Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector Review – Overview

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Home Theater Projector - Physical Tour

As usual, we start from the front. Facing the projector, done in all silver finish, you will notice, that with power off, the lens is not visible, hidden behind a sliding cover. Power up, and the door moves out of the way, and bingo, your 2:1 ratio zoom lens appears. For those ceiling, or high shelf mounting, you effectively have a lens cover in place when the PLV-Z5 is turned off, keeping dust off the lens (or even a cobweb?), saving you the trouble of climbing to clear the light path. (Note, the lens has slightly more than 2:1, almost 2.1:1.) Focus and Zoom are done by rotating the focus ring, and the tab on the zoom ring, respectively. From a placement standpoint, to fill a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, the projector (measured to the front of the lens) can be as close as 9.8 feet, and as far back as 20 feet.

There is also an infrared remote sensor on the right front. Two screw thread adjustable feet are located just back from the front, on both sides.
Next, if you look at the right side (facing the projector), you will find the veritical and horizontal lens shift controls, and also a lock switch to firmly hold the lens shift in place, once you set it up, to properly fill your screen.

Moving to the top, is a pretty standard control panel, with a large power button (the usual press once for power on, twice for power off), a menu button, a source select (input) button, the usual four arrow key buttons and a center Enter button. They are nicely spaced, and therefore easy to navigate by touch, in the dark, if needed (like when you can’t find your remote).

All the inputs are on the back. The first really nice feature is having two HDMI inputs, instead of the usual one. This is a real plus for those not using an A/V receiver with HDMI switching. In addition there is a computer input (which can alternately handle component video and SCART, plus 2 pair of three RCA jacks for two additional component video sources, and the usual S-Video and composite video inputs. That’s about as good as it gets. The Sanyo doesn’t have a 12 volt trigger for controlling a properly equipped, motorized screen, but it does have an RS-232 service port.

The Sanyo home theater projector has air intakes in the back, and cleanable air filters, and blows hot air out the left side (if you are facing the projector), and slightly forward. Keep those filters clean, it keeps projectors running cooler, which translates into more lamp life. The Sanyo doesn’t blow a lot of hot air out, even in high power lamp mode, so if you are placing it on a table, you aren’t going to cook any of your friends with a large, continous blast of hot air, if they are sitting on that side.

That takes care of the physical basics, although we will cover the remote control, on the General Performance page. But, first, it’s time to consider, the all important image quality aspects of Sanyo’s PLV-Z5 home theater projector.

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