Sanyo PLV-Z2

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Sanyo PLV-Z2

Pros

  • Nice contrast, quiet

Cons

  • Brightness not great, poor default colour balance

Bottom Line

A great product in its day, but now superseded.

Would you buy this?

When it was launched back in 2003, the 720p PLVZ2 introduced a level of performance that had been previously unheard of in an LCD projector. Now, however, it's looking a little long in the tooth, and has been surpassed in performance and features by more recent products.

It uses the same tapered design and integrated lens cover as the earlier PLVZ1, and offers useful installation features like lens shift. You'll also find a manual iris control on the lens, allowing you to improve contrast without having to dive into the menu.

There's plenty of room for adjustment here, with gamma, sharpness, colour, hue, brightness and contrast all offered. You may find the menu a little cumbersome, and input selection is a function best left to the remote control, but you can store several custom settings for instant recall, as well as scrolling through the image presets.

Image quality was good, but not without its problems. We found that the PLVZ2 suffered from issues with composite video interpretation, plus the default colour balance was oversaturated. Increasing the colour temperature helped, but the red channel needed further reduction to avoid giving flesh tones a flushed appearance, and this still left some yellows leaping off the screen.

The PLVZ2 is extremely quiet in Eco mode, and the flyscreen effect wasn't an issue. However, we did spot a small amount of vertical banding on bright areas, and you might want to trim the sharpness while you're busy tweaking the colour.

The low-power lamp makes it less bright than some projectors (800 lumens), but it offers a decent contrast ratio of 1300:1 as compensation. The lens also allows for a short throw, filling our 72" screen from only 2m.

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