Sanyo PLV-80 Widescreen Projector – Overview

Bright! That’s what the PLV-80 projector is all about. With more and more widescreen computers – especially laptops, in the hands of consumers and businesses, there is a definite need for widescreen projectors with more “horsepower” than the traditional under 1500 lumen rated home theater projectors (few of which even come close to 1000 lumens in their brightest modes).

I’ve split this section into areas for Home Entertainment and for Business use. If you are thinking about business usage, scroll down to the PLV-80 for Business

PLV-80 for Home Entertainment

If you are looking for the best possible home theater image quality for watching movies in a dedicated home theater or another room which you can fully darken, or have only extremely minimal ambient light, the Sanyo PLV80 is not the projector for you.

On the other hand, if you have a room you can’t fully darken, or want to watch sports, HDTV, TV with a fair amount of lights on or even some outside light coming in, the PLV80 is probably exactly what you are looking for.

Click to enlarge. SO close

I used the Sanyo projector for many hours in both my viewing room, on a 128″ diagonal screen, and on the 106″ diagonal screen in my testing room. The PLV-80 did a very respectable job with my six recessed halogen lights pointing down, at full brightness. They are positioned so that very little light directly hits the screen. Still you can see from the image below, how brightly lit the chairs are, along with other objects lower down. The 2nd image is under the same lighting but is better adjusted to show what the projected image looks to the eye. You can see that the image is washing out just a little, and is very watchable. If I lower the dimmers in the room about half way, the room still has significant ambient light and the projector looks noticeably better. (Sorry, these are short time exposures, and I have no way to freeze HD cable signals, thus, the blurs.)

You will see a number of images below, with descriptions (and pictures) of the room lighting at

Click Image to Enlarge

In the image immediately above, the projector is off, and the same six recessed lights are on. It gives you the best idea of how bright the viewing room is, when lit up.

I want to point out now, so I don’t have to repeat it several times below, that trying to photograph the room with lots of ambient light, while there is an image on the screen, is tricky. If the room is exposed normally, so it looks right, then the projected image, is fully overexposed in the photo, so it looks blown out. That’s why you’ll see some images where you can see the ceiling lights are on, but the walls look very dark, so that the image on the screen looks correct.

Darker scenes in movies do not hold up as well, with the room’s full lighting. Here is another pair of images – this time from Chronicles of Narnia. The first is with the same, full lighting on. Don’t forget, too, that my screen is particularly large at 128″ diagonal. If the screen was just 100″ diagonal, then the image would be about 70% brighter. The second image is with lights off. (The color shift of the first photo, is not apparent when viewing the image, but an artifact relating to the exposure).

As you can see, the image is much richer below, but again, even under adverse lighting, this dim scene is watchable, although not great.

Now, I don’t have any sports images for you, but I did do a number of images in the testing room, with the full lighting in there (a 10×16 foot room). These are bright images comparable to most TV content.

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