If your screen is much larger than the one I used, you might be able to open up the iris and still enjoy fantastic blacks. With a really big screen, you can also crank up the lamp to its bright setting, but this also causes the fan to spin faster, increasing its noise.
Looking at the HQV Benchmark DVD, the fine lines in the detail test were clearly visible, and jaggies were virtually non-existent in the waving American flag clip and low-angle diagonals test. The projector’s DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) control was reasonably effective at cleaning up the random-noise in the test clips, while the MNR (Mosquito Noise Reduction) control was less effective with noise arising from MPEG encoding, though both avoided degrading the sharpness of the picture. The processor was never able to compensate for the conversion from 24 frames per second to 30fps at 480i, but it was able to do so at 1080i.
Turning to DVDs, I was eager to see some space shots, so I popped in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. I was immediately knocked out by the superinky black of space as the backstory scrolled—which, by the way, showed no signs of the jitters as it disappeared into the distance. And the black letterbox bars never even made it into my consciousness, merging beautifully with the black border of the screen.
The detail of spaceship exteriors, plant surfaces, and the dents and scratches in C-3PO’s metal body were all clearly rendered. Colors were rich and natural, from skin tones (human skin tones, that is—who knows what alien skin really looks like?) to the delicate shades of tan in the sands of Tatooine. The shadow detail inside the lumbering Jawa transport was only so-so, with solid dark patches obscuring some of the more subtle details.
As good as DVD looked, HD DVD was a revelation. The Last Samurai was stunning, starting with the crisply detailed opening shots of ripples in the ocean and clearly delineated blades of grass.Color was likewise gorgeous, including natural green foliage, subtle variations of blue in the foggy forest, a vibrant orange sunset, and delicate pink cherry blossoms. The shadow detail in night scenes was less compelling, but I’ve seem much worse I saw virtually no contouring in the underwater scenes of U-571 so I ventured back into space, this time with the crew of Apollo 13—what a joy! The darkness of space was so deep and rich that I almost felt eightless along with the astronauts. Detail in the crowds waiting to watch the launch was exquisite, and the grille on Mattingly’s Corvette showed no signs of the jittery artifacts I’ve seen on lesser displays. In terms of color, the taupe of the lunar surface during Lovell’s imagined moon walk and the blue, brown, and white of Earth were all beautifully rendered.
With such a strong track record in front projectors, it’s really no surprise that Sharp’s latest effort is so exceptional. Once it’s calibrated, detail and color are sensational, and blacks are sublime. The only shortcoming is shadow detail, and even that is better than what I’ve seen from other displays I’ve reviewed recently. The XV-Z20000 is certainly worthy of anyone’s dream theater—the only question is whether you’ll ever want to wake up.
With such a strong track record in front projectors, it’s really no surprise that Sharp’s latest effort is so exceptional. Once it’s
calibrated, detail and color are sensational, and blacks are sublime. The only shortcoming is shadow detail, and even that is better than what I’ve seen from other displays I’ve reviewed recently. The XV-Z20000 is certainly worthy of anyone’s dream theater—the only question is whether you’ll ever want to wake up.