Sanyo PLV-Z4000 Projector Review

Sanyo provides one of the longest warranties available on 1080p projectors that sell for under $3500, and for that matter, than most under $10,000 projectors.

The PLV-Z4000 comes with a three year parts and labor warranty. In addition Sanyo promotes their fast turn-around program on warranty repairs. Their program calls for Sanyo taking no more than three business days as their facility to repair (or replace, if necessary), before shipping it back. Over the years of selling Sanyo, my experience has been that they mostly turn around the projector in less than the three days. It’s not as fast as a replacement program, but you are getting your projector back.

Most 1080p projectors come with a two year parts and labor warranty, several, including the best selling Panasonic PT-AE4000 come only with a one year warranty standard. Some of the Optoma projectors and the lower cost 1080p BenQ projector – the W6000 are other examples of one year warranties.

Two year warranties are provided on many Optoma projectors, all of the Epson Home Cinema series projectors, Mitsubishi home theater projectors, as well as those from Planar, and several of the higher end brands.

When it comes to projectors with three year warranties, Sanyo’s other 1080p projector comes with the same warranty. Epson provides three years on their Pro Cinema series projectors, BenQ has three on their higher end W20000, and Optoma offers three on their higher end HD8600 projector.

Some of the projectors mentioned have overnight replacement programs. Epson provides the replacement service for their full warranty length – two and three years respectively for the Home and Pro Cinema lines. BenQ offers a first year replacement on the W20000.

One downside: Sanyo repairs all warranty projectors, in that they do not replace, but instead repair initially defective units. If you are concerned about that, check with your Sanyo dealer and see how they will handle a “DOA” or a defective projector for you.

Bottom line: Sanyo’s warranty is longer than any other 1080p projector at its price or lower (except for Sanyo’s other model). The fast turn-around is an added plus that home theater projector owners will appreciate.

Sanyo PLV-Z4000 - Review Summary

A summary of the Sanyo PLV-Z4000 projector’s pros and cons and capabilities.

Sanyo PLV-Z4000 Projector - The Bottom Line

First things first. By the time I got to this page (the very last), the PLV-Z4000 is now shipping. Moving on – the Sanyo PLV-Z4000 as a solid projector is unquestionable. The real question for each person, is, does this projector make sense for you. Although this Z4000 is just the latest tweaking of the Z3000, keep in mind that originally the Z3000 sold for a bit over $3000. For this review, I watched the Z4000 for more than 30 hours in my primary theater (though never projecting larger than a 110″ diagonal image). The Z4000, of course, may not be match for my JVC RS20 (3x the price), but, for example, in its Creative Cinema mode the way I have it set up, it’s putting more lumens on my screen than the JVC, which is now due for a new lamp (2000 hours on the lamp).

A really beautiful thing about the Z4000 became obvious while I was watching pre-season football. This Sanyo projector may not be designed for larger screens, but keep it to an average size or smaller one, and its colors are in better balance and more pleasing than a lot of other projectors out there in their brightest modes. For example, I’d take the Sanyo’s color over the Epson 8500UB, when comparing brightest modes. And of course, with Sanyo’s “ultra high contrast” caliber black level performance, the Sanyo does very well on movies, especially compared to the older Z3000 which we just couldn’t calibrate to have as good color as the PLV-Z4000.

The PLV-Z4000′s Dynamic mode measured 873 lumens in brightest mode (mid-point on the zoom lens, just over 1000 lumens at wide angle). That may not cut it for a 128″ screen like mine, but when I dialed the zoom down to about 100″ diagonal (the most popular screen size out there I believe, for home theater projectors), the Sanyo performed “brilliantly”. Well think of it this way. To fill the entire 128″ Firehawk, I would need almost 70% more lumens to do just as good a job. That means, even the brightest projectors in brightest modes that we have reviewed, typically can’t do any better on a 128″ than the Sanyo can on a 100″. So, if you get little else out of this review, consider that this Sanyo is a projector for smaller and medium sized screens. It’s a fine product if you don’t try to make it something it isn’t (extremely bright). OK?

For movie watching, most of us will favor Creative Cinema mode, for the better looking dark scenes, but users likely want to set the Lamp to full, to maintain brightness, and possibly adjust the iris setting upward from -20, to perhaps -10, or even 0 for more lumens, if needed. If you aren’t a “purist” try out some of the many dynamic controls. They all have “trade-offs” but learn what you like. (And try to avoid too much “over the top”).

The Very Bottom Line: Sanyo PLV-Z4000 1080p 3LCD home theater projector

OK, it’s not a mostly shiny new projector. It’s just an improvement of “last year’s model” at a new lower price. Let’s talk about price at this point. From an MSRP standpoint, there actually hasn’t been any movement of late, from the Z3000′s last MSRP of $2495. But, MAP, the Minimum Advertised Price, is now $1995, and MAP tends to set the high online price. This puts the Z4000 in what was, in this past spring’s Home Theater Projector Comparison Report, our entry level price class of 1080p projectors. It will still be on the high end of that category, but, for example, there was only one projetor in that class that could match the Sanyo’s black level performance, and that one also MAPs at $1995. All’s fair, it would seem.

There will be lots of new projectors coming out, but I’m encouraged by the much improved final color we were able to get from the PLV-Z4000, and the downward moving price.

The very bottom line, of course: If you are going to be sticking to small to mid-sized screens, the Sanyo is a well balanced projector, with a lot going for it. Look, if you want tons of lumens, this isn’t the projector for you, but if what you are looking for is a projector that’s nice and quiet, has impressive black level performance, is sharper than most, offers great placement flexibility, and has some pretty good (and vivid) color in both “best” and “brightest” modes, and if you’ve got the right sized room, and screen then: Bingo – you’ll definitely want to seriously consider this Sanyo PLV-Z4000.

The PLV-Z4000 gets an award. Sanyo may have improved only little things, but the result was a better projector at a slightly lower price – more value. I considered at length our Hot Product Award, but, sports fan that I am, even with my points about this projector having plenty of lumens for a smaller screen, that it was still below average brightness in “brightest” mode, prevented me from doing so. The end result I am pleased to give Sanyo’s PLV-Z4000 a Special Interest award. With an extra few hundred more lumens, though, the Z4000 could appeal to us larger screen folks too, and not just be a projector for “small and medium” screen folks.

You May Also Like

News And Comments