Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector Review – Overview

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Home Theater Projector - Color Handling

The biggest problem I have with the Z5 projector, is out of the box overall color accuracy, though not bad. Many other home theater projectors come much closer to ideal, starting with that Samsung, which was the closest to perfect I’ve seen in terms of collor accuracy. Sanyo’s closest competition, the Panasonic PT-AX100U, also is better out of the box. That said, the adjustments I did to the Sanyo, in the Creative Cinema mode used for most images, weren’t large adjustments at all, but enough to make visible improvement. So, as I said, buy a disk, and tune yours – it’s easy!

Reds – this seems to be where the problem is coming from (out of the box color accuracy). Pure reds are coming out looking more orangeish (too much yellow), it is easily visible when projecting color bars. I was never able to really get a great red, even after spending much time trying to. In this regard, calibration efforts overall help, but I never was able to get bright red to come out bright red without the orangeish caste. Greens too, had a touch too much yellow, but that is common and wasn’t really an issue in overall color balance. So, getting great reds, seems to be the key to getting really great color out of the Z5. At this time I have calls into Sanyo product management, to discuss, and to find out what I might be able to do to better correct, and also, if what I am seeing is “normal” or may relate to the review unit they sent me. I will endeavor to update this review as soon as I learn more.

I’ll start with this image from Phantom, (HD-DVD) of Carlota, which you will also find in many reviews: (I should note that the faces in the lower left are a good test of shadow detail). By comparison, here is a similar frame from first, the Samsung SP-H710AE (pre-calibrated), and the second one, from the Panasonic PT-AX100U. Mind you, some of the tonal differences are correctable with a calibration disk. If you are hard core seeking the best, though, consider a local, certified ISF calibrator, who will come into your home and adjust everything to a much higher level of accuracy.

Phantom, (HD-DVD) of Carlota, The Sanyo PlvZ5
Phantom, (HD-DVD) of Carlota, The Samsung SP-H710AE (pre-calibrated)
Phantom, (HD-DVD) of Carlota, The Panasonic PT-AX100U
Phantom, (HD-DVD) of Carlota, The Sanyo PlvZ5
+Phantom, (HD-DVD) of Carlota, The Samsung SP-H710AE (pre-calibrated)

Color Performance

I’ve selected a few additional images in the attempt to give you a good feel for the Sanyo’s color performance:

By now, you have probably convinced yourself (with good reason) that the Sanyo PLV-Z5 can put a rather dazzling and realistic image on your screen. And, I would certainly agree.

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