NEC V801 Review: Benchmarking A Massive 80-Inch Monitor

The NEC V801 Is 80" HDTV Extravagance

We’re not sure that NEC expected us to treat the V801 like an HDTV, but we just couldn’t resist. It’s really not the sort of display you would run productivity apps on, but it’s just begging to be used as the centerpiece in a home theater. It used to be that only a projector could provide that immersive experience movie buffs crave. Now, we can consider a large-format LCD as a worthy projector replacement.

At over $9000, the V801 isn’t for everyone (even its lower street price is prohibitively expensive). But if you've been dreaming about a truly large HDTV or monitor, and your significant other thinks you've behaved exceptionally well this year, well, there isn’t much else out there at this screen size. Time to start dropping some holiday hints. If you want to go bigger, you’ll need a projector, and that comes with its own challenges. For most media rooms, an 80-inch screen provides plenty of immersion while still allowing you to keep the lights on.

Of course, NEC markets this display as a commercial/professional product. And it is extremely well designed for that purpose. With rugged construction, tons of inputs, and easy integration into video walls and other large-space applications, it’s hard to imagine a better-suited monitor. But we think it performs equally well in a home theater.

The benchmark numbers, especially those for contrast, place the V801 in elite territory among both HDTVs and computer monitors. We gave it the toughest possible competition in the form of a Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD and it acquitted itself well against that iconic screen. Not only is its contrast ratio far higher than any desktop display we’ve tested, it beats the vast majority of HDTVs too. Fortunately, its color, grayscale, and gamma accuracy are also among the best. Its tremendous dynamic range is also impressive. With a max light output of almost 460 cd/m2, it displays a bright saturated image in any environment. But throttle back to around 170 cd/m2 and you have a high-contrast home theater screen.

We only found two flaws in the V801. First, its black field uniformity was not the best, mainly due to its large size. Even the Pioneer plasma turned in poor numbers there. The second issue, which could be fixed fairly easily, is its inability to match refresh rates from the source material. For computer-based content, this isn’t a big deal since everything is 60 Hz. When playing film-based content, however, it’s a real plus when a display can match its output frame rate to a multiple of 24. Our PRO-111FD switches to 72 Hz for this purpose, and most consumer LCD panels can operate at 120 Hz. The V801 is stuck at 60 Hz, and even though it accepts a 24 Hz signal, the conversion process creates brief stuttering artifacts. Perhaps a firmware update would address this?

If you’re in the market for a video wall, the V801 has all of the necessary functionality to make that happen. While it’s hard to imagine, you can connect up to 100 of these screens and have them display a single image. At that point you’re in scoreboard territory. The resulting wall would be over 60 feet diagonal with a 1500-foot screen area.

Whatever your big-screen dreams are, the NEC V801 can satisfy them. As a home entertainment display, it qualifies as a luxury for sure. But when do you ever regret buying the best of the best?

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33 comments
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    Top Comments
  • Someone Somewhere
    Yeah, 1920x1080... those pixels are 0.92mm square. That's pretty easy to see with the naked eye; far bigger than a full stop.

    27.5ppi... *shudders*.

    EDIT:
    Quote:
    the V801’s size is better expressed in feet: 227.6 (69.37 square meters for the rest of the world)


    Ummm... 70 square meters is pretty big. That's about half of the average house. I think you'll find it's ~1.76 m² or 19 ft².
    14
  • Other Comments
  • patrick47018
    Why would you want an 80" monitor that is only 1080P?
    8
  • Someone Somewhere
    Yeah, 1920x1080... those pixels are 0.92mm square. That's pretty easy to see with the naked eye; far bigger than a full stop.

    27.5ppi... *shudders*.

    EDIT:
    Quote:
    the V801’s size is better expressed in feet: 227.6 (69.37 square meters for the rest of the world)


    Ummm... 70 square meters is pretty big. That's about half of the average house. I think you'll find it's ~1.76 m² or 19 ft².
    14
  • patrick47018
    On the other had I wouldn't mind having that Pioneer "God" TV
    0
  • huilun02
    Way to make a home cinema system with an average computer.
    -1
  • 16bit
    I wouldn't get such a big monitor/hdtv unless it has a higher than 1080p resolution.
    6
  • tanjo
    Thank you for buying this excessively massive monitor to save the environment.
    -7
  • cangelini
    @Someone: Thanks--missed the calculation error during my edit. Should be fixed now.
    2
  • virtualban
    For that size I clicked the article in hopes that maybe it was some 8K monitor. Stopped reading after 1080p
    6
  • icemunk
    A wee bit pricey. I'll stick to my six 40" monitors
    0
  • baddad
    I've had a Mits 82" DLP since 2011 I paid $1900.00, that is the heart of my media center, so $9400 for just a monitor is a bit much.
    1
  • baddad
    I've had a Mits 82" DLP since 2011 I paid $1900.00, that is the heart of my media center, so $9400 for just a monitor is a bit much.
    -2
  • siliconvideo
    Be careful with current 4k screens, all of them for 2 reasons.

    1) There is no 4K content available from anywhere. The movie studios are pushing to requiring HDCP 2.2 compliant 4k screens before they will release content and all current 4k are not HDCP 2.2 compliant, only HDCP 1.4.

    2) Current HDMI specifications only allow for 4k@30 transport which is sufficient for movies, however the native glass in these devices generally do 4k@60 which means the screens are doing some format conversion. True 4k@60 requires HDMI 2.0 which has only just been released and no chips support yet. So these screens are generally not good for video games either
    9
  • siliconvideo
    Be careful with current 4k screens, all of them for 2 reasons.

    1) There is no 4K content available from anywhere. The movie studios are pushing to requiring HDCP 2.2 compliant 4k screens before they will release content and all current 4k are not HDCP 2.2 compliant, only HDCP 1.4.

    2) Current HDMI specifications only allow for 4k@30 transport which is sufficient for movies, however the native glass in these devices generally do 4k@60 which means the screens are doing some format conversion. True 4k@60 requires HDMI 2.0 which has only just been released and no chips support yet. So these screens are generally not good for video games either
    -3
  • chumly
    Show me the idiot that spends $10k on a 1080p 80" panel. I bet you can see every single pixel with your naked eye from 6 feet.. What a stupid stupid stupid idea.
    4
  • photonboy
    LG has a 4K HDTV for $7000 that is 65". Not quite as big but a much better choice. You can also move CLOSER anyway. Of course content is still an issue.
    3
  • bystander
    I'm not sure any of you read the first paragraph:
    Quote:
    This 80-inch LED/LCD screen is a commercial-grade model that can be used for just about anything requiring a large display. You would most likely see the V801 in an airport, for example, functioning as a dynamic message board or showing news feeds, for example. Obviously nobody's going to set this beast up on their desktop.


    This is obviously not meant for personal use. This is not meant to be viewed from up close.
    3
  • tential
    I love everyone commenting on "You can see EVERY pixel OMG OMG OMG!" yet you've never owned a large display probably.
    I've seen 80 inch TVs in person and these fears are just pathetically sad. I own a 70 inch HDTV as my primary "monitor" and I never go "I NEED 4k!!!!!!"
    Why would I even NEED 4K at the moment? HDMI doesn't support it yet, and there is ZERO 4K content. If for gaming, the gaming rig necessary to power such a thing is WAY too expensive, and new cards will scale better with resolution than past cards.

    People need to stop commenting (mainly people like chumly), when you've never used such a product before.

    My biggest knock is price. If I can get an HDTV for 1/10 the price on some of these black friday/christmas sales, it really makes no sense to get this. I can get that 70-80 inch HDTV for 700-1000 dollars, then pocket the 6k-7k extra and wait for the 4K versions to come out later. Maybe they'll even have OLED 4K by then.
    But that being said, this monitor did compete and beat MOST displays in MANY specs. It's a GREAT monitor. But I just think that if I'm going to invest 8k into a tech, it shouldn't be at the end of its lifestyle. I hope they put this type of effort/quality where it competes/beats many HDTVs out on the market onto their 4K model when it is ready.

    A monitor this big needs to be reviewed also as an "HDTV" where Movies/TV is watched on it and since that was omitted, I think this is pretty much not too useful to most people who would want a display this big.

    I feel like a lot of people commenting didn't read though, and simply posted.
    1
  • patrick47018
    1323272 said:
    I love everyone commenting on "You can see EVERY pixel OMG OMG OMG!" yet you've never owned a large display probably. I've seen 80 inch TVs in person and these fears are just pathetically sad. I own a 70 inch HDTV as my primary "monitor" and I never go "I NEED 4k!!!!!!" Why would I even NEED 4K at the moment? HDMI doesn't support it yet, and there is ZERO 4K content. If for gaming, the gaming rig necessary to power such a thing is WAY too expensive, and new cards will scale better with resolution than past cards. People need to stop commenting (mainly people like chumly), when you've never used such a product before. My biggest knock is price. If I can get an HDTV for 1/10 the price on some of these black friday/christmas sales, it really makes no sense to get this. I can get that 70-80 inch HDTV for 700-1000 dollars, then pocket the 6k-7k extra and wait for the 4K versions to come out later. Maybe they'll even have OLED 4K by then. But that being said, this monitor did compete and beat MOST displays in MANY specs. It's a GREAT monitor. But I just think that if I'm going to invest 8k into a tech, it shouldn't be at the end of its lifestyle. I hope they put this type of effort/quality where it competes/beats many HDTVs out on the market onto their 4K model when it is ready. A monitor this big needs to be reviewed also as an "HDTV" where Movies/TV is watched on it and since that was omitted, I think this is pretty much not too useful to most people who would want a display this big. I feel like a lot of people commenting didn't read though, and simply posted.


    We haven't owned 1080P TV's that large for the negative reasons we are talking about, my grandpa owns a 65" and it looks fine if you sit way back but anywhere near it very blurred and distorted due to lack of pixel density
    1
  • vmem
    "You would most likely see the V801 in an airport, for example, functioning as a dynamic message board or showing news feeds"

    if my airport is buying $10,000 monitors to show me which gate to go to... I'd rather have a discount on my air fare pls...

    if someone thinks they need a $10,000 monitor to show TEXT on a black background... well, I odn't know what to say
    3
  • vmem
    1323272 said:
    I love everyone commenting on "You can see EVERY pixel OMG OMG OMG!" yet you've never owned a large display probably. I've seen 80 inch TVs in person and these fears are just pathetically sad. I own a 70 inch HDTV as my primary "monitor" and I never go "I NEED 4k!!!!!!" Why would I even NEED 4K at the moment? HDMI doesn't support it yet, and there is ZERO 4K content. If for gaming, the gaming rig necessary to power such a thing is WAY too expensive, and new cards will scale better with resolution than past cards. People need to stop commenting (mainly people like chumly), when you've never used such a product before. My biggest knock is price. If I can get an HDTV for 1/10 the price on some of these black friday/christmas sales, it really makes no sense to get this. I can get that 70-80 inch HDTV for 700-1000 dollars, then pocket the 6k-7k extra and wait for the 4K versions to come out later. Maybe they'll even have OLED 4K by then. But that being said, this monitor did compete and beat MOST displays in MANY specs. It's a GREAT monitor. But I just think that if I'm going to invest 8k into a tech, it shouldn't be at the end of its lifestyle. I hope they put this type of effort/quality where it competes/beats many HDTVs out on the market onto their 4K model when it is ready. A monitor this big needs to be reviewed also as an "HDTV" where Movies/TV is watched on it and since that was omitted, I think this is pretty much not too useful to most people who would want a display this big. I feel like a lot of people commenting didn't read though, and simply posted.


    I love how you go into the cost benefit analysis of the whole 4K vs 1080p and the practicality of it... while ignoring the fact that this thing costs $9,400... that's nearly 10 friggin grand. it's sturdy and built to last... now I'd expect there to be 4K content 5 years down the road from now...
    0