Posted on November 12, 2013 By Art Feierman
These two make for a great comparison. First of all, the Epson Home Cinema 6100 took our top honor – Best In Class – in the Entry Level 1080p group. The Sanyo PLV-Z700, however is no pushover, having scored our Best In Class, Runner-up Award. Can you say “next best thing”?
Ready for your first 1080p home theater projector? On a budget? Here we look at two of the very best choices around. The Sanyo PLV-Z700 is, first of all, the lowest cost current model 1080p projector on the market as I write this. And, it’s one fine projector. You want to choose the right projector for your private world, so consider the Epson Home Cinema 6100, as a great alternative, for not too much more cash. Currently there’s about a $300+ difference in street price. That’s just enough to put these two projectors in relative parity, in terms of their value propositions.
Both are 3LCD projectors, so are similar in a great many ways. Don’t worry, though, there are lots of differences too, to help you decide. Besides price, the single greatest difference is brightness. The Sanyo PLV-Z700 is below average in brightness, while the Epson is one of the brighter projectors around. If your room isn’t ideal, that’s a big plus for the Epson. Epson offers a two year warranty, with an overnight replacement program, while Sanyo provides 3 years warranty.
Both have tremendous placement flexibility. Let’s take a closer look at how these two projectors stack up!
Both of these 3LCD projectors are pretty much boxes. Both are primarily white in appearance. Sanyo provides some contrast with a gray front recessed area, and recessed lens, while Epson’s try at styling in the front is to have a large black exhaust grill, and a gray protruding lens barrel. The Sanyo is definitely smaller than the Epson, but not drastically so. Neither wins a styling award from me, though I find the Sanyo to have a slightly cleaner look. OK, that takes care of the “wife factor” aspects. Now to the general layout.
Both have lenses offset from the center. The Sanyo, thanks to its lens being recessed sports a motorized door to keep out the dust and spiders when powered down.
Both offer lens shift. The Home Cinema 7100 has its two dials on the top near the lens, while the PLV-Z700 puts them in a recessed area on the side. Sanyo provides a lens shift lock, to firmly hold the shift adjustments in place. With the Epson, if you are adjusting the zoom or focus, you are almost certain to change the lens shift. Good thing that one normally only has to play with such controls when installing the projector. (We poor reviewers are moving them around constantly, so lots of adjusting.)
Both projectors offer the maximum in placement flexibility, with the Epson having just a tad more range in its zoom. It offers 2.1:1, while the Sanyo offers a next best 2:1. Since they are placed at the exact same minimum distance for a given sized screen, the Home Cinema 6100 can be placed a little further back – about 9 inches for a 100 inch screen. Both have plenty of lens shift (vertical and horizontal). This time, the PLV-Z700 has the advantage – its extra 1.8 inches of vertical shift will let you put it that much higher above the screen than the Epson. In both cases, the diferences are really minor. It’s incredibly unlikely that one will work in your room, but not the other, from a placement standpoint.
Both projectors have their control panels on the top, and their inputs (and outputs) located in the back. Both have two HDMI 1.3 inputs, the industry standard. The PLV-Z700 sports two component video inputs, compared to one for the Epson, but few people are using those anymore. Epson does offer a 12volt screen trigger, for controlling a motorized screen. The Sanyo lacks that, but most motorized screens today, offer remote controls, either standard or optionally, so it’s a minor point, and only that if your screen is motorized.
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