JVC DLA-NZ8 4K HDR Projector Review Page 2

In the absence of any native 8K content, the 8K/e-ShiftX processing might seem like nothing more than a gimmick, but in actuality it proved very effective. A decent 1080p source like Samsara looked so good you'd swear it was 4K, and while the 'High-res 1' setting applies a degree of sharpening, even an old purist like me was beguiled by its charms.

If you feed the projector a native 4K image the results are exceptional; I'd wager even the most demanding pixel-peeper will be stunned. Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express was shot on 65mm for a 4K DI, and the UHD disc uses this source to create breathtakingly detailed pictures; through the NZ8 you can see every hair in Hercule Poirot's magnificent moustache, this sense of clarity undoubtedly benefiting from that all-glass lens.

Resolution and image processing are important, but I've long felt JVC projectors, with their tone-mapping toolset, are in a league of their own when it comes to HDR. This technical prowess is perfectly demonstrated in Allied (4K Blu-ray), where Brad Pitt is watching an air raid during the Blitz. A combination of the NZ8's expansive contrast and flawless tone-mapping produces deep blacks in the night sky, plus astonishing shadow detail. Tracer fire and flak are picked up with precision, highlighted against the darkness.


The remote handset is a carry over from JVC's earlier 4K PJ generation

The NZ8 is equally impressive at the other end of the dynamic range, and when Jenny Lind sings 'Never Enough' in The Greatest Showman (4K BD) she appears luminescent in the spotlight, but you can still make out all the detail in her ivory dress.

The film also makes memorable use of the 4K Blu-ray format's wider colour gamut, with beautifully saturated images that are a feast for the eyes. The NZ8 uses a filter to render 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour space, and this is evident in the way the colours pop in scenes such as when Charity Hallett-Barnum sings 'Tightrope' surrounded by colourful flowers.

Interestingly, JVC's HDR10+ mode defaults to the normal rather wide colour setting, and since it's greyed out this can't be changed. The reason for this is that the colour filter reduces the light output by about 25 per cent, and the HDR10+ Alliance prioritises brightness over a wider colour gamut. On the plus side, the NZ8 detected the HDR10+ content without any issues, and the colour space was still covering 90 per cent of DCI-P3 – worth remembering if you're considering the cheaper, less colour-rich, NZ7.


A curved top-panel lessens the visual impact of the NZ8's large chassis

A Touch Of Flare
Watching the 4K Blu-ray of 1917 displays the dynamic metadata benefits of HDR10+, with some expertly tone-mapped images. The sequence set in a ruined village at night is simply stunning, with deep blacks contrasted against buildings illuminated by falling flares. These flares, and burning buildings, feel really intense, while the projector teases out detail in the shadows.

The effectiveness of the NZ8's dynamic laser control is also in evidence, particularly in one gob-smacking moment where the screen goes completely black. Claims of a dynamic contrast ratio of 'infinity to one' are a bit misleading, though – unless you're happy to always look at a black screen.

With regular images the contrast was still impressive, and in general the dynamic laser control worked very well. However, during credit sequences the text would often appear too dim, and it would seem that both dynamic settings (but especially the second) are being too aggressive. It's really my only criticism of the NZ8; JVC needs to apply some fine tuning.


While you will need to invest in the optional synchro emitter and glasses, 3D looks as fantastic as anything else on the NZ8. There's no dedicated mode, but you can easily create one of your own and set the projector to default to it when 3D content is detected. Oz the Great and Powerful on 3D Blu-ray revealed bright, detailed and colourful images that had plenty of depth and not a hint of crosstalk.

Live Long And Prosper
There's no denying the NZ8 represents a serious financial investment, but at least you might not need to buy another projector for twenty years. You also get an unparalleled level of performance, bleeding-edge tech, and a future-proofed set of features. The NZ7 is cheaper, and the NZ9 offers incremental improvements, but with no direct competitor the accomplished NZ8 is by definition the best projector in its price bracket.

HCC Verdict


Price: £15,800

We say: Peerless performance, long-life laser lighting and unrivalled features make JVC's DLA-NZ8 the 4K HDR projector to beat in its class.

Overall: 5/5


3D: Yes. Active shutter 4K: Yes. 4,096 x 2,160 (plus 8K/e-ShiftX) HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG; HDR10+ CONNECTIONS: 2 x HDMI inputs; RS-232; USB; 12V trigger; Ethernet; 3D synchro port BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): 2,500 Lumens CONTRAST (claimed): 80,000:1 (native); infinite (dynamic) DIMENSIONS: 500(w) x 234(h) x 505(d)mm WEIGHT: 23.1kg

Features: D-ILA device; BLU-Escent laser diode; claimed average life of 20,000 hours in standard mode; all-glass high-quality 100mm lens; 8K/e-ShiftX; Auto Tone Mapping; Frame Adapt HDR; Theatre Optimiser; Low Latency mode; Clear Motion Drive; Motion Enhance; 1.43-2.92:1 throw ratio: motorised zoom, shift and focus; 10 lens memories; HDMI 2.1 with support for 8K/60p and 4K/120p; ISF certification; auto calibration