Sharp XV-Z15000 Sharpness
These days generally DLP projectors are a little bit sharper than most LCD projectors and LCoS projectors. The XV-Z15000 is a bit of an exception though.
When you focus the XV-15000 it looks very sharp. I focus on the menu, doing the focus about 1/3 out from the center. By doing that, instead of focusing the dead center, the focus will be more even across the screen.
The Sharp's lens seems to have a little less depth of field than most other lenses. I can easily spot the part of the menu near the top as being visibly softer than the bottom of the menu where I focused on. In other words, it softens quicker than most moving out from the sharpest point. Still, in normal viewing you won't likely spot that unless you are really looking for it.
Bottom line, let's say, at its sharpest, this Sharp projector is sharper than average, but more average overall. (Some pretty "sharp" writing, hey?)
Top left: Sharp XV-Z15000, Top Center, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Top right: Mitsubishi HC6500
2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE3000, middle: Optoma HD8200, right: InFocus IN82
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right XV-Z15000, Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, and Sony VPL-HW10.
Sharp XV-Z15000: Bottom Line Sharpness
Overall, the XV-Z15000 is a little sharper than average. It can't quite match the "razor sharp" look of the best in the price range, such as the BenQ W5000, but does a very good job overall, but a little bit of softness towards the corners.
General image noise seems to be less than on most of the other DLP projectors in the price range, and more like the 3LCD models, which tend to be slightly cleaner. Motion artifacts are also very good. I really didn't view much movie content using 3:2 pull-down (almost everything I run is 24fps on Blu-ray), but when I did, the 3:2 pull-down worked well.
The XV-Z15000 is about average at audible noise as well. The Sharp claims 23 db in eco-mode (low lamp power), which is very typical. Sharp doesn't publish a number for lamp on full power, but it's probably about 6 db louder. The noisiest home theater projectors tend to be in the low thirties. Even in full power, the projector should satisfy all but the really noise adverse. Generally, in full power, it's just a touch noisier than the Epson 6500UB (that conclusion from my side by side photo shoot of the two projectors, but quieter than several of the DLP's.
I do notice that the fan tends to be noisy at powerup, and for a few minutes, almost a low soft rattling sound. It definitely quiets down quickly though. I do believe that by the nature of that sound, that it is a problem with this unit, and likely not a production issue. Even at its worse, in the first minute or two it goes away, and my guess is other units won't have this problem. (If you get one that does - please let me know.)