Sanyo PLV-Z4 Home Theater Projector – Who Should Buy?

The strengths of the PLVZ4 are as follows:

  • Best room placement flexibility
  • Extremely sharp image – If you find 1.5x screen width an acceptable seating distance, this projector will provide the sharpest image of any in this class that I have reviewed. This will well be the key deciding point for many buyers..
  • Very good color after a basic color calibration
  • Excellent 3 year warranty

The shortcomings of the Z4:

  • One of the least bright projectors (mind you these are all designed for blackend or very dark rooms the differences are not drastic – except for the Optoma HD72). Generally, no enough lumens for screens larger than 110″ diagonal. If you not only like movies, but, say sports, and you don’t want your room really dark for watching sports, you might opt for a brighter projector.
  • Typical screen door effect found on LCD projectors won’t let you sit as close.
  • Remote’s backlight is dim, and remote’s range is limited.
  • Image quality on regular TV feeds. (The Z4 performs extremely well on hi-def, but is a bit worse than most with low res TV.

As a parting note, to make your home theater experience the most enjoyable and stress free, I recommend you not quibble over the last few dollars when choosing a dealer. Find a dealer that knows their stuff, has good policies, and can also advise you on the right screen, and recommend good performance cables. Spending a bit extra on better Digital (DVI or HDMI cables) will improve the image quality of the Sanyo PLVZ4, or any good projector.

The Z4 remains about the least expensive 1280×720 HD resolution projector on the market (of those with current technology). The Z4′s razor sharp image, and ability to setup up easily in virtually any room, plus a solid 3 year warranty (most have 2, the Panasonic has 1 year), make this the price/performance choice. Just don’t forget to get that calibration disk and some really good cables so it can do its best. . -art

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