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NEC V801 Review: Benchmarking A Massive 80-Inch Monitor

NEC V801 Review: Benchmarking A Massive 80-Inch Monitor
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In a rather large departure from our typical PC display reviews, Tom's Hardware got its hands on NEC's V801 presentation monitor. 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.

Since our lab is more intimate than the average mall food court, we’d rather see how it works as an HDTV. Our monitor benchmark suite is still very much relevant in this review, but we'd be remiss if we didn't spend some quality time watching content like movies and TV shows.

A few short years ago, the only way to experience an image much larger than 50 inches diagonally was to use a front projection system, and that remains the best way to enjoy screen sizes in excess of 80 inches. There’s nothing like the immersion of an image that fills your peripheral vision.

However, projectors have inherent limitations and installation challenges. For example, you need a dedicated room with full light control to extract maximum performance from a projector. Our reference room at Tom’s Hardware is painted flat black, walls and ceiling, and completely light-tight. If we still used film cameras, it would double as a dark room.

Our screen is 92 inches diagonal, is lit by an Anthem LTX500 LCoS projector, and the setup cost about $10,000 in 2009. Even with all of the light controlled, the brightest image we can display is around 54 cd/m2. And that has become our reference minimum output standard.

Back when we built the system, our ultimate big-screen fantasy was Panasonic’s 100-inch plasma display. With an output of around 137 cd/m2, it would have been an amazing experience. Unfortunately, it also sold for $80,000! A screen like NEC's V801 makes an excellent home theater display. Price-wise, it competes with mid-priced projectors like JVC’s LCoS line. And at less than $10,000 on the street, it costs quite a bit less than a Runco or Sim2 DLP model.

Brand
NEC
Model
V801
MSRP
$9,400
Panel Type
UV2A
Backlight
W-LED, edge array
Screen Size
80 in
Max Resolution
1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Response Time (GTG)
6.5 ms
Brightness
460 cd/m2
Speakers
2 x 10 W
Analog RGBHV
1
Composite Video
1
VGA
1
DVI
1 in, 1 out
DisplayPort
1
HDMI
1
Control
Ethernet, RS-232
Panel Dimensions
W x H x D
72.3 x 41.8 x 3.4 in
1836 x 1061 x 87 mm
Weight
132.3 lbs
Warranty
Three years

You can see from the specs that the V801 is one immense monitor. It arrived via freight on a pallet and had to be moved with a dolly just to get it in the door. Where a desktop monitor’s screen area is measured in square inches (311.13 for a 27”), the V801’s size is better expressed in feet: roughly 19. While the max resolution (1920x1080) may seem underwhelming in this age of QHD and UHD, you won’t be able to see individual pixels at a distance of seven feet or more. And since consumer video content is still at 1920x1080, the benefits of a higher pixel-count display are minimal at best.

The V801’s panel technology is not something we’ve covered at Tom’s before. UV2A is a manufacturing technique that Sharp pioneered, and is basically a more precise way to control the angle of the liquid crystal molecules in each sub-pixel. The main advantages include greater contrast and higher power efficiency. The additional control precision is also a precursor for future 4K resolution panels, which will require much smaller pixels for a given screen size.

Display 33 Comments.
Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , December 9, 2013 9:52 PM
    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.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    patrick47018 , December 9, 2013 9:49 PM
    Why would you want an 80" monitor that is only 1080P?
  • 14 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , December 9, 2013 9:52 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    patrick47018 , December 9, 2013 9:56 PM
    On the other had I wouldn't mind having that Pioneer "God" TV
  • -1 Hide
    huilun02 , December 9, 2013 9:57 PM
    Way to make a home cinema system with an average computer.
  • 6 Hide
    16bit , December 9, 2013 10:09 PM
    I wouldn't get such a big monitor/hdtv unless it has a higher than 1080p resolution.
  • -7 Hide
    tanjo , December 9, 2013 10:33 PM
    Thank you for buying this excessively massive monitor to save the environment.
  • 2 Hide
    cangelini , December 9, 2013 10:50 PM
    @Someone: Thanks--missed the calculation error during my edit. Should be fixed now.
  • 6 Hide
    virtualban , December 10, 2013 2:32 AM
    For that size I clicked the article in hopes that maybe it was some 8K monitor. Stopped reading after 1080p
  • 0 Hide
    icemunk , December 10, 2013 5:14 AM
    A wee bit pricey. I'll stick to my six 40" monitors
  • 1 Hide
    baddad , December 10, 2013 6:35 AM
    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 Hide
    baddad , December 10, 2013 6:36 AM
    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.
  • 9 Hide
    siliconvideo , December 10, 2013 6:57 AM
    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 Hide
    siliconvideo , December 10, 2013 7:01 AM
    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
  • 4 Hide
    chumly , December 10, 2013 7:32 AM
    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.
  • 3 Hide
    photonboy , December 10, 2013 7:40 AM
    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 Hide
    bystander , December 10, 2013 9:23 AM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    tential , December 10, 2013 10:53 AM
    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 Hide
    patrick47018 , December 10, 2013 10:55 AM
    Quote:
    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
  • 3 Hide
    vmem , December 10, 2013 11:54 AM
    "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
  • 0 Hide
    vmem , December 10, 2013 11:57 AM
    Quote:
    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...
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