Sanyo PLV-80 Widescreen Projector – Overview

Projector Brightness

The PLV-80 appears to behave as a typical business projector. That is to say, that although unlikely that it would measure the claimed 3000 lumens, it is likely to produce upward of 2500 if measured. Regrettably I did not measure the PLV80.

This is significantly different than with most home theater projectors where in their best modes, they produce typically anywhere from 25-50 percent of their claim.

The bottom line. This Sanyo PLV-80 is drastically brighter than tradtional home theater projectors (such as their own PLV-Z4) and should be comparable to any other 3000 lumen rated LCD projector.

Projector Screen Recommendations

You can two approaches to screens. The first is with your mind set in terms of getting the brightest image for dealing with siginficant ambient light. That would lean you toward screens with varying degrees of gain. For example the Carada “Brilliant White” or The Stewart Studiotek 130 (gains of 1.4 and 1.3). There are still higher gain screens with gains of 1.8 or more, but watch out for side rolloff in brightness the higher the gain is. Then there are specialty screens like the $4000 ish Visage by Screen Innovations – reviewed – designed for bright rooms, the Dalite HP, and another interesting screen, the Vutec SilverStar.

The other approach is to try to maintain good brightness, but also try to improve black levels for better movie viewing. This takes you to screens with limited or negative gain, but most are high contrast, and also reject side ambient light better than high gain screens.

Such possibilites include the (legendary) Stewart Greyhawk, Da-Lite’s HC Cinema Vision, and two lower cost screens, Caradas’s Gray, and Elite’s ezFrame

By being darker gray surfaces, the gray of blacks gets darkened – closer to the black we wish for. Because most oare high contrast, the whites do not dim as much, giving a higher contrast look, and looksing less in bright areas than you might expect.

So choosing a best screen is not just a budget issue, but one of understanding your lighting issues and how important those black levels are to you.

For much of my viewing of the PLV-80 I used my Firehawk. The combination of large size 128″ diagonal, and light gray surface did significantly reduce black levels compared to my Carada Brilliant White. I found the combination to be a good attempt at improving black levels and imagine a darker gray screen like ht Greyhaw, or similar surface might really go a long way to make black levels on movies fairly acceptable.

For business purposes, the hunt for blackest blacks is not likely to be an issue, so it becomes viewing angle vs side abient light, vs pure brightness. I think in most applications a screen with slight gain, like the Carada again (only available in fixed frame). or Da-lite’s Da-Mat avaialble motorized, fixed or pull down, even Optoma’s 1.8 gain Grayfox, might be good choices for bright rooms.

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