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NEC PE401H Projector NEC PE401H
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2000:1 Contrast Ratio
4000 Lumens
Full HD 3D
Street Price: n/a
$2,999 MSRP

NEC PE401H Conference Projector Review

Allan Abbott, December 12, 2013

A few projectors are particularly well suited for permanent installations, and NEC's PE401H is a prime contender. The projector is not light or compact, but it handles a wide variety of inputs, and its brightness and resolution produce some stunning data and video images for its price class. The PE401H is a 4,000-lumen HDTV projector (1920x1080 native mode resolution) with a street price of just under $2,000. It weighs about ten pounds and has a 13.8"x11.1" footprint, so it is probably best suited for ceiling mounting although it can be used in desktop and cart environments if space is available and the cart is sturdy.

Another clue to its intended usage is its detachable cable cover which you generally see in ceiling-mount installations. The PE401H sports dual 8-watt internal speakers that can deliver enough audio volume for medium-sized rooms, so small churches, photo clubs, and hotel meeting rooms can probably get away without the need for external amplification. To cap things off, the PE401H has both Web and computer control interface connectors, so it functions nicely as a networked projector.

Review Contents: Introduction The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance and Conclusion

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Reader Comments(5 comments)

Posted Apr 1, 2014 4:02 PM

By Todd

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Why is there no Projection Calculator info for this projector?

Posted Dec 19, 2013 11:08 AM

By Terry

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I had initially typed 4685 as their reading, but then I grabbed the 4013 because that was the reading they took at midzoom and since all my other numbers I quoted from them were from their midzoom, I wanted it to match. ;)

But, yeah, I think the biggest thing is probably the lens zoom. You guys measuring full wide vs their mid zoom. I guess the light changes drastically on this projector due to that reason. (More so than most.)

Posted Dec 19, 2013 8:58 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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There could be a number of things happening that are causing a difference in measured light output. First of all, no two projectors will be exactly alike, and manufacturing tolerances can account for significant differences even in two units of the same projector model.

This projector has a 1.7:1 zoom, and while we always measure the projector at the widest angle lens setting, ProjectorReviews takes their readings at the lens's midpoint. Since the midpoint of the zoom isn't a set location (you have to eyeball it, more or less), it's possible that their numbers vary due to zoom changes between readings.

There are also differences in light meters, and sometimes these differences are exaggerated by where the user holds the meter while taking the readings. There could also be an error in someone's readings, but without re-testing both projectors there's no way to tell who, if anyone, is wrong.

Then there are differences in settings. Since the PE401H is a DLP projector, it is possible to change white light output significantly by using BrilliantColor. If one projector had BC enabled and the other did not, that would easily account for a 1,000 lumen difference.

Long story short: there are a lot of factors that can cause differences between two projectors, and without seeing both projectors, there's no way to tell which readings are correct. They may both be correct. They may both be wrong.

Also, as a minor correction: Projector Reviews actually measured 4685 lumens in Bright mode at full wide zoom, compared to our reading of 3975. So the two differences you pointed out are far from the only ones. If you corrected all of their numbers for zoom lens light reduction, none of the image modes match up correctly. Because of the difference in testing methods, it's not a straight-up comparison.

Posted Dec 19, 2013 12:06 AM

By Terry

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Another thing, I posted a similar comment over at ProjectorReviews, but why are the lumens measured for this projector between their site and this one so different?

Lumen amounts (Mode/ProjectorReviews/ProjectorCentral):

High Bright/4013/3975 Presentation/2953/4013 Movie/1333/2880 sRGB/1068/1210 Video/1166/1210

That's a CRAZY difference for Presentation and Movie. Other differences are minor, but still... Why such a big difference in measurements between sites?

Your numbers make this projector look way more usable in other modes than their website would lead you to believe.

Posted Dec 18, 2013 11:08 PM

By Terry

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Seems like this projector ticks a lot of marks, does it qualify for any of the Top 10 spots on this website?

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