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Sanyo PLV-Z700 Home Theater Projector Review: Image Quality - 9

Posted on October 8, 2008 by Art Feierman

Sanyo PLV-Z700 Performance: HDTV and Sports

The Sanyo does very well on HDTV and Sports. First, for the most part, black levels aren't critical in this area. Secondly, the Sanyo produces a sharp image, which you can appreciate more on digital video than on film, where there is an inherent softness to the image and film grain, to make differences in sharpness less noticeable.

If there's a downside to the PLV-Z700 projector in this regard, it has to be brightness, yet, the Sanyo in brightest mode is definitely at least average. My thoughts are, that if you have enough lumens for your room and screen, for movies, you should be just fine, for TV and sports.

Sanyo PLV-Z700: Overall Image Quality

How good the PLV-Z700 really is, is a question I can't answer yet. This is only the second "entry level" 1080p projector from the new batch announced at CEDIA, that I have had a chance to review. I have no doubt that the Sanyo does a very good job, overall, in terms of picture. The real question is, what is the value proposition compared to some of the other new ones, that will be shipping in the next 60 days or so.

Given, only this Sanyo projector, the previously reviewed Mitsubishi HC5500, and the Epson Home Cinema 6100 (due in December), are priced at that "under $2000" price point. The Epson is, of course an unknown, as I haven't worked with it yet.

I'm more concerned, however, with how the PLV-Z700's picture quality will also stack up against the sweetspot of the 1080p projector market - projectors selling right around $3000 or a little less.

As I see it, the PLV-Z700, from a picture standpoint is worth the price (barring the Epson Home Cinema 6100 being far superior?). What I am not certain of, is whether the Z700 is worth $2000, compared to a host of new projectors that will be selling for $2500 to low $3000s range.

Certainly Sanyo's own PLV-Z3000 is one of those, along with entries from Epson, and Mitsubishi, and of course the imminent Panasonic PT-AE3000U.

Still, with a decent calibration, the PLV-Z700 does an impressive job on color, skin tones, shadow detail and sharpness. Only in the black level area is it so-so. Mind you, it's definitely liveable, in fact fully enjoyable for non-hobbiest/enthusiasts - people who just want to watch something that looks great. The more expensive models from most of the manufacturers, though, should truly be superior in the black level department, if you've got a price decision to make.

Sanyo PLV-Z700 Overall Picture Quality: Bottom Line

When you consider all the aspects that make for a good picture; color accuracy, richness, saturation, sharpness, black levels, shadow and highlight details, and so on, the PLV-700 is actually pretty impressive considering it's the currently lowest price option out there except for one or two closeouts. If I had to pick one area of weakness, like most lower cost projectors, that would be black level performance, but the PLV-Z700 fares well at everything else.

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