Review Contents
Specs and Features
Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Sanyo PLV-Z3 Projector Sanyo PLV-Z3
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2000:1 Contrast Ratio
800 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$2,495 MSRP

Sanyo PLV-Z3 Home Theater Projector

Evan Powell, October 15, 2004

Without question the most popular resolution format for home theater projectors on the market today is 1280x720. Almost all of the higher end DLP projectors use this format, and the LCD makers have made aggressive moves in the lower end market with 1280x720 resolution machines as well. Sanyo has been one of the leading competitors in low cost, high resolution home theater, first with the release of the PLV-Z1, then with last year's improved PLV-Z2. Now Sanyo has just released the PLV-Z3, which carries on the tradition of delivering continued improvements built around the 1280x720 engine. The Z3 incorporates a number of refinements over the Z2, including better contrast, deeper black levels, lower fan noise, a wider array of inputs, and a unique feature than enables users to clear dust particles from the LCD panels.

Product Specifications

Native Resolution: 1280x720
Display technology: 3 0.7" LCD panels
Brightness: 800 ANSI lumens
Contrast: 2000:1
Lens: Manual zoom/focus, with 1.3x zoom range
Connection ports: One HDMI, one PC (VGA) port, two 3-RCA component inputs, one S-video, one composite, one RS-232c control port.
Lamp life: unspecified
Weight: 9.0 lbs

Product Features

Brightness. There are a variety of precalibrated video settings as well as four user programmable settings. Depending upon how it is calibrated the Z3 will output anywhere from 260 to 640 ANSI lumens. For optimum video quality, brightness will typically measure no more than about 300 to 400 lumens. As with all projectors rated at 1000 ANSI lumens or less, it is intended to be used in a dark viewing space for best results.

Manual zoom and focus. Like the Z2, the Z3 offers a manual zoom and focus lens with a 1.3x zoom range. A 100" diagonal 16:9 image is attained from a throw distance between 10 to 13 feet.

Horizontal and vertical lens shift. The Z3 offers horizontal and vertical lens shift for ease of installation. The lens shift range is extensive. At its neutral position the centerline of the lens strikes the center of the projected image. From that position the image can be raised or lowered a full 100% of the picture height. In practical terms, this means if you ceiling mount the projector such that the centerline of the lens is parallel with the floor (avoiding a tilt), you can position the image on the wall such that the top edge of the image is a full 50% of the picture height below where the centerline of the lens intersects the wall.

Similarly, the horizontal lens shift lets you move the image from side to side to a maximum of 50% of the picture width. That lets you position the entire projected image either to the right or to the left of the centerline of the lens.

Two notes are warranted. First, you cannot achieve both extremes of horizontal and vertical shift simultaneously. As you move the lens toward the ends of the vertical shift range your ability to move sideways is increasingly restricted. Second, you should avoid the extreme ends of the lens shift range whenever possible since the lens is not as optically efficient in those positions.

Review Contents: Specs and Features Features Continued Performance Performance Continued