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NEC P502WL Projector Review - Performance

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Art Feierman
NEC P502WL Projector - Performance:  Brightness, Noise, Audio Performance, Networking


Picture Mode White Lumens* Color Lumens** Color Temp.
High-Bright 4115 2057  6658
Presentation 3084 1935  6409
Video 1951 1938  7278
Movie 2220 1977  6231
Graphic 2183 2045  7311
sRGB 1263 1199  6850
Natural 2229 1942  6404
DICOM Sim. 2592 2033  7291

*  The lumens measurements were made with the projector's zoom lens at its mid-point.  As with many other single chip DLP business and education class projectors, the P502WL boosts the white levels in some picture modes resulting in well saturated colors appearing too dark as compared to whites and lighter (i.e., less saturated) colors.  This table presents both the white brightness as well as the color brightness.


**3LCD and LCoS projectors, as well as 3-chip DLP projectors have the same Color Brightness as White Brightness.   It is only certain of the single-chip DLP projectors that exhibit a difference, which is due to adding white light to the light for the primary colors (i.e., red, blue and green).  A comparison of the White Brightness to the Color Brightness is a good indication of how much additional white light is being mixed with the red, blue and green primary colors to create the projected image.  In the case of the P502WL, the High-Bright picture mode has the greatest white boost, while some of the more accurate picture modes (e.g., sRGB, video, movie) having the least.

Check out our video (HERE) on the subject of Color Brightness and learn why it is an important metric.


The above brightness levels were measured with the zoom lens at it mid-point.  When set to maximum zoom the projector's light output increased by about 14% and when set to minimum zoom the projector's light output decreased by about 17%.

The P502WL was operated in normal (i.e., high) lamp mode for the above measurements.  The projector has two lower power modes called Eco 1 and Eco 2.  In Eco 1 mode the projector's light output decreased by about 19% and in Eco 2 the decreased is about 56%, as compared to normal mode.

Brightness uniformity was good with the maximum drop in brightness from the center of the image to any of the 4 corners measured at about 17% (for the top-right corner with the projector placed upright on a table).


The NEC P502WL is specified to produce a noise level of 39 dB in normal lamp mode and 33 dB in Eco mode.  These values are a few dB higher than the typical 3000 to 3500 lumen business or education class projector, but the higher brightness of this model (spec’ed at 5000 lumens) requires more cooling.  While the noise level, especially with the projector operating in normal (high power) mode, is certainly very audible, but should not be so loud as to prove distracting when this projector is being used in the intended business or installation environment.  Changing to the “Eco” modes resulted in a noticeable decrease in noise level (especially with the Eco 2 mode) and to a level only a little louder than a typical home theater projector.

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Audio Performance

The NEC P502WL has a single, 20-watt built-in speaker that can play loud enough for use in a moderately large size conference room but the sound quality is rather ‘thin’ due to the lack of any bass and the sound can become distorted when you turn the volume too high.  It’s OK for voice narrations or background music, but less than ideal for playback of video tracks where music is important.   This is no worse than what many other business/installation projectors offer in the way of performance from build-in speaker(s).  As with other projectors of this class, this NEC projector provides an audio output port that can be used to connect to an external audio system for installations where higher quality audio is needed. -


The NEC P502WL has a port on it rear panel for connection (RJ45 connector) to a wired network and NEC also offers an optional wireless adapter (not provided with the unit used for this review).  Built-in HDBaseT enables simplified installations with a single cable for video, audio, and control signals: LAN connection for control and asset management over the network.

NEC provides 2 software tools with the projector.  The provided software includes:

NaViSet Adminstrator 2: Free software solution that greatly eases administration and management of larger display device installations

Image Express Utility Lite –  send images from a computer to the projector via the network, control basic projector functions for power and source, and correct image geometry

The P502WL supports Crestron Roomview, AMX Beacon and PJ Link for compete interactive and control.

The bottom line is the NEC P502WL has very good support for networking with good support for presentation and control applications/services.

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