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Sanyo PLV-Z4 Projector Review

by February 25, 2006
Sanyo PLV-Z4

Sanyo PLV-Z4

  • Product Name: PLV-Z4 Projector
  • Manufacturer: Sanyo
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: February 25, 2006 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 2995
  • Buy Now

Brightness: 1000 ANSI lumens (max)
Contrast: Up to 7,000:1 (stated full on/off)
Resolution: 1280 x 720 native HD resolution
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen native 16:9 aspect ratio (4:3 compatible)
Supported Screen Size: 40-300 inches diagonal
LCD Panel: D5 (Epson); 3 x 0.7” TFT Active Matrix LCD
Iris: Variable twin iris system (powered lens and lamp iris)
Accepted Video Formats: 480i/575i/1080i and 480p/720p
Accepted Computer Formats:
From VGA up to 1152 x 900 + 720p/1080i
Video Inputs:
HDMI-HDCP, component (x2), composite, S-video, and PC/RGB (HD15)
Color System: NTSC, PAL, SECAM, NTSC 4.43, PAL-M, PAL-N
Fan Noise: 22 dBa

Projection Lens: 2.0x optical zoom; f = 21.3 – 42.6 mm/F2.0 – 3.0, manual focus & zoom
Lens Shift: Vertical and horizontal (100% vertical, 50% horizontal)
Keystone Correction: +/- 20 degrees
Lamp: 145 W UHP lamp
Mounting: ceiling, desk, front/rear (menu configurable)
Power Supply: 100-240 volts, 50-60Hz
Power Consumption: 210 watts (maximum
Operating Temperature: 41 – 95 degrees F (5 – 35 degrees C)
Projection Method: Front/rear/ceiling mount/table-top
Remote Control: Backlit, AA x 2 batteries
Standard Accessories
: Power cord and adapter, Wireless remote control unit, batteries for remote control, owner’s manual
Operating Noise: 30dB (minimum)
Dimensions: 15” x 5” x 12” in. (382 x 126.8 x 304.3 mm)
Weight: 10.2 lbs (5 kg)


  • Very detailed image
  • Usable picture/color controls for HDMI input
  • Extremely quiet
  • 3000 hour bulb life (max)
  • Excellent LCD panel adjustment and maintenance options
  • Reduced screen door effect


  • Requires calibration out of the box, specifically for white and black levels
  • No 12VDC trigger


Sanyo is an interesting company. I mean, they make rice cookers, vacuum cleaners and massage chairs in addition to electronic AV products. I think that somewhere in the world there is a room with two guys in it from LG and Sanyo talking about how they will one day open up a market for Internet-enabled WiFi latrines. The Sanyo PLV-Z4 debuted last September and took the industry by storm. Its reputation for excellent color, contrast ratio and image quality quickly made it one of the year’s top sellers in the under-$3000 category. With Audioholics publishing reviews on most of the competition, we wanted to get the Sanyo “on the books” so prospective buyers could compare and contrast against the other models we’ve reviewed (plus it looked cool and I wanted to chastise other manufacturers for not having a nifty automatic sliding shutter...)
Scott-Rex posts on January 23, 2007 02:15
PLV-Z4 Review

Just wondering how the PLV-Z5 would stack up to the Panasonic PT-AX100U. Does the Z5 improve as much over the Z4 comparing to the level of improvement from the 900 to the 100?

Thanks for all the great information.
krabapple posts on July 13, 2006 14:37
found the answer to the last one.
native res: 1280x720 pixels

which is also its advertised res. Duh on me.

Anyway, for those who care, here's another in-depth review of the model

krabapple posts on July 13, 2006 14:29
absent a response, a tentative guess – L1 = HDMI connection; the other is component? Am I getting warmer?

no , wait, maybe L1 is moving images and L2 is still photos. But that doesn't explain why there are duplicate sets of L1 headers in the review, with different test values. Different inputs?

I suppose I'll get it eventually. Not getting any answers just makes it more fun.

So why not ask a few more –
I now have the HQV test disc, and want to compare varioous modes of my player and projector. Does turning off ‘progressive’ (i.e. deinterlacing) in the Sanyo also turn off (up)scaling? Or does it still (up)scale an interlaced DVD input? If you feed it a progressive (420p) DVD input via component, is there a way to turn off upscaling to 720p in the projector (or does upscaling only happen with HDMI input)? And what is the ‘native’ resolution of the Sanyo anyway?
krabapple posts on July 10, 2006 11:54
absent a response, a tentative guess – L1 = HDMI connection; the other is component? Am I getting warmer?
krabapple posts on July 05, 2006 14:17
Thanks. I still don't get what the L1 (and L1 Pass/Fail) columns are, and why they are shown twice , with different performance. What does that mean? Video and computer-type sources, versus Film? I don't see anything about ‘L1’ in HQV's benchmark document or the audioholics page either.
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About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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