Projector Reviews

2020-2021 Classroom Projector Report Projectors Considered: High-End Specialty/Large Venue

The High-End, Specialty Projectors category includes extremely bright projectors suitable for larger auditoriums largest lecture halls, museums. Also, large and largest houses of worship (i.e. mega-churches). Since most churches, temples, mosques, etc., do have religious schools, most qualify as being part of the education market, as far as most manufacturers are concerned.

Also in this group are specialty signage and related application projectors such as Epson’s Lightscene (reviewed last year – award winner), which is geared for museums and more (retail), with capabilities such as edge blending and projection mapping.

High-End/Specialty Projectors Considered

Panasonic PT-MZ16/BU

Panasonic-MZ16K-Angle

Projector Overview
Projector Review [COMING SOON]
Projector Specs [COMING SOON]

Christie LHD878-DS

Christie LHD878 Hero1

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $11,499
Resolution Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Technology 3LCD
Claimed Lumens 7,800 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 7710 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 20,000 Hours (High Power mode)
Longevity Approx. 30 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 18.5 Years Before Lamp Change
Ease of Use Rating Intermediate/Advanced
Suitable for Bright Room Environments Yes
Warranty 3 Years Parts and Labor

Award Winner

2020-2021-Best-in-Classroom-Education-Projectors-Report_High-End-Speciality-Value

The Christie LHD878-DS won our 2020 Best in Class Value Award. The LHD878 is part of Christie’s DS-Series projectors where the goal is to provide high brightness from a compact chassis at an affordable price. When comparing Christie’s LHD878 to its competition, which are other 2K laser projectors, it has some notable advantages.

While most of the competitive projectors offer many of the same features, for example edge blending, the LHD878’s ability to handle 4K HDR content (including HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2) that sets it apart from the vast majority of 1080P business class laser projectors.

The Christie LHD878’s combination of value, high-brightness, compact chassis, installation flexibility, and maintenance-free operation helps it stand out from the competition.

Christie-LHD878-PQ-20

Applications for This Model

Applications Description
K-12 Classrooms No
Large University Classrooms Yes
Lecture Halls Yes
Auditoriums No
Museums Yes
Conference Room Yes
Meeting Room Yes

Projector Overview

We reviewed the Christie LHD878-DS in the winter of 2019. The Christie LHD878-DS is a 7,800 ANSI lumen business class laser projector with a laser light engine that can deliver up 50,000 hours in low power mode.

It is Christie’s latest addition to its DS-Series of mid-brightness installation/business projectors. It is designed for classrooms, museums, and mid-sized auditoriums. While the LHD878 does not have a lens in the box, it is compatible with seven powered Christie lenses.

Unlike the other two models in the DS Series, which are WUXGA projectors, the LHD878 is the sole full HD (1920 x 1080) unit. The projector is a full HD unit that can accept both 4K SDR and HDR content.

In addition to being compatible with 4K HDR content, the most notable features of the LHD878 projector are:

  • Interchangeable Lenses – Whether a projector must be positioned very close or very far away the screen, multiple lens options ensure the projection can be adapted and work at a variety of throw distances. The Christie LHD878-DS is compatible with a total of seven lenses ranging from a .38:1 Fixed Short Throw model to a 4.9-8.3:1 zoom unit.
  • Edge Blending and Projection Warping – The Projector Warping feature which lets you 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 LHD878 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.

As you can see the LHD878 offers a lot of performance and flexibility for its price. It accepts a wide variety of content via several types of inputs and it has a lot of high-end features like Edge Blending and Projector Warping, which ensures maximum flexibility. The Christie LHD878 offers a lot of bang for your budget.

NEC PX1005QL

NEC_PX1005QL-B-18

Projector 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
Ease of Use Rating Intermediate/Advanced
Suitable for Bright Room Environments Yes
Warranty 5 Years Parts and Labor

Award Winner

2020-2021-Best-in-Classroom-Education-Projectors-Report_High-End-Speciality-Performance

The NEC NP-PX1005QL won our 2020 Best in Class Performance Award. 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.

Use the NP39ML-4K Short Throw Lens to place the NP-PX1005QL only 15 inches away from a 150" screen.
Use the NP39ML-4K Short Throw Lens to place the NP-PX1005QL only 15 inches away from a 150" screen.

Applications for This Model

Applications Description
K-12 Classrooms No
Large University Classrooms Yes
Lecture Halls Yes
Auditoriums Yes
Museums Yes
Conference Room Yes
Meeting Room No

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

Projector 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
Ease of Use Rating Intermediate/Advanced
Suitable for Bright Room Environments Yes
Warranty 3 Years Parts and Labor

Award Winner

The feature packed PT-MZ16KL can deliver an amazing 16,000 lumens brightness along with outstanding picture quality from a very compact chassis.

The Panasonic PT-MZ16KL won our 2020 Best in Class Uniquely Capable Award. While I am still working on finalizing the PT-MZ16 at the time we published this year’s Education report, I am incredibly impressed with the features of this projector.

I was 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.
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.

Applications for This Model

Applications Description
K-12 Classrooms No
Large University Classrooms No
Lecture Halls Yes
Auditoriums Yes
Museums Yes
Conference Room Yes
Meeting Room Yes

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.