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Sharp XV-Z30000 Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on August 22, 2012 by Art Feierman
Sharp's classy new XV-Z30000 home theater projector has a high MSRP of $4999, but typically sells online for between $2000 and  $2500.  The XV-Z30000 is best suited for the dedicated home theater, and is a formidable competitor.  The Z30000 uses DLP technology, and has dual irises for improved black level performance, The XV-Z30000 projector is fully 3D compatible, and comes with two pair of 3D active glasses, and an emitter.  It's pretty cool looking too!

Specs Preview

Sharp XV-Z30000 Specs
Price 1999
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1000
Contrast 50,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2:1 motorized zoom and focus
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 5000 hours in eco mode, 2000 hours at full power
Weight 16.1 lbs. (7.2 Kg)
Warranty 3 Year Parts and Labor

Sharp XV-Z30000 Projector Highlights

  • 3D capable, includes supporting both 720 and 1080i/1080p 3D, including Blu-ray 3D and all DirecTV 3D content we could try
  • Very interesting physical design - pretty cool
  • Good color controls - calibrates well
  • Three year warranty - better than most
  • Saved Memory feature saves color mode and lens settings
  • Sold primarily though authorized local dealers
  • Rather typical in overall brightness
  • Rich DLP look and feel to the image

Sharp XV-Z30000 Projector Overview

The new Sharp XV-Z30000 home theater projector is more than just an unusual looking home theater projector with its rounded front.  The Sharp XV-Z30000 is Sharp's 2nd 3D capable home projector.  The first one, their XV-Z17000 was, in reality the first reasonable 3D capable 1080p home theater projector available in the US, when released almost two and a half years ago.

Sharp has had a long time to create this higher performance projector.  There are improvements in picture quality, for sure, however, this XV-Z30000 projector is also more feature laden and automated, including a wide range zoom lens with power zoom, lens shift and focus, allowing for a "lens memory" setup for those desiring to use a wide - "cinemascope" shaped screen instead of the traditional 16:9 standard screen. That compares with a limited 1.2:1 zoom, no lens shift, and all manual on the older Z17000.  More on the lens, below in "special features".

In the following pages, we will explore this Sharp projector, taking a tour of the projector and remote, then discussing image quality, including how the Sharp XV-Z30000 stacks up in terms of "out of the box" performance, and how it looks after a grayscale calibration.  We look not just at color and skin tones, but also black level performance and handling of dark shadow details.  On the Image Quality page, we will also consider this projector for non-movie viewing such as sports, and HDTV in general.

This is a reasonably well endowed projector.  The Sharp XV-Z30000 does, however, lack CFI - creative frame interpolation, often referred to as smooth motion.  More below on this.

Overall, this Sharp XV-Z30000 is a very nice single chip DLP home theater projector.  Although there are some trade-offs, we find it most similar to the Mitsubishi HC7800D, and the old Optoma HD8300, both DLPs.   Whereas we liked the Mitsubishi enough to give it a Special Interest Award, I do like this Sharp even better, and appropriately have given it one of our Hot Product awards.

Time to take a close look at the Sharp XV-Z30000.

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