom settings that I used are provided in the next section (i.e., Performance) of this review.  The 7th photo above shows the test image when using these custom user settings.  With these settings the projector produced a very good picture, for this class of projector, with the color temperature remaining near the ideal 6500K across the grey scale.  Also the brightness of heavily saturated colors were reasonable as compared to the whites and lighter shades.  Skin tones appeared natural while for the primary and secondary colors,  green showed the greatest deviation from ideal with a shift toward yellow.

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Text and Graphic Readability

The 1st photo above shows the screen shot of our full page text test image while the 2nd and 3rd images are close-ups of the upper and lower portions of this text 'page'.   These were when using the attached PC set to provide a signal using the projector's native WXGA resolution.  For the 4th photo above the output resolution from the PC was increased to 1920 x 1080 which forced the projector to down-scale the image to display at the projector's native WXGA resolution.  The NP-V332W showed excellent performance in these tests by providing very clear text that was limited only by the projector's native WXGA resolution.  The final two photos above were taken when displaying PowerPoint slides where the NP-V332W did an excellent job at displaying the mixed text and graphics images.

Video Quality

For the evaluation of the picture quality when displaying video, I used two video sources.  First was using a Panasonic Blu-ray player and playing discs of the movies "The Fifth Element" (first 7 photos above) and "Casino Royale" (the next 7 photos above).  The final 3 photos were when using a Directv receiver as the video source and when showing content from 3 different channels

Rather than using the preset Video or Movie picture mode, I used the "User 2" mode with the custom settings that are described in the next section of this review (i.e., the "Performance" section).  In this mode the skin tones appeared very natural and the overall picture quality was very good, for this class of projector.  As with other business/education projectors of this class that are using DLP technology, the image contrast, black levels and shadow details were somewhat better than are typical for competing projectors that use 3LCD technology.    However, the performance in these areas still falls short of what would be expected from a typical mid-level home theater class projector.


Sound Quality

The NP-V332W's single 8 watt speaker did a good job at providing sound levels that should prove adequate for use in a moderate size conference room or classroom.  Although you can't expect to get any real bass from such a small speaker, the overall sound quality should be more than adequate for voice narrations and for background music.   If quality music reproduction is needed, or the projector is to be used in a large venue, then an external powered speaker system could be used.

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