PLAYBACK: Sharp XV-Z15000 1080p DLP Projector

Ready for the Big Screen

 

When one thinks of affordable front projector makers, a premium brand like Sharp probably wouldn’t be one that immediately comes to mind, but with their XV-Z15000 single chip 1080p DLP model, it’s clear that Sharp is taking an aggressive stance towards the segment.

The compact chassis is nicely finished in gloss black and includes a manual sliding lens cover as well as a carrying handle, which might be of interest for those looking for an on-the-go high definition presentation projector.

 

Overview

Consider this projector if: you’d like an affordable 1080p DLP projector that provides solid performance and enough light output to handle larger screen sizes. 

Look elsewhere if: you’re looking for shelf mounting, as the Sharp doesn’t provide lens shift and the amount of vertical offset precludes back-of-the-room placement on a shelf or stand.

Ratings

  • Overall picture quality (SD): 7
  • Overall picture quality (HD): 8
  • Features: 6
  • Connectivity: 7
  • User interface: 5
  • Value: 8

 

Features

While marketed as a home theater projector, the Sharp includes portability options such as a carrying handle that tucks away when not used and a sliding manual lens cover. The manual focus and zoom adjustments are fine-grained enough to get the picture dialed in just right during setup, but the optics don’t include either horizontal or vertical lens shift. The set has a goodly amount of vertical offset, which is helpful for mounting the projector closest to a typical room’s ceiling, but that same vertical offset precludes shelf mounting the projector at the back of the room if ceiling mounting isn’t an option.

In the higher output lamp mode, the projector’s 250 watt lamp provides plenty of light output (rated at 1600 lumens), but even at the lower lamp mode (which also extends lamp life significantly), the Sharp still puts out enough light for a sufficiently bright picture on fairly large screens.  

 

Connectivity

Three HD inputs are provided (two HDMI, one component) along with S-video and composite inputs—a typical complement for projectors these days. There’s also an RGB computer video input, and an RS-232C port for external control.

 

User Interface

On-Screen Display

A basic design with text that’s perhaps a tad too small, the Sharp’s OSD nevertheless presents a full suite of picture and setup adjustments with adjustable slider bars and numeric indicators for the various functions in logically grouped sub-menus. While it won’t win any design awards, the OSD is straight-forward enough that even novices should be able to navigate within it easily enough.

Remote Control

Nothing fancy about the Sharp’s rather compact remote, as it’s a plain-Jane affair that features very small and tightly packed buttons with correspondingly small nomenclature. It doesn’t help that the remote isn’t backlit either. However, it does provide separate power on and power off buttons along with discrete input selector buttons, which are two pluses for encoding the remote’s codes into a system controller or a deluxe learning remote. In a darkened home theater, however, you’ll need a flashlight and perhaps reading glasses nearby to operate the Sharp’s remote.

 

Recommended Settings

  • Color: -5
  • Tint: 0
  • Sharpness: 0
  • 1:1 mode (pixel-to-pixel): Resize—Dot By Dot
  • Iris 1 (Manual): High Brightness
  • Iris 2 (Auto): Off
  • Lamp: Eco
  • Detail Enhance: 0
  • Brightness Boost: Off
  • Overscan: Off

 

PERFORMANCE

Blu-ray Evaluation: The Da Vinci Code (Extended Cut)

Detail: While the movie is sufficiently sharp, the HD video making-of featurettes on Disc 2 feature many close-up shots of the various props used and are sharp as a tack.

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