Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector Review – Overview

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Pros

  • Extremely sharp image
  • Very good black levels
  • Excellent shadow detail
  • Extensive control of image quality
  • Excellent zoom lens with 2:1 (+) range
  • Excellent lens shift range
  • Very quiet
  • Good manual (on disk)
  • Excellent warranty
  • Dual HDMI and Dual Component Video inputs
  • Good menus
  • Excellent Price/Performance
  • Lens door

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Cons

  • Out of the box color accuracy
  • Could be brighter
  • Remote is cluttered, buttons small and closely packed
  • No 12 volt trigger for screen control
  • Pixel visibility (more visible than DLP or the Panasonic with Smooth Screen)
  • Reds have an orange caste to them

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Typical Capabilities

  • Ease of use
  • Remote has good functionality
  • Styling
  • Remote functionality

Summary

This should have been a really rave review of the Sanyo PLV-Z5 home theater projector, instead of simply a good review. While, like any projector, it isn’t perfect, and there are always trade-offs, Sanyo, (not the projector) comes up a bit short in the release of the PLV-Z5, and it didn’t need to be that way.

To learn about thePLV-Z60, which will replace the PLV-Z5, check out our blog.

The issue is the out of the box color in most modes. Simply put, over the last couple of years most manufacturers have made a greater effort to improve out of the box color performance. We complained about the Z4 last year, but a number of projectors released last year, had less than great out of the box performance. This year, most projectors are pretty good.

Don’t get me wrong, the color isn’t bad, but the Sanyo PLV-Z5 will benefit more from an end user basic calibration with disks like AVIA, or, even a professional calibration than most of its competition. Then there is the issue of getting an accurate, pure red, which I never was able to do with this review unit. As mentioned, I am addressing this with Sanyo, and will update if I learn anything useful.

Again, I really recommend getting a disk, or, if you really are looking to get every last ounce of picture quality out of the Z5, have it professionally calibrated. (For calibrators in your area: www.imagingscience.com, the site of ISF, the professional calibrator’s organization.)

Bottom line: The Sanyo PLV-Z5 receives its Hot Product Award for it’s ability to project a truly superb image for its price, and for its appeal to those buyers highly focused on getting the best movie watching performance their budget will buy. The PLV-Z5 will appeal to both the non-technical movie watcher, who cares not at all for what makes it tick, and it will equally attract hard core techies, who often love the technology more than the movie content. (It certainly has an unbelieveable number of adjustments and dynamic feature optionsfor those that like to play.) I’m not saying that those loving sports and TV shouldn’t buy the Sanyo, but if they like their ambient light, they will need to keep the screen size down a bit.

The street price of the PLV-Z5 is excellent! Since the Z5 looks to be a bargain, spend a few bucks of your savings, on a calibration disk. Almost all home theater oriented online resellers carry them! You will see the difference.

Dear Sanyo – great technology. On the Z6, next year, though, I’ll be expecting really great out fo the box color! Don’t dissapoint us!

Long review – glad you all made it to the end! -art

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