Review Contents
Disadvantages
Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Sanyo PLV-Z700 Projector Sanyo PLV-Z700
(add to Compare List)
Go to My Compare List

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

Sanyo Z700 Remote

Disadvantages

Our complaints about this unit are no more than nits. The ergonomic design of the remote is not as comfortable for me as I'd like it, with the menu button being in a somewhat awkward position. On the other hand, the range of the remote is excellent, and the projector is immediately responsive. It is annoying when you have to point the remote backward toward the projector, as is the case on some competing units.

There are two controls that affect sharpness. One is called Sharpness, and it is easy to find in the image control page of the menu. The other is Transient Improvement, and it is buried a bit deeper in the Advanced section of the menu. The Transient Improvement defaults to Low, and this interferes with your ability to fine tune sharpness with the Sharpness control. In order to get the right level of sharpness for our taste, we needed to go into the Advanced menu to turn Transient Improvement off. This is a minor nuisance in the grand scheme of things, but it is something the user might not normally discover.

It is hard to say whether the use of organic LCD panels should be considered a disadvantage. In general, inorganic panels are thought to be more stable in the long run. But if a projector is designed with sufficient cooling and UV filtration, the possibility of LCD degradation over the long run becomes less of a concern. The good news is that the Z700 comes standard with a three-year warranty. And projector technology is evolving so rapidly that most home theater enthusiasts who are into front projectors upgrade to the latest and greatest at least every three years or so. Moreover, the Z700 is so inexpensive that it need not be considered a lifetime investment. Practically speaking, most users of the Z700 will want to step up to a next generation projector by the time the warranty expires, so for them the organic panels represent little risk no matter what.

Conclusion

The Sanyo Z700 is an impressive home theater projector that delivers the ideal 1080p resolution format at a very low price. Its overall image quality is solid, and contrast is competitive by last year's 1080p LCD standards. This fall several higher contrast LCD models are being released, including the newly announced Sanyo PLV-Z3000, which carries a full on/off rating of 65,000:1 (scheduled to ship in December). The Z700 does not, and never was intended, to compete in the same contrast league as the higher contrast models that sell for at least $1,000 more. Basically, it offers the consumer on a budget a special value proposition--you can have 1080p performance at a rock bottom price, and if you are willing to give up some contrast you can keep the extra $1,000 in your pocket. That is a deal many cost-conscious consumers will be keenly interested in.

The Z700 rates the full five stars for value for being the least expensive 1080p projector coming to market this fall. It lacks the contrast capability of the 1080p competition and therefore we've given it a lower performance rating as compared to the more expensive models. But it is a tremendous value - for the money, it produces a beautiful picture.


Previous Page
Additional Advantages
Review Contents: Overview Advantages Additional Advantages Disadvantages
 

Reader Comments(21 comments)

Posted Dec 13, 2011 1:50:01 PM

By Dave W

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
It's probably overheating, make sure there is good ventilation around the projector.

Posted Jun 22, 2010 4:50:24 PM

By Lani Marie

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
keystone how to arange what are alternate

Posted Feb 5, 2010 9:53:51 AM

By Roy

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
No 12v screen trigger. Very disappointing...

Posted Nov 10, 2009 4:42:38 PM

By merril

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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.

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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.

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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.

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
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

Post a comment

Commenting on this article is easy and does not require any registration. Your email address is necessary for you to activate your comment once it has been submitted. It will not be shown to other site viewers. ProjectorCentral reserves the right to remove any comment at any time for any reason. Foul language is not permitted, nor are personal attacks. All comments should remain on topic.

Name:

Email Address:(used only to confirm your comment)

Your Comment:

(Enter the numbers as they appear to the left)