I have decided to provide some final thoughts and some final ANSI and ADL measurements with this article.
If you read my review, you know that I didn’t mess around in being honest about what I saw and by the end of writing the review, I settled on some settings that really work for my setup. However, I wanted to list the things that I love about the NP5 after spending 7 weeks with it now.
1. Super Easy to Use
You set it up and it just works. It is the first projector that doesn’t need constant fiddling with. If you have a 16:9 aspect ratio screen, you can literally put the remote away and not bother with it. Now all we need is for it to recognise the aspect ratio it is projecting and invoke the correct lens memory and this would truly be brilliant design.
2. Dynamic Tone Mapping
I have to be honest. I wasn’t super impressed with the Dynamic Tone Mapping on the NP5 when I first tried it. The picture didn’t exactly feel leaps and bounds better than the X7000. However, my opinion changed once I put the unit into low lamp mode and turned DTM upto 1 (brightness level 4 out of 5). This delivered really great contrast white still providing excellent highlights when necessary.
What I can also see – and confirmed with measurements during my review – is that the panels are being overdriven for highlights when called for, so highlights can be 5-10% brighter than they have business to be for the brightness level set. This is surprising as we were expecting this for the NZ models, not for the lamp models. If I could theorise, I think this is an effect of the new D-ILA panel drivers, more than the high contrast block. I recon the pixels can be driven somewhat harder for some reason. Only JVC would know the answer.
3. Balanced Design
The NP5 feels like a more balanced design than the X series, at least this is what I can see on my unit. It has good ADL contrast (see below) for a JVC – especially compared to the previous lamp based units (N5 / NX7 / NX9) while still maintaining pretty good on/off contrast. Would I be able to have more on/off ideally? Sure! I am also not super excited about being able to see some bright corners, but ultimately it isn’t distracting with content with the dynamic iris on.
While I would like to see a more aggressive dynamic iris mode, it IS a very good implementation. In fact, to reduce the chance of any gamma manipulation artefacts, these units have a separate greyscale table every 3 iris positions as opposed to every 4. If the unit is calibrated with care, there is very little chance that there would be artefacts with this system. I only ever saw distracting artefacts on the X series if the internal tables were not updated properly by autocal. Out of the box, some units had weird internal tables that caused more artefacts than other units. This is why I think it is important that autocal is done in a very regimented fashion and by checking results both manually and visually.
But I digress. The dynamic iris implementation here is very well judged and very transparent. The dynamic iris does close down beyond the -15 position, so it has a -16 position which I have confirmed by closing the manual iris to -15 and watch what the unit does on a black frame. Indeed the iris moved down some more.
I have re-watched some SDR Blu Rays that I know very well and I have to say, the rendering of those movies – such as iRobot and Cargo – were exceptional. You can see much improved gamma and colour processing precision on the NP5 compared to the X series. It is visible as better delineation in all areas of the picture and better shading and textural detail.
4. Lens Shift Precision
After using the Epson for ages, I missed having JVC’s precise lens shift. Once you set it up, it hits the mark every time. At least on the NP5 it does. I also have not noticed issues with the lens going out of focus due to repeated lens shift and it does get used quite a lot.
5. Colour, Colour and More Colour
As I said earlier, the NP5’s colour precision is exceptional aided by 18bit+ gamma and colour processing. It is truly class leading and it really shows in its pictures.
Additionally, the NP5 calibrated exceptionally well in both SDR and HDR. It is class leading compared to any of the competition.
6. Pixels and More Pixels
Once the panels were aligned during my review, which was hampered by a bug in the full pixel alignment control, the NP5 does have a very dense image. While I feel a better lens could aid it looking sharper, there is a lot of fine detail and texture in its images giving it a very cinematic look.
What’s more, the panels are wider than consumer 4K, so you can expand the image for an even wider aspect ratio – or to get more lumens out of the projector. This is kind of need for a cinemascope screen.
Further ANSI and ADL measurements
So after seeing the picture tighten up more over the course of the review and over the last 20 hours again, I decided to re-take the ANSI measurement and map the numbers. I decided to do it with my SDR mode from here so with iris -9 and low lamp. Closing down the iris normally reduces ANSI but increases on/off so it isn’t exactly a fair game to the NP5. But I wanted to measure the mode I use and confirm as to what I was seeing.
Here are the final numbers mapped onto the grid which were again taken 1.5m from the lens. They average out to 263 : 1. As a reminder, the previous N series units measured around 170:1 (N5 and NX7) to 200:1 (NX9) with the central areas of the panel going as low as 130:1 on some N5 units.
If you have a look at the two middle rows, they average out to around 230:1, which is what I expected and measured at this iris position during the review. This is also important as most of the content resides in this area.
Yes, the NZ8 and NZ9 go beyond this to achieve somewhat around 320:1 at iris 0, but go down to around 270:1 to 290:1 at -10 iris position.
I thought these measurements were very interesting so I wanted to share them. The next step was to measure ADL contrast on this unit.
Compared to NX7
I used NX7 and NZ8 measurements from Manni’s excellent AVSForum mini review and rounded up/down where appropriate – not to alter the data in any meaningful way but for easier comprehension and comparison.
The issue with comparing my ANSI measurements (50%) to the ones Manni and others are taking on the forums is that they started using a modified ANSI measurement which is not exactly standard – and only measuring the middle of the screen. I have amended my ANSI at 0 iris to adhere to their measurements more but I would not use 50% (ANSI contrast) as absolute truth for comparison.
So to make the numbers a bit more meaningful, I measured ADL contrast at a few points so we can compare the improvement / loss in contrast compared to the NX7 and the loss of contrast compared to the NZ8.
Data for all units were measured using 0 Iris Position, White at D65, in either native mode or with Auto Iris 1.
NX7 – NP5 Native
Measured without auto iris. The NP5 on average has a 30% improvement across the range. The only exception to this is near black where the advantage goes down to around 17% with on/off contrast 20% worse on the NP5.
|ADL||NX7 Native||NP5 Native||% Improvement |
compared to NX7
NX7 – NP5 Auto Iris 1
This is where the NX7 pulls ahead between 1% and 5% ADL. However, the advantage is only 1% near black. On a black frame however, the NX7 is 2.4x blacker. I did repeat all measurements a few times just to be sure. It does look like the iris was a bit more aggressive on the NX7.
There isn’t a lot of improvement at 5% for the NP5 with the iris on versus off for some reason, even though there is improvement at 10%. I re-measured this a few times as well and I am not sure why this is happening.
|ADL||NX7 – Auto 1||NP5 – Auto 1||% Improvement|
compared to NX7
Compared to NZ8
NZ8 – NP5 Native
The NZ8 has about 40% better contrast across the range on average. This is no surprise.
|ADL||NZ8 Native||NP5 Native||% Improvement |
compared to NZ8
NZ8 – NP5 Auto Iris 1
The NZ8 has 30% better contrast across the range on average. The only exception is near black where the 1% pattern was 10% better on the NP5 while the 2% pattern was only worse by 10%. This is excellent showing for near-black contrast compared to the NZ8. This is because a dynamic iris can increase contrast, laser dimming can only lower the black floor which may increase perception of contrast but it cannot physically create more of it.
|ADL||NZ8 – Auto 1||NP5 – Auto 1||% Improvement|
compared to NZ8