Sharp XVZ15000 home theatre projector

Sharp's latest home theatre projector has a hefty price tag

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Sharp XVZ15000
  • Sharp XVZ15000
  • Sharp XVZ15000
  • Sharp XVZ15000

Pros

  • Good natural colour, 24p support, good design, quiet fan

Cons

  • Expensive, auto-iris isn’t the fastest

Bottom Line

Sharp’s XVZ15000 home theatre projector is competitive with models from Epson and Mitsubishi, with consistently good colour and brightness. We aren't thrilled with its high price tag, however.

Would you buy this?

The Sharp XVZ15000 is a Full HD 1080p home theatre projector with reasonable specifications. It has a high price tag but still competes strongly with other premier home entertainment projectors.

Like the Mitsubishi HC7000 home theatre projector, the Sharp XVZ15000 is finished in glossy black. We think this looks better than the matte white of the Epson EH-TW3000, though it will stand out against a white ceiling. The design of the Sharp XVZ15000 is nothing spectacular: it’s a squat rectangular unit with the lens off-set to one side. The buttons are on the top of the projector, so they’re easy to access if you have it mounted upside down on your ceiling.

The Sharp XVZ15000 has two HDMI ports, allowing you to connect Blu-ray players and digital video recorders such as the Panasonic DMR-BW750. It also has VGA, component, S-Video and composite ports. There aren't an excessive number of inputs, but unless you’re a video nut you’ll be pleased with the variety on offer. The Sharp XVZ15000 home theatre projector has 24p support, which means it can realistically display film footage from a compatible Blu-ray disc.

A relatively short-throw lens with a small zoom means you’ll get a large picture even if it's quite close to the surface it's projecting on; a 100in image can be projected from around 10 feet away. This means the projector will most likely be mounted close to your seating position, but thankfully the internal fan hums along almost silently in Eco mode, and even in high brightness mode it isn’t disruptively loud.

Our 2001: A Space Odyssey test Blu-ray footage demonstrated the Sharp XVZ15000's good natural colour reproduction. Colours aren’t as vibrant and as saturated as we’ve seen from competing projectors, but reds, greens and blues were all accurate. DLP projectors like the Sharp XVZ15000 are commonly criticised because of the ‘rainbow effect’ but we couldn’t find any faults with the image.

A dynamic iris system to cut light output gives the Sharp XVZ15000 its 30,000:1 contrast ratio. While this means the projector can display bright whites and dark blacks, it has to compromise when displaying both simultaneously, robbing the image of brightness and clarity. We found the auto-iris generally worked well, although it was slightly slow to operate; we noticed brightness changes several times throughout Batman Begins.

The Sharp XVZ15000 is a good home theatre projector, with film-like colour rendition and a well-thought-out design. Our main gripe is its price; you can find competing projectors, such as the Epson EH-TW3000, for significant less.

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