Projector Reviews

Sanyo PLV-Z60 720p Home Theater Projector – A First Look

So far, not a whole lot of surprises with Sanyo’s PLV-60 which started shipping a few days ago. First a brief description:

The PLV-Z60 is a 720p home theater projector, that uses 3LCD technology. It’s got an MSRP of $1295, and comes with a better than most, three year warranty.

This Sanyo projector replaces Sanyo’s very popular PLV-Z5, and is physically very similar. It is also similar in general performance, but better in several ways. It seems to be a little brighter, a very good thing since the Sanyo projectors have traditionally been below average in brightness, and therefore not suitable for larger screen sizes.

Our sample unit seems to be a late pre-production version. It exhibits uneven background, with color shifting slightly pink to the left and more toward blue-green towards the right side. The upper right corner is definitely blue, and a bit brighter than the rest of the screen.

This is not unusual in pre-production 3LCD and also in three chip LCoS projectors.

Sanyo is shipping out a 2nd projector (full production) today, so I should be able to get a good look at it, compared to the first one. I expect no problems with Z60 #2.

The PLV-Z60 is basically just an improved PLV-Z5, with slightly better contrast and black levels. Out of the box color in best mode – Pure Cinema is pretty good. The other modes, however, really need at least a basic calibration, as they all have color temperatures from the mid-7500K to over 9000K, definitely too “cool” (blue) relative to the ideal 6500K.

Placement flexibility is the same as the Z5, with a 2:1 zoom, and lots of lens shift (vertical and horizontal).

The PLV-Z60 claims to be 100 lumens brighter, I believe, than the Z5. This may well be the case, but that won’t change the fact that the Z60 is not a bright projector.

I’ve always liked the Sanyo Z projectors, but brightness is not their strong suit – whether best mode or brightest mode. Once again, like other Sanyo projectors, it’s going to be happiest (as will you) with smaller to mid-sized screens. With typical non-high gain screens, you’ll probably want to keep screen size to 100″ or less. If you’ve got dark walls, and great lighting control, and a screen with some gain, you might push up to 106″ or maybe 110″ diagonal, but, in most cases, for best mode, 110″ would really be pushing it. Of course Sanyo offers three Cinema modes – the best – Pure Cinema, is the least bright. Users can sacrifice a little performance in black levels and use calibrated (needed) versions of Creative Cinema or Brilliant Cinema. If you are happy with those, then 110″ diagonal becomes very doable.

That’s about it. I should have posted this 48 hours ago, but never did. Review will be finished this evening (probably late). Hang in there! -art