Sharp XV-Z17000 Projector Review

The Very Bottom Line on the XV-Z17000 projector:

could definitely live with this projector.

I’ve been watching it for days, and most of that in 2D. If it is in your budget range, and you want to be right here, enjoying 3D, at the beginning of the latest 3D revolution, it’s an attractive solution.

If it has a serious weakness, (besides the non backlit remote), that would be its very limited placement flexibility due to a combination of limited zoom range 1.15:1), short throw lens, and no lens shift. At least the fixed lens offset is moderate.

Still, it should ceiling mount fine in most rooms, it’s just going to dictate where!

As I have been writing this summary, I had on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on Blu-ray.. Once again, skin tones looked excellent, the few, cool space scenes had very respectable darks, and the picture had a lot of wow factor.

The difference between the Z17000, and other favorites of mine, like the Epson 8700UB, however, is that with this projector I can put on the glasses, and enjoy the Prince’s Trust Rock Concert (with Clapton, Queen, Dame Edna…) or explore outer space with the Universe in 3D. I, who watches/listens to a lot of music videos, am really enjoying the 3D experience. Really! I must complain though, Sharp needs lighter, more comfortable glasses. Theirs aren’t the worst around, but at CES I did see some reasonably light and comfortable models with some LCDTVs.

Sharp XV-Z17000 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

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Sharp XV-Z17000 Projector: Pros

  • Really good “out of the box” picture quality
  • It only gets better with calibration – excellent skin tones
  • 2D black level performance is very good – a typical ultra high contrst projector
  • Image has very good sharpness – razor sharp in the center, although some softness in the corners.
  • Very good 3D compatibility
  • Projector lamp can be changed without unmounting the projector (door is on the front, accessible when the lens cover is protecting the lens (and killing power)
  • Very good warranty – 3 years, with 90 days on the lamp
  • Very good menus, very good remote (good range)
  • Support for an anamorphic lens
  • Definitely a very good 2D projector, and a very acceptable 3D projector for a what is a reasonable price, for this early on, in terms of 3D projector products.
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Sharp XV-Z17000 Projector: Cons

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  • Lacks creative frame interpolation – smooth motion
  • Remote control is not back lit! (That’s embarrassing on a $5K home projector)
  • Average to below average lamp life, and therefore, higher cost of operation
  • Limited color temp adjustment controls (but, in fairness, it calibrated beautifully without more controls)
  • Very limited placement flexibility
  • Sharpness – interestingly, this sample unit almost looks out of convergence – if this was a 3 chip LCD or LCoS I’d say that the red pixels were almost 1 pixel shifted to the right. I do not recall this on the older Z15000 so this may be a minor abbaration tied to being a sample unit.
  • Although adequately bright for 3D, More brightness is always a good thing
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