JVC brings the performance of its renowned D-ILA projector technology to a broader audience with the introduction of the new entry-level DLA-NP5. This is a lamp light source model with support for 4K120p input and is compatible with HDR10+ content. Equally important, the DLA-NP5 features JVC’s acclaimed D-ILA technology for impressive black level and native contrast.
The JVC DLA-NP5 4K Home Theater Projector is an incredible entry-level front projector that delivers all of the essentials — 1,900 lumen brightness, native 4K resolution, and HDMI 2.1. Packed with cutting-edge technology, the NP5 offers stunning image quality and a wide range of advanced features that represent an upgraded version of JVC’s already outstanding NX5. With the NP5, you’ll get more light output than the NX5 with lots of tech improvements that make it even more popular than the model it replaces. In this review, we will dive into the details of the NP5, how it performed in our testing, and why it is a must-have for any home theater setup.
JVC NP5 Features & Technology
Access to Immersive Widescreen Viewing
When you look at the marketing jargon for the NP5, JVC does not really elaborate on what we think is one of its best features. We suspect it’s because they just take it for granted since their projectors are geared towards the home theater enthusiast. This big feature is lens memory.
Having lens memory allows you to have the widescreen experience that we are big believers in at Audio Advice. Almost 85% of blockbuster movies are shot in widescreen and all you need to enjoy movies in full widescreen glory is a 2.40 screen and a projector with lens memory. This lets you set one memory for normal 16:9 content and another for widescreen movies. The NP5 is the least expensive true 4K projector we know of that has lens memory to get you into that amazing immersive experience.
Even better, JVC gives you 10 memories. There is a new aspect ratio showing up on a lot of European movies and TV series which is 2.0, it’s wider than 16:9 but not as wide as 2.40. With 10 memories you can easily handle these and any future aspect ratios.
Support for HDR10+
What is HDR?
One big reason home theater gurus love JVC projectors is how advanced they have gotten in their support of HDR. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR10 was the initial version that allowed the studios to deliver content with an even better picture. Metadata is embedded in the video feed that instructs your display to produce more variations of colors, deeper blacks, and whiter whites. This is a true technological breakthrough that we felt was as big as 4K.
There is just one catch in the projector world. HDR10 was designed around flat-panel televisions that have the ability to produce light output in the range of 1,000-4,000 Nits. For reference, one nit is equal to one candela (one candlepower) per square meter. Front projectors are usually only able to produce about 50-200 Nits at the most. Immediately after HDR10 was first introduced, projector software engineers started working on ways to interpret the HDR10 data to allow for the best performance.
JVC came out with what is called Frame Adapt HDR. Their software looks at the incoming signal frame by frame and changes the tone mapping dynamically by analyzing the HDR10 data. The cool part about Frame Adapt HDR is the fact you can greatly improve how any HDR system works if you know the true light output the display can deliver. With the Home Theater Optimizer, you actually input the size of your screen and using a screen adjustment mode table , the software in the projector knows your throw distance based on the zoom setting so it can take the data you input on your screen and perfectly match the incoming HDR10 data to your system using their Home Theater Optimizer software. That is just a fantastic feature!
What is HDR10+?
This was present on the NX5, but the NP5 takes it even further. HDR10+ is an interesting development based on HDR10. HDR10 told the software two pieces of data, the maximum brightness for the entire movie and the average brightness. HDR10+ sends over a constantly changing stream of luminance data which allows HDR to deliver an even closer representation of what the producer wanted us to see. As you might have guessed, the NP5 can handle HDR10+!
If all of this HDR talk has your head spinning, we can assure you, getting it set up right is just two simple steps. We tell you about these in our exclusive tips and tricks you get when you purchase your JVC projector from Audio Advice.
All Glass Lens
One reason the NP5 weighs in at a whopping 43 pounds is its all glass 65mm lens. If you are into photography, you know the lens is all-important and it’s great to see JVC using this type of lens.
48Gbps HDMI 2.1 HDCP2.3 Inputs
You will not have to worry about HDMI changes with the NP5. It supports the latest HDMI spec that we expect will be used for future types of content. These two inputs also support the latest tech for video gaming, 4K 120p.
Higher Light Output
The NP5 gives you 1900 lumens compared to 1800 lumens on the NX5. This will let you stretch that screen size you were dreaming about even larger!
Awesome Calibration System
While this is the same as JVC had in the NX5, it is a deep and extensive menu that will let you adjust all kinds of levels to fine tune your projector should you desire. However, we suggest, for the most part, you leave them at their factory settings. We go over this in our tips and tricks guide.
Should you wish to take things to the max and feel like a professional calibrator, JVC has a piece of software you can download to use with an external optical meter. A good meter will cost you around $200, but with a laptop and the meter, you can get extremely close to where a professional calibrator would take it. And it’s all fairly automatic.
JVC projectors are all built like tanks. As we mentioned before, the NP5 is 43 pounds. We highly recommend you have a friend around to help when you go to hang your new JVC projector!
JVC stands behind their build quality with a 3 year warranty and a 1 year advanced replacement warranty, which is pretty incredible.
When we put the NP5 to the test in our home theater lab, we were immediately thrilled with the black levels it was capable of. Even during some of the darkest scenes we could find, the shadows were brilliantly replicated with natural and deep black colors. When we input our screen size on the Theater Optimizer and had Frame Adapt HDR on, the dynamic tone mapping did an outstanding job at keeping even the brightest of scenes well exposed and the darkest parts of the scene still viewable. SDR content also was produced really well with good mid-tones and life-like skin tones that really add to its cinematic look.
On top of that, the sharpness and detail out of the box with its true 4K picture really impressed us as well. The finest details were crisp and clear, drawing us into each movie we watched. The processing in the NP5 handled the motion really well especially when playing back at 24 frames per second movie. There was no judder or motion blur which gives you that natural, cinematic feel as if you’re at the movies.
The DLA-NP5 takes everything we loved about the NX5 and improved upon it. You get more horsepower, HDR10+ processing, and higher speed future proof inputs.
You get some high end features for its price point. We can not think of another projector with all glass lenses, true 4K, and lens memory for widescreen that is priced as low as the NP5. Then when you throw in JVC’s Frame Adapt HDR with Home Theater Optimizer, you have a projector that is hard to beat.
Even with screens as large as 2.40 160” diagonal, with a good Stewart StudioTek 130 G4 screen in a light controlled room, you will have plenty of output. Highly recommended!
Ready to get started? Check out our free interactive 3D home theater design tool and explore our recent home theater showcase videos that will inspire your vision for your theater.
At Audio Advice, we've been designing and installing high-performance home theaters & smart home systems for our customers in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, and surrounding areas for decades. In fact, we've delivered more custom theaters than anyone in the Southeast! We are now offering Home Theater Design no matter where you live in the United States! If you are interested in a custom home theater or upgrading your current system, give us a call at 888.899.8776, chat with us, or stop by our Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina showrooms. We can't wait to help you build your ultimate home theater!
- 4K120p inputs with HDCP 2.3: Dual 48Gbps inputs with HDCP 2.3 provide the most future-proof connectivity and are ideal for next-generation source devices and current gaming consoles.
- High-Speed LSI for 4K120p input and video processing: 4K120p input is becoming more valuable every day and is effective in displaying high frame rate gaming content. Along with low latency mode, this opens up new possibilities for projectors to provide high-quality gaming on larger screens. The 0.69” native 4K D-ILA device complements this with improved drive performance.
- High resolution and high contrast with 0.69 inch native 4K D-ILA device: The DLA-NP5 is equipped with the same 0.69” native 4K D-ILA device as used on premium JVC models. D-ILA’s unique narrow-pitch pixel process makes it difficult to see the grid even on the largest screens, enabling smooth and high-definition video expression unique to native 4K.
- All-glass lens capable of resolving 4K information: The DLA-NP5 is equipped with a 65mm diameter all-glass lens with 17 elements in 15 groups to deliver high-resolution images that are in focus all the way to the periphery of the screen.
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) content: Support has been added for HDR10+, which uses dynamic metadata, along with the HDR10 format used in UHD Blu-ray and streaming. Both methods support wider color gamut such as BT2020, and 10-bit color gradation. The HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) format used in broadcasting is also available.
- HDR10+ support: With HDR10+ the luminance information for each scene is embedded in the content as metadata so tone mapping can be performed according to the scene. This makes it possible to faithfully reproduce the HDR images as intended by the creators. By comparison, HDR10, the basic standard for HDR playback, has only two pieces of information: MaxCLL (Maximum Content Light Level), which represents the maximum brightness of the content, and MaxFALL (Maximum Frame Average Light Level), which represents the brightest average frame.
- JVC's unique Frame Adapt HDR and Theater Optimizer: JVC's Frame Adapt HDR performs dynamic tone mapping — either frame by frame, or scene by scene — based on analysis of HDR10 content, while Theater Optimizer automatically performs optimal tone mapping according to the installation environment. 18- bit level gamma processing suppresses tonal gradations in bright areas and blacks in dark areas and reproduces smooth gradations with high accuracy. Together, these two unique features deliver the best possible HDR image automatically.
- Auto Picture Mode Select: Auto Picture Mode Select allows the preferred picture mode to be preset for SDR (2D), SDR (3D), HDR and HLG. Once this has been done, completely automatic picture mode selection is ensured. The user does not need to do anything to enjoy their favorite content correctly.
- Improved accuracy of proprietary Clear Motion Drive image blur reduction technology: Clear Motion Drive is JVC’s original image blur reduction technology. It now offers smoother motion and greater accuracy by analyzing more frames of video than before. In combination with Motion Enhance, which optimizes the drive of the D-ILA device according to the movement of the image, this technology improves 4K motion reproduction.
- High brightness and high contrast design: Achieves 1,900-lumen brightness using a 265W ultra-high pressure mercury lamp and a highly efficient optical engine. 4K D-ILA devices and an optical engine with a wire grid achieve a native contrast of 40,000:1. The intelligent lens aperture analyzes the input image and automatically controls the black level, resulting in a dynamic contrast of 400,000:1. The synergy of high dynamic range and high brightness delivers the exceptional images JVC is known for.
- ISF-certified. Can be calibrated by ISF-certified engineers.
- The Installation Settings function allows up to 10 types of installation adjustments to be saved and easily recalled. These include lens memory, pixel adjustment, and screen masking. Screen size and gain, and aspect ratios can also be set.
- Auto-calibration is possible to optimize color and gamma performance. This requires an optional sensor and JVC calibration software, which is available as a free download.
- The Screen Setting Mode corrects color imbalance caused by screen characteristics.
- Resolution: 4,096×2,160
- Lens: 2X Optical Zoom 65 mm/All Glass (Motorized Focus & Zoom)
- Lens Shift: Vertical 80% Horizontal 34% (Motorized)
- Image size: 60 〜 200 inches
- Light Source: 265W (Lamp)
- Brightness: 1,900lm
- Contrast Dynamic: 400,000:1
- Native: 40,000:1
- HDMI: 2 (48Gbps, HDCP2.3, No support for CEC)
- Trigger: 1 (DC12V/100mA)
- 3D Synchro: 1 (Mini-Din 3pin)
- RS-232C: 1 (Dsub-9pin)
- LAN: 1 (RJ45)
- Service: 1 (USB Type A)* For firmware updates
- Video Formats:
- Digital: 480p, 576p, 720p 60/50, 1080i 60/50, 1080p 120/100/60/50/24, 2560×1440p 120/60 3840×2160p 120/100/60/50/30/25/24, 4096×2160p 120/100/60/50/30/25/24
- 3D Formats:
- Frame Packing: 720p 60/50, 1080p 24
- Side by Side: 720p 60/50, 1080p 60/50/24, 1080i 60/50
- Top & Bottom: 720p 60/50, 1080p 24
- Power Consumption: 420W (Standby: 1.5W Eco: 0.3W)
- Fan Noise: 24dB (Low Lamp)
- Power Supply: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz
- Dimensions in Inches (Width x Height x Depth): 19 11/16 x 9 7/32 x 19 1/2
- Weight: 42.3lbs