Movie Theater Video for the Masses

Sanyo PLV-Z2: Objective Tests With Factory Settings

Test patterns

After a few adjustments, the white levels all showed up fairly distinctly, and the levels of black were quite good. The color saturation seemed a little less than ideal. Therefore it's preferable to increase the level of saturation slightly, either on the projector itself or on your DVD player. The colors didn't bleed into each other, and seemed quite well balanced overall. Some of you might want to add a touch of red, but that's a matter of taste. Finally, the Sanyo was clearly not at the peak of its possibilities with the factory settings where sharpness is concerned. The test pattern appeared slightly out of focus, and we had to increase the sharpness to +5. Once we'd done that, 90% of the test pattern was reproduced sharply, the lines were distinctly visible and only the highest resolutions showed slight trembling.

Sanyo PLV-Z2: Subjective Tests

Optimizations before subjective tests

Standard image

Subjective Tests

While short of what a DLP video projector can produce, the Sanyo still delivered an image that had good enough contrast and brightness to earn it the top spot among the LCDs we tested. In dark scenes, legibility was good and most details were visible. No sparkling interfered with the sharp definition of the matrix and the image showed very faint grid lines at an image size of 98" (2.5 meters) at a viewing distance of 11 ft. (3.4 meters).

The colors were pleasing to the eye and background details were quite adequate. A few wide shots were slightly lacking in stability, but nothing that will really cause a problem, especially if you use the progressive scan function of your DVD player. Watching excerpts from Gladiator, the image was sharp and bright. The sunlight in the exterior scenes wasn't too blinding and seemed natural. Close-ups of faces showed a good level of detail, looking almost real enough to touch.

But once again, Minority Report is what upset the apple cart, with overly bright whites and lights that were fatiguing for the eyes, and it was almost impossible to get deep blacks and light sources that weren't aggressive at the same time. The costumes sometime looked like black masses with no relief. As with almost all LCD projectors in this price range, the results weren't perfect. But the Sanyo is far from being the worst.