Projector Reviews

Sanyo PLV-80 Widescreen Front Projector: General Performance

Menus

Sanyo’s menu layout is definitely unusual at least at first glance. The menus rely on very small graphics icons, which are not always intuitive, however when you navigate to any one of them, there is a text box above that provides that function’s name.

The main menus are laid out from left to right across the top of the screen, when you press the menu key on the remote or control panel.

The various options in each menu appear top to bottom on the left, as you select that menu. In some cases there are so many menu choices that you will see a down arrow at the bottom of the list of options and selecting that will take you to a second page of them.

 

A good example of that is the first image menu, (right) which offers a choice of standard, or cinema mode and user 1 through 4 of programmable settings. Hit the down arrow at the bottom of the menu column and page 2 comes up with 6 more savable user settings.

An exit door icon is used to move you back up one level in the menus.

The Input Menu gives you a choice of selecting Input 1, 2, or 3, which is how the clusters of inputs are laid out on the back panel of this Sanyo projector.

If you select one of the inputs, say, Input 3 in this case, you then see the options. For Input 3 you can choose the composite video input (Video), component video (Y, Pb/Cb, Pr/Cr), or S-Video. Since each Input; 1, 2, and 3 have exactly one set of audio inputs each, the appropriate audio inputs are live when you select that input.

Sanyo PLV-80 Widescreen Front Projector:

The Color menu contains just about everything for image color control: Brightness, Contrast, sharpness, color temperature (low, medium, high)… you get the idea.

The menu to the right is showing you the 2nd page of options (the Brightness, Contrast, etc were on the first page. You can see here, that the top icon on the left is an up arrow that would take you back to page one.

You move the cursor down to the desired icon (let’s say Red), and hit select, and it will bring up a yellow bar. Using the left and right arrow keys you can increase or decrease the amount of Red. This is how the menus work in all areas.

There is also an advanced area for controlling colors and gamma, as shown in the image to the right. I must confess to not working with these controls except for a few seconds. They do, however appear very straightforward to use. They allow you to select a specific color and then alter it. If you found traditional red to be a little dark you could adjust it to be more vibrant this way…

Savable settings. As we already mentioned above, there are TEN user savable settings. That certainly is enough to keep just about everyone happy. It is easy to save a setting, however with 10 to choose from it would have been an improvement if the user had the ability to label them, so other users (or the same one) knows for what purpose those settings were saved.

Lenses, Lens Throw and Lens Shift

The standard motorized lens that comes installed on the PLV-80 projector is a medium range zoom with a 1.3:1 ratio.

With a 100″ diagonal screen that lens will allow you to position the front of the projector anywhere from 12.82 feet, to 16.87 feet from the screen.

In addition, Sanyo offers 4 additional lens options, a fixed (no zoom) superwide angle lens (LNS-W32), primarily for rear screen usage or special applications, plus a traditional wide angle zoom lens, LNS-W31A (that just barely overlaps the range of the standard zoom (by 2 inches). There are two telephoto zooms, a long telephoto (LNS-T31A), and a very long telephoto (LNS-T32). Again, the lenses just barely overlap each other. If you start with the wide angle zoom lens, which for a 100″ diagonal screen can get you as close as 9.06 feet, you can have any distance to fill that screen up to 41.7 feet back with the T32 lens. The fixed wide angle lens, places the front of the projector a mere 5.81 feet from the screen.