JVC LX-NZ3 4K Laser DLP Projector Review - Calibration

November 27, 2019 / By Phil Jones

JVC LX-NZ3 4K Laser Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Notes, Best Mode SDR Calibration, Best Mode HDR Calibration

Calibration Notes

I performed two calibrations on the JVC LX-NZ3 (Best SDR Mode & Best HDR Mode). Since I was using the projector in a room with some ambient light, I set my SDR target gamma at 2.2. The LX-NZ3 can easily produce more than enough brightness for SDR viewing on my 120” screen, so I set the Lamp Source Mode to ECO to reduce noise and power consumption.

Unlike JVC’s higher end DILA based home theater projectors, the LX-NZ3 doesn’t have color filter so it cannot reproduce wide color gamut.  I measured the LX-NZ3’s gamut coverage as 97.6% of Rec709.

[sam_pro id=1_65 codes="true"]

Best Mode Calibration for SDR

Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

Except for the Dynamic mode, which was greenish, all the picture modes reproduced respectable SDR picture quality. The two User modes along with the Natural and Cinema picture modes deliver good white balance out of the box. The difference in appearance was mainly due to different default Gamma, CMS and Picture Enhancements settings.

Note: when e-shift is set to OFF picture mode is set to a fixed picture mode

For my Best SDR Mode calibration, I chose Cinema mode as my baseline, but I could have easily achieved the same results if I had selected Natural or one of the USER modes. In Cinema mode, the default Gamma was 2.4 so under the Gamma menu, I selected 2.2 option which was close to my 2.2 target. Once the LX-NZ3 was calibrated, switching to the darker 2.4 gamma for late night viewing had no noticeable impact on white balance.

I left the Contrast, Brightness, Color and Tint at their defaults of 50 settings. I reduce Sharpness slightly and switched all JVC’s picture enhancements (color enhancement, skin tone, super resolution, etc) to 0.

In Cinema mode, the default Color is Normal which had measured average of 7200K. Prior to calibration, all the DeltaE measurements were between 2 to 10.

[sam_pro id=1_38 codes="true"]

Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.26 Average Gamma (target 2.2)
Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.26 Average Gamma (target 2.2)
10 IRE6896K6070K
20 IRE7783K6625K
30 IRE7804K6585K
40 IRE7537K6551K
50 IRE7368K6653K
60 IRE7434K6544K
70 IRE7300K6519K
80 IRE7066K6464K
90 IRE6992K6409K
100 IRE7001K6604K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Normal Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.35 (target 2.2)

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.26 @ 1967 Lumens

[sam_pro id=1_35 codes="true"]

[sam_pro id=1_64 codes="true"]

Picture ModeCinemaCinema
Color TempNormalNormal
Color Enhancement60
Skin Tone10
Super Resolution20
Light SourceNormalVariable LOW

White Balance calibration settings for Night mode.

Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
Cinema (Best SDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

I used the LX-NZ3 projector’s 2-Point White Balance adjustments found under the Color Temperature menu to achieve a DeltaE average of less than 2. The projector does not have 10-Point adjustment which prevented me from fine tuning the white balance even further. Overall, post-calibration, the LX-NZ3’s white balance was good with a 6500K average.

Once the SDR calibration was completed, I placed the Lamp Source Mode into Variable Low to improve the unit’s black level and its dynamic contrast performance. After calibration, the projector’s brightness measured 1967 Lumens in ECO mode which is far more than bright enough produce for a good 4K picture on a 120” screen even with some ambient light.

[sam_pro id=1_68 codes="true"]

Best Mode HDR Calibration

When viewing HDR content the LX-NZ3 switches to a dedicated HDR picture preset. This preset offers adjustment settings which are completely independent of the SDR versions.

Pre-calibration, the HDR mode’s white balance was very similar to the SDR Cinema Mode with an average of 7300K. Just like with SDR when viewing HDR prior to calibration the LX-NZ3 white balance was low on red, high on green (red decreasing and green increasing with brightness).

I reduced Sharpness and left Color and Tint at their defaults. The Color Temp was also left at its default of Normal. Again, using the LX-NZ3 projector’s 2-Point White Balance adjustments, I was able to a DeltaE average of less than 2.

[sam_pro id=1_38 codes="true"]

Cinema (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Cinema (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

The JVC LX-NZ3 is one for few projectors equipped with an Auto Tone Mapping feature which does an excellent job balancing average screen brightness with the need to maintain highlight detail.

The Dynamic Tone Mapping feature is engaged when HDR10/HLG setting is in AUTO mode. When Dynamic Tone Mapping is engaged, the EOTF curve is automatically adjusted (depending on how bright the content/scene was mastered) to provide the best balance of picture brightness and highlight detail. Based on content’s metadata or its own readings, the LX-NZ3 can automatically optimize its HDR performance based on the content (10,000nit, 4000nit, 1000nit, etc).

The HDR10 Picture Tone setting can be used to manually adjust HDR EOTF tracking. Increasing the setting, raises screen brightness but clips more highlights. Lowering the setting maximizes highlight detail at the expense of overall screen brightness. While you do have the ability adjust the HDR Picture Tone yourself, the LX-NZ3 did a good job selecting the proper picture tone itself.

With the LX-NZ3’s Dynamic Tone Mapping engaged, to achieve the best compromise between overall brightness and highlight clipping on most HDR content, I set Contrast to 54 and Brightness to 55.

Overall based on the LX-NZ3 price point, I was pleased with the 4K/HDR white balance and EOTF performance after calibration. The projector’s produced nearly 2147 lumens which is more than bright enough for a good HDR picture on my 120” screen.

HDR (Best HDR) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function)
HDR (Best HDR) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function)
10 IRE6910K6211K
20 IRE7787K6377K
30 IRE7815K6556K
40 IRE7522K6516K
50 IRE7402K6544K
60 IRE7417K6513K
70 IRE7317K6401K
80 IRE7067K6322K
90 IRE6993K6329K
100 IRE6993K6329K

[sam_pro id=1_43 codes="true"]

Picture ModeHDRHDR
Color TempNormalNormal
Color Enhancement1212
Skin Tone22
Super Resolution11
Light SourceHighVariable High

White Balance calibration settings for Day mode.

HDR (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
HDR (Best HDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
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