Sanyo PLV-Z4000 - Projector Screens
9/2/2010 - Art Feierman
Sanyo PLV-Z4000 Projector Screen Recommendations
The PLV-Z4000 from Sanyo, being almost identical to the older Z3000, gets the same basic screen recommendations.
I prefer to recommend a high contrast light gray type screen to improve black levels slightly, if you are a movie/home theater enthusiast. If you're not an enthusiast, you are probably happy as a clam (why are clams thought to be happy?), with the PLV-Z4000 projector's black levels on a white surface screen. Still, as long as screen size doesn't become an issue, I'd recommend the HC gray screens. Let's say that, in general, a high contrast gray screen would be ideal for screen sizes below 100 inch diagonal. For over 100 inch diagonal screens, better to stick with a white surface with some gain if you want to use Pure Cinema mode, but I recommend Creative, so you can go larger. If not concerned with the already very good black levels, you'll get more bang from a white surface with some gain, like the Carada Brilliant White (gain 1.4) Stewart Firehawk (about 1.3 depending on version), and so on.
Of course, if you are stuck with some side ambient light, the High Contrast gray screens are the way to go, but keep in mind the screen size limitations.
If you are a bit less critical about ultimate image quality, you can run the PLV-Z4000 in Brilliant Cinema mode as your "best" mode, and now you have a projector with above average "best" mode brightness.
You can, of course go with higher gain screens, but remember they reduce the viewing cone - best seating - in terms of where you can sit (from left to right), before the higher gain really starts impacting the evenness of illumination. I wouldn't recommend going above 110" diagonal without a very high gain screen, but the Sanyo, again, for best mode movie watching, is happy at 100 inch diagonal, and will struggle above that in Pure Cinema mode. Using the almost as good and more fun Creative Cinema mode, 110 inch diagonal, becomes most reasonable. I strongly suggest dark walls, etc. if you are going above 100" diagonal.
Some people, however, may choose to rely on the not quite as good Brilliant Cinema mode for movie viewing, as it's about 50% brighter, which allows you more choice in screen options and can take you up another size if needed. Doing some adjustment is needed though. Brilliant Cinema is too cool, and improving will cost some lumens.