Sanyo PLV-Z2000 Home Theater Projector Review

Check out how the Sanyo PLV-Z2000 fared in our comparison report.
Click to read the head-to-head Sanyo PLV-Z2000 vs. Mitsubishi HC4900 projector comparison.
Click to read the head-to-head Sanyo PLV-Z2000 vs. Panasonic PT-AE2000U projector comparison.
View annual winners.

For the first look at the upcoming Sanyo PLV-Z3000, check out our blog. Scheduled to ship in December 2008.

As is traditional for Sanyo home theater projectors, the PLV-Z2000 is not particularly bright. Also traditional is Sanyo’s very good value proposition. With the Z2000 having just started shipping, it holds the honor of lowest priced 1080p projector on the market. The $2495 MSRP is $200 below #2, the Optoma HD80, but Sanyo has launched it with a choice of a $300 cash rebate, or one of their GPS systems (your choice).

Click to Enlarge.So close

Most significantly, however, is that Sanyo has built a tremendously film-like, natural looking projector for such a low price. Most likely, if someone has a new projector that can rival it, it is the new Panasonic PT-AE2000U, which also just shipping at this time. The older Panaonic PT-AE1000U I also considered very film-like when reviewed a year ago, but I think the Z2000 is even better. It should be interesting to see this new Sanyo projector slug it out with PT-AE2000U.

Purists on a tight budget, and those who don’t demand extremly large screen sizes (over 106″) should flock to the Sanyo. Watching it on a wide range of movies, both hi-def – Blu-ray or HD-DVD – and standard DVD’s (given their weakenesses) is a pleasure. Some projectors are “hard” looking, some never get skin tones down right, some have other flaws. The Sanyo doesn’t suffer from any of those in it’s best mode, Pure Cinema.

Sanyo PLV-Z2000 and the Competition

I’ll just offer a quick run through here, mostly of things said in previous pages. After the beginning of the year, which means after reviewing 3-4 more new 1080p projectors, I’ll have a full comparison article for your reading pleasure.

Sanyo PLV-Z2000 and the Optoma HD80

The HD80 has been the lowest priced projector until this Sanyo. The HD80 can definitely offer more lumens in best mode. The H80′s 561 measured lumens, after grayscale calibration is its least bright and best mode, yet blows away the Sanyo’s 363 lumens in Pure Cinema. Even The Sanyo’s Brilliant Cinema wasn’t any brighter, at 571 lumens. In brightest modes, too, it was no contest, with 601 lumens from the Sanyo being outdone by 1006 lumens for the Optoma in TV mode.

But, that’s only brightness. And, while I really found the Optoma to be good overall after sorely needed grayscale calibration (definitely not a projector you want to watch “out of the box”, without work), I still favor the Sanyo!

The image above of Jame Bond (Casino Royale, Blu-ray) looked great. Click for a larger version cropped to get you a very close look at his face.

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