Projector Reviews

Sanyo PLC-XL50, XGA Ultra-Short Throw Business Projector Review

Sanyo PLC-XL50 Projector: Highlights

  • Positions only a couple of inches in front of the screen (3 inches for 80″ diagonal image)
  • Can be used for incredible assortment of special environments:
    • Presenters can stand in front of the screen without being blinded!
    • Can be set up to project down to a table top screen, or mounted below a horizontal surface, projecting upward to horizontal surface, as well as normal projecting onto a vertical screen. Projector can be set on the floor, and project an image on the floor, as well
  • Respectable brightness (2000 lumens), and, recently announced PLC-XL51 is almost identical but offers 2700 lumens, if you need more horsepower
  • Good selection of inputs, but no digital (HDMI or DVI) input
  • Close placement can result in drastic reduction in installation costs
  • Should work extremely well with electronic whiteboards
  • Pricey per lumen, but advantages outweigh higher price point
  • Requires far less room in rear projection environments than traditional projectors


I just got back from Infocomm, and one of the “hot” categories was definitely short throw business projectors. While there were a great many on display, virtually all are traditional looking projectors sporting wider angle than normal lenses, to allow the projectors to be placed fairly close to the screen. None however, are anywhere close to the Sanyo PLC-XL50 and the recently announced PLC-XL51, in terms of being ultra-short throw. Most still need to be several feet away to fill typical 60 inch to 100 inch diagonal screens. These Sanyo ultra-short throw projectors, however, need only a few inches (although the projectors themselves, are rather large). Even the furthest back part of the XL50 or XL51 is only about 2 feet away – closer to the screen than even the front of any of the other short throw projectors.

These two Sanyo projectors, therefore, are virtually in a class by themselves. NEC has been making a lensless projector for several years, but it has been at least a couple of years since I’ve seen one. Their latest version is the DLP, NEC WT610E. It is the only other such projector that is placed literally inches from the screen.

The Sanyo will fill an 80″ diagonal screen from just over 3 inches away (8.1 centimeters). Even an extra couple of inches further back produces a dramatically larger image.

The Sanyo projector may be most unusual in its ultra-short throw ability, but forgetting that, it’s still a classic 3LCD projector with excellent color.

What is special about the XL50, is all the new places, and new applications where this projector can be used. Certainly classrooms, retail displays, boardrooms, digital signage, and command and control centers are just the beginning of a very, very, long list.

I grabbed these images from Sanyo’s brochure. It gives you a taste for some applications, and below each photo is a diagram showing how the projector is positioned (sorry, the type is rather small).