So I thought I would share some more observations since I got some seat time with the projector and we watched some movies on it.
I'll touch on the DI since it seems to be the current focus, I'm currently still using Auto-1. I think I may have seen hints of the yellowing phenomenon in Blade Runner 4K during the opening sequence. For me at least it isn't something I'm seeing that needs to be disabled or is somehow killing the viewing experience. It may be that my preference of slightly closing the iris for 4K to allow me to open it as the bulb ages is helping or my unit just isn't as hampered by it. I do find the DI on the NX7 to be less intrusive than RS520.
Bright corners continue to fade. I could easily see upper left and upper right in blank screens (lower corners a bit too) right out of the box and they were just noticeable on credits. The only one still really visible is the upper right at this point and then only on a totally black field. Hopefully as things continue to settle this will continue to fade.
The combination of the JVC with HDRPQ - auto tonemapping on - mapping level at 2 coupled with the UB820 Optimizer on and settings zero'd out is still a winner for me. The titles I played with metadata didn't seem to need any adjustment. The one Disney title I sampled, Avengers - Infinity War, needed tweaking (as expected). But I was able to use just the Panasonic controls to bring it in line with what I wanted. I ended up with +2 on the optimizer and -5 on the brightness for this particular title. So overall I'm very happy with this setup. I just go to one place to adjust titles that need it.
Titles watched: Blade Runner 4K UHD, The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey SD, Ready Player One 4K UHD, and clips from The Greatest Showman 4K UHD. I'll start out with The Hobbit Blu Ray. Although this is a 2K disc, it really looks like the upscaling in the Panasonic coupled with NX7 is somehow increasing details slightly. I'd never noticed the threadbare patches in Bilbo's jacket or the tear that runs down Gollum's cheek when Bilbo is deliberating killing him. There's an almost 3D depth to the image that we both commented on. I can't say whether this is due to the panel or the increased resolution, but it's definitely there. Blade Runner looked wonderful overall. The added detail was certainly apparent in the model/effects shots. The NX7 handles the film grain in the non-effects shots more naturally than the e-shift unit, making it less obtrusive. Ready Player One has the real world shots purposefully shot to look drab, but the sequences in The Oasis were breathtaking. Some of the details really popped compared to previous viewings. The last disc we popped in was The Greatest Showman. It was a beautiful title on the RS520 and I wasn't expecting it to wow us, but it did. The scene with the Queen where Barnum meets Jenny Lind had amazing color and detail. Just so natural and simply stunning. The scene where Lind sings for the audience was fantastic. The smallest jewels in her dress sparkled. The spotlight with its haloing was an amazing use of HDR. Even the dress on the Zendaya character in the audience showed detail and color we didn't have before. Again, this disc looked great on the RS520, but the NX7 took it to another level. One other thing the NX7 does better than any other projector I've seen that popped up in multiple discs is smoke/haze/mist. There's just a very natural way that this projector handles it. Very hard to explain, but easily seen.
So the million dollar question for e-shift owners is contrast. If you'd asked me this on day one with a 4 bright corners and little seat time with the unit I would've said that the RS520 was noticeably better. As I've dialed in the iris settings and the bulb has calmed a lot I would say that it's more of a wash at this point. I really feel that most owners of an e-shift unit won't find these lacking in comparison.
The NX7 is the 5th projector I've owned. I've had an Infocus IN76, Infocus X10, JVC RS46 and JVC RS520 prior to it. With the move to the RS46 I've always made it a point to evaluate in person the competition in the price bracket I was looking at in addition to reading professional reviews. I saw several examples of the Sonys 50/55ES, an Epson (1080UB I think) and an RS45 before jumping into an RS46. I went on a theater crawl and visited shops before settling on the RS520. So it was a bit nerve wracking to take the step to the NX7 sight unseen. There's certainly a tendency for people to want to reinforce their decisions and personal choices and I'm sure at some level I'm guilty of this. So I urge anyone on the fence to try to see one of these units for themselves. Nothing is perfect, but the overall image these units are capable of could be the best I've seen and certainly the best I've had in my home.