Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector Review – Overview

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Remote Control

Sanyo’s remote control, is OK, not great. The only real problem with it, is that it is small, and as a result, the buttons are very close together, making finding buttons without using the backlight or looking at the remote, difficult.

There is certainly no shortage of buttons, as most of the key menu items can be selected directly, like brightness, lamp mode, color, etc.

From the top. On the left, is the backlight button. The backlight itself, is not one of the brighter ones out there, but is bright enough to easily read the buttons. Across from it is the Power On/Off, with the usual press once for On, twice for Off.

The next row left to right – Lamp mode, a video mute to black out the screen, labeled No Show, and a Freeze frame button.

Next comes the Menu button, and a Reset, and under them, the four arrow key buttons for navigation, and the Enter button in the middle (labeled “OK”).

Further down, Screen, for selecting aspect ratio, and Image, which lets you adjust, and scroll through the major image controls, such as Brightness, Contrast, and all the other items on the Image Adjust menus.

That takes us to the lower half, with four rows of 3 buttons.

First row, provides direct access to: Brightness, Contrast and Color (saturation), next row, Iris control, Presets (Brilliant Cinema, Dynamic, etc.), and User Memory settings (4).

Below that are five source select buttons. Those inputs that have more than one option, allow you to toggle through them, like HDMI1 and HDMI2, Component Video 1 and 2, etc.

And the last button (lower right) brings up the Info menu, shown above, in the Menu section.

So, functionality is very good, but the small remote and tightly spaced buttons limit the ease of finding things without looking at the remote.

Lastly, range. I had no problem at all with the usable range of the remote, easily bouncing it off of the screen to the projector, and since I have a very large screen, most users will have a shorter distance to deal with.

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Lens Throw and Lens Shift

The Sanyo is truly excellent in these areas. The slightly greater than 2:1 zoom provides for excellent placement flexibility, and should allow shelf mounting in the back of the room, for just about all users, unless you have a very deep room and a very small screen.

As noted on the first page, with a 100″ 16:9 screen, the projector can be as close (measured from the front of the lens) to the screen as 9.8 feet, and as far back as 20 feet.

Lens shift is also excellent, with about the greatest amount of lens shift that I can recall. This allows you to place the projector vertically anywhere from somewhat below the bottom of the screen surface, to an equal distance above the top of the screen surface.

The Z5 offers a wide range of lens shift. It will allow you to position the projector, anywhere from significantly below to significantly above the screen surface. In fact, almost a full screen height above or below (for a 100″ 16:9 screen, one screen height is about 49 inches!)

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector: Screen Door Effect and Rainbow Effect

Since the Sanyo PLV-Z5 is an LCD projector, there is of course, no Rainbow Effect, since there is no spinning color filter wheel, as are used on DLP projectors. The Screen Door Effect relates to the visibility of pixels. This latest generation of LCD panel is better than the last, as pixels are a little less visible, and are getting close to typical DLP projectors in this regard. For those completely pixel adverse (and with 20/20 vision), I would recommend a seating distance of about 1.8x screen width (or for a 100″ diagonal screen, over 13 feet).

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Most of us, however are nowhere near that picky and should be happy with a seating distance of 1.3x – 1.4x screen width – which means 9 to 10.5 feet back. At those closer distances you are likey to notice pixels in white credits, and rarely in large bright, stationary areas of images on the screen. Relative to my DLP projector, in my theater – I sit 11 feet back, with the Sanyo I needed to move about 3 feet further back to achieve the same level of “can’t really see them”, and that while projecting 110″ diagonal, as opposed to the 128″ diagonal I use with my BenQ.

If you click on the image above, you are looking at a larger image of what is a very small section of the screen, from one of the images from Phantom, of Carlota, that is used heavily in the Image Quality section. I have adjusted contrast and brightness to better allow you to see the pixels.

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