It's the end of 2004, and history is almost repeating itself. This time Panasonic launched their AE700u (the 500u's replacement) first, at the beginning of October, and Sanyo followed with the Z3 about a month later. Again, these two new projectors (along with InFocus's Screenplay 5000) dominate the $2000 market. This time, it is the Panasonic with more features, although the Sanyo has some tricks of its own. Like the Panasonic, the Sanyo PLV-Z3 is a very significant improvement over last year's Z2 and L500u.
Sanyo's PLV-Z3 is rated 800 lumens and while none of the home theater projectors come close to their claimed brightness (sometimes as little as 30% of claim) when in their best modes, the Sanyo Z3 does better than most. More on this later.