Review: SharpVision XV-Z15000
1080p Home Theater Projector
The SharpVision Z15000 can deliver a bright, smooth, and very compelling 1080p picture. Fans of DLP technology will love this projector, not only for its high contrast, but for other competitive advantages that DLP holds over LCD and LCOS. In particular, a single-chip DLP design never has any convergence problems to worry about, whereas all three-device imaging systems do. And there won't be any worries about dust particles landing on the DLP chip, creating a need to have the unit cleaned. There are no air filters to replace or clean, although Sharp does recommend periodic vacuuming of the intake and exhaust vents to minimize dust incursion into the unit.
In terms of picture quality, the Z15000 represents good value for the money. It is competitive, but not quite as high in contrast or color saturation as the current high contrast LCD models such as the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, the Epson 6500, or the Panasonic AE3000. Accordingly, it is typically not quite as three-dimensional. However, it matches or slightly exceeds the image sharpness of the LCD competition, and it has an edge in shadow detail as well.
The Z15000 lacks several features that are common on competing models. As discussed above, the zoom lens is of minimal range and there is no lens shift. There is no anamorphic stretch mode, and the remote has no backlighting. There is no frame interpolation. While it has some bright operating modes that exceed 1000 lumens, it does not have the extreme high brightness operating mode that is available on the Epson models in particular. The one-year warranty is minimal compared to the more common two or three year warranties on competing units. And the replacement lamp cost is much higher than the competition. So overall, in terms of features and extras, the Z15000 is rather sparse.
If portability is a factor in your buying decision, the Z15000 has a significant advantage. Most other 1080p models weigh 16 lbs or more, and are relatively cumbersome to carry. The Z15000 is 12.8 lbs. It has a handle, a built-in lens cover, and is designed to go. If you are frequently on the move with your projector, the Z15000 will be much easier to live with than any of its competitors.
The bottom line is that the SharpVision Z15000 will be an ideal solution for some users, and not so ideal for others. Whether it is right for you depends on the value you place on the things that the Z15000 excels in. In particular, if you've sworn off three-panel LCD products due to concerns about convergence or dust issues, or if you need to move your projector frequently, the Z15000 will be a uniquely attractive option that should be given your strongest consideration.
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