Nexus NX4202 Highlights:
Seeing as how the booming and ever-increasing home theater TV market has been covered ad nauseam in numerous publications and media outlets, I’ll spare you that little tiring tidbit and move right along to the topic at hand: the Nexus NX4202 LCD television. Like many (most) LCD manufacturers, Nexus sources a good deal of their components from third-party vendors. Thankfully, they make sure that only the best of the best find their way into these televisions. And with the NX4202 HD LCD TV – boasting full 1080P HD power (1920 x 1080 resolution) – this upstart American brand of fine consumer electronics had made a serious splash into the (insert new word-age for booming and ever-increasing) home theater market.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Nexus HD LCD TV
Style & Appearance
The NX4202 LCD TV shares the exact same styling and color scheme as the NX3202, just boasting an additional ten inches in diagonal viewing size. It comes in a matte black finish with silver accents across the bottom portion of the TV. The whole glossy versus matte finish debate is, of course, a very subjective one, but I’ve done a complete 180 on the matter, now preferring the matte look. As I’ve mentioned in prior reviews, to me, the matte finishes just seem to disappear into the room’s surroundings better, thereby creating a more suitable ambiance when it comes to home theatre entertainment.
Weighing in at 65 pounds (29.5 kgs.), make sure you have some able hands helping you unpack and get this television up on a stand. Width-wise, from front to back, this HD LCD TV measures in at five inches, which is relatively slim by most standards, and the frame bezels around the TV are two inches. This is a nice number that doesn’t detract or overpower the actual viewing screen like you’ll see on some competing models. And just like the NX3202, the top right section of this LCD TV plays host to some of the TV control options featured on the actual remote control: Power, Input, and the Channel and Volume control. This particular set up: out of view – yet easily accessible – allows for the front of the TV to avoid having any unnecessary clutter, while still maintaining its signature style and design.
The NX4202 also features a removable TV stand that swivels left and right, but unlike its smaller sibling, the NX3202, it doesn’t offer the up and down tilt feature. Quite honestly though, when you’re in the 40-plus inch, home theatre range, such a feature really serves no practical purpose or benefit – other than to tell family and friends that your TV tilts up and down. The left/right swivel is more than enough, as it can allow for those subtle little shifts to improve the general viewing angle for everyone, without having to physically reposition the actual television.
While the NX3202 featured all of its connection inputs on the right-hand side of the unit, with the NX4202, the inputs have been moved back to the more familiar rear position of the screen with one notable difference: as opposed to being positioned head-on, they reside under the paneling of the TV, divided into two separate sections. While I’m beginning to prefer having the inputs on the side of the unit, this particular layout seems to strike a nice balance by (a) keeping the cables out of view, and (b) avoiding the cable bulge that you inevitably get when your cables are inputted straight in.
As I mentioned just above, this HD LCD TV features two separate sections worth of inputs. When facing the NX4202 from the back, the left-hand side has all of the HDMI (two) and Component connections (two). You might want to call this the HD input side of things. It also features a VGA input. On the right-hand side, you’ll find the remainder of inputs you’re familiar with such as S-Video (one) and RCA (two), as well as an optical audio input, which is always a nice touch.
PERFORMANCE - Nexus HD LCD TV
So you’ve taken your NX4202 HD LCD TV out of the box and placed it accordingly. The next thing you should consider is the placement of the television in relation to where you’ll be sitting. While you may think that this is strictly an arbitrary and personal decision (and in some ways it is), there is a research-based formula to aid you in making a more informed and effective choice.
Known as the “2 to 5” principle, this will assist you in deciding where to place your LCD home theater TV in order to maximize your viewing experience. The very first number, “2”, indicates that you should place the TV no closer than two times (actually 1.54) the screen width. The number “5” indicates that the TV should be placed no further than five times the screen width away. With respect to the NX4202 HD LCD TV, the closest it should be placed is 57 inches (4.8 feet), and the furthest is 185 inches (15.4 feet)
When you have the TV placed in the desired viewing position, the next order of business would be to familiarize yourself with the various menus that allow you to adjust different settings that pertain to picture, audio, image size, and the like. As pictured right above (Picture, Audio, and Adjust menus), these menus use a very direct and streamlined approach that eliminate user frustration, allowing you to navigate freely throughout and be able to easily make any adjustments that you deem necessary.
The NX4202 was first tested by using all the out-of-box, factory default settings. Our test subject was the vaunted favorite, Planet Earth, care of BBC. We were connected with both HDMI and Component, using 1080i and 1080p output with a PS3 for Blu-ray playback. Between both HDMI and Component, there were no differences at all in terms of picture quality. Out-of-box image performance with this NX4202 LCD TV was quite good: it displayed an impressive range of color gamut, with whites in particular being rendered in rich and vibrant detail. Black levels were also quite good, and the contrast in bright and dark scenes had the required range to pull off a finely detailed image. While there was some slight banding in a couple of sequences involving an extreme lens flare, it was nothing particularly egregious that would take you out of the viewing experience. Moreover, this is something I’ve seen with many other TV models and projectors during this particular sequence.
Now it was time to make some image adjustments by eye, which I did, using the following settings below:
As I re-watched some of the exact same scenes from Planet Earth, color rendering came off richer and more realistic, blacks were blacker, contrast detail in various lighting scenarios showed marked improvement as well, and the whites only continued to astound.
Something worth noting about the various Picture Mode options that are available with the NX4202, you’re given four different ones: Bright, Soft, Nature, and User. Depending on which you choose, you’ll notice the effect they have on settings such as Brightness, Contrast, and Color. Soft is marked by the most subtle of images, toning down all of the picture settings, while Bright is the loudest, so to speak, amping up everything. Nature is perhaps the happy medium, although depending on what you’re watching, that analogy is open to interpretation. With the User setting, image quality is dependant on what personal settings you choose, and when doing something like an adjustment by eye or a professional calibration, you’ll more than likely be using this particular Picture Mode.
The calibration process on the NX4202 proved to be somewhat of a challenge, but luckily for it, I was feeling quite limber and up to this challenge.
I initially adjusted for brightness, color, tint, and sharpness – all with relative ease. The contrast, on the other hand, proved to be a bit more elusive as the grayscale pattern generated by my digital input device was a little less than adequate. Digging deeper into my proverbial bag of tricks (and the Nexus service menu), I was able to access the required image controls that would afford me just what I needed to proceed further along. With my grayscale and contrast now in check, I proceeded to adjust the white balance for the 70 and beyond IRE range by bumping up my red and blue gain. This allowed me to cruise into a very healthy color temperature of 6588K. On the lower IRE range of 20 and under, red and blue offset were virtually spot on, and I was able to easily set the white balance, while registering an almost perfect color temperature of 6526K.
When I retreated back to testing the NX4202 HD TV with BBC’s Planet Earth, the picture quality was really good. So good, in fact, that it quite literally made me forget that whole grayscale “situation.” Color detail and image richness made the picture really jump out at you, and the range of contrast under a variety of challenging lighting schemes from Planet Earth were handled well.
While not as straightforward as some other HD LCD TVs are during calibration, there are a few rewards in terms of image quality that could make it a worthwhile process to those who insist on having their television professionally calibrated. If you’re an armchair calibrator though, I’d advise leaving it as is. It’s not as streamlined as it could be, and will more than likely require someone with advanced calibrating experience. For everyone else, I’d just as soon recommend performing a few of the basic tweaks within the Picture menu and leaving it at that. With the NX4202, you’re afforded out of the box functionality and performance that’s much better than most in its class, so you’re not really losing out on anything picture-wise if you decide to just stand pat.
While it won’t be mistaken for a high-end audio receiver, the audio system on the NX4202 is a very functional one, featuring a speaker setup which runs across the bottom portion of the television. The Audio menus allows for adjusting all the usual items like bass, treble, and balance, as well as the headphone volume, should you choose to connect with them during those after hour’s movies or gaming sessions when you don’t want to disturb anyone. This LCD TV was able to handle higher volumes quite well, and didn’t exhibit any noticeable static or distortion issues.
FINAL THOUGHTS - Nexus HD LCD TV
With attractive price-points that are only superseded by exceptional quality and performance, Nexus is onto a really good thing here, and the Nexus NX4202 HD LCD TV continues to carry on in this fine tradition. Boasting full HD power (1920 x 1080 resolution), superb out-of-box functionality, great pictures and sound, and an unbeatable two-year, in-home warranty, there's no way you can go wrong by making the NX4202 the engine that fuels your home theater experience.
DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS - Nexus NX4202 HD LCD TV
Manufacturer Homepage: www.nexuselectronics.com
Ridley Acoustics EVIO852B
Sinclair Cube System
RF Link AVS-5811