Sanyo Z5

Sanyo's new 720p hi-def home theatre projector is one of the rare gems with dual HDMI and a cool motorised lens shutter. Best of all, it's going for a hard-to-resist AU$3,299 pricing.


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The latest wave of 3LCD 720p home theatre projectors is slowly making their way Down Under. This time round, we have a representative from Sanyo's established Z-series, which first debuted back in 2002. Now into its fifth iteration, the PLV-Z5 is more than just an incremental update of its predecessor, with improved picture-centric performance and connectivity. That, of course, includes the customary motorised lens shutter unique among its rivals of similar class and make.

Upside
The Z5 boosts a high 10,000:1 contrast ratio, an almost 43 percent enhancement over the 7,000:1 performance delivered by the Z4. This step-up figure is delivered by a twin iris optical system integrated with lens and lamp apertures, dynamically controlled real-time by selected image mode and actual video footage. There is also an update in video-processing capability from 10- to 12-bit, giving the projector improved calculating precision for resolving minute details, while reproducing richer colours.

This beamer is also one of the rare gems with not one but two HDMI terminals future-proofed with 1080p-compliancy. If this is not enough, there are also another two sets of 1080i component-video sockets. In all, you have up to four HD-ready inputs at your disposal. That's easily twice the norm featured by its peers such as the Epson EMP-TW700 and Panasonic PT-AX100. This is also in addition to the usual spread of legacy jacks for the standard-def A/V boxes.

Continuing the tradition of most, if not all, LCD-based entertainment projectors, the Z5 sports wide lens shift capability for added flexibility in home installation. This enables users to install the projector off-centre, up to three and two times the screen size vertically and horizontally, respectively. Couple this handy feature with a powerful 2x zoom and you will be guaranteed a truly theatrical 100-inch projection with relative ease, from a comfortable 3m throw distance.

Downside
If you are one of those fashion-conscious home entertainment buffs, we are pretty sure the Z5's boxy outline will hardly inspire. Though its design is far from outright distasteful, some addition curves or perhaps a touch of glossy finish -- the likes of the InFocus Play Big series -- would be a welcome change. On a lesser note, the cosmetic 100 ANSI lumens increase in brightness is quite insignificant. This pales in comparison with the 900 lumens leap offered by Panasonic which beats the Sanyo hands down with almost double the light output.

Outlook
The PLV-Z5 is going for a light AU$3,299 price tag. In terms of value, you will be hardpressed sourcing for a better deal to match this feature-packed Japanese product. There is no better time to upgrade your 480p beamer with such affordability, unless you are eyeing the full-HD route for the ultimate visuals.

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sassy posted a comment   

The Good:Cheap for the features

The Bad:Not a very sharp image and not very bright either.

Compared to the similarly priced Infocus IN-76 it just isn't near the same picture quality - but I didn't have the heart to tell Hayden that after I saw his running. Both old technology now and time to discard.

Hayden
9
Rating
 

Hayden posted a review   

The Good:Brilliant colour.
Crisp image.
Silent running.
Excellent connectivity.
Supurb price performance.
Good waranty.

The Bad:Colour needs some fine tuning, this isn't to hard though.

Could be brighter.

I couln't be happier with mine, it wow's anyone who see's the picture and has converted my friends to projectors.

Excellent product.

saffron
9
Rating
 

saffron posted a review   

The Good:Picture reproduction, black depths and 1080 HD x 4inputs

The Bad:NONE....dedicated cimema must..

I have bought the sanyo z5, while considering the panasanic ax100e , i was shocked to learn the Panasonic has viewing restriction in times of use which void waranty , the blacks in the Z5 are no less than superb and reccomend it highly, simply the best projector i feel for under $5000. Very satisfied and impressed, thankyou for your reviews to also help me select...




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User Reviews / Comments  Sanyo Z5

  • sassy

    sassy

    "Compared to the similarly priced Infocus IN-76 it just isn't near the same picture quality - but I didn't have the heart to tell Hayden that after I saw his running. Both old technology now and tim..."

  • Hayden

    Hayden

    Rating9

    "I couln't be happier with mine, it wow's anyone who see's the picture and has converted my friends to projectors.

    Excellent product."

  • saffron

    saffron

    Rating9

    "I have bought the sanyo z5, while considering the panasanic ax100e , i was shocked to learn the Panasonic has viewing restriction in times of use which void waranty , the blacks in the Z5 are no le..."

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