Posted on November 12, 2013 By Art Feierman
Picture quality is where we start seeing real differences between these two projectors. We’ll start with black levels and shadow detail, and move on to color accuracy, and the look and feel of the PLV-Z700 and Home Cinema 6100.
These two projectors are close in terms of black level performance, but the Home Cinema 6100 does have a small, but noteworthy advantage. While I describe the PLV-Z700 as having “good black levels” (for a non UHC, “ultra high contrast” projector), I describe the Epson as “not bad, not bad at all”, which is, in my manner of word crafting, translates to “a little better”.
To keep things in perspective, the black level differences between these two are very slight, relative to comparing either with the least expensive (and least great black levels) of the UHC projectors. In other words, if you aren’t happy enough with the Sano PLV-Z700’s black levels, you probably won’t be too thrilled with this Epson either, and you should probably be looking at the more expensive Epsons, Sanyo, and the Panasonic PT-AE3000.
Regretfully, these two projectors arrived many months apart. I had no chance to take side by side images. You’ll have to just take my word for the differences. (OK, that’s not quite true. Below are a pair of images taken separately of the same scene for a quick look at black level and shadow detail differences).
Below I have two pairs of images for you, from Space Cowboys. The first pair are slightly different in brightness. The Epson (first image) is a bit brighter, which, relative to my camera, and all the other factors, explains the brighter stars. Still you can see, that despite being a touch brighter, the blacks are pretty much identical to the Sanyo image of the same frame, right below it.
In the pair below, again the Home Cinema 6100 is the upper image. This is an extremely dark scene, intentionally way overexposed. Again, the Epson image is a touch brighter, but this time you can see a real diff in the black levels. Despite being brighter, the shades in the background look a bit blacker, and, have more of that “inky black” or “rich black” that we crave. The Sanyo image is a bit less contrasty, and a bit flat looking, by comparison. I’m talking the shades, not Clint.
The Epson wins the black level battle, but, as I stated earlier – in real life, (not the images which are inherently compromised), it’s not a a deal breaking difference.
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