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Sanyo PLC-XD2200 DLP Data Projector - Image Quality

Posted on May 24, 2010 by Art Feierman

Sanyo PLC-XD2200: Color & Picture Quality

As usual, I started with my laptop connected via the analog VGA connection and fed its native resolution (1024 x 768).  With this input, the PLC-XD2200 provided a very nice, sharp picture.  Much like the recently reviewed Canon LV-8310, colors were quite accurate.  The PLC-XD2200 also maintained this color accuracy, even in the brightest image modes.  As with the Canon, the high brightness tends to wash out the colors a bit.  Even so, they still appeared natural, with canary yellows and reds that did not look like burnt orange.  Dropping down into Standard mode (or even Real mode) improves the color over Dynamic, without losing many lumens.  Unless the extra 200 lumens of Dynamic are important, Standard mode will result in greater color depth and more natural skin tones.

As a result of the good color, photo presentations also looked quite nice with the PLC-XD2200, particularly in either Standard or Real modes.  As mentioned in the Setup and Menu section of this review, there are a number of adjustments available to improve the picture quality.   If you need to increase the contrast of your presentation, the gamma control will allow you to keep blacks from looking gray and vice versa.

Sanyo PLC-XD2200: Readability

The PLC-XD2200 provided a reasonably sharp image at any resolution or aspect ratio.  It doesn’t have the sharpness of smaller text that the competition has (especially DLP), but most of those projectors also cost more than the PLC-XD2200.  Using our usual spreadsheet with a range of text sizes and colors on a 70” diagonal projected image, 12 pt. text was very readable.  Small (8 pt.) text was still readable, but not as clear.  This level of readability was no less with white text-on-black and yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds with 12 pt. text or higher, but slightly worse with smaller text.

With higher resolutions, the PLC-XD2200 was still readable with smaller text, though we began to see some color fringing, especially with the yellow text/blue background combination.  We tried both 1600 x 1200 and 1600 x 900 resolutions, to test the PLC-XD2200’s ability to scale and resize these higher resolutions and different aspect ratios.  At either resolution, text sizes of 12 pt. and up were still quite readable.  It should be noted that in most presentations, it is unlikely that there would be much (if any) text as small as 12 pts.  As we’ve noticed in recent reviews, compression and scaling technology has been much better in the lower cost projectors than it was just a few years ago, resulting in acceptable display of non-standard resolutions and aspect ratios.  This may be due to some slight LCD panel misconvergence, a potential issue with any projector that uses separate panels for red, green and blue, which are usually converged through a prism and the lens.

Overall, with the text sizes that would most likely be used in presentations, the Sanyo PLC-XD2200 did quite well maintaining readability at any of the supported resolutions we tested.

Sanyo PLC-XD2200: Video Performance

Using the DVD playback from my laptop computer, I checked the PLC-XD2200’s ability to display video.  Starting in Real mode, I reviewed scenes from some movies I’m quite familiar with (like “The Fifth Element” and “Casino Royale”.  In both cases, skin tones were quite natural and, as we also noted with photo presentations, the overall color balance was quite good.  Unfortunately, the very low contrast ratio and mediocre black levels of the PLC-XD220 were apparent in viewing darker scenes.  While the gamma adjustments available helped with black levels, you wound up with either a loss of shadow detail or blacks that looked too gray.  However, this is not unusual for a projector in this class, much less one in the PLC-XD2200’s price range.  Also, it is usually more important to have more accurate colors and the solid color reproduction of the PLC-XD2200 makes it a more than acceptable choice for classroom video presentations.  That being said, if you have a video presentation that includes audio, you’ll want to use external powered speakers, as the PLC-XD2200’s built-in 1-watt speaker is not up to the task of creating an acceptable volume level for most classrooms or conference rooms.

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