Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
The Panasonic PT-AE3000 was one of our Best In Class winners, but the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, a similar projector in many ways, is serious competition, especially when you consider it costs significantly less!
What we have here, are two of the new 3LCD home theater projectors that I refer to as ultra high contrast (UHC) projectors. What that means, is that both projectors produce black level performance (blacker blacks), noticeably superior to more typical lower cost home theater projectors, and many more expensive ones. From a feature standpoint these two home theater projectors are far more similar than different. At the time of this writing (March 09), the Sanyo is selling for about $400 to $500 less, and that’s likely going to influence many in their purchase decisions.
Both projectors sport CFI – creative frame interpolation to reduce motion blur. This is a new feature that only Sanyo, Epson, and Panasonic are featuring on their top of the line models.
Overall, the Panasonic has more interesting new features, and is generally brighter in “best” mode, when comparing apples to apples (more on this below), and one significant advantage is its better black levels. On the other hand, Sanyo is a solid performer overall, it can put out the brighter image when you need maximum lumens, and it comes with a longer warranty.
We have two 3LCD projectors here, so, physically, there are more similarities than differences. First of all, neither the PT-AE3000 or the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 should win any awards for beauty. The Panasonic is purely an industrial looking larger gray box. The PLV-Z3000 is significantly smaller, which many will like. It too, comes finished in a (not quite as) dark gray. The Sanyo, for those that care, has nicely rounded corners, and has a clean look. I’d say it’s definitely the better looking of the two, should you need a projector your wife will allow in the room from an aesthetic standpoint.
On to more serious matters: Both have 2:1 zoom lenses, although the Panasonic’s is motorized. Both have extensive lens shift (manual). In the case of the Panasonic, the lens shift controls are wheels recessed into the top, while on the Sanyo, the controls are recessed on the side. Both have all their inputs and outputs on the back.
Both have the overall placement range to allow rear shelf mounting in the vast majority of rooms. The Panasonic has 3 HDMI inputs, compared to two for the Sanyo. That’s a good thing for some, but very few will need it.
Neither projector offers a 12 volt screen trigger, but these days, there are easier ways to control a motorized screen.
The Sanyo has a nice motorized door to keep dust and cobwebs away from the lens when the projector is powered down.
As I said, not a lot of real differences in this area.
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