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Opinion of John - Jan 10, 2005

NEC LT240K Projector
XGA (1024x768), 2000 ANSI Lumens,
6.5 lbs, $3,495 (MSRP)
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by John - Jan 10, 2005
Image Quality 4.0
Features 5.0
Construction 4.0
Ease of Use 4.0
Reliability 3.0
Value for Money 5.0
View Specs

Personal Experience
This thing rocks! If you want one, buy soon because they're out of production. This is my first projector, tho I've used them at work for many years (mostly data, occasionally images/video/DVD). I've used it for TV & VHS via composite in, DVD via S-vid in, and XGA computer display via one of the VGA in ports so far. I haven't turned on our 32" tv or 19" computer monitor since it arrived just after 1/05, and hope I never have to do so again. Right now it's just projecting 8' onto a white wall for 64" diagonal 4:3 (51" wide, zoomed it's about 72"wide). At night it's vastly better than TV, and in the very bright living room where it mostly lives it's watchable during the day if bumped up to a brighter setting with some washout of whites (and very good to excellent depending on how many of the vertical blinds I close on the four large windows closest to the screen).

Speaking of whites, I recall another review mentioned "busy" whites where there's something akin to "snow" noise that can be annoying. I see it too, but have noticed that it's only on TV/VHS and almost none on DVD (haven't had an HDTV source to try yet, but it's zero on computer display). On VHS it freezes if you pause playback, so I assume it's to do with how the de-interlacing handles noise and comb filters. Oddly, the 240's noise setting seems to make no difference at all so maybe I need to update the firmware.

I'm overwhelmed by the screen choices and have yet to find an unbiased source of info, but ever more motivated to dive into that research and try to improve on what I'm seeing just on the wall.

I was glad to have finally decided on the 240k while they were still available, because I understand the new model replacing it is solely for computer projection. This one's really outstanding at both that and my other uses. The XGA is clear enough to read easily at 10', so I'm now doing my computer work in the living room with iTunes running on the stereo. Maybe I'll convert the office into a guest bedroom. :)

The color settings right out of the box produced a picture that was simply staggering automatically adjusted based on input mode. After yielding to the tweak temptation I finally figured out how to get rid of the very slight green cast (didn't notice it until I'd read another review mentioning it and tuned my eye by tweaking a lot) on some subjects (like Charlie Rose's gray suits). My method: set up a User setting with Movie base and then tweak the Settings menu to adjust each color (yellow seemed to help the most). When I first discovered this trick I focused on minimizing greens but I've now adjusted them each to closest to what my eye says is the color named, and the greens are behaving just fine. Variations in program source color balance can then be easily adjusted in the Picture menu.

I rated Image Quality only Good because this is my first HT projector, so I have no basis for serious comparison. To my eye tho, this matches or beats anything I've seen in showrooms at 10x the price, and it's brighter to boot. It's orders of magnitude beyond anything we have among the dozen or so at work, so I'll be taking it to work in the provided soft case when I need a projector there.

Even tho it took a while to figure out how to do the fine color settings, I rated Features Excellent because you can use it fine as-is or tweak more than with anything else I've seen in this price range. Also has all the inputs I need and several niceties I hadn't been looking for. Construction seems fine. Ease of Use was a little daunting as mentioned above, plus until today the remote was "spastic" (see below) but still Good overall. Reliability 100% so far, but only 200 hours or so and I already see a fine layer of dust inside behind the apparently sealed lens with apparently no dust filter provided on the air intake. It's positioned about 6' above my head and in eco mode (the only one I use because it's bright enough) you have to really concentrate to hear it in a quiet room even tho your breathing has stopped due to the incredible picture.

Value is outstanding, based on what I've seen.

Problems
Spastic remote - after pushing a button it goes crazy and makes selections all by itself. At first I thought it was just too close to the unit, or bouncing off the wall and giving multiple light paths because there's sensors on both back/front of the projector. To stop it I'd make my selection and then hide the front of the remote in my shirt until I was ready to make another selection (or just push the red button that lights up when you make a selection and thus turn off the remote). Just today I noticed that the little transmit indicator light on the remote blinks if my finger is even touching the Select arrows, and that the remote seems to store up button pushes and send them after you've released the button. If I push the buttons briefly and lift my finger clear, the remote seems to now (fingers crossed) behave like the rest of the assorted remotes here.

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