NEC PA1705UL-W 0 1 WUXGA 3LCD Laser Projector
Our Take

By supersizing its earlier 10,000-lumen PA1004UL projector with new LCD chips, lasers and lenses, the Sharp NEC PA1705UL blasts upwards of 16,000 lumens of light and can fill an auditorium, lecture hall or church with vivid images from a cabinet that is essentially the same size.

  • Bright large-venue laser projector
  • Full brightness on 115v/15-amp power
  • 3LCD design with equal color/white brightness and immunity to rainbows
  • Sealed light engine with no dust filter
  • Generous five-year, 20,000-hour warranty
  • New lens family with small assortment of choices
  • Lacks Wi-Fi facilities
  • Can get loud
NEC np pa1705ul w front

Sharp NEC's PA series, which previously topped out with the 10,000-lumen PA1004UL reviewed in 2020, saw two powerful additions last summer in the 14,000-lumen PA1505UL and the PA1705UL reviewed here. Compared with the PA1004UL, the PA1705UL ups the output by 60% to put more than 16,000 ANSI lumens on screen. Perfect for a large conference room, lecture hall, house of worship or auditorium, the PA1705UL is built around more powerful lasers, the image fidelity of a three-chip LCD architecture with sharp WUXGA resolution and an innovative, minimal-maintenance design that doesn't require a dust filter.

At $26,000 (without a lens), it competes with Epson's $27,700 EB-PU2216 model in terms of basic features and brightness, although the Epson adds 4K Enhancement that doubles its WUXGA pixel-count and has nine lenses available. By contrast, the Sharp NEC PA1705UL stops at WUXGA resolution and has three lenses available at the moment; the company plans to add two more in the coming months to help to fill out the line. These two projectors are also comparable in terms of their compact footprint, though the NEC weighs about 10 pounts more.

Notably, the PA1705UL also comes with more generous protection than Epson's. All told, the NEC is a powerful large venue projector that can create large and vibrant images and offers the bonus of one of the best warranties in the business: five years or 20,000 hours of use. In other words, it can be a projector to set and forget.


While many of the components inside the PA1705UL design are holdovers from the PA1004UL model, its evolution has required a larger chassis. At 64 pounds, it's a wide body projector with 9.5 x 23.6 x 19.3 inch dimensions that's 10 percent bigger and nearly one-quarter heavier that the PA1004UL model. In other words, plan on having a least a couple of people on hand to safely mount it.

NEC np pa1705ul w side controls

Underneath, the PA1705UL has four adjustable feet and six threaded attachment points and can be aimed in any direction, including sideways for portrait mode. It worked well with generic mounting hardware, but Sharp NEC's $700 low-profile ceiling mount, model IPJ200-CM, allows fine-tuning the projector's position and angle.

Available in black or white, the PA1705UL is for those who want the image fidelity of a 3LCD design with 1.0-inch imaging panels, compared to the PA1004UL's 0.76-inch chips. As with all three-chip designs, the projector benefits from equal white and color brightness as well as immunity to the rainbow artifacts that can accompany some single-chip DLP projectors.

The PA1705UL uses an upsized version of the company's sealed optical box design that doesn't require a dust filter to keep a clear projection path. In fact, it is as close to maintenance-free as it gets these days; keeping the intake vents clear is the only critical task. The light path uses brighter laser elements that blast 455 nanometer blue light to a phosphor wheel that yields a yellow beam. Three dichroic mirrors split off red and green streams that converge with the blue light on the projector's LCD cube. The final image emerges through the PA1705UL's output lens.

Because the extra brightness means extra heat, engineers optimized the projector's crossflow ventilation pattern. Two fans bring in the cooling air that is blown across a radiator connected to heat pipes that keep the illumination components from overheating. It requires 12 inches of clearance at the exhaust on the left and 8 inches on the right. Its 20,000 hour laser rating is comparable with other mainstream installation projectors and good for more than a decade of serious use at eight hours a day for 200 days a year.

NEC np pa1705ul w back angle

The projector puts up a 16:10 image at 1920x1200 resolution but can downscale input signals up to DCI-4K at 4096x2160. With a specification of 17,000 lumens for the center of the screen, the entire image is averaged at a more sedate 16,000 ANSI lumens. That's still a lot of light for a good sized auditorium, lecture hall or church, and in our testing, the PA1705UL was slightly above the spec.

The PA1750UL leaves behind its predecessor's lens family. Instead of the nine lenses available for the PA1004UL, Sharp has, at the moment, five compatible lenses for the PA1705UL. In addition to the $5,359 NP52ZL short throw lens, $3,690 NP54ZL standard lens, $4,385 NP55ZL long throw lens and $5,058 NP56ZL ultra long throw lens, I used the $4,826 NP53ZL short throw lens. With a throw ratio of between 0.86 and 1.25:1, it can put up an 8 foot image from 7 feet away from the screen.

All five lenses have powered focus and zoom, and the ultra-long throw NP56ZL model has a very wide 1.9X zoom that makes it one of the most versatile lenses in the business. It's able to project a 15 foot image from between 50 and 97 feet, making for extraordinary flexibility. Ultra-short throw and very long throw lenses are said to be on the way. You can check out ProjectorCentral's Sharp NEC PA1750UL throw calculator for the range on the NEC PA1750UL's current lenses. The calculator will be updated as new lenses become available.

On the plus side, the new lenses offer the luxury of independent focus of the image's center and periphery. But note that Sharp NEC's lens mounting is not via the familiar bayonet system. Instead, you push the lens into place and slide a locking lever found above to the right; it's under a slide-open door. You have the option of tightening four hex bolts at the corners for an even more secure mount. Sharp NEC went this route because this mounting technique allows the use of longer and heavier lenses than the bayonet hardware. The design also offers access to the projector's optical cube underneath should that ever be required.

Regardless of which lens is used, the projector can put the image where it needs to be with motorized lens shifting of up to 66% up-down and 25% right-left. For unavoidable angled projection, the PA1705UL's keystone correction can compensate for up to 40-degree angles vertically or horizontally. It offers both manual adjustments and the Cornerstone system that allows easy pulling in or pushing out eight different points.

There's a good mix of ports in the back, and there's a power cord lock to eliminate the possibility of the plug being kicked out at the wrong moment. Sharp NEC has an $87 cable cover to hide the wiring that includes a small scoop for directing the projector's exhaust. It's available in black or white.

NEC np pa1705ul w remote

The PA1705UL leaves legacy ports behind with video connections for a pair of HDMI 2.0 streams and a 3G SDI input. In addition to using the USB port for a mouse that can help whiz through the menu, it can power an add-on streaming device. It lacks an HDMI video-out link for connecting to a lectern screen or one in an overflow room, but offers an unusual alternative: a pair of dedicated HDBaseT ports, one labeled for input and the other for output. These can be used to stream uncompressed network video and control signals to the projector via Cat cable and also to send it to other displays equipped with an HDBaseT input or HDMI adapter. The projector can warp the image and edge-blend up to four images with internal software.

A big bonus for video conferences or complicated classroom lessons, any two video streams can be shown with either the picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture format. As expected for a large venue projector, there're no audio speakers, but the PA1705UL has a 3.5mm analog audio-out jack for the room's audio system.

Along with HDBaseT for control, there is an RS232 port and a 3.5 mm remote input that allows the handheld remote to be tethered via a long cable. And though there is no Wi-Fi option built-in for connecting to a network, there is the usual RJ45 LAN port for getting the projector online. It took a few minutes to enable the network and get it set up on my organization's LAN. The projector works with Crestron RoomView, PJLink and AMX Beacon protocols, but the easiest way to monitor or control the projector is with its built in web interface. After entering the projector's IP address into a browser, the main Operation page popped up with a cornucopia of operational details, from the ports and sound to the shutter status and how many hours the projector has been used.

NEC pa1705ul screen a

There're also tabs for Setup, Adjustment and Edge Blending, but the Geometric Correction page quickly became a favorite. In addition to manual keystone and Cornerstone correction, it's where I was able to use the projector's image warping capability.

NEC pa1705ul screen b

The projector's regular onscreen menu is easy to figure out and navigate. It worked equally well via the side-mounted control panel, the remote control or—like earlier models—with a plug-in USB mouse.

The projector's IR remote control adds the option of input selection, user profiles and access to the projector's eight test patterns. It uses a pair of AAA batteries and had a range of about 30 feet without the use of an extension cable.


As was the case with the PA1004UL, the PA1705UL is a fast starter. The image appeared in 20.4 seconds and gets to full brightness in less than 30 seconds. It shuts itself down 10.1 seconds after being turned off.

The projector has seven picture modes: High-Bright, Presentation, Video, Movie, Graphic, sRGB and Dicom Sim. Each can be customized with controls for everything from Color and Tint to Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness and Hue settings. The projector offers color temperature adjustments in 100K increments between 5,000 and 10,500K as well the ability to project onto a black-, white- and gray-board; it can compensate for six different colored walls.

The High-Bright mode dominates with the ability to put 17,625 lumens on the center of the screen, nearly 4% over the company's 17,000-lumen spec. That said, it carries a 16,000 ANSI lumen rating for the average across the projected image using the ANSI testing protocol of nine brightness readings. Our testing showed it was also slightly above the spec at 16,123 ANSI lumens, a difference that few will be able to discern.

This mode exhibited excellent uniformity and focus although it imparted a bluish-green tint to everything. It should be fine for large room presentations and even some Web work but will likely fall short for videos, movies and photos.

The projector's Presentation mode loses a little brightness and came in at 13,169 ANSI lumens, but the green tint has been swapped for an overall blue look. It's a big improvement, but for more natural color balance, look to the sRGB setting, which delivered 9,629 ANSI lumens. It had the best color reproduction of the lot with natural looking green leaves, brown sand and blue skies. It's the choice for showing photos, paintings or even a company's web campaign.

There are both Video and Movie modes, with the former aimed at TV programming and online videos, but its look was overly warm with too much pink. It measured at 11,641 ANSI lumens. Movie delivered a lower 9,641 ANSI lumens and its image balance was pushed toward orange tones. It's aimed at traditional dark-room movie reproduction, and in a fully dark room, its colors were vivid looking.

There's also a Graphics mode suitable for infographics that put 10,693 ANSI lumens on the screen, and the Dicom Sim mode for viewing medical scans at 10,378 ANSI lumens. Finally, the PA1705UL has an Auto mode that examines the video stream and picks the best mode for the material. In our darkened test lab, it put up 10,360 ANSI lumens with a series of full field color images.

NEC np pa1705ul w front angle

Unlike its predecessor and others in its class, the PA1705UL doesn't have a traditional low-power Eco mode. Still, it can precisely control the light output with three settings. While Normal can be adjusted to between 70% and 100% of full output, Silent mode can reduce output between 70 to 90 percent as it lowers the fan's speed; its default reduced the light level by 6.2 percent. The Long Life setting prioritizes cooling the lighting element by running the fans at full blast; the illumination can be adjusted to between 70 and 90 percent of full power; its default brightness was down 5.4 percent. It's at the cost of a loud projector, though.

If that's not enough, the Professional mode can adjust the brightness in 1% increments and allow the setting to be saved as a preset for each input. Plus, as the projector's components age, the Constant Brightness setting can compensate for lowered brightness. It maintains a continuous illumination level based on a light level sensor.

Perhaps not surprisingly for such a high output projector, the PA1705UL's noise can be a bit much. Using the High-Bright and Normal modes, a casual noise measurement taken three feet from the exhaust vent peaked at 50.1dBA in a room that had a background level of 36.1dBA. This should not be a problem if the projector is in a booth or ceiling-mounted far from the heads of viewers. That said, even the Silent mode came in at 47.4dBA. NEC rates the PA1705UL at a noise level of 43dB at Normal mode and 37db in Silent mode, using the industry-standard averaged multi-point measurement in a sound-proof room. Our casual real-world measurements taken near the exhaust vent are always higher.

With the PA1705UL working hard in High-Bright picture mode and Normal power mode, it used 1,019 watts. In other words, it makes sense to have a dedicated AC circuit to avoid blowing a circuit breaker at the worst time, though to its credit, the projector can deliver full power on a standard 110-130 volt/15-amp line. It will also run on a 240-volt circuit. Using the Silent and Long Life settings reduced the power drain to 914 and 920 watts.

Using the Normal mode translates to an estimated annual power bill of $245 if it's used for eight hours a day and idle for the rest. It assumes that the projector will be used for 200 days out of the year and your organization pays the national average of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity.

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With over 16,000 ANSI lumens at its disposal, the Sharp NEC PA1705UL is a considerable advance over the earlier PA1004UL, delivering 60% more brightness in a cabinet that covers exactly the same footprint while adding just an inch of additional height. It not only has brighter laser elements, but larger WUXGA LCD panels, although incompatible lenses means you can't carry forward your existing glass if you're looking to upgrade and will have to make due, for now, with the new family's three available lenses. But with two more on the way and others planned, Sharp NEC will fill in the optical blanks over time.

The PA1705UL's $26,000 price tag is competitive with some other models in this brightness class, notably Epson's EB-PU2216, but it goes a step further with a five-year/20,000-hour warranty for an anxiety-free experience. And by pairing the image fidelity of three LCD imagers with a sealed optical design, the PA1705UL doesn't require much in the way of maintenance, making it cheap to keep and a great way to fill the screen in a large conference room, house of worship or lecture hall.


Brightness. Using the PA1705UL's High-Bright picture mode, it delivered 16,123 ANSI lumens, with a center hotspot reading of 17,625 lumens. Both results are a few percent over the company's 16,000 and 17,000 lumen ratings. These tests used the Normal brightness mode for full output.

While overly green, it should be fine for slide shows and projecting text, but the Presentation mode reduces the green tint and puts out 13,139 ANSI lumens and the sRGB mode delivered 9,629 with much better color balance. The projector had a Video mode (at 11,641 ANSI lumens) and a Movie mode (9,641 ANSI lumens). The Graphic mode put 10,693 ANSI lumens on screen, while the Dicomm Sim settings yielded 10,378 ANSI lumens.

Along with its Normal power mode, the Projector has a Silent mode that marginally reduces brightness, and a Long Life mode that increases fan speed with little effect on light output. A Professional mode is also available to brightness in 1% increments.

NEC PA1705UL ANSI Lumens

Picture Mode Normal Silent Long Life
High-Bright 16,123 15,104 15,249
Presentation 13,139 12,350 12,435
Video 11,641 10,943 11,024
Movie 9,641 9,063 9,130
Graphic 10,693 10,051 10,126
sRGB 9,629 9,052 9,119
Dicom Sim 10,378 9,755 9,828

Power Use. In its Normal brightness mode, the PA1705UL used 1,019 watts of power for a power rating of 15.7 lumens per watt. If the projector is used for 8 hours a day and 200 days out of the year and you pay the national average of 15 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, it has an estimated annual operating cost of $245. The Silent and Long Life modes reduced power consumption to 914 and 920 watts.

Zoom Lens Light Loss (from widest to maximum zoom). Using the NP53ZL short throw lens, the PA1705UL's output dropped by 23.6% percent from its widest zoom position to its maximum telephoto position.

Brightness Uniformity. NP-12ZL lens, 87.2%

Fan Noise. Based on casual single-point readings taken 36 inches from the exhaust, the PA1705UL was a loud projector. At full output it hit a sound level reading of 50.1dBA in the Normal brightness mode using the High-Bright picture mode. That rose to 50.9dBA with the Long Life mode but dropped to 47.4dBA in Silent mode. Sharp NEC rates the projector at 37 dB in Silent mode and 43dB in Normal mode using the industry-standard multi-point measurement in a soundproof room. Bear in mind that a large venue projector in this class rarely gets mounted in close proximity to viewers, so fan noise is not likely to be an issue.

Video Lag. Using a Bodnar Video Signal Input Lag tester and a 1080p/60 input signal, the PA1705UL had video lag of 37.7 milliseconds, relatively low for projectors in this class but not worthy of serious gaming or simulation applications.


NEC np pa1705ul w connections
  • HDMI 2.0 (x2) with HDCP 2.2
  • Wired LAN (RJ-45)
  • HDBaseT In (RJ-45)
  • HDBaseT Out (RJ-45)
  • 3G-SDI
  • RS-232C Serial Port
  • USB Type A (for accessory power, mouse, service)
  • Audio out (3.5mm)
  • Remote Control extension (3.5mm)

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our NEC PA1705UL-W projector page.

To buy this projector, use Where to Buy online, or get a price quote by email direct from Projector Central authorized dealers using our E-Z Quote tool.


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