Sanyo PLV-Z3

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Sanyo PLV-Z3

Pros

  • Great colour depth in a darkened room

Cons

  • LCD technology produces 'flyscreen' effect

Bottom Line

Sanyo's PLV-Z3 runs quietly and produces outstanding images for a home theatre model. The only catch is the 'flyscreen' inherent to LCD technology.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

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Sanyo's PLVZ3 LCD-based home theatre projector offers compelling features for the movie buff. The model has a 16:9 aspect ratio at a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution (720p), with an 800 ANSI-lumen brightness rating and 2000:1 contrast ratio.

The relatively low brightness rating demonstrates the PLVZ3 is designed for use in a darkened home theatre environment, as the lamp isn't powerful enough to overcome ambient light. It looks great in a dimly lit room, though, achieving deep colour saturation, and accurate shades of black. The machine includes a number of presets for brightness, contrast and colour temperature, and the fan remains whisper quiet in the modes commonly used for watching movies in a dark room.

The rear of the projector offers up HDMI, VGA, S-Video, composite and two sets of component inputs. The black LCD unit features a novel lens cover that slides out to protect the entire face when not in operation. Another unusual feature is the positioning of lens shift dials on the front face, immediately to the right of the lens. The rest of the menu, input and navigation buttons can be found on the top panel and remote control.

The machine relies on LCD panels to produce the image, and suffers from the same flyscreen effect as other non-DLP models. (LCD projectors produce a gap between each pixel on the projected surface, which gives the effect of looking at the image through a screen door.)

The image processing is top-notch, and the 4.1kg PLVZ3 produces clean, clear images from DVD or broadcast digital TV.

This projector is packed with features, including access to the LCD panels to clear dust particles, and the unit even comes with a rubber blower to direct a jet of air over the panels and keep it as good as new. The remote control sports backlit buttons, which is appropriate for a projector intended for use in a home theatre environment.

At 36 x 11 x 27cm, it's quite big, but elegant features like the ability to clean the LCD panels, quiet operation, a range of inputs, and outstanding image quality help make the Sanyo PLVZ3 a compelling home theatre projector--provided you can get over the flyscreen effect generated by the LCD panels.

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