Sanyo PLV-Z5 Home Theater Video Projector
The PLV-Z5 retains the same extensive zoom and lens shift as the older Z4, allowing you to display a 100" diagonal image from 10.1 feet to 20.1 feet. As with the Z4, the lens shift in neutral position puts the center of the image at the same height as the centerline of the lens. From this position, the image can be shifted 150% above or below the lens, or 50% of the picture width to either side. This allows for a wide range of mounting options, including short throw from a coffee table, short or long throw from a ceiling mount, and long throw from a rear shelf mount. Note, however, that the extreme edges of horizontal and vertical shift cannot both be reached simultaneously, and using the extremities of the shift range can cause a drop in lumen output. The Z5 is one of the most flexible projectors available in terms of mounting options, and should fit most any theater without a hitch.
The PLV-Z5 likewise retains the Z4's dual-iris system. With an iris on the lamp and lens, the Z5's lumen output is highly variable. Closing both irises gives stellar contrast to dark-room home theater, while opening them allows for a moderate degree of ambient light in the room.
The auto-shutdown feature will turn off the Z5 automatically if a signal is not detected for five minutes. If you or your family members occasionally forget to turn off the projector after use, this feature can save you many hours of lamp life.
The menu system is overflowing with features to make the most of your projector's performance and tailor the projected image to your viewing environment. The seven preprogrammed image modes are suitable for most any setting, from moderate ambient light in a living room to a pitch-black theater. In addition, there are four user-programmable image modes, which can be stored and recalled at any time. These modes will remember your settings on every aspect of the projector's operation, from color balance and contrast to iris control.
The "Advanced" menu in particular houses several useful controls. "Auto black stretch" and "Contrast improvement" both alter the Z5's gamma settings automatically to deepen black levels, while "Transient improvement" changes edge enhancement.
The remote features direct access to common image adjustments, all of the projector's sources, and of course standard menu controls. It is backlit to aid in visibility in dark environments, fits well in the hand, and is compact and ergonomic. While the buttons are small, they are logically placed, and the learning curve is quite simple.
The Z5 comes standard with a three-year warranty from Sanyo, which is the longest warranty period typically seen on home theater projectors. To put this in perspective, if you had purchased Sanyo's old PLV-Z3 (two generations back) on the day of its release, it would still be under warranty today, and would remain so for another full year.
Image performance aside, the Sanyo PLV-Z5 is an incredibly feature-rich projector, and with prices starting at just $1695, it represents an outstanding value in today's market.
|Review Contents:||General Impressions||Additional Impressions||Performance and Conclusion|