NEC NP-MC382W Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality

June 27, 2019 / By Nikki Zelinger

NEC NP-MC382W Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality: Color Modes, Video Picture Quality, Text and Presentation Quality, Audio Quality

Color Modes

The NEC NP-MC382W has seven color modes, which is the highest number of color modes I’ve seen in a while. NEC really went all out to ensure there is a mode to suit each type of application this projector might be used for, whether that be in a business or an education environment. Those color modes, in order of appearance in the menu, are: High-Bright, Presentation, Video, Movie, Graphic, sRGB, and DICOM SIM.

The first of these modes, High-Bright, is aptly named, as it has the highest brightness of all the modes. As is typical of all brightest modes, High-Bright has a green-yellow tone to it, and should only be used when brightness is of the utmost importance. Luckily, there’s Presentation Mode, which has much better color than High-Bright, and can still handle situations where there is a lot of ambient light. It still has the green-yellow hue, but it is significantly more subtle than High-Bright.

There are several “best modes,” a term we use to describe modes that have the best color, and which one you consider to be best for your applications will vary based on your own preferences. The best mode for films, documentaries, and educational shows is Video. I chose Video for this purpose because it has the most accurate color. Movie and sRGB will be quite suitable as well, though they have a warmer tone that may be “too warm” in some cases.

Graphic is the best mode for presentations. I favored Graphic over Presentation because I felt Graphic did a better job of replicating the original color of the slide than Presentation, as Presentation has that green-yellow tinge to it. It definitely has a cooler tone than any of the other modes. The final mode to discuss is DICOM SIM., which is a mode reserved for viewing high contrast films like X-Rays and MRIs. I keep my kitty’s X-Rays from when she decided eating ribbons and plastic bags was a good idea on my USB flash drive to demonstrate this mode’s capabilities.

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Video Image Quality

The video picture quality on the NEC NP-MC382W is excellent. Its WXGA resolution, which is the business and education world’s 720p, lends to great performance whether projecting video content via a streaming service like Netflix, an online video from a website, or from a BluRay disk. There are several modes that are well suited to using for projecting video, as mentioned in the previous section, and it will truly depend on your preferences for color. These modes all measure around the same number in terms of brightness, so you really can’t go wrong when choosing your color mode for video.

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The NEC NP-MC382W does well when reproducing skin tones. This photo was taken with the projector in Video Mode.
The NEC NP-MC382W does well when reproducing skin tones. This photo was taken with the projector in Video Mode.

That said, the photos in the slider above were all taken in Video. As I said in the Color Modes section, Video’s color is the most accurate. Reds look red, whereas in the Movie and sRGB modes, reds look more like a burnt orange. A person with less experience in Color Theory might mistake them for pure red in those modes, but as an artist, I can tell you that they definitely lean toward orange. The result on video is a much warmer tone in both Movie and sRGB, which some people might prefer.

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NEC NP-MC382W Journey to Space Bigelow
The NEC NP-MC382W has excellent color in multiple modes.

This is my favorite photo to take from Journey to Space, which is projected via my PlayStation and a BluRay disk. I really feel this photo shows off each projector’s depth of color and contrast. The Bigelow Space Station also has a lot of texture –  another reason I like this photo so much for review purposes. There’s that, of course, and also – how cool is it that this space station is inflatable? You wouldn’t catch me on it, but I think it’s a really awesome concept.

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Text and Presentation Quality

I said this before in the PC-Free Presenting section on the Special Features page, but I’ll say it again: The on-board media player of the NEC NP-MC382W is awesome. On several previous projectors, I have used a USB plugged into my PlayStation 4 to project presentation slides for the purpose of their reviews. The Media Player on the PlayStation isn’t very good, by comparison, because some of my slides were rendered unusable – that is, they had a considerable amount of blur.

I said this before in the PC-Free Presenting section on the Special Features page, but I’ll say it again: The on-board media player of the NEC NP-MC382W is awesome. On several previous projectors, I have used a USB plugged into my PlayStation 4 to project presentation slides for the purpose of their reviews. The Media Player on the PlayStation isn’t very good, by comparison, because some of my slides were rendered unusable – that is, they had a considerable amount of blur.

NEC NP-MC382W Presentation Slide Biotech

There are several color modes that are highly usable for presentations, but I chose Graphic for the photos in the slider above. I liked the cooler tone of this color mode, but you could just as easily use Video, which is the most true-to-color mode, sRGB, or Presentation. Presentation, as mentioned in the Color Modes section, has a more green/yellow hue, as is characteristic of brightest modes, so I would choose Graphic over Presentation in all but the most dire ambient light circumstances.

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NEC-NP-MC382W_Text-Test-Image

For every review, we take a photo using our test graphic for text size, so that we can determine readability. I’ve had a lucky streak with the projectors I’ve reviewed over the last two years, with most projectors performing well in terms of text sharpness. I found even the smallest font size, 8-point font, to be highly readable on the MC832W from around 10 feet back, though it’s unlikely you’ll have text that small being projected.

Even infographics, which are known for featuring smaller font sizes, will likely have 10-point font as the smallest size. Your typical 12-point font looks great, with larger fonts being even more readable, of course. Whether you’re projecting PowerPoint Presentations, infographics, websites or Word Documents, I believe you’ll find the NEC NP-MC382W to be suitable for your business or education applications.

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Audio Quality

NEC NP-MC382W Speaker

The NEC NP-MC382W has a single, 16-watt speaker built into the unit. 16-watts is about as good as it gets when it comes to integrated speakers on business and education projectors of this size, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with the volume capabilities on the MC382W. I had the volume up as loud as it could go, and it still wasn’t as loud as previous 16-watt internal speakers I’ve come across.

I would say the projector’s speaker will be plenty loud enough for a small to medium-sized classroom, and possibly even a larger high school classroom if the room is quiet. Its volume could handle some whispering students, but I wouldn’t wager on its ability to handle a rambunctious classroom, and definitely not a university-sized classroom.

It would, however, be loud enough for most conference rooms and board rooms. Should you find that you do need more volume for your applications, the projector does have the Audio Out input on the back to hook up external speakers. If this is the case, there are plenty of low-cost external speakers that will work beautifully with this projector.

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