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Sanyo PLV-Z3000 Projector Review

Posted on December 7, 2008 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Sanyo PLV-Z3000 Specs
Price 2495
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1400
Contrast 65,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.00:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life Sanyo does not publish lamp life, industry average is 2000 hours at full power, 3000 hours in low (eco-mode)
Weight 16.5
Warranty 3 years

PLV-Z3000 Projector Highlights

  • Lowest cost of the "very high contrast" 1080p projectors
  • Sharp image
  • Creative frame interpolation for reducing motion blur, with 120 frames per second maximum frame rate
  • Good, post calibration color accuracy in best modes, but with a slight shift toward yellow/green
  • Excellent placement flexibility
  • Below average brightness in best mode for movie watching
  • Reasonably bright in brightest mode, with better than most color accuracy
  • Excellent placement flexibility
  • Longer than average warranty
  • Full support for HDMI 1.3b with 24 fps, Deep Color, and CEC (control)
  • Decent "out of the box" color accuracy - at least average, but needs work
  • Although not particularly easy to calibrate, the end result is very good

Special Features

Just about every home theater projector has a special feature or two. The PLV-Z3000 projector has the most recent, full HDMI support, although that is found on most new projectors. The most noteworthy special feature is creative frame creation, and 120 frame per second display capability.

Sanyo PLV-Z3000 Projector Overview

Very interesting! The PLV-Z3000 projector, since it is overall similar to other Sanyo home theater projectors, going back several years, in terms of general look and operation, carries through on much of what we have written about before. I had a number of expectations going into this review. While many of those expectations were fulfilled, there were also some surprises.

Let's start with a quick overview. The Sanyo PLV-Z3000 is a 3 LCD based home theater projector. It is Sanyo's top of the line 1080p projector, the other, is the already reviewed, lower cost PLV-Z700. As their top of the line projector, the PLV-Z3000 has the latest Epson inorganic LCD panels for better contrast and black level performance. Like other current and previous Sanyo projectors, the PLV-Z3000 has excellent placement range, featuring a manual zoom lens with a 2:1 throw ratio, and plenty of vertical and horizontal lens shift.

Traditionally, Sanyo projectors tend to be lower than average in brightness, which in general, translates to working best with screens smaller than 110 inch diagonal. There was a surprise here. The Sanyo Z3000 was about as bright as expected in "best" mode, but was brighter, and did a much better job than anticipated, in its "brightest" mode.

A significant thing about the Sanyo Z3000 is that it is the least expensive of all the ultra high contrast" home theater projectors. There are several other 1080p projectors that sell for less, but they are all the entry level models - from Sanyo, Epson, Mitsubishi, Optoma, BenQ, and so on.

In terms of pricing, the Z3000 has a MAP (minimum advertised price), of $2399, which is $100 less than the closest competition, which is the Panasonic PT-AE3000 projector. However, at least for the immediate timeframe (and rebates are quite often renewed, month after month), there is also a $200 mail in rebate, bringing MAP based street pricing to $2199. That puts it $300 below the Panasonic projector.

That makes the Panasonic almost 15% more.

The Sanyo's key special features, which will be discussed below, include creative frame interpolation with support up to 120hz (120 frames per second).

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