Projector Reviews

Compare Projectors – HC5500 vs. PLV-Z700 – 5

Bottom Line - Image Quality

The Mitsubishi HC5500 and Sanyo PLV-Z700 are close enough in image quality, to pretty much make image quality differences a minor point in the decsions process for most people. And that’s despite a slight advantage in black levels for the Mitsubishi. For most, other factors will be the deciding point – price, brightness in different modes depending on your room and viewing preferences, placement flexibility, etc. Still, if you like “pop and wow”, the Sanyo is the stronger of the two, except on dark scenes where the black level advantage favors the Mitsubishi.

Projector Performance

PLV-Z700 vs. HC5500 Projector Brightness

I touched on this earlier. In their very best modes, the Mitsubishi HC5500 is significantly brighter. That said, I did most of my viewing with a calibrated “creative” cinema mode, on the Sanyo PLV-Z700. I should explain. Sanyo has a number of features, dynamic irises, contrast enhancement, etc. In Pure Cinema (the theoretical best), most of that is not in use. Make changes in the user area, and you essentially have moved to “Creative Cinema”. The way I had the User area setup, the PLV-Z700 was outputting just under 400 lumens, about 50% more than Pure. That’s the setup my comments are based upon. Even with that big boost in brightness, however, the Mitsubishi HC5500 after calibration was still a good 10% or more brighter. In brightest mode, though, things reverse. The HC5500 produced a measured, below average 764 lumens, while the Sanyo PLV-Z700 was more than 20% brighter (though strictly average), at 943 lumens. Bottom line, the Sanyo is, from a brightness standpoint, the better choice for those viewing a wide range of content, especially if dealing with some ambient light when viewing HDTV and sports.

On the other hand, if you are just into movies, the Mitsubishi has the lumens to go a size larger in screen, or just offer a little more punch, on the same sized screen.

What about sharpness

I considered the PLV-Z700 to be particularly sharp for an entry level projector in the review (sharper, for example than the Epson 6100.) Still I did classify the Mitsubishi, the Sanyo, (and the Epson) as average sharpness. That said, the HC5500 in my opinion is the sharpest of the three, and was the only one of them I considered classifying as sharper still. Remember this tends to be subjective. You’ll note that only the more expensive Mitsubishi projectors, of all the 3LCD projectors covered, was ranked as “sharper still”. Bottom line, close, but a slight win for Mitsubishi.