By >Daimaou - G.G-B
Sanyo’s Z2000 Projector, Your HD Video’s Best Friend
Recently, Sanyo gave us the opportunity to use and review one of their home theater projectors, the FUll HD LCD LP-Z2000 (overseas known as the PLV-2000). This projector was originally launched last year, and while we might be a little late in getting it, Sanyo assured us that one reason for the review now was so we could become familiar with this technology in order to review new models that will be released later this year.
To start, the Z2000 is not necessarily the sexiest projector we’ve ever seen. It can’t match R2D2 in style, but what it lacks in outward appearance is not a measure of its true capabilities. With HDMI inputs (one of the first projectors to use them) available and a nifty sliding door shutter for the lens, it has the feel of Gadgetdom all over it.
Taking this projector and reviewing it as though I had just purchased it for myself, it was very easy to take out of the box and setup. It was ready for initial projection in about 5 minutes. After pulling it out of the box, putting the batteries in the remote control, and even setting up the screen (Sanyo was also kind enough to lend us an 80′ widescreen to check out this projector), we played around with it, watching some of the videos we put up in HD for NihonCar.com and ManualGear.com (we’re proud of our work you know!). We put it on a table off to the side and lens-shifted the image to its extreme limits to project as far left as it could go, and it did a fine job. We then played around with some of the modes, finding that at the distance we were using it looked best with zoom turned on. Although it was bright in the office (no curtains on the window) we were able to see very well with the lights partially turned off–1200 lumens should be plenty for a dark home theater!
Let’s quickly return to the basics, and talk about the projector itself before we go nuts on performance. The projector body has a total of 9 buttons on the top, and lens controls on the side. There are also 3 indicator lights on the top, indicating when to change the lamp, power, and general warnings. The projector also came with a wireless remote control (also provided were Sanyo batteries, we checked!), and what was interesting was that they actually have all the inputs using separate buttons to select them. I found this to be a little unique, as usually you just hit the TV/video button to scroll through the various inputs, but the Sanyo remote had a special button for each. As long as you know which one you want, it’s as easy as pushing a button.
The screen said Sanyo on it, so it might be custom-made for them, and seemed a little more thin than the type you can buy at the local market, but still a high-quality. It might have seen a little more use than one I would have purchased for myself, but it performed well at its job. It was a floor-up screen, and all I had to do was put the legs out and pull up, attaching it to the hangar-like structure on the top.
I pulled out my computer and connected it, adjusting various settings on my desktop to make it as close to HD as I could for the first check. It looked really good, and I could even read the text on the screen. “Just wait until this is connected to my PS3!” I thought.
As for video quality, the colors weren’t too bad for an out-of-the-box projector. The video was mostly smooth, although there was some choppiness, partly the fault of the source I was using, but typical of LCD projectors. With a contrast ratio of 15,000:1, the blacks looked really good, and image quality actually surprised me during the darker scenes. When loading up some of my favorite games and movies, all I could say was “Wow!”
I did notice some small problems when I was using my Mac as opposed to my PC. I wanted to set the video to run in 1920 x 1080, but I struggled a little, which is more likely my computer not having the output I desired than the projector. The menus were very easy to use, very straight-forward. What seemed like I was unable to get adjusted on the computer, I was able to adjust on the projector (changing modes, zooming in, etc.). The video also completely stopped for a minute when running one of the videos, although it was playing on my computer just fine. I’m not sure if it was the cable I was using or because the projector I used was a loaner unit that had probably been through a lot already, but it only happened once…
All said, for the price of this projector overseas, it’s a bargain. The only downsides are that you have to replace the lamp after so many hours, which is not inexpensive. But for a home theater–WOW! This would sure inspire me to stay home and watch movies–and save the 1800 yen it costs to watch them in Japan! On that note, purchasing this projector in Japan at the current going price of 268,000 yen in a store would be equivalent to watching 148 movies in a theater. While that sounds like a lot, it only translates to about 300 hours of video time, and upon asking, the lamp should last about 3,000 hours on the brightest setting, meaning that you have only covered 10% of your lamp by the time you finish watching the movie theater price equivalent in Japan. Not bad at all–especially when you add that you can use this to play your video game consoles as well. The Sanyo is also very cheap compared to similar models, providing amazing lens shifting for a similar price that others sell theirs for. I suggest you go pick one up if you’re a hardcore movie watcher or gamer!
Note to self…Never test these types of products at the office, or staff productivity will be damaged… Now if I can unglue Kei (our intern) from playing with the projector and make him start working again, I’d be very pleased!