Sharp XV-Z17000 Projector Review

Sharp XV-Z17000 Remote Control

I’m still not happy. I can remember the last time I encountered a home theater projector without a backlit remote control – at least one that sells for more than $999. That’s right, the last one, was the review of the older Z15000. Most disappointing!

On the positive side, the range is very good, no problem getting a good bounce off of my screen, with a total distance of 20+ feet (remote -> screen -> projector). The Sharp Z17000 remote is identical to the older projectors, except for sporting two additional buttons at the bottom. One brings up the 3D menu, and the other turns on 3D operation.

Click to enlarge. SO close

As to the other controls, the Sharp remote control has lots of buttons, is pretty well laid out, but buttons are a bit close together and in rows, without using a lot of different shape/sized buttons to make finding the one you like easy, in the dark.

The XV-Z17000 projector has separate controls for power on, and off, it has discreet controls for the different inputs, and a lot of buttons that let you bypass the main menus and take you right to the individual controls.

Among those, you can select the Picture mode button, there are separate buttons for controlling both irises, there’s even a digital zoom feature (a business projector hold-over, no doubt).

The menu navigation consists of the four arrow keys in a round configuration, with the Enter button in the center, and the Return (some would call that an Escape button) below to the left.

The small Menu button is on the right below the arrow keys. Nearby, the lamp brightness control (Eco-Quiet), and aspect ratio, as well as an Input button.

Click Image to Enlarge

Sharp XV-Z17000 Lens Throw

The manual lens is very limited. It is only a 1.15:1 zoom ratio, less than even the most common 1.2:1 found on most DLP projectors, and a tiny amount of adjustment compared to any 3LCD or LCoS projector competitor (all but one have at least 1.5:1 and most have 2:1).

This doesn’t give you much placement flexibility. For a 100 inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen, you can place the projector (measured from front of lens) as close as 10 feet, 4 inches but only as far back as 11 feet, 11 inches – that’s just 21 inches of flexibility. By comparison, the most flexible projectors (Epson), on the other extreme, about 11 feet of placement flexibility, from closest to furthest, compared to the Sharp’s roughly foot and a half.

Perhaps of greatest note, the throw itself is short. The Sharp projector will place about as close as most other projectors, but even at its furthest, it’s only inches behind the closest for most projectors.

Ceiling mounted you will be mounting close. Consider that when selecting your screen type. For example, let’s say, budget allowing, you want a Stewart Firehawk. There are two versions, the more popular Firehawk G3, and the Firehawk SST. The SST would be for you. For the same 100″ screen that allows the Sharp to be only 11 feet and change away, the Firehawk SST is for placement of the projector less than 15 feet back. The G3 would have more roll off to the sides and corners, and would not work as well. That’s an example, be careful when choosing screens. Also, remember, some screens work better for 3D, than others, so check out our projector screen recommendations.

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