Projector Reviews

Sanyo PLV-Z700 Home Theater Projector Review: General Performance – 4

PLV-Z700 Projector: Measurements and Calibration

With lamp at full power, Gamma at -3, Iris fixed, Brightness +4, Color +5, Tint 2, Contrast 0, and all other advanced settings off (these are the settings that generated 675 lumens:

Advanced Settings

White balance R=0

G=-3,

B=-3

That resulted in these measurements

White (100 IRE) 6395K
Light gray (80 IRE) 6569K
Medium gray (50 IRE) 6552K
Low gray (30 IRE) 6554K

Over all, that’s a pretty good set of numbers post calibration with a range of only 174K from 30 IRE to 100 IRE.

Gamma, with these settings averaged 2.23, very close to the ideal 2.20.

A quick calibration was also done to Brilliant Color

For best results, the adjustments made were
White balance R=6

G=0

B=-7

Measured brightness 887 lumens
Measured Color Temp for white (100 IRE) 6696K

A quick calibration was also performed on Dynamic

White balance R=0

G=-8

B=-10

Measured brightness 1157 lumens

Bottom Line on calibration. The Z700 is a strange beast when it comes to controlling RGB. Virtually all projectors (including the PLV-Z60 and the PLV-Z2000) have separate R,G,B controls for Gain and Offset (or alternate names, but those are the most widely used (also brightness/contrast, black level/white level, etc.)

The PLV-Z700, however has only a single control called White balance, with separate R,G, and B. This makes calibrating the color temperature of this projector somewhat trickier than on other projectors. Nonetheless, we were able to get pretty good results. Sanyo is bringing out a guide to calibrating the Z700, which I believe is being written by well known reviewer Peter Putnam. It should be available soon.

Of at least equal importance, turning on features like the iris and lamp controls, the dynamic gamma, dynamic black, etc., all seem to impact the color temperature. Thus, as you play around, and find the combination of advanced features you prefer, you might take this approach: Use our settings above, to start, then after playing with the advanced features, and deciding on the ones you will be using, and then have the projector calibrated for your preferred settings.

That means likely at least two calibrations – one for your “best mode” and one for your “brightest mode” and of course you can keep our settings as well, as they are going to be brighter if you use lamp modes other than Normal.

I did some quick math – there are so many options, and virtually all of them affect the color temperature – and concluded that one could conceivably come up with more than 50 different combinations to calibrate. Of course, you only need a handful at the most.

Bottom line: A bit more difficult calibration to do than most projectors, and advanced controls affect the final results and color temperature. Nonetheless, at least for the modes we calibrated, we were able to end up with more than satisfactory results.

One last note, a personal preference. I found that the setting for color saturation of the Z700 that we recommend of +5 for Creative Cinema, slightly oversaturated the image when I used black level enhancement feature. As a result, I’ll recommend a lower setting for Color Saturation, if you plan to use that feature, probably between -1 and +1.

PLV-Z700: Image Noise

Sanyo uses Pixelworks TopazHD image processing, and it seems to be very respectable. No jaggie issues at all. I’m not real sure how good 3:2 pull-down, as most of my Blu-ray discs are now 24fps, in which case none is needed. I noticed nothing beyond the normal judder that 3:2 causes. In brief watching of SD-TV, performance was reasonably good with default settings. This is little stuff, unless one finds a real problem. None found

Bottom line, no real issue, especially for an entry level 1080p projector.