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Home Theater: Sharp XV-Z30000 Projector - First Look

Greetings all,
Sharp XV-Z30000 home theater projector

Sharp's 3D capable, XV-Z30000 home theater projector

Today our second Sharp XV-Z30000 projector arrived.  The first, some of you may remember, arrived about 3 weeks ago, but it was freight damaged.  (Someone did an impressive job on the box.)  It powered up, but operationally it was a disaster, with a major problem with the "light engine". XV-Z30000 number two, exhibits no immediately obvious problems.  I've had it running for about 3 hours, mostly watching the Olympics.  As I write this I've got the woman's Beach Volley Ball finals on, in fact, May/Walsh is one point from winning the goal.  Pause... They won another gold!  Cool.  color's really good, I'm currently using Movie 1, the brighter of two movie modes (mostly the difference seems to be which brightness mode, which iris settings between Movie 1 and 2).  Skin tones look really good. Note: I'm watching beach volleyball, there's plenty of tanned skin to observe.  Movie mode is probably a tad over saturated, but it could be the feed. Normally, I'd have this XV-Z30000 in Sports mode, or one of the other bright modes. Sports looks Really Good! Brighter, yet still rather good skin tones on the Olympics.  I started in Movie, because that's where it was when I powered it up.  Stage is even brighter, and punchier. It seems to be the brightest.  I'm going to switch to it in a minute. Perhaps a little over the top, but boy are those colors saturated (over a bit). POP! WOW!  One of the User modes looks very bright and good as well, it may be the same as one of the others.  BTW there's an Anime mode, talk about high contrast - very saturated...   That should cut through some ambient light without washing out. The XV-Z30000 projector has motorized zoom and focus, and motorized lens shift too.  The amount of ranges is good enough without breaking out the manual, to place the bottom of the image even with the lens, basically  a 0 offset. That won't match the amount of lens shift found on most 3LCD and LCoS projectors, it still should serve most folks pretty well. My guess is that the Sharp XV-Z30000 projector isn't going to measure as near as bright as the BenQ W7000 or, say, the Epson 5010.  Still, I wouldn't be surprised if we have 1500 hundred lumens in Stage which is the brightest mode.  I haven't fired up the Epson 5010 I have here, for some side by side, which would allow me to have a very good idea of brightness.  Well, I could break out the meter too, but what's the fun in that.  Better, I'm going to take a quick look at some movies, to take a peek at blacks...  BTW, the projector claims 2 irises, at least that's how they are described in the menus.  Forgive me, but I probably haven't seen a spec sheet on this since it was announced earlier this year. Since I'm traveling tomorrow - 3 days of music (Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Jack White, Beck, Foo Fighters, Explosions in the Sky, and dozens of other great bands) at the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate with my daughter Lisa (producer of the Projector Reviews TV videos), which should be a blast.  When I get back on Monday, Mike will have the XV-Z30000 all measured and calibrated, and I can really settle in for some viewing, and get used to the projector. I haven't tried 3D yet. Done, I only spent 5 minutes with Casino Royale, after all, I am watching the Olympics with my wife.  Dark shadow detail is really excellent.  Crank up brightness enough and it looks more like a daylight scene, and the detail in the shrubs, and trees is all there. Black levels of the XV-Z30000 projector look to be very good for a DLP these days.  I'm pretty certain it's not a match for the Epson, and definitely not the JVC X70R, but on the other hand, is probably better, than several other good projectors including the PT-AE7000. I know this is going to drive a bunch of you crazy, not much in detail, but as I wrap this up, it's only a couple of hours since I first unpacked it.  I'm not even sure what the XV-Z30000 will sell for.  I can tell you that the MSRP is $4999, but after a discussion with someone at Sharp, I got the feeling they see it slugging it out with the lowest cost Sony and JVC projectors, the Epson 5010, W7000, which would indicate it selling for well below $5K.  Found a price on Amazon, but don't know if product is out there yet. That's it for now!  Hang in there.   The full review should be up by next weekend - around the 18th or 19th. I am thoroughly enjoying the XV-Z30000 projector so far.  I have always liked really good DLP projectors and this just may be one of the better ones available.  We shall see, soon enough. On other topics, we have about a dozen videos in post production, we've just completed one on the Epson MG850HD all-in-one projector, and a similar one covering the less expensive MG50 (they share some footage).  We also have a video of the Optoma PK320 pico projector that should be up in the next couple of days. Then, the video company will start churning out the 9 videos that are topical:  Choosing the right screen, Choosing the Right projector for a family room environment, Black levels, etc. You'll find the newly posted reviews on the Projector Reviews TV tab on the masthead. Check them out! -art

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