Review Contents
Advantages
Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Sanyo PLV-Z700 Projector Sanyo PLV-Z700
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10000:1 Contrast Ratio
1200 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$1,995 MSRP

Sanyo PLV-Z700
1080p Home Theater
Projector Review

Evan Powell, September 30, 2008

Advantages

Consumer-friendly package. The Z700 offers a smooth filmlike picture, very quiet fan noise, and no pixelation or screendoor effects from a normal viewing distance. It is about as easy to install as it gets. Sporting a long 2.0x zoom lens, three full picture heights of vertical lens shift, and two full picture widths of horizontal shift, you can install it just about anywhere you want. And the Z700's low price includes a three year warranty. Overall, the Z700 represents an excellent value in 1080p projection. It lets consumers on a budget step up to this ideal resolution format without breaking the bank.

The clean casework has an understated elegance that will make it a welcome addition to any living room or multipurpose family room. It is relatively small compared to many 1080p home theater models, so it can be installed unobtrusively. Its white coloring makes it virtually disappear against a white ceiling, so it can be installed in a typical living room without calling attention to itself. When not in use, there is a shutter that automatically closes over the lens to protect it from dust accumulation. This door also hides the lens and makes the unit less obvious as a projector. If it is combined with a motorized retractable screen, the entire video system can be made to pretty much disappear when not in use. This is a huge plus for those who don't want their living room to be permanently dominated by a video system.

ANSI Contrast. On our test unit, ANSI contrast measured 277:1, which is in the typical range for a number of LCD-based home theater projectors we've tested in the last year. By comparison, the Mitsubishi HC5500 measured 260:1, and the Panasonic AE2000 delivered 305:1. So the Z700 is competitive with some popular models where ANSI contrast is concerned.

Nevertheless, the Z700 is a step down in contrast from the Sanyo Z2000, which we measured at 350:1. The Z2000 in fact produced the highest ANSI contrast reading of any LCD home theater projector from last year. This fall it's a different story of course. The new high contrast LCD projectors like the Panasonic AE3000 and Mitsubishi HC7000 are producing readings in excess of 400:1. Their superiority in contrast is obvious in side by side viewing with the Z700. They are much more expensive than the Z700, but you can see what you get for the additional money.

However, until you set a higher contrast side by side with the Z700, you don't really know what you are missing. Standing alone, when the Z700 is used in a dark room, there is nothing muddy or flat about its picture as long as you don't go too big with the screen size. For optimum contrast and color saturation, we'd suggest keeping screen size to about 100". You can certain go larger if you want, but you begin to sacrifice too much contrast for our taste as you push to image sizes larger than about 110" diagonal.

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Reader Comments(22 comments)

Posted Nov 22, 2014 1:12:25 AM

By dj bounce

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does anyone no how to get my sanyo plv-2000,to give perfect white images on 1080i instead of yellow,thanks,dj

Posted Dec 13, 2011 1:50:01 PM

By Dave W

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Hey there! When I first got this projector it would toggle between 1080i and 1080p when needed. Now it is stuck on 1080i and I can't get it to play Blu-ray etc. How do I fix this? Please help! I couldn't find a way to manually switch this in the settings!

Posted May 13, 2011 12:42:19 AM

By Colby

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This was a good projector until a polarizer filter burnt out and prevented the blue color from coming through correctly. The entire screen is tinted yellow/greenish where it should be white. I sent it back on warranty and they refused to repair it, saying only it was not economical to repair. That's not really the point, is it? If you make a defective product, you have to stand behind it. If you don't, then no-one should buy your products... Which brings me to my summary. Don't buy Sanyo projectors.

Posted Sep 2, 2010 1:04:56 PM

By Chris

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It's probably overheating, make sure there is good ventilation around the projector.

Posted Jun 22, 2010 4:50:24 PM

By Lani Marie

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I am having the same problem with my projector - model #PLV-Z700. Did you get any feed back about the projector just turning off?

Thanks for your time. Lani Marie

Posted Apr 3, 2010 3:27:14 AM

By ashraf

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keystone how to arange what are alternate

Posted Feb 5, 2010 9:53:51 AM

By Roy

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Does anyone have a problem with the keystone effect on a ceiling mount? Does the Len Shifting accomodate for keystoning and does it distort? Any replies would be graciously received.

Posted Jan 5, 2010 10:58:03 AM

By Nik

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Got this on Dec 2009 from bestbuy clearance for under $800. So far its been the best projector, runs silently! no fan noise! Bluray/BD video quality is much better then my old 720p dlp projector. DVD/internet video are almost same result. 2x zoom and lens shift are handy. Can't beat the price for 3lcd 1080p...right??

Posted Nov 23, 2009 8:00:35 AM

By LeoVix

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No 12v screen trigger. Very disappointing...

Posted Nov 10, 2009 4:42:38 PM

By merril

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my plv z700 projector keeps shutting off on its own,while we watch movies,wonder whether anyone else is having the same problem? and what could be the reason?

Posted Mar 11, 2009 2:19:04 PM

By steve

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Hi Dominic, I just saw your posting today. The answer to your question, "Is 1080p really worth the extra $$?" is yes if your going to to be purchasing a blu-ray player in the future. If your main viewing is only going to be standard dvd's than a cheaper 720p projector would probably be better for you. I own the Sanyo 1080p, and no longer have much interest in watching or hearing standard dvd's anymore.

Blu-ray movies when encoded properly visually and sound wise, blow standard dvd's out of the water. Trust me, once you've seen and heard a high quality blu-ray movie you'll get hooked. I own 2 projectors at this time, and watch standard dvd's on my 480p projector. And of course my blu-ray movies on the 1080p. Safe to say my 480p is just collecting dust.

Besides watching movies I really enjoy the eye candy of blu-ray discs that show video of outdoor scenery like "Over America". This is where a big screen and projector come in handy.

Posted Mar 2, 2009 5:36:18 AM

By Thomas Amsler

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I just bought the Z700 and now I am also trying to find the best fitting filmscreen. Either one with an engine (I am aware that the screen could get some waves with time) or a framed one. Is it really better to have a gray one over a white? I was looking at Steward and Projecta ones but couldn't decide what's best for this projector...

Posted Dec 18, 2008 8:34:46 PM

By Dominic

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Hello, great comments guys. A couple of questions. I am considering purchasing the Z700 as my first foray into the front-projector world. This unit to be installed in a basement home theatre/family room. The setup of the room will be a variable viewing distance to about 18 feet max. The room has one egress window, of which drapes, and the screen will block out the diffuse light that enters. So basically the room will mostly be lit by artificial light and therefore 100% adjustable. We currently have a regular DVD and SD digital cable. In addition to the projector, I've also been told Santa is also bringing a Wii this year. So here are my questions:

Is 1080p really worth the extra $$? Should I be concerned with any real-world issues like SDE, color reproduction or any lag time for video games with this unit? Will the image quality on standard DVD or cable still be good or will an immediate upgrade to Blue-Ray and HD be required.

I appreciate any advice. Thanks, Dom

Posted Dec 10, 2008 11:59:59 AM

By jordi

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Mark W. I also got a z700 but when I start the projector autoiris is set to fixed. Other options are mode1 and mode 2.

I'm not good fine tuning my projector. Can you post your settings? brightness, contrast, and options you've enabled? thanx.

Posted Nov 12, 2008 9:37:43 AM

By Mark W.

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Jakob,

I have the 700 ceiling mounted and it is EXTREMELY quiet! I can hear my PS3 from across the room much louder than the 700 which is about 5 feet over my head.

Posted Nov 12, 2008 9:32:46 AM

By Mark W.

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Follow up:

Thank heaven, I figured out the Auto Iris thing. Set it to 'Fixed' in the advanced menu, then go to the 'Store' option to save that and any other preferences to a 'User' setting, then the unit will power up each time without defaulting to the annoying Auto Iris setting.

Whew! I was almost ready to send the unit back for refund.

I find it odd that the review didn't mention how awful the Auto Iris is. I don't consider myself a videophile (I AM an audiophile). I don't see how any self respecting videophile could tolerate an obvious pumping of brightness level. It's the same thing as over-compressed audio.

Posted Nov 12, 2008 4:51:50 AM

By Sascha

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Just for your information:

German Sanyo website lists a lamp life of 3000h in Eco-Mode and 2000h in Standard-Mode. http://www.sanyo.de/products/lcd/projectors/homecinema/product_detail.asp?lg=D&PID=210&product=PLV-Z700&n1=1

There are few dealers that sell that unit for 999 Euro here.

Posted Nov 10, 2008 11:58:49 AM

By Mark W.

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I love this unit except for one big problem:

Is no one else bothered by the Auto Iris? In an attempt to keep contrast high, it pumps unnaturally. It closes in dark scenes, making them too dark, and opens in bright scenes. The 'pumping' from dark to light is very unnatural.

the feature can be disabled in the advanced menu, but the big problem is that every time you turn the projector off, it defaults back to Auto Iris.

I shoudn't have to go ddep into the menu every time I power up.

Does anyone have an answer to this?

Posted Oct 29, 2008 1:26:03 PM

By Nick

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Does anyone know if this unit suffers from any sort of ghosting at all? I'm looking to step up to a 1080p projector from a very old one, but I want to make sure it won't suffer tremendously whilst I play video games on it. I'm not really up to speed on the whole projector market, so is ghosting even a factor on any of these units anymore? Thanks!

Posted Oct 12, 2008 9:15:36 PM

By Jakob

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Has it got the same problem as the Z5 when ceilingmounting it? That though you use it in eco/low mode the noise level is raised to the level when using it in normal mode.

Posted Oct 8, 2008 10:03:36 AM

By Guy LaRochelle

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In your article,you mention that "there is no published expectation of extended lamp life in low power mode".

I'm a little surprised by that! When reading on the subject all around the net, people always read that lamp life should be longer when using low power mode... How can you come up with such a comment and not back it up yourself?

Perhaps there are no published expectation, but is there something somewhere that prooves the contrary?

Thanks

Posted Oct 1, 2008 2:39:56 PM

By Darryl Zimmer

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Hello,

Have a question about your write up: "The difference between the Z700 and the Z200 are these" statement, you mention that the Z700 uses organic LCD panels.. BUT in your "SANYO PLV-Z700 Specifications you state "3 panel INorganic" Might want to check this out.

Thanks for your time,

Darryl Zimmer

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