Sharp XVZ-30000 home theatre projector

This home cinema projector handles 2D and 3D with aplomb

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Sharp XVZ-30000
  • Sharp XVZ-30000
  • Sharp XVZ-30000
  • Sharp XVZ-30000

Pros

  • Excellent 2D and 3D video quality
  • Powered zoom for flexible setup
  • 2D setting on glasses to remove 3D effect

Cons

  • No 2D-3D conversion in the projector
  • No motion smoothing, fast-moving 3D can flicker

Bottom Line

Sharp's XVZ-30000 is a worthy competitor for any other premium home theatre projector. Its 2D and 3D video quality is excellent, and the projector is only slightly let down by no 2D-3D conversion and no frame smoothing.

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The Sharp XVZ-30000 is the company’s top home theatre projector, with the other prospect being the cheaper XVZ-17000. The XVZ-30000 stands up to other high-end home theatre projectors like the BenQ W7000 and Panasonic PT-AE7000, with great picture quality and some convenient features included.

Sharp XVZ-30000: Design and setup

The Sharp XVZ-30000 is an almost-cylindrical projector, with a shape that vaguely reminds us of an old Sony Discman. The lens is set at the centre of the projector’s front fascia, surrounded by a rectangular bezel. The rest of the XVZ-30000’s front half is taken up by fan exhaust ports. Three touch-sensitive buttons for power and control are on top.

The connection panel of the Sharp XVZ-30000 shows that it means business: in addition to the standard HDMI, VGA and component video inputs, there’s also an RJ-45 Ethernet port, serial input and DC trigger for a powered projector screen or curtains. The inclusion of two HDMI ports means that multiple digital devices can be used simultaneously — useful if you don’t have an A/V receiver to control your sources.

The Sharp XVZ-30000 is easy to set up whether you’re ceiling- or rack-mounting it, thanks to a powered 2x zoom lens with powered focus and powered vertical and horizontal lens shift. These features are beginning to become more popular on high-end projectors, and we welcome them — it’s much easier to stand by the screen and make fine adjustments via the projector’s remote control.

Sharp XVZ-30000: Specifications and performance

The XVZ-30000 has a Full HD 1080p DLP chip in its innards, and is able to produce a contrast ratio of 50000:1 (in High Contrast mode) while maintaining a reasonably high brightness rating of 1600 lumens. This isn’t as extreme as the 2000-lumen BenQ W7000 and Panasonic PT-AE7000 but we found the XVZ-30000 equally capable in everything but the brightest possible conditions.

We had the Sharp XVZ-30000 set up to a screen size of 100in at its minimum zoom distance of approximately 3.1m, running 3D Blu-rays and Full HD videos from a Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray player and Apple MacBook Pro notebook.

The 2D video performance of the Sharp XVZ-30000 is excellent. It’s the equal of the BenQ W7000 and Panasonic AE7000 in almost all areas. We thought the default picture presets of the XVZ-30000 were well set up, with a variety of settings for movies, gaming or daylight viewing. If you do want to get the projector professionally set up or calibrated, the custom setting has plenty of range for adjustment of individual colour channels and plenty of other minor tweaks as well.

Sharpness is good in default settings — not overly sharp like most projectors — and colours are vibrant without being oversaturated. We dropped brightness significantly for our dim viewing room, but there’s plenty of headroom for any room that might have a lamp or in-ceiling lighting.

Black performance from the projector was good. The XVZ-30000 isn’t better than the Panasonic AE7000, but we’d put it on par with the BenQ W7000 and it’s a close race between all three overall. Contrast levels in each projector’s movie-optimised modes were impressive, with bright whites displayed alongside deep yet detailed black areas. A dynamic iris in the XVZ-30000 works well to adjust brightness in darker or lighter scenes and works almost imperceptibly fast.

3D performance is also very good. We didn’t notice any crosstalk on the high quality scenes of 3D video that we watched — some Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, some Ocean Wonderland 3D and some Avatar 3D — and the depth effect from such a large screen size is impressive. The Sharp XVZ-30000’s 3D glasses also have a nifty anti-3D mode that lets users view any currently-shown 3D video in 2D mode (by setting both glasses lenses to the left lens’ refresh rate) — great if you’ve got someone in the audience who’s not a 3D fan. There’s no inbuilt conversion to watch 2D content in 3D, though. Extra glasses are $199.

We did notice that the lack of a motion smoothing option in the Sharp XVZ-30000’s menus did mean a small amount of motion judder and flicker, especially during scenes of fast motion in 3D Blu-ray video. It’s not a large problem and it’s likely some users won’t even notice it, but if you’re looking for super-smooth motion this projector won’t be the best choice — we’d recommend a good LED TV or plasma for this purpose.

Sharp XVZ-30000: Conclusion

The Sharp XVZ-30000 is a high quality 3D-capable home theatre projector. If you’ve got the money to spend on setting up a home cinema properly, we’d be happy with the XVZ-30000 as its centrepiece.

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