Sanyo PLV-Z2000

A projector with great picture quality and low noise output

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Sanyo PLV-Z2000
  • Sanyo PLV-Z2000
  • Sanyo PLV-Z2000
  • Sanyo PLV-Z2000

Pros

  • Unobtrusive styling, low noise, good image

Cons

  • Low brightness, small maximum screen size

Bottom Line

The PLV-Z2000 is a projector that offers great picture quality, which is only slightly hampered by a small overall screen size and low brightness.

Would you buy this?

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Competing with the Mitsubishi HC4900 and the Panasonic PT-AE2000U, Sanyo's latest home theatre projector has great sharpness, contrast and overall image quality. However, it is hampered by a small projection size and low brightness.

The projector has a very simple, unobtrusive look. Focus and zoom are manually controlled through rings around the lens; vertical and horizontal shift have remote dials on the side of the unit. There's also a lens lock to prevent any accidental changing of these settings — great when you're setting up the projector in one position for a long time.

The PLV-Z2000 is suitable for a variety of situations. If necessary, it can be mounted on the ceiling. A clearly focused image can be created from as little as 1.2 metres away, up to a maximum distance of 12 metres.

The control panel on the top of the unit is a standard one. It has options for switching inputs and gives access to the unit's on-screen menu. There's also an LED on the control panel that illuminates when the projector's lamp needs replacing. This is a good idea, but it's somewhat unnecessary when the lamp only needs to be replaced once every 3000 hours.

Several exhaust ports for fans are built into the body, which means that it's exceptionally quiet when operating. Like its rival from Mitsubishi, the PLV-Z2000 is all but inaudible in its economy mode, and can only be heard from close-up when operating normally.

The projector carries a standard set of connectors — two HDMI, one component and one VGA port for high-definition content, while composite and S-Video inputs are also included for standard definition.

The on-screen menus are easy to navigate and have a decent range of options for picture calibration. While not as versatile as the BenQ W5000, there's a choice of several different picture modes and colour adjustments. Generally we found the Pure Cinema mode looked best, while Brilliant Cinema added brightness at the cost of shadow detail and Creative mode increased contrast to exaggerated levels.

Image quality from the unit is quite pleasing. In its Pure Cinema mode, it produces an extremely natural-looking picture. Skin tones in general are very accurate, and shadow detail is great thanks to a fairly high contrast ratio. It does have one shortcoming: black levels can be a little low at times and aren't as deep and rich as on some competing units.

Out of the box, the projector gives a very sharp image. We found it a little too sharp at times, but a slight tweaking of the lens produced a beautiful, soft, cinema-style picture that was much more pleasing.

Brightness from the unit is a comparatively low 1200 ANSI lumens, and this is one area where this projector stumbles. It's generally accepted that home theatre projectors sacrifice brightness for a high contrast ratio, in order to have more realistic blacks and shadow details. However, unless you're in a well-sealed dark room, you might find that the PLV-Z2000 isn't as bright as you might like. This unit is very similar to traditional cinema projectors, focused on natural tones at the expense of rich, colourful pictures. It's a great choice if you have a dedicated cinema room or the ability to block out ambient light.

The projector isn't ideal for displaying very large screen sizes. At 12 metres distance the projector is able to project a 200in picture, which is far short of the 300in that comparatively-priced models are able to display.

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