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Best Home Theater Projectors
Ease of Use
Sanyo PLV-Z2000 Projector Sanyo PLV-Z2000
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15000:1 Contrast Ratio
1200 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$2,495 MSRP

Sanyo PLV-Z2000
1080p Home Theater Projector

Evan Powell, October 29, 2007


Sanyo Z2000 vs. Panasonic AE2000

This is an intensely competitive shootout as both models are formidable projectors. Price will be a big factor for many buyers. Projector prices are highly volatile and can change without notice. But as of this writing, the Z2000 is selling at a price of $2,195 after rebate, including a three-year warranty, whereas the AE2000U is selling for $2,699 with just a one-year warranty. Extended warranties on the AE2000U are available at extra cost.

What do you get for the extra money spent on the AE2000U? Well, for one it has better contrast and black levels than does the Z2000. On the spec sheets, the AE2000 is rated at 16,000:1, whereas the Z2000 is 15,000:1. The difference in contrast is quite noticeable when images are shrunk down to about 60" diagonal and viewed side by side. When compared at this image size the AE2000 has a definite advantage that looks like much more than the difference you'd expect from the almost identical specs. However, once the pictures are blown up to 120" diagonal in a room with low ambient light, the difference in contrast becomes less apparent to the eye. Though the AE2000 has an advantage in contrast, the practical difference will be negligible in many home theater set-ups.

In terms of image sharpness and clarity with high definition sources, the Z2000 and AE2000 are virtually identical, which is to say they are both outstanding. Both of them exceed the clarity of images we get from any other 1080p models we have been reviewing, including the JVC RS1.

Perhaps the most surprising discovery in this side by side comparison was that the Z2000 actually trumps the AE2000 in its ability to deliver a smooth, filmlike image from standard definition DVD that was upscaled from Blu-ray and HD DVD players. The Z2000 showed less noise in SD source material. And while there was relatively little ghosting on the AE2000, there was none at all on the Z2000. These factors result in a remarkably smooth, clean picture on the Z2000 that was quite impressive.

The AE2000 has zero pixel structure due to the SmoothScreen filter. Meanwhile, there is a subtle pixel structure visible on the Z2000 when viewed up close. However, as noted previously, it becomes invisible when viewed from the distance of one screen width. In practical terms, both images are free of pixel structure and screendoor effects from any normal viewing distance.

The AE2000 has a vertical stretch mode to support the use of an anamorphic lens with high definition signals, whereas on the Z2000 this function only works with 480i and 480p inputs.

The AE2000 has three HDMI ports, and the Z2000 has two. Both models are HDMI 1.3. Both have two component video ports, a VGA port, one S-video, and one composite. Neither model has a 12 volt trigger.

The AE2000 has a unique split-screen calibration feature that holds half of the original image on one side of the screen, and lets you see the effects of calibration changes on the other half. This is the first home theater projector to include this particular feature.

The AE2000 has 16 user programmable pre-sets, while the Z2000 has seven. Both projectors allow you to rename each of your calibrations for easy identification, rather than having to remember them by number. However, in addition, the Sanyo Z2000 also lets you rename your inputs, so instead of seeing "HDMI 1, HDMI 2, Component Video" in the menu, you can rename them to appear as, say, "HD DVD, Playstation 3, DirecTV" or whatever sources you might have hooked to those inputs. The AE2000 does not provide the ability to rename source inputs.

The Sanyo Z2000 and the Panasonic AE2000U are each impressive 1080p projectors that have advantages over the other. If you are attempting to choose between them, look over the features each has to offer and select the one that best meets your needs. No matter which you choose, you will end up with a projector that you'll be extremely satisfied with.

Review Contents: Specifications Advantages Disadvantages Shootout vs Panasonic
  Shootout vs Optoma

Reader Comments(11 comments)

Posted Apr 17, 2016 12:08 PM

By Heikki Niemelä

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I have had good times with this. Be sure to get original lamps, as I tried 2 non originals that were crap. Now almost 8 years with this and 2 lamps done, getting definitely the 3rd lamp, and making sure it is original by asking the dealer.

Posted Jul 7, 2014 7:53 AM

By Miika Valkonen

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I bought this projector in 2007 when it first came out. I have had absolutely zero problems with it whatsoever. Even still have the original bulp in it with 4000+ hours!

Posted Jan 12, 2013 7:14 PM

By Dave

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I have a faint yellow spot on my screen about a 2ft. round or somewhat oval, screen size projection is about 120 inch's, can someone plz tell me if thats a burn spot on the bulb or lens or what it can be and what I can do to correct this. the projector I have is a sanyo plvz 5 and is on it's second bulb and has plenty of hours left.

Thanks Dave Z

Posted Feb 16, 2012 10:13 PM

By BrettJ

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I have had the Z2000 for 3-4 years now, the lamp needed replacing I sent the machine back and it was a faulty bulb and replaced under warranty. The lamp has gone again only 12-15 month after being replaced. I was told when the first lamp went that the warranty which was from 3 years would cover this lamp for 3 years from the date it was replaced, as this was the promotion when I originally bought the machine, however, I am now being told 3 month or 1000 hours. Can someone help me. The other thing they are throwing at me is that Sanyo have been bought out by Panasonic and Panasonic wont cover the 3 year deal.

Posted Dec 24, 2011 11:07 AM

By Jeff

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I have had this projector for about 4 years (1500 hours) and its still going strong. I would like a higher lumen projector though

Posted Jun 24, 2011 8:42 AM

By Cole Fullon

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My blue polarizer also burned out after a year and a half. When I sent it in for warranty though, they refused to fix it and sent it back. A printed sheet that accompanied said it was "not economical to repair". I've bought an Epson, and it is a real improvement in quality, brightness and contrast.

Posted Apr 7, 2010 9:11 AM

By Slim

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Like my last two Sanyos (Z2 and Z3), the blue polarizer is dying around 5,500 hours, despite the fact that the filters are cleaned like clockwork. Fortunately, it's still under warranty for the next 3 months, but it's disconcerting that this is my third Sanyo to have this issue. I'm sure they'll fix it under warranty, but I think my next projector will be an Epson instead.

Posted Feb 19, 2010 9:57 AM

By Matt

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Got this projector the day it came out. 5000 hours and counting, still works flawlessly.

Posted May 6, 2009 1:52 AM

By Chris

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Been enjoying this pj for almost a year and the other day it fro-zed up on me and from 4-29-09 to 5-1-09 Sanyo repaired it by upgrading software to the latest version of V102! All shipping and repairs covered under warr. Not bad for a 3 day turn around just in time for the weekend.... Great pj...Great Service... Everything working like the day I bought it!

Posted Dec 29, 2007 10:10 PM

By blackbusiness

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I just bought a z2000 and it stopped working on the third day. Looks like several folks on the AVS forum have had the same exact problem. Basically, the unit powers off, the door shuts 90% of the way, and the warning light of death comes on. I have plugged out the unit to no avail and I will have to deal with Sanyo support on Monday. I JUST got this thing. Not good.

Posted Nov 13, 2007 4:19 PM

By alkemac

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Dear Sir: A great review of the Sanyo PLV-2000 and its comparison with the Panny pt-ae2000. In your review you state, "The Z trumps the AE in SD that was upscaled from Blu-ray & HD DVD players." Does this statement imply that the DVD players were performing the upscaling, or were the projectors doing the processing? If a DVD player, having great upscaling qualities, were performing the processing, would this bring the AE2000 up to speed? Would the Panny SD picture be as clear as that of the SanyoZ? I enjoy film noir and other genres from the 30s, 40s and 50s and wish to view these film at their best, minimum grain without softening the picture.

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