Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
For most of us, the picture quality (assuming a projector will physically work in our rooms) and price are the two key deciding points. There are some distinct differences between the PLV-Z3000 and the Home Cinema 6500UB.
“Out of the box” performance wasn’t stellar for either of these projectors (it isn’t for most projectors), but the advantage goes to the Epson. Still to get your money’s worth out of either projector, you will want to improve on their default settings. The Sanyo PLV-Z3000 is thin on reds out of the box and exhibits a noticeable shift to yellow-green, seen on skin tones. I referred to the Sanyo as “watchable” out of the box, pointing out that “watchable” wasn’t exactly a compliment. The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB (described as “pretty good”, by comparison), is a touch strong on reds, and oversaturated. With either projector, plugging in the settings we provided in our individual reviews of these projectors, should yield a noticeable improvement.
I describe both projectors as ultra high contrast 3LCD projectors, and as such, they have the latest in 3LCD panels, and polarization techniques. The end result is black level performance superior to the more typical 3LCD and DLP projectors out there.
Still, there is plenty of variation between different ultra high contrast projectors, and that’s especially noticeable when comparing the PLV-Z3000 to the HC6500UB. Without a doubt, the 6500UB produces blacker blacks. The difference, in fact, is not minimal. To keep perspective though, the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, which had the least impressive black levels of the ultra high contrast projectors in this price range, still had much better black levels than the best of the “non-ultras”. The Sanyo is a lot closer to the Epson 6500UB, for example, than to the Epson 6100, which is their “non-ultra” projector, and the one with the best black levels of that group.
For your consideration of black level performance, below you will find several side by side images of the two projectors in action. Keep in mind, that because the Epson is significantly brighter in “best” mode than the Sanyo, the Epson images below are brighter. You can see that eaily in the first image – the light blue Legendary Pictures logo appears more overexposed on the left (Epson), and you can also see it in how blurred (by overexposure) the pause symbol in the lower left corner is on the Epson. Even so, the background on the Epson image is still not quite as bright as the Sanyo.
Note: Don’t worry about color shifts – at these long exposures (typically 10+ seconds) subtle differences in color are greatly exaggerated. For all side-by-side images, the Epson is on the left.
In the city night image above from The Dark Knight, you can again see that the Epson is brighter. Try to take that into consideration, then compare some of the dark rooftops in the frame. Despite the Epson being brighter (look at the lights in any building), the dark rooftops are still blacker with the Epson.
Unlike the two images above, the starship image (below) from The Fifth Element, was taken during a different photo shoot, and the PLV-Z3000 is on the left, this time.
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