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Sanyo PLV-Z2000 LCD Projector - Sanyo PLV-Z2000
Other little tidbits tailor-made to raise your expectations include compatibility with Blu-ray/HD DVD's 1080p/24fps HD format, and a new (to Sanyo) 14-bit 3D Colour Management system. This system, claims Sanyo, should produce a colour range 1,100 times better than that of the brand's current HD Ready LCD model, the PLV-Z5.
One last ‘boast' Sanyo makes for the Z2000, though, actually rather backfires. For apparently the inorganic LCD panel at the projector's heart is the latest C2FINETM D7 from Epson. Which would be great were it not for the fact that the most recent projector we've seen from Epson, the EMP-TW1000, was really not very good at all…
Thankfully the Z2000 is way better than the Epson model we just name-checked, particularly when it comes to black level response. For where the Epson's black levels were seriously wanting, with dark scenes besmirched by some pretty nasty greyness, the Z2000's black levels are actually something of a revelation for the affordable full HD LCD market.
During a profoundly dark sequence such as the one where Supes gets beaten up on an 'island' of Kryptonite in the HD DVD of Superman Returns, the Z2000's black levels are almost completely free of greyness. Furthermore, dark parts of the picture retain enough shadow detail information to suggest that the lamp brightness really isn't being reduced as much as you might expect to make such black level depth possible.
Also, during the actually pretty lengthy duration of our tests we only spotted a small handful of very tiny brightness 'steps' caused by the Z2000's dynamic iris going about its work.
The bottom line here is that the Z2000's black levels - a traditional weakness of LCD technology - are actually good enough to compete with many similarly priced DLP models.
The Z2000 also earns plaudits during our Superman Returns session for its impressive sharpness. All the lovely fine detail in the disc's terrific HD transfer is lovingly reproduced, right down to the weave in Clarke Kent's endless brown suits.