JVC DLA-NX5 vs DLA-NX7 vs DLA-NX9 4K Projector Comparison

The JVC DLA-NX5, DLA-NX7, and DLA-NX9 home theater projectors all share a lot of similarities. By the end of this video, you will have a clear understanding of the reasons to move up from one model to the next, and to determine which model is the best for your dream home theater.

Company & Product Overview

It’s been over 20 years since the D-ILA or (“Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier”) that JVC developed was introduced.  D-ILA has evolved over the years and now JVC produces D-ILA chips that are 4K-capable.  Their unique liquid-crystal-layer packs almost 9 million pixels into a panel that is .69” square.  The NX9, 7, and 5 all use this same liquid-crystal on a silicon display with 3 chips  one red, one blue, and one green to produce the full-color spectrum.  D-ILA technology offers great contrast, high brightness, and very natural colors. All three of the models also use the same high-output lamp to drive the display. All of them are true 4K-capable with HDCP 2.2 tech to handle the highest bandwidth of 4K signals.

Marantz SR5015 Home Theater Receiver

Features and Technology the NX Series Share

So, you might wonder  if they all use the same chip and the same lamp, what are the differences?  Well, we will get into that a little later in the video. Movie fans know about 85% of all blockbuster films are done in a wider aspect ratio than the standard HDTV-size of 16:9. 

The Lens Experience Full Widescreen

At Audio Advice, most of our home-theater customers opt for the wider-screen these days. To enjoy widescreen, you obviously need a 2.35 or 2.40 screen, but you also need a projector capable of lens-memories, so you can set up the projector to fill the screen left to right when you watch a widescreen movie.  Every one of these three models has this feature, which we really love for enjoying widescreen. 

JVC actually takes the lens memories to the extreme.  There are multiple presets you can use, which means you can also have one for all the ones we’re seeing on Netflix, which is the ratio of 2.1 not quite as wide as 2.35, but this is wider than 16:9. Should you want to get into the best of widescreen, all three models are designed to work with the aftermarket Panamorph lens for an even better widescreen picture.  

Brilliant Color & Detail

If you follow home-theater and are one of those people like us who are always looking for the very best picture quality, you have probably run across the term HDR or “high dynamic range.”  This technology was developed to allow for more color-variations, brighter brights, and deeper blacks to give us an image that is even closer to real-life. 

There is metadata in the video-feed that tells the display-device how to handle this new, higher-resolution signal. You would think this would all be great news for home-theater enthusiasts like us  but when HDR first came out, it had the opposite effect. 

You see, HDR is designed for displays that can deliver a ton of light output, in the range of 1000 to 4000 Nits.  In case you were wondering, a “Nit” is the light-output of one candle.  Almost all of the better flat-panel TVs can easily reproduce this level of brightness, but unfortunately, most home-theater projectors can only deliver around 100-200 Nits.

Automatic HDR Settings

When we saw our first HDR image on a front-projector, it just looked super dark.  This immediately led the projector manufacturers to come up with software that talked to the projector to better handle the HDR-feed and also give us a much better image. JVC developed what they call “Auto Tone Mapping.”  This system does an outstanding job of delivering HDR content the way it was intended —  and JVC provides free updates as they improve it. 

One of the keys to getting the best HDR experience is knowing how much light-output is coming off your screen.  For the average person, this is not easy to measure so in JVC’s latest update, they allow you to input your screen-size and screen-gain.  You can even do this for each memory, so you can set it up differently for 16:9 and widescreen modes.  The system even accounts for lamp-life and how much the image is zoomed.  That is just super cool and all three models share this technology.

Great Calibration System

These three projectors all have super deep menus for adjusting and calibrating the picture.  They’ve even gone so far as to have you input a number-code for the brand, and type-of-screen material you are using for better color accuracy.  The adjustments you can do inside the advanced menus on all three of these can be quite daunting as they offer just a huge myriad of ways to fine-tune the image.  If you are not a professional calibrator, it is pretty easy to get lost in them.

We really love the fact they all offer an auto-calibration function.  You do have to buy an optical meter called “the Spyder,” but it’s under $200, and with JVC’s free software, you can get your picture very close to what a professional calibrator would do and not have to worry about all of those deep adjustment menus JVC offers up. 

Build Quality

Build quality on these is also top-notch. With their all-glass lens and professional construction, we have to say they are not lightweight at all. The NX5 and NX7 are over 43-pounds and the NX9 is even heavier. If you are doing a “Do It Yourself” installation, be sure to have someone available to help! And for those of you who’ll be installing one of these yourself, you’ll appreciate the fact that all three have a wide-range of lens-shift, which means you don’t have to worry about getting it centered on your screen down to a half-inch.

All of the adjustments on these models are electronic, which allows you to do the fine-tuning much easier than a manually adjusted projector. Finally, like most projection companies, JVC has the technology to reduce motion-artifacts and there is a special low-latency mode you can use for gaming. With all three models having everything we have talked about, it’s time to learn why you might want to think about the higher-performance models above the NX5.

JVC DLA-NX5 4K Home Theater Projector with HDR

JVC DLA-NX5 4K Home Theater Projector with HDR

The most affordable D-ILA 4K projector in the NX series

The DLA-NX5 is the entry-level model, but JVC didn't skimp out on premium features. In fact, it delivers sharp native 4K resolution using the same all-glass lens and D-ILA devices as the more expensive DLA-NX7 model.

As the most affordable D-ILA 4K projector in the series, the NX5 delivers an amazing amount of technology and a great picture for this price-point. It's probably the least expensive true 4K projector that also makes full-widescreen one of the easiest on the market today.

If the NX5 is beyond your budget and you are not as interested in widescreen, the JVC LX-NZ3 might be something to consider. 

Featuring a new 0.69-inch native 4K D-ILA device and an all-glass 65mm diameter lens system, this projector will produce true high-definition and native 4K resolution like the movie theaters.  

If you are thinking about either the NX5 or the NX7 for your room, our advice is, if you can get your room completely dark and have a high-quality screen, you will easily see the picture improvements offered by the NX7. 

The extra 100 lumens in the spec will not make much difference here  and as a matter of fact  to pull off the DCI/PC3 spec  you actually lose a little bit of light output, but those better chips just offer deeper blacks and better color quality. However, if you just can’t get your room completely dark or if you’re not supercritical in your viewing, the NX5 is probably the best choice between the two.  

Great D-ILA Engine

The D-ILA panels can deliver incredible contrast with brilliant colors. Coupled with their all-glass lens, you get a movie theater quality 4K image.

Enthusiast-Level Adjustments

From the Auto Tone Mapping to diving deep into calibration, the JVC NX models have a rich menu that allows you to fine-tune to your heart's content. Their tone mapping even allows you to input your screen characteristics for the best HDR performance.

Great Auto Calibration

This will cost you under $200, but if you want the best picture it's well worth it. Download their free software, buy a video Spyder, push some buttons and you can get a calibration any time you want that rivals what a professional calibration would charge far more for.

JVC DLA-NX7 4K Home Theater Projector with HDR

JVC DLA-NX7 4K Home Theater Projector with HDR

D-ILA 4K projector priced in the middle of the NX series

Falling in the middle of the series, the DLA-NX7 stands out from other projectors because of its lens. Compared to lower-priced "4K-compatible" projectors, the DLA-NX7 delivers True 4K immersion with millions of pixels on the screen. At 8.8 million pixels, the JVC DLA-NX7 reproduces full 4K resolution with striking clarity, detail, and the immersive sense of depth that will make your home feel like a professional movie theater.

Most projectors use three major digital display technologies: LCD, LCoS, and DLP — but LCoS-based projectors like JVC's D-ILA models produce the most filmlike picture. JVC developed a 65mm 17-element all-glass lens that provides exceptional sharpness and edge-to-edge focus.

We were very curious about how the same chipset and lamp could have different performance characteristics.  When we asked the engineers at JVC, we found out something pretty interesting about the D-ILA chips. 

Since we are talking about things being made on such a tiny scale, there’s just not a completely perfect manufacturing process.  In other words, there’s some unit-to-unit variability in the quality of the D-ILA chips. 

JVC actually individually tests every single one and sorts them by performance. There’s a certain stringent measure they must pass or they get recycled but then each projector has a higher bar of performance measurements the chips must pass to make it to that level. 

And that’s one reason the NX7 has twice the contrast spec of the NX5, even though the chips are the same model they really are far better in the NX7, and even better in the NX9. Along with better contrast, the NX7 meets the DCI/PC3 spec for a super-wide color-gamut that gives you even more life-like images. The NX7 is even 100 lumens brighter than the NX5.

Great D-ILA Engine

The D-ILA panels can deliver incredible contrast with brilliant colors. Coupled with their all-glass lens, you get a movie theater quality 4K image.

Enthusiast-Level Adjustments

From the Auto Tone Mapping to diving deep into calibration, the JVC NX models have a rich menu that allows you to fine-tune to your heart's content. Their tone mapping even allows you to input your screen characteristics for the best HDR performance.

Great Auto Calibration

This will cost you under $200, but if you want the best picture it's well worth it. Download their free software, buy a video Spyder, push some buttons and you can get a calibration any time you want that rivals what a professional calibration would charge far more for.

JVC DLA-NX9 4K Home Theater Projector with HDR and 8K e-shift

JVC DLA-NX9 4K Home Theater Projector with HDR and 8K e-shift

A high-performance D-ILA projector at the top of the NX series

When you jump up to the NX9, the story changes completely.  Every one of these models uses an all-glass lens, which is just fantastic —  but the NX9 has a much larger and higher-quality lens that is shared with their $30K top-of-the-line model.  The glass lens in the NX5 and the 7 is 65 millimeters in diameter, and in the NX9 it jumps up to 100-millimeters — adding about 4-pounds to the weight of the projector. 

This better lens gives you higher-resolution to every corner of your screen, and can easily pass an 8K signal since it is of such high-quality. The combination of the bigger, higher-end lens with the even better chips gets as you might have guessed a substantial jump in image quality. 

The upgrades do not stop there.  When 4K first came out, JVC did not have 4K D-ILA chips so they developed an ultra-fast, shifting-system to meet the specs for a 4K incoming-signal.  With their new 4K chips, this is not needed  but they took what they learned, and in the NX9, they use this process to upconvert the signal to an 8K-level for an even better picture on 4K-material. 

We need to be clear, however —  the NX9 will not accept an 8K signal, but the improvement when you use JVC’s e-shift technology is not subtle either! The larger lens and better chips also give the NX9 a pretty good bump-up in light-output with a spec of 2200 lumens —  and an amazing contrast ratio of 100,000:1.  This improvement in output makes the price-jump easily justified if you are considering a larger widescreen display. 

And let’s face it, we have never had anyone tell us they want as small a screen as they can get!  Just like with the NX7 — compared to the NX5 — you’ll need a home theater room that you can get completely dark and a high-quality screen to appreciate the improvements the NX9 offers.

But for those of you who can afford the cost of the NX9 and have a critical eye for a great picture, it’s well worth the price, especially if your theater is based around a larger 2.35 widescreen.

Overall Recommendation

We hope this short comparison has given you some insight into which NX model might be best for your home theater system. 

As with most things, it might come down to your budget, and we can say the NX5 delivers an amazing amount of technology and a great picture for the price.  It probably is the least expensive true 4K projector that also makes full-widescreen one of the easiest on the market today. 

If the NX5 is beyond your budget and you are not as interested in widescreen, the JVC LX-NZ3 might be something to consider.  Or, if you’re looking for something even better, you can not beat the laser-picture on the top-of-the-line RS4500!

When designing your home theater, you have to consider all of the parts equal to the final outcome.  We can tell you if you are thinking about scrimping on the screen to afford a better projector  do not do that.  Your front-projection screen is a super important part of the picture equation. 

As always, if you have any questions at all, we are available through phone, chat, email, or drop into one of our stores in Raleigh or Charlotte, NC.

Features DLA-NX9B DLA-NX7B DLA-NX5B
KEY FEATURES DLA-NX9B DLA-NX7B DLA-NX5B
Complies with the latest HDMI/HDCP 2.2 standard to enable full spec 4K signal input with 18Gbps transmission band-width (4K60P 4:4:4, 4K60P 4:2:2/36-bit, 4K24P 4:4:4/36-bit) Complies with the latest HDMI/HDCP 2.2 standard to enable full spec 4K signal input with 18Gbps transmission band-width (4K60P 4:4:4, 4K60P 4:2:2/36-bit, 4K24P 4:4:4/36-bit) Complies with the latest HDMI/HDCP 2.2 standard to enable full spec 4K signal input with 18Gbps transmission band-width (4K60P 4:4:4, 4K60P 4:2:2/36-bit, 4K24P 4:4:4/36-bit)
Light source: NSH 265 W lamp Light source: NSH 265 W lamp Light source: NSH 265 W lamp
Resolution: 8192 x 4320 (with 8K/e-shift) Resolution: 4096 x 2160 Resolution: 4096 x 2160
Input connectors: HDMI x 2 (3D, Deep Color/HDCP 2.2) Input connectors: HDMI x 2 (3D, Deep Color/HDCP 2.2) Input connectors: HDMI x 2 (3D, Deep Color/HDCP 2.2)
Output and control connectors: RS-232C (D-sub 9pin) x 1, LAN (RJ-45) x 1, Trigger x 1 (Mini jack), 3D Sync x 1 (Mini-DIN 3pin) Output and control connectors: RS-232C (D-sub 9pin) x 1, LAN (RJ-45) x 1, Trigger x 1 (Mini jack), 3D Sync x 1 (Mini-DIN 3pin) Output and control connectors: RS-232C (D-sub 9pin) x 1, LAN (RJ-45) x 1, Trigger x 1 (Mini jack), 3D Sync x 1 (Mini-DIN 3pin)
3D formats: Frame Packing, Side-by-Side (Half), and Top and Bottom 3D formats: Frame Packing, Side-by-Side (Half), and Top and Bottom 3D formats: Frame Packing, Side-by-Side (Half), and Top and Bottom
JVCs proprietary 8K/e-shift technology reproduces image quality beyond 4K** (The projector does not support 8K signal input) New 0.69 inch 4K D-ILA (4096 x 2160) device x 3 New 0.69 inch 4K D-ILA (4096 x 2160) device x 3
New 0.69-inch 4K D-ILA (4096 x 2160) device x 3 High-definition display at 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) High-definition display at 4K resolution (4096 x 2160)
18-element, 16-group all-glass 100mm diameter high-quality lens 17-element, 15-group all-glass 65mm diameter high-quality lens 17-element, 15-group all-glass 65mm diameter high-quality lens
Multiple Pixel Control image processor accurately reproduces images closer to the original Multiple Pixel Control image processor accurately reproduces images closer to the original Multiple Pixel Control image processor accurately reproduces images closer to the original
High brightness of 2,200 lm provides vibrant and dynamic imagery Exceptionally bright 1,900 lm means bright, high-resolution images Exceptionally bright 1,800 lm means bright, high-resolution images
Native Contrast Ratio of 100,000:1 translates to a spectacular Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 1,000,000:1 Deep Blacks are realized by a High Native Contrast Ratio of 80,000:1 (Dynamic Contrast Ratio 800,000:1) Deep Blacks are realized by a High Native Contrast Ratio of 40,000:1 (Dynamic Contrast Ratio 400,000:1)
Wide Color Gamut above exceeds DCI/P3 spec creating saturated, beautiful images that come to life Wide Color Gamut above exceeds DCI/P3 spec creating saturated, beautiful images that come to life Compatible with HDR technology that dramatically improves image quality that rivals real life.
Compatible with HDR technology that dramatically improves image quality that rivals real life. Compatible with HDR technology that dramatically improves image quality that rivals real life. Auto Tone Mapping function automatically adjusts settings for optimum HDR10 image quality
Auto Tone Mapping function automatically adjusts settings for optimum HDR10 image quality Auto Tone Mapping function automatically adjusts settings for optimum HDR10 image quality For easy reproduction, the projector switches automatically to HDR picture mode when HDR10 signals are received
For easy reproduction, the projector switches automatically to HDR picture mode when HDR10 signals are received For easy reproduction, the projector switches automatically to HDR picture mode when HDR10 signals are received Display the MaxCLL and MaxFALL mastering data available for HDR content on some UHD Blu-ray discs
Display the MaxCLL and MaxFALL mastering data available for HDR content on some UHD Blu-ray discs Display the MaxCLL and MaxFALL mastering data available for HDR content on some UHD Blu-ray discs Compatible with Hybrid Log-Gamma that is expected to be used widely in future broadcasting
Compatible with Hybrid Log-Gamma that is expected to be used widely in future broadcasting Compatible with Hybrid Log-Gamma that is expected to be used widely in future broadcasting Installation Mode centrally manage nine settings related to installation to enjoy video best suited for each environment
Installation Mode centrally manage nine settings related to installation to enjoy video best suited for each environment Installation Mode centrally manage nine settings related to installation to enjoy video best suited for each environment Nine settings of Installation Mode include Lens Control, Pixel Adjustment, Mask, Anamorphic on or off, Screen Adjust, Installation Style, Keystone, Pincushion, and Aspect; stored installation modes for various environments can be called up.
Nine settings of Installation Mode include Lens Control, Pixel Adjustment, Mask, Anamorphic on or off, Screen Adjust, Installation Style, Keystone, Pincushion, and Aspect; stored installation modes for various environments can be called up. Nine settings of Installation Mode include Lens Control, Pixel Adjustment, Mask, Anamorphic on or off, Screen Adjust, Installation Style, Keystone, Pincushion, and Aspect; stored installation modes for various environments can be called up. Renewed Clear Motion Drive supporting 4K60P (4:4:4) signal improves moving images more than ever
Renewed Clear Motion Drive supporting 4K60P (4:4:4) signal improves moving images more than ever Renewed Clear Motion Drive supporting 4K60P (4:4:4) signal improves moving images more than ever Motion Enhance technology reduces residual images and blurring that are often found in fast-moving images by optimally controlling the drive of D-ILA devices
Motion Enhance technology reduces residual images and blurring that are often found in fast-moving images by optimally controlling the drive of D-ILA devices Motion Enhance technology reduces residual images and blurring that are often found in fast-moving images by optimally controlling the drive of D-ILA devices Low Latency Mode suppresses display delay for faster response when receiving signals from PC and game consoles
Low Latency Mode suppresses display delay for faster response when receiving signals from PC and game consoles Low Latency Mode suppresses display delay for faster response when receiving signals from PC and game consoles Color Management System with 6-axis Matrix
Color Management System with 6-axis Matrix Color Management System with 6-axis Matrix Auto-Calibration Function using an optical sensor* is capable of optimizing essential elements in the image, including color balance, gamma characteristics, color space and color tracking
Auto-Calibration Function using an optical sensor* is capable of optimizing essential elements in the image, including color balance, gamma characteristics, color space and color tracking Auto-Calibration Function using an optical sensor* is capable of optimizing essential elements in the image, including color balance, gamma characteristics, color space and color tracking  
THX 4K Display Certification to ensure the precise reproduction of picture quality in 4K content, just as the original filmmaker envisioned.    
ISF C3 (Certified Calibration Controls) mode** to reproduce excellent picture quality optimized for specific environments. ISF C3 (Certified Calibration Controls) mode** to reproduce excellent picture quality optimized for specific environments. ISF C3 (Certified Calibration Controls) mode** to reproduce excellent picture quality optimized for specific environments.
Wireless transmission options for 3D viewing: RF (radio frequency) system transmission with PK-AG3 3D Glasses for 100H continuous operation and PK-EM2 3D Synchro Emitter
*Exclusive JVC software installed in PC and optical sensor are required. Please visit the JVC website for details. **Professional calibration to desired screen is performed by trained dealers
Wireless transmission options for 3D viewing: RF (radio frequency) system transmission with PK-AG3 3D Glasses for 100H continuous operation and PK-EM2 3D Synchro Emitter
*Exclusive JVC software installed in PC and optical sensor are required. Please visit the JVC website for details. **Professional calibration to desired screen is performed by trained dealers
Wireless transmission options for 3D viewing: RF (radio frequency) system transmission with PK-AG3 3D Glasses for 100H continuous operation and PK-EM2 3D Synchro Emitter
*Exclusive JVC software installed in PC and optical sensor are required. Please visit the JVC website for details. **Professional calibration to desired screen is performed by trained dealers

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