Sharp XV-Z15000 Projector Review

All of the Sharp XV-Z15000 images below are from either Blu-ray or HDTV, with the exception of Lord of the Rings (standard DVD). Remember, by the time these Sharp XV-Z15000 projector images get to you through digital camera, software, browsers, and monitor, there are definite small color shifts, saturation differences, etc. The images are to support the commentary, but keep in mind the limitations when trying to compared images from the XV-Z15000 with other home theater projectors.

In reality, all projectors, including the XV-Z15000, always look better live than the images in our reviews.

XV-Z15000 vs 6500UB 5thelement starship large
XV-Z15000 vs 6500ub 5thElement starship O l g
XV-Z15000_vs_6500UB spacecowboys satellite2 over large
HD8200 5thElement starship large
HD8200 5thElement starship large
W20000 5thelement starship large
HC5500 5thElement starship large
PT-AE3000U 5thelement starship large
Epson 6500UB 5thelement starship large
Epson 6500UB 5thelement starship large
XV-Z15000 DVE skyline large
XV-Z15000 DVE timessquare large
XV-Z15000 vs 6500UB 5thelement starship large
+XV-Z15000 vs 6500ub 5thElement starship O l g

In the overexposed version of the starship, above, you can see the differences in the black levels in the letterbox area, and also in the starfield. (again, note: Sharp on the right.) I should mention that with dynamic irises, different scenes behave differently, on the starship above, the black levels of the Epson are “more better” than on some other dark scenes. In some cases the Sharp matches the Epson.

For general black level performance examples we’ll start with my favorite, the Starship image found The Fifth Element. The first is our Sharp XV-Z15000. Immediately below it, is the Optoma HD8200, the last competing DLP projector we reviewed. Unfortunately, brightness varies even more (than with the side by side images) on these photos, making accurate comparisons of black levels a little difficult.

BenQ W5000:

Mitsubishi HC5500:

And below is the Panasonic PT-AE3000:

Next is the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB:

Finally, here’s the BenQ W5000 (it’s an old image and, unforutnately, much darker than the others):


Consider two additional (digital) images which are good ones for observing black levels.

The image immediately below is from The Dark Knight. I’ve intentionally overexposed it to make a point. This is the type of scene where the difference in black level performance makes a huge difference. Because the outside areas of the scene, and for that matter the men’s jackets are pretty black, with little detail at all, projectors with just “good” black levels look very flat – I’ve achieved that effect here. The XV-Z15000 actually does very nicely on this image, but the difference between the XV-Z15000, and say, the more expensive JVC RS10 and especially the RS20 is stunning. Even the less expensive Epson Home Cinema 6500UB , looks significantly better on this scene. Because the bright area of the image is of moderate brightness, projectors like the XV-Z15000 or the Epson, can’t even get to their blackest blacks, whereas the JVCs, which do incredible blacks without an iris, would look drastically better. Right below it is an image from Quantum of Solace (but not overexposed), which is a very different scene type, but another where black level differences are almost “night and day”. (I can’t believe I’m getting away with that line! -art) The rocks on the left and right would be where the differences are.

Click to enlarge. So close

The dynamic iris, of course is key to the excellent black levels. I figure this is as good a time to comment on the iris’ impact on viewing. Below are two images from the beginning of one of the Star Wars movies (same exposure). The iris is one of the slower ones. As a result as I mention elsewhere, some times it is very evident. Below are two images from the opening credits, you can see the difference in brightness (brighter) when the credits are up. Seems like just as the credits come on, the iris has just finished lowering the brightness from the previous time. Then it slowly (a second) brightens back up just as the next credit is going off. The good news is the iris action is smooth, not at all jerky, and rarely will be obvious.

Click Image to Enlarge

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