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Sharp XV-Z3000 Projector Review - General Performance

Posted on January 19, 2007 by Art Feierman

Sharp XV-Z3000 Menus

I really like the Z3000's menu structure. The projector doesn't have quite as many controls as some others, but it has almost everything you can want, and almost all of it is located the Picture menu - (2 pages, shown here)

The first picture menu provides all the standard image controls, and in addition, shows you the source you are on (Input 6 is HDMI). You can change between the various Presets from the first item down (choices are Standard, Natural, Dynamic (brightest), Movie 1, Movie 2, and Memory.












Scroll to the bottom of the menu, and a second Picture menu comes up, with more capability. Again, it shows you the input, and allows access to the presets (a nice touch). In addition you have control of color temperature (adjust in 500K from 5500K to 10,000K), and TI's Brilliant Color.

I'll discuss C.M.S. (color management system) below). Next comes Dynamic Noise Reduction which defaults to Level 1.

Then comes control of the Iris system, with three choices - High Brightness, Medium Mode, and High Contrast (dimmest/best). More on that too, below.

What I really like is that the Lamp power control is also on this menu. It always seemed to me that if a user is going to fiddle with presets, etc, say to compensate for room lighting, they will likely also want access to lamp brightness. Unfortunately Lamp brightness is often buried on setup, or other less often used menus, on almost every other projector. Kudos, for putting it where handy.

OK, the first Picture Menu offered separate control of R,G,B gain, but the CMS system here, is more "3D" allowing you to work with the color balance within each of the 3 primary and 3 secondary colors. Very nice for those really into tweaking, or calibration. I normally don't work with this level of fine tuning for a review, but nice to know it's handy, without having to figure out how to break into the service menus

In addition to the Picture Menu, there are three additional main menus. The next one is the Fine Sync menu (one you are not likely to ever use, but might need with an oddball computer signal.

Then come two Options menus, 1 and 2, shown immediately below. The Option 1 menu allows you to shift the image up and down on the screen, usable if you, for example can limit the drop on a pull down or motorized screen. You could, for example for watching typical movies in Cinemascope 2.35:1 aspect ratio. You can move the image up to the top of the screen so that the top of the movie is even with the top surface, while the bottom of the movie is even with the bottom of the surface, effectively eliminating letterboxing

Few will ever use this, but it's a nice touch. There is also separate overscan control, very usable with some low def TV where you might get some noise along the top (or bottom edges), and, I'm told, extremely handy for gamers. Unfortunately, it does not work if you are using an HDMI input, but does function with Component video and S-video

The Option 2 menu is another one that you aren't likely to use, except to set the language of the menus, as well as a high altitude fan option, and some control of the Standby. You can switch the Standby, from default Standard, to Eco (to reduce power consumption) if you are not using the RS-232 to control the projector from a computer or room control system.

That about covers it for the menus. Again, overall, the layout is excellent, with all the action pretty much on Picture 1 and Picture two.

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