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Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Projector - Review Summary

Posted on May 5, 2010 by Art Feierman

Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Projector: Bottom Line

While I was impressed with the performance of the Sanyo PLC-WM5500, it was disappointing that it failed to produce anywhere near the rated lumen output.  That being said, over 3500 lumens are nothing to sneeze at and the flexibility of installation provided by the PLC-WM5500’s optional lenses, power lens shift, zoom and focus, is a welcome sight for large scale venue installation.  This is truly a fixed install projector, so while rated lamp life is not particularly impressive, maintenance time and costs are kept to a minimum by Sanyo’s filter cartridge system.

Presentations are blessed with colors that are deep and rich, making this a great projector for photo presentations.  The quality of its video reproduction (with the exception of deep blacks and shadow detail) is very pleasing to the eye as well.  Sanyo’s implementation of picture-in-picture may also be a welcome feature for presenters that may be using video conferencing or remote networked input.  Very good LCD panel convergence and quality optics also provide for one of the sharper pictures you’ll find in a 3-chip LCD projector.

The Sanyo PLC-WM5500 doesn’t come cheap, but is still reasonably priced for a commercial projector of this type and feature set, with street prices barely over $4000 with the standard lens.  The three year warranty and quick turnaround repair program are also factors in the PLC-WM5500’s favor.
The last projector we reviewed with interchangeable lenses was the Epson G5350.  It was an XGA projector, but with similar specs and warranty as the Sanyo.  The Epson had better (and easier) network implementation, including wireless, but did not have the power zoom and focus of the Sanyo.  Picture quality was pretty even and the Epson put out about 500 more lumens than the Sanyo.  Overall, the Sanyo matches up well with the Epson and comes in at a slightly lower price.
The Sanyo PLC-WM5500 has a lot going for it.  If you really need a lumen output closer to its rated 5500 lumens, you’d be better served to look elsewhere.  But if 3500 lumens will do the trick, you’d be hard pressed to find a projector in the PLC-WM5500’s price range that can match its picture quality and flexibility of installation.

Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Projector: Pros

  • Excellent overall image with any resolution
  • Very good color in most modes
  • Picture-in-picture capability
  • Automatic filter replacement cartridge reduces scheduled maintenance
  • Good warranty and support via its Quick Repair Program
  • Both lamp and filter can be changed without unmounting the projector


Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Projector: Cons

  • Not as bright as some of the competition
  • No network presentation capability without optional module
  • Poor audio from built-in speaker
  • Mediocre contrast

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