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Real World Review: NEC NP3151W

Volume Number: 24
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Real World Review

Real World Review: NEC NP3151W

by Dennis Sellers and Neil Ticktin

If you want a high-end projector - and can part with around $4,999 (street price), a good choice is the NEC NP3151W, a XGA meeting room projector that boasts 5000 ANSI lumens (and, believe us, that's really bright), a 500:1 contrast ratio and a resolution of 1280 x 800 (native) and 1600 x 1200 (resized). It weighs 16.1 pounds and has wireless and wide format features. The projector has been designed to deliver home-theater level quality for professional environments.

It features WXGA (1280 x 800) native resolution, networking technologies and up to 3000 hours of lamp life (in ECO Mode). Its vertical and horizontal lens shift enables flexible projector placement. The remote desktop connection allows the projector to connect to a networked computer remotely.

As HD video content is more and more frequently displayed in corporate and education settings, the NP3151W has been designed to deliver home theater-level video quality for professional environments. it features advanced HQV video processing, detail enhancement, contrast enhancement, advanced signal noise filtering and technologies designed to eliminate undesirable de-interlacing imperfections.

Additionally, NEC offers a line of optional bayonet lenses allows for quick and easy lens changes that allow a screen size from 40 inches to 500 inches. The NP3151W's lamp saver technologies are designed to protect the projector from overheating. The lamp life cycle is rated at 2000 hours - or 3000 hours in economy mode. For inputs the NP3151W supports Component (3 RCA), S-Video, Composite A/V (3 RCA), DVI, and Analog RGB (15-pin and 5 BNC).

The projector has built-in stereo speakers. There are also three stereo mini audio jacks, a 9-pin serial PC control port, a 15-pin RGB output, and a USB port for a keyboard or mouse. Network connectivity is accomplished by way of an RJ-45 Ethernet port and a USB mounted 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi adapter. Remote desktop connection allows the projector to connect to a networked computer remotely.

The projector operates at a 31dBA (economy mode) noise level.

Real World Usage

We put this projector through its paces in some of the toughest environments. In short, it performs very well, has a great, hugely bright picture just as you would expect from a $5000 projector.

Even more amazing is that we used it in some outdoor environments. In one case, we put the projector, along with a portable screen from Da-Lite, in an open tent in the mid-day sun. The tent had three sides to it, with one side open, and even with the sun directly overhead, the picture was quite visible. If you've ever attempted such a thing, you'll realize how impressive this is.

The projector did well in a variety of other indoor and outdoor setups, with brightness and quality of picture being a constant stand out. The sound that came from the unit was quite good, being loud and clear enough to have the projector outside, and yet show a full length movie for a a good size group to hear.

The ability to move a signal over either Ethernet or WiFi was quite a plus for both computer based presentations, or video playback. The only thing that we scratched our head about on this unit was that networking only worked with video, and not audio. So, for example, you could not show a video unless it had no sound, or the sound was handled through a separate sound system. Hopefully, this is something that NEC will enable for the future.

In short, this unit was very "Mac-like" in that it "just worked", and gets a big thumbs up from us here at MacTech.


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