Leave it Sanyo to come up with a novel way to ensure that a projector’s lens cap can never be accidentally lost. Perhaps taking its cue from late 1960’s muscle car design (the 1967 Camaro SS comes to mind), its PLV-Z2000 features a motorized sliding lens door that scoots open on power up and closes at power down to keep the lens from getting dusty when the projector’s not in use. The otherwise nondescript white cabinet features a non-gloss finish, with manual lens shift adjustment knobs on the right side, while an expansive exhaust grille dominates the left side panel. Around back, the Sanyo provides four high definition inputs—two HDMI and two component video. No motorized optics here; everything is manual, but is easy to adjust nonetheless.
The well laid out remote features firecracker red backlighting, with key names easily discernable in the dark, and it includes a string of direct input buttons down the left side, along with a handful of picture adjustment buttons. Overall, the remote is easy to use, although I question the need for a button whose sole purpose is to activate a company logo splash screen.
The on-screen display itself is clear and colorful, and is simple to navigate around. They’ve also smartly chosen to offer two menu views—Standard, which includes all the basic picture controls most users will need, and Advanced, which exposes additional adjustments that will appeal to the video enthusiast. The Advanced menu offers surprisingly complex adjustment options, to allow a calibrationist to really “dial in” the projector’s picture quality with virtually any screen material type.
Note: As with any front projection system, you’ll want to adjust the Sanyo’s critical picture controls, such as Contrast and Brightness among others, using the appropriate test patterns on discs such as Digital Video Essentials HD Basics (on Blu-ray) or Avia (on DVD).
(30 Days Of Night)
|This 1080p vampire movie set in Barrow, Alaska, during long winter days when it’s always dark still has an easily evident crispness that is especially involving when the vampires are on the rampage.||Blood—and lots of it, from the opening menu graphics all the way through the horrific vampire attack scenes—is richly deep and realistic looking. Numerous outdoor scenes feature cold gray skies that are dark and foreboding.||At the low lamp setting, the Sanyo excels at providing inky black nighttime scenes, which are in abundance in this vampire movie, as you’d expect. The sheriff’s dark green SUV’s color is still easily identifiable during darkly lit scenes.||Gotcha!, as yet another vampire dispatches town residents, one by one. Chapter 7 features a swarm of vampires chasing down the sheriff and his blond deputy in their SUV, with numerous dark car interior shots that never get murky.||None noted.|
(Standing In The Shadows
|While most of the movie’s filmed scenes are rather noisy and lacking in detail, the marvelous concert performance clips are crisp and lively looking.||Sufficiently muted given the modest attire of most of the musical performers—but when the inimitable Bootsy Collins joins in, his wacky outfits add a healthy dose of bright, nicely saturated colors that really pop out.||Very good dark grays and blacks, with most of the performers doing the all-ormostly black wardrobe thing (but not Bootsy, of course).||As the camera pans over the grand piano’s keyboard during the music clips, the brand is easily identified (it’s a Kawai), even though the piano is lit much less brightly than the other performers’ instruments.||Occasional mild jaggies, noticeable only on a handful of black and white clips.|