Sanyo DSU30 4 1 SVGA DLP Projector
  • Performance
  • 4
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
$599 MSRP Discontinued

Built around a DLP-based SVGA (800x600) engine, the Sanyo DG-DSU30 is slightly brighter than its claimed 2500 lumens. It is reasonably portable, at 5.1 pounds, with the portability enhanced by a combination of features, including horizontal and vertical image shift, that help make setup easy. At $695 list and $549 on the street, it's an attractive SVGA budget choice for classrooms and business use.


Easy connection setup. The PDG-DSU30 makes setting up a connection as simple as plugging in a cable and turning on the video source. The auto input search feature quickly found incoming signals whenever we changed the image source in our tests, and the auto sync feature synchronized to the signal without even waiting for a command to sync. Even better, the auto-sync worked so well that images designed to bring out pixel jitter in analog connections looked as rock solid as with a digital connection.

Easy to set up image size and position. Setting image size and position is much easier than with most projectors, thanks to a number of small conveniences. For basic control of image height, front and back leg adjustments let you point the projector up or down. You can then adjust the image position for both height and horizontal position with the vertical and horizontal image shift settings.

The 1.1x zoom feature doesn't let you change the image size by much, but it's enough to let you put the projector at approximately the right distance from the screen and then make fine adjustments with the zoom ring rather than having to move the projector.

Brightness. Unlike most projectors, the PDG-DSU30 lives up to its claimed brightness rating. We measured its Bright mode at 2562 lumens, about 2% higher than its 2500 lumen rating. That's more than enough to throw a large image that can stand up to any likely lighting in a classroom or office.

Wide brightness range. The projector also offers several modes suitable for lower levels of ambient light for any given size image. (The rated screen size ranges from 27.5-inches at 3.9 feet to 302.8 inches at 39.4 feet. We ran most of our tests using a roughly 100-inch diagonal image from about 13 feet.)

Most of the other preset modes -- Presentation, sRGB, Classroom, and Blackboard (which is meant for green blackboards) -- dropped the measured brightness to between 1915 and 1971 lumens. For even lower light levels, the Movie mode dropped the brightness to a measured 1204 lumens. In Eco-mode, brightness in all operating modes drops by about 14%.

Good basic connectivity: The PDG-DSU30 offers what you might think of as a basic set of connectors for a portable projector: a VGA port for a computer or component video, a pass-through monitor VGA port, S-Video and composite video ports, and a mini-plug mono audio input.

Reasonably high quality image with good brightness uniformity. For data images, the PDG-DSU30 generally scored well for quality, with only a few minor issues. In particular, yellows were a slightly mustard color, although much less so than with early generation DLP projectors.

For video images, the colors were a little harsh and skin tones in some scenes were a little posterized. The quality is well short of what you'd want for a home theater projector, but it's good enough to offer usable video for a classroom or conference room.

We measured brightness uniformity at 72%, which is good but not great. It's enough of a difference for a solid white screen to be noticeably brighter at the bottom than the top. However, the difference is impossible to see with a typical Windows screen, with the white background broken up by text and graphics. There's certainly no hint of the difference with a video image.

Power saving features. Sanyo rates the PDG-DSU30's power consumption in standby mode as less than 1 watt, an eco-friendly number confirmed by a Kill-a-Watt meter, which can't measure fractions of a watt, and gave a reading of 0.

The projector also offers two timers to automatically switch to standby mode. One, which you can set at up to 180 minutes, starts counting down when the projector loses an incoming signal. The other, which you can set separately to as much as 995 minutes, counts down whether there's a signal or not. You can use either or both timers to ensure that the projector switches to standby mode even if you forget to give the power off command.

Excellent warranty: The three year warranty for the PDG-DSU30 is longer than most projector warranties, which says a lot about how confident Sanyo is that the projector will last. The lamp is limited to a more typical 90 days or 500 hours, whichever comes first.


May need cables and a cover. The only cables the PDG-DSU30 comes with are a power cord and VGA cable. If you want to take advantage of the video or audio ports, you'll have to buy cables separately. Similarly, it doesn't include a case or protective cover. If you want carry it with you or store it with some minimal protection, you'll have to buy a case or cover as well.

No built-in control panel. Aside from a power button, there are no controls on the projector, which means there's no way to adjust settings if you lose the remote. Sanyo says that if you place an order before noon Pacific Time, it will normally ship a $35 replacement remote the same day.

Low volume. The 2-watt mono speaker in the PDG-DSU30 is loud enough for a small conference room, but isn't even close to being loud enough for a medium or large classroom. If you need audio, you'll need a separate sound system.

No remote mouse control. One potential issue is the lack of any way to control a PC's mouse through the projector's remote. If you need to page through a presentation or use the mouse cursor as a pointer, you'll have to stay close to your computer to use your computer's keyboard and mouse.

Rainbow artifacts. Because of the way single-chip DLP projectors create colors -- showing each primary color in sequence, and leaving it to the human visual system to integrate the colors over time - sequential color breakup is a potential issue for any DLP projector. When you move your eye or an object moves on screen, light areas surrounded by dark colors can break up into little rainbows, because each color falls on a different part of your retina.

Some people see this rainbow effect easily and others never see it. It's obvious enough with the PDG-DSU30 that anyone who is at all sensitive to the effect will certainly see it. Those people may find the projector annoying to watch for long sessions -- as with a full length movie, for example. However, it shouldn't be an issue for shorter sessions.

Long turn off time: One strike against the projector's portability is its turn off time. The projector needs about 120 seconds after you turn it off to cool down enough to go to standby mode, so you can unplug it and move it safely. Two minutes can seem like a long time if you're in a rush to get somewhere or someone else is waiting to use the room you're in.


Despite a few shortcomings -- notably the long turn off time and the possibility of having to do without the projector if you lose the remote -- the PDG-DSU30's strong points easily trump the potential issues. The easy setup, combined with a reasonably high quality image that is bright enough to stand up to typical classroom or office lighting, is enough to earn it a recommendation. The 3-year warranty helps make it a better value. Finally, the power saving features should be particularly welcome in a classroom situation, where it's far too easy to leave the projector running when you leave a room.

For comparative information between the Epson EX31, the Sanyo PDG-DSU30, and the Viewsonic PJD5112, read our comparison of these three projectors.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Sanyo PDG-DSU30 projector page.

Comments (2) Post a Comment
Fateme Hamzeh Posted Jan 29, 2012 11:29 PM PST
Good day; We Want to purchase some Projector PDG-DSU30. Please informe me about price. Tahnks Best regards
Lasky Posted May 2, 2012 8:03 PM PST
I have the same problem with projector SANYO PDG-DSU30. My projector cannot turn on using the remote, i need to push the button manually. But, after the projector ON I can use the remote. The projector not good

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