Furthermore, there’s precious little video noise to stand in the way of the fine detail clarity, especially if you do the sensible thing and only watch HD sources with the projector’s ‘Overscan’ option set to zero. Yet more good news finds colours looking intensely vivid and bright.
So how come we’ve only given the Z2000 a ‘7’ overall? Three reasons:
First and worst, although its colours are rich, they also tend to feature some decidedly off-key tones. The reds of Superman’s cape look over-stressed, so that they almost glow in a most unnatural manner; the greens of the Kryptonite tend to look strangely over-smooth and plasticky; and sometimes different features on the actors’ faces seem to have come from wholly different faces, so inconsistent can their colour toning be.
Making sure you select the ‘Enhanced’ mode for the HDMI input improves things a touch, but we never got things looking nearly as natural as we’d like.
The Z2000 also loses points with us by not being particularly good with standard definition sources. Edges of standard def objects look unusually jagged, and strangely, one suddenly becomes visibly aware of the LCD pixel structure that makes up the image.
Our last problem, ironically, concerns the projector’s running noise. While it actually does seem unusually quite for much of the time, occasionally, when the projector has to cope with a particularly dynamic brightness adjustment, you can clearly make out the noise of the iris moving – and this actually seems more distracting than the slightly louder constant whirr of most of the Z2000’s rivals!
In some ways the Z2000 is a ground-breaking piece of kit. Certainly its black levels redefine what we consider possible from an affordable LCD model. And these, together with its extreme HD sharpness, may be enough to entice budget buyers to part with £1,800 or so. However, Sanyo really needs to work on its colour tuning before it might persuade us to pick it over the best the DLP world currently has to offer.
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