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Sharp XV-Z15000 Projector Review-2

Posted on June 18, 2009 by Art Feierman

The Sharp XV-Z15000 has a dynamic iris to achieve its best black levels. While the iris' action is more noticeable than some of the very fast irises, it does perform rather smoothly. You will be able to spot the iris operating on some transitions between scenes, and even within scenes when there are quick brightness changes. That said, I found that it wasn't likely to be annoying, unlike a couple other dynamic iris projectors in the same price range.

This Sharp projector is designed for ceiling mounting (or placement on a table top). There is no way to place it on a rear shelf, due to lack of lens shift, and a relatively short throw zoom lens, with very little (1.15:1) manual zoom lens. With a placement range of 10.4 to 12 feet for a 100" diagonal screen, it is likely to be mounted just in front of your seating.

All considered, the XV-Z15000 is the kind of projector that once properly installed, will be thoroughly enjoyed by its owner. Just keep in mind that if you are a highly critical enthusiast, or even more demanding - a purist, this projector probably isn't your cup of tea. By the same token, I'd have to say it's an excellent starter 1080p projector. I believe many that buy it as their first projector, will really love it, probably get hooked, and be in the market for a more expensive/better projector down the road. In other words, its picture quality is more than good enough to hook people, and make them want to raise their standards. Not because it is weak, but because after watching the XV-Z15000, and enjoying it, the question becomes something like: Wow, this is great - I wonder how much better the viewing experience will be if I upgrade in a couple of years to a much better home theater projector.

XV-Z15000 Projector Highlights

Click to enlarge. SO close

  • Overall a very well balanced home theater projector
  • Good color out of the box, very good after calibration - this projector has that classic DLP "look and feel" to its image that DLP fans swear by
  • Full color management system though color temp controls are more limited than most other projectors
  • Brightness in "best" mode, a little below average - 355 lumens
  • Brightness average in "brightest" mode, a bit over 1000 lumens
  • Extremely good black level performance! Comparable to the better ultra-high contrast 3LCD projectors!
  • Very limited placement flexibility
  • Not too much lens offset - a good thing! Unlike many DLP models, this one mounts only slightly above the top of the screen surface. Many other DLP's need to mount higher still, and won't work in rooms with lower ceilings or with average ceiling height and larger screens
  • Dynamic iris is slow (so detectable) but smooth - one of the better "slow" dynamic irises
  • Very good in terms of minimizing the rainbow effect for those sensitive to it, with 5x, 6 color - color wheel
  • Remote control - no backlight - that's strike 1 and strike 2... small, cramped. It's not the first time a really nice projector has a relatively poor remote, but that's no excuse. Range, however, is good.
  • Good price/performance, but definitely not as good as some others
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