NEC NP-PA653UL Projector Review – Summary

September 27, 2017 / By Nikki Zelinger

NEC NP-PA653UL Projector Review – Summary: Summary, Pros, Cons


The NEC NP-PA653UL is a 3LCD, large venue laser projector claiming 6,500 lumens and a 20,000-hour light engine life. It’s a commercial projector intended for advanced business and education applications. The PA653UL has WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), but can accept both 4K UHD and true 4K content (such as slides and presentations). At $7,779, this commercial-grade install projector will find its home in the higher education and corporate markets, likely in a high-end lecture hall, executive boardroom, church, or other large venue.

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The NP-PA653UL has a normal throw distance, and has excellent placement flexibility thanks to a healthy amount of vertical and horizontal lens shift and a variety of options for Geometric Correction. The motorized lens allows you to zoom and focus using the remote control, and, as an added bonus – this projector has lens memory. That remote control has a lot of useful buttons, many of which have dual functions, so many of your most important features will be accessible via the remote.

Speaking of those features – there are a lot of them! Not only does the projector can accept 4K content, but it has HDR (HDR10 standard) and BT.2020 Color Support. I tested the HDR capability and it performs phenomenally, as seen in our photos of Journey to Space. There’s a lot of advanced features that are useful in educational, business, and creative applications such as set design for musicals and plays. Those features are Edge Blending, Projection Mapping and TileMatrix (enables 4Kx2K resolution by utilizing 4 projectors via HDBaseT Loop Out). The PA653UL can project vertically or horizontally, giving users a lot of flexibility. The projector is also 3D capable, provided that you purchase the not-included 3D emitter.

The NEC NP-PA653UL has good connectivity. On the back panel, there are HDBaseT In/Out ports (Ethernet), DisplayPort In/Out inputs, two HDMI ports, an “old school” VGA Computer In connector, a PC Control port, and a 3D Sync input. This projector does not have built-in speakers, so there is an Audio Out port that you will likely find handy. There is also an Audio In port, and a Remote input for wired remote control of the projector. The PA653UL has a USB port on top of a LAN (RJ-45) connector, which is a configuration we are beginning to see more often on business and education projectors, and expect it to become commonplace before long.

The picture quality of the PA653UL is stellar. Excellent color and an incredibly sharp image at WUXGA resolution. With 4K content, the sharpness is truly remarkable. Text and presentations are easy to read, with small type being legible even from a distance. All of the color modes look great, even the brightest modes, and it has a DICOM SIM. Mode for viewing x-rays and other films. The projector performed exceptionally well, and though it was just a few hundred lumens short of claim, it will be bright enough for most applications. And, if it’s not – hey, NEC has brighter models for you, for a higher price point, of course.

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Projector Reviews Hot Product Award
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2018-2019 Best in Classroom Large Venue Projector Best Performance

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors Report


  • 6,156 Lumens in Brightest Mode (Almost Hit 6,500 Lumen Claim)
  • 3LCD Projection Technology
  • WUXGA Resolution 1920 x 1200 x2 (pixel shifting)
  • 4K Capable
  • 20,000 Light Engine Life and is virtually Filter Free/Maintenance-Free
  • Motorized Lens – Focus, Zoom, and Lens Shift
  • Lens Memory
  • Interchangeable Lenses Options
  • Excellent color in all modes
  • DiCom SIM (for reading x-rays and other diagnostic films)
  • 3D Capable
  • Edge Blending and Projection Mapping
  • Portrait and Landscape Mounting – ability to mount the projector on its side to create a vertical image, or standard mounting for landscape
  • Stacking multiple units to double (or more) the output
  • Picture-in-Picture
  • HDR (HDR10 standard) and BT.2020 Color Support
  • TileMatrix – Enables 4Kx2K resolution utilizing 4 projectors via HDBaseT Loop Out
  • Optional MultiPresenter Stick can display up to 12 devices at simultaneously
  • Screen Mirroring for Android and Windows with Simple Annotation Software
  • Advanced Networking
  • Excellent Warranty – 5 years or 20,000 hours parts and labor, with InstaCare Service provided for the first year

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  • Black levels could be better
  • Lens not included
  • Multi-Presenter Stick and 3D Sync Emitter not included
  • Falls out of focus fairly quickly (most do)
  • Menu does not disappear on its own for a long time – you’ll have to manually exit the menus
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