Projector Reviews

High End/Specialty Projectors

The High-End, Specialty Projectors category includes extremely bright projectors suitable for larger auditoriums largest lecture halls, museums as well as large houses of worship (i.e. mega-churches). Also, the projectors in this group are often utilized for specialty signage and related applications and include advanced capabilities such as edge blending and projection mapping.

Projectors Listed In This Section

EPSON PRO L1755UNL
NEC PX1005QL
PANASONIC PT-MZ16/BU

EPSON PRO L1755UNL

L1755UNL projector

EPSON PRO L1755UNL Specs

Specification Description
Price $33,000
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1920×1200
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 15000
Contrast 2,500,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio Multiple lens options
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20000 hours (Laser Light Engine)
Weight 52.2lb (with standard lens, not included)

Projector Overview

The Epson Pro L1755UNL is a 15,000 lumen, large venue, 4K pixel shifting laser projector with WUXGA resolution, that can accept a full range of 4K content.

Epson currently offers a total of eight commercial laser projector chassis in its Epson L-Series lineup. Brightness ranges from 6,000 lumens delivered by the Pro L1100U all the way up to a retina burning 30,000 lumens provided by the newly announced Pro L30000U. Less expensive L series projectors start around $2000 (without interchangeable lens options). Some of the projector models in the Pro L series can be purchased with or without the standard lens. Several of the models including the L1755U are also available in both black and white finishes. I reviewed the black finish L1755UNL, however an identical version in white is the L1750UNL.

Some Notable features include:

  • Laser Light Engine — The ProL1755UNL, like all the models in the Epson Pro L series, uses a dual blue laser light engine. One blue laser ultimately hits phosphor wheels to generate red and yellow beams, while the other blue laser handles the blue component. As with all 3LCD projectors a dichroic prism is used to re-assemble the three different colors into a single full color image.
  • Pixel Shifting — While pixel shifting can’t match the resolution of a true 4K projector, it does increase sharpness and detail compared to a standard 2K projector.  The Epson Pro L1755UNL projector can accept up to a [email protected] signal. When fed 4K content, this Epson projector uses pixel shifting to fine tune the image to more closely resemble 4K. Pixel shifting fires each pixel twice by shifting the location by 1/2 pixel diagonally. Combined with good image processing, it does a very nice job emulating the original 4K content.
  • Projection Mapping and Edge Blending –Projection mapping which is masking the image digitally to light up non-traditional, often three-dimensional objects. This is used often at concerts, museums and other digital signage applications. While there are powerful software-based projector mapping solutions, the ProL1755UNL has a Geometric Correction feature which lets you correct image distortion caused by projecting an image onto a curved or right-angled screen. You cannot combine traditional H/V keystone correction with the other image shape correction methods with projection mapping.

By utilizing Edge Blending, you can split an image over multiple projectors and display it as one large image while reducing the hard transition from one projector to another. Under the Blend Range menu’s sub-setting, you can fine-tune the blend’s starting position and the width of the blended area. You can use the projector’s Black Level setting to make the difference even less noticeable. The result is an image that looks seamless, like it’s being displayed by a single projector. However, Edge Blending can’t be combined with pixel shifting but that is okay in many situations where maximum flexibility is more important than absolute resolution.

NEC PX1005QL

NEC_PX1005QL-B-18

NEC PX1005QL Specs

Specification Description
Price $24,000
Resolution WQXGA Resolution (3840 x 2160)
Technology DLP
Claimed Lumens 10,000 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 10,055 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 20,000 Hours
Longevity Approx. 30 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 18.5 Years Before Lamp Change
Weight 63.9 lbs

The NEC NP-PX1005QL won our Best in Class Performance Award last year. The NEC NP-PX1005QL is a great option for someone looking for a high-brightness native 4K installation projector. It can reproduce far more detail than a comparable Pixel Shifting projector. It would be ideal for displaying video, artwork, photos and other images that require a large amount of detail.

While you can find a few high-brightness 3LCD installation projectors that offer 4K resolution, they cost much more than comparable native 4K DLP models. For example, a Sony 4K 3LCD laser projector with 8,000 lumens retails for $60,000 while a 4K DLP laser projector with 10,000 lumens, like the PX1005QL, cost about 1/3 of that amount.

The NEC NP-PX1005QL retails for $24,000. If you are looking for a 10,000 lumen projector, you will have to choose between a Pixel Shifting 3LCD projector or a Native 4K DLP projector like the PX1005QL. If high resolution is one of your top priorities when looking for a flexible high-brightness installation projector, you should definitely consider the NEC NP-PX1005QL.

Projector Overview

NEC NP-PX1005QL is a 10,000 lumen, large venue, 4K DLP projector with WQXGA 3840 x 2160, resolution that can accept a full range of 4K content. This is a commercial/installation class projector with a focus on higher education, corporate, and house of worship markets. The NP-PX1005QL uses a laser light engine rated at 20,000 hours of life.

The NP-PX1005QL is one the twelve projector models in NEC’s PX-Series lineup. All units in the PX series utilize DLP chips but they vary in resolution and brightness. While the NEC NP-PX1005QL does not ship with a lens, for maximum flexibility it is compatible with a total of eight bayonet style lenses which allows for a throw distance range of 1.6ft to 183 ft.

The NP-PX1005QL has all the connections you would expect on a higher end business/education class projector including two DVI-D connections, dual HDMI 2.0b inputs, HDBaseT port and four 3G-SDI Inputs.

In addition to being a 4K DLP laser projector, most notable features of the LHD878 projector are:

  • Interchangeable lens with 10 lens memories – Whether a projector must be positioned very close or very far away the screen, multiple lenses options ensure the projection can be adapted to work at a variety of throw distances. The NEC NP-PX1005QL is compatible with a total of eight lenses ranging from a .38:1 Fixed Short Throw model to a 5.25-8.28:1 Zoom unit.
  • Edge Blending and Projection Warping – The Projector Warping feature allows you to correct image distortion caused by projecting an image onto a curved screen. If you need more light output or want to utilize multiple projectors to display a larger, wider aspect image, the NP-PX1005QL is also equipped with Edge Blending to make that goal easier.
  • HDBaseT and 3G-SDI – HDBaseT lets you run HDMI distances of up to 100 meters (about 328 feet) over a low cost CAT5e/CAT6 wire. 3G-SDI allows the projector to interface directly with a video located up to 100 meters away via coax cable which make it a great solution for live video production.

Since this is a large venue installation class projector it includes several features you would expect in a higher-end model including edge blending and geometric correction.

The NP-PX1005QL has all the connections you would expect on a higher-end business/education class projector including two DVI-D connections, dual HDMI 2.0b inputs, HDBaseT port, and four 3G-SDI Inputs.

The NP-PX1005QL is 4K DLP unit so it can provide a crisper and clearer picture from 4K content than can be reproduced by pixel shifting 3LCD HD projectors in its price point. High brightness and excellent color combined with an incredibility sharp image from 4K content makes the NEC NP-PX1005QL a performance leader in its category.

PANASONIC PT-MZ16/BU

Panasonic-MZ16K-Angle

PANASONIC PT-MZ16/BU
SPECS

Specification Description
Price $33,999
Resolution WUXGA (1920×1200)
Technology 3LCD
Claimed Lumens 16,000 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 16,107 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 20,000 Hours (Normal Power)
Longevity Approx. 30 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 18.5 Years Before Lamp Change
Weight 49.2 lbs
Warranty 3 Years Parts and Labor

The Panasonic PT-MZ16KL won our Best in Class Uniquely Capable Award last year.

We were shocked at how much brightness the Panasonic PT-MZ16 could produce all while delivering outstanding out-of-the-box color reproduction. From its rear Information monitor to its wide variety inputs, the PT-MZ16 is feature packed. In addition, it has all the installation features you could want in a high-end education projector.

By utilizing multiple liquid-cooled solid-state laser modules, the PT-MZ16KL can deliver an amazing 16,000 lumens brightness along with outstanding picture quality from a very compact chassis. The Panasonic PT-MZ16KL is truly a uniquely capable projector.

Information Monitor located on the rear panel helps with menu navigation as well as shows projector status including temperature, runtime, and active signal data, as well as error codes.

Projector Overview

Panasonic PT-MZ16KL was amazingly bright considering its compact size. It delivered a measured 16,000 lumens which should be more than enough brightness to overcome ambient light found in a large lecture hall. The out-of-the-box picture quality was great with several of its preset picture mode delivering accurate colors.

The PT-MZ16KL is compatible with a total of seven lenses ranging from a .0.480–0.550 Short Throw model to a 4.14–7.40 Zoom unit so you have plenty of installation flexibility. Of course, the PT-MZ16KL has all the connections you would expect on a higher-end business/education class projector including a DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, HDBaseT port and 3G-SDI.

On top of being the brightest projector I have ever reviewed, the most notable features of Panasonic PT-MZ16KL projector are:

  • Multi-Laser Drive Engine – To produce 16,000 lumens the PT-MZ16ML uses multiple laser diodes. If one diode in a module fails, only a limited number of diodes in the affected series are bypassed. The remaining diodes continue to operate which maintains close to full brightness.
  • Edge Blending and Projection Warping – The Projector Warping feature allows you to correct image distortion caused by projecting an image onto a curved screen. If you need more light output or want to utilize multiple projectors to display a larger, wider aspect image, the unit is also equipped with Edge Blending to make that goal easier. All adjustments can be made using Panasonic’s free Geometry Manager Pro software.
  • Information Monitor – A small display located on the rear panel which helps with menu-based navigation as well as showing the status of the PT-MZ16KL including temperature, runtime, and active signal data, as well as error codes.

The Panasonic is the brightest projector I have ever had in my test space. In addition to delivering an outstanding picture, and the PT-MZ16KL had every connection and feature you would need in a museum or large lecture hall installation.