Review Contents
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
NEC PE401H Projector NEC PE401H
(add to Compare List)
Go to My Compare List

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

The Viewing Experience

When the PE401H comes out of its box, you immediately notice the extent and clarity of its rear panel connections. All connectors are clearly labeled, and you will find video, computer and dual HDMI inputs along with LAN and remote control connectors. Once connections are completed, the PE401H puts up a very bright image that has no trouble competing with ambient light. Fan noise is modest and of low to moderate frequency, so audiences will not be distracted in most circumstances.

It is unusual for a projector to produce superior data and video images, but the PE401H does both. Spreadsheets and text documents are crisp and well focused from edge-to-edge, and the PE401H's Sharpness control is very effective in defining small characters even at full keystone correction. Photos are lifelike, and color balance is excellent in sRGB picture mode.

Video images are excellent after a few tweaks to the image settings. The Picture Mode presets are close to optimum with respect to color bias and saturation, but the best images are achieved by using the PE401H's two User modes where image settings can be fine-tuned. On our sample PE401H, a slight increase in contrast with a concurrent decrease in brightness produced an image with well-balanced highlights and defined shadows. Shifting hue slightly away from red rendered excellent skin tones, and decreasing the Sharpness setting gave the image a pleasing film-like quality.

One final observation. If the PE401H is not permanently mounted, it makes a terrific projector for weekend home use for NFL and college football parties, March Madness, and watching Tiger seek the ever-elusive win of his next major. The image is detailed and bright even in living rooms with high ambient light.

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

You support ProjectorCentral when you buy the
NEC PE401H from these authorized resellers.
Thank you!

Reader Comments(5 comments)

Posted Apr 1, 2014 4:02 PM

By Todd

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
Why is there no Projection Calculator info for this projector?

Posted Dec 19, 2013 11:08 AM

By Terry

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator

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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

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

Post a comment

Commenting on this article is easy and does not require any registration. Your email address is necessary for you to activate your comment once it has been submitted. It will not be shown to other site viewers. ProjectorCentral reserves the right to remove any comment at any time for any reason. Foul language is not permitted, nor are personal attacks. No HTML allowed. All comments should remain on topic.


Email Address:(used only to confirm your comment)

Your Comment:

(Enter the numbers as they appear to the left)