It appears that not much of the Sharp’s cost budget was spent on the compact remote control, which foregoes niceties such as backlighting, and the buttons are small and tightly grouped. But, points must be awarded for including desirable features such as discrete power on and off buttons, discrete buttons for source selection, as well as controls that enable you to adjust the lamp output without having to go through the setup menu. That last feature is a plus, since the projector’s Eco Quiet (lower lamp output) setting puts out a sufficiently bright picture for viewing 2D content, while the higher output setting seems best for 3D viewing.
• Color: -5
• Tint: 0
• Sharpness: 0
• Picture Mode: Movie 1
• Detail Enhance: Off
• Color Temperature: -1
• Gamma: 0
• Iris 1 (Manual): High Contrast
• Iris 2 (Auto): Off
• Eco Quiet: Off
• CMS 1, 2: Off
• Film Mode: Auto
• 1:1 (pixel-for-pixel) Mode: Native
A 3D Blu-ray demo disc included with the review sample features two scenes from the movie, and looks just great. Do set the image resize to Native to get full 1920x1080 resolution without overscan. The default color setting is a bit rich though.
The Movie 1 mode provides the best measured color performance, and the 3D transfer looks as good color-wise as the 2D Blu-ray version I viewed a couple of weeks prior. The Sharp’s spinning color wheel uses only red, green and blue segments (many single chip DLP projectors have additional white or other color segments to boost light output), and the measured colorimetry is quite good.
Ordinarily, a projector’s low lamp mode provides the best blacks, but with 3D content the Sharp’s higher lamp mode seems to work best at providing a sufficiently bright picture while also delivering excellent deep blacks.
One of the two scenes on the demo Blu-ray disc features Gru’s minions buzzing about in the factory/lair, and a shot that has one of them descending on a vertical hoist clamping an I-beam shows very fine shadow detail.
Compared to the typical theatrical 3D experience, the Sharp delivers a fine and fluid 3D image, completely devoid of the two main 3D bugaboos—ghosting (which results from an overlap of left and right eye images) and flicker (which is caused by too much stereoscopic separation, or lag between perceived left and right images).
The Teutul boys finally get to play with a real chopper, a nicely customized Bell LongRanger 206L helicopter, and the details of the intricate paintwork are clear and crisp.
At the default setting, the colors are oversaturated, but with the control dialed down a few notches (and the picture mode set to Movie1), the Sharp delivers a vivid color palette with natural flesh tones.
For 2D content, the lower lamp setting provides the right amount of brightness along with great deep blacks. The star of this episode sports a mostly jet black paint job with red flame accents, which looks superb.
An underneath view of the helicopter on takeoff clearly shows the underbody carriage details, even though the scene is filmed on a bright sunny day.
With both 3D and 2D content, the Sharp delivers an excellent picture. The 3D imagery is smooth and free of artifacts such as ghosting and flicker, and the 3D Effect control allows the user to dial up or down the 3D depth. But for the $5K asking price, the projector lacks key features that others in both 2D and 3D classes provide, including motorized zoom, focus, anamorphic lens modes and most importantly lens shift.
Compared to the JVC DLA-X3, an LCoS-based 3D projector that retails for $500 less than the Sharp, the XV-Z17000 must be considered a bare-bones model in terms of its feature set. However, the Sharp does deliver a compelling 3D experience, and the set’s performance with 2D material is similarly enticing.
SHARP XV-Z17000 3D DLP Projector
Practical Screen Size Upper Limit (10 Foot-Lamberts, 1.0 gain screen): 140” diagonal 16:9
Pixel resolution: 1920x1080
1:1 Mode: Yes
Has Mode 1 Scaling (vertical stretch for external anamorphic lens compatibility)?: No
Has Mode 2 Scaling (horizontal squeeze for fixed external anamorphic lens compatibility)?: No
Video inputs: 2 HDMI, 1 component, 1 S-video, 1 composite, 1 RGB PC (can also serve as a second component video input)
Other connections: 1 RS-232C serial port
Dimensions (W x H x D): 15.9” x 4.5” x 14”
Weight: 12.8 lbs
Warranty: 3 years parts & labor (90 days lamp)