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Review Contents
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
SharpVision XV-Z15000 Projector SharpVision XV-Z15000
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Street Price: n/a
Weight: 12.8 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Color Wheel:5x speed
Color Wheel:6 segments
Lens:1.15x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:3,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$649.00
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI 1.3 (x2), RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1035i, 540p, 576i, 576p

Review: SharpVision XV-Z15000
1080p Home Theater Projector

Evan Powell, April 29, 2009

Issues and Limitations

Zoom lens and offset. As is typical of many DLP projectors, there is not much zoom lens range, and no lens shift. In practical terms, that means the geometry between your projector and screen is pretty much fixed. If you have decided on a screen size and mounting location, that will dictate where you must place the projector. Conversely, if you have a specific location in which you must place the projector, that will determine where you must mount the screen and how big it will be. The zoom range of 1.15x gives you a modest ability to make minor corrections for distance placement.

The projector has a built-in upward throw angle that places the bottom edge of the image 26% of the image height above the centerline of the lens (or 26% below the centerline of the lens when ceiling mounted). As an example, if your screen is 120" diagonal, your image height is 59". Since 26% of 59" is 15", if you ceiling mount the Z15000, you need to mount the screen such that its top edge is 15" below the centerline of the lens (assuming the centerline of the lens is parallel to the floor).

The limitations imposed by the lensing mean that you must either ceiling mount the Z15000 or table mount it on a low table between the seats. For a 120" screen, it must be placed about 13 feet from the screen, give or take about a foot. If you want to sit at a viewing distance of, say, 1.5x the screen width, the projector will be at the same distance as the seats. If you want to sit any closer, the projector will be behind the seats, and ceiling mounting is, for the most part, the only practical option. Placing the Z15000 on a shelf above and behind the seats will cause it to project the image too high on the wall in most situations. You could tilt it downward and use keystone to correct the resulting trapezoid, but that will eliminate the possibility of seeing native 1080p material in uncompressed format, so it is not recommended.

Video judder and noise. The Z15000 delivers a smooth, clean video picture in the Movie modes. When switching to Standard, Natural, or Dynamic, you get a brighter picture, but there is a noticeable increase in judder and noise. For best video results, always run in Movie mode. If you need extra brightness, open the manual iris by setting it at high brightness, and/or activate Brightness Boost.

Remote control. There are easier to use remotes on the market. This one has relatively small buttons, and comparatively difficult to manipulate. Moreover, there is no backlighting on the remote. One cannot appreciate what a nuisance this is until you find yourself fumbling around in the dark for a flashlight, or trying to hold the remote in the projector's light path to find the buttons you want. Almost all 1080p projectors on the market these days have backlit remotes.

Lamp replacement cost. The Z15000 has a maximum lamp life of 2000 hours in normal lamp mode, and 3000 hours in eco-mode. Note that the retail cost of the replacement lamp is $600, which is higher than average. Typical cost for replacement lamps in this class of equipment is $300 to $400.

No on-board anamorphic stretch mode. For those interested in adding an external anamorphic lens for CIH 2.35 set ups, you will need to use an external video processor to accomplish the required vertical stretch of the image.

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Review Contents: Features Overview Features Continued Limitations Conclusion
Comments (6) Post a Comment
Marco Posted Apr 30, 2009 5:05 AM PST
Thanks for the review, I was checking for it every day in the last week :) I d like some comments ( and shots ) on optic performance and, if there are, on chromatic aberrations. Optics is very important when talking about vpr.
Nate Posted Apr 30, 2009 8:45 AM PST
I just picked one of these up for a hair under $2K and installed it Tuesday evening.

The biggest issue is getting the the thing mounted in the right spot, as noted in this review. If you have high ceilings, this is really cool, since it sits so high. I will say that when I tested the auto keystone, it didn't work correctly, it still threw a very trapezoidal image. I'm a total maniac about things being aligned perfectly, so I wans't planning on using it anyway, but it was laughable.

I'm loving it for both movies and gaming, I dont' watch TV, so I can't comment on that. Wipeout HD on my PS3 is truly amazing and the blu rays I've watched looked as good (and smooth) as I had hoped.

One thing that I'm still scratching my head about is a bit of lens flare that occasionally shows up, but it's outside the boundries of the projected image. It's subtle and if I had a border around my screen ( I use 1.3 white screen applied directly to a white wall) I wouldn't notice it.

I bought this instead of the AE3000U because of the horror stories I kept reading about dust specs and it's VERY hard for me to get at my projector once it's in place. It helped that it was a few hundred bucks less too.
eli Posted May 7, 2009 3:59 AM PST
I would like to see the reviewer compare this pj against other dlp projectors. It may not be as high in contrast as the high contrast LCD, but what about against the mitsu hc6500 which goes for around the same price on the street??
BigJim Posted Jul 30, 2009 4:08 AM PST
Another review site (and this is the only one that allows users to comment, thank you for that) states "it doesn’t display 1080p/24 sources in their native frame rate or a direct multiple of that". Yet no other reviews mention this and simply parrot Sharp's statement that it accepts 24p.

My guess is its video processor does telecine on 24p sources (e.g all Blu-ray), and plays it at 60i, so that its color wheel can keep spinning at 60rpm. I thought this one might be fun, but this would queer the deal.
Corrado Posted Oct 3, 2009 7:43 AM PST
I have had this projector for 3 days i found the rainbow effect much less than many other dlp projectors so far. I also looked a a optoma which had a 6X speed wheel and 7 segment compared to the Sharp DLP which use a 5X speed colour wheel and a 6 segment which has much less rainbow effects. Any one any comments or info would be great.
greg Posted Dec 31, 2009 6:11 AM PST
I picked up one of this last week and am very pleased with it. Plays 1080p24 very smoothly, looks natively supported to me. Very good black level compared to previous generation DLPs at a similar price. Excellent colour accuracy and sharpness

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