I've been a lurker on the forums since June, and received my PLV-Z3 on Saturday. Absolutely love the picture; sight unseen I was a little worried about black levels but I have no problem with them at all. I think it may be a personal thing too, since I had a really nice CRT PC monitor for instance and absolutely loved going from that to a Samsung 710n LCD monitor. Extremely clear and perhaps not as dark as the CRT or "inky black" but I preferred the LCD; it was easier on my eyes, and I could see everything brighter and more clearly especially in video games.
I just got a 42" panasonic plasma for another room as well and am thrilled with that, but call me crazy but I actually prefer the Z3 image! Some very slight tweaks with AVIA (I use the Normal and Theater black lamp mode) and I simply love the picture. The plasma certainly has the edge with a bit more vibrant colors and punch of course, but the colors on the Z3 while watching HD material are wonderful. It looks just right to me, very natural colors. I noticed a little bit of the "orange-reds" but this I found to happen mostly on standard definition channels, and even then, it wasn't that bad/noticeable.
to speak of, and if it's there I can't perceive it even in bright sky images. Screen door is apparent at 3' (of course) but at 5' or so it is spotty, like only in bright areas and if you focus your eyes to see it. At 6' and especially 8' from where I view, it is gone.
I'm using a 75" tile board screen screwed on to a 1x3" pine frame wrapped in black velvet and painted with three coats of Lowe's Valspar Flat Ultra Pure White. Projector is 9' away. It's in a small bedroom as well, about 11x11 feet and I have light blocking shades on the windows.
I have a Hughes HTL-HD receiver for directv, and the projector is hooked up via component cables. Watched the first HD football games on the Z3 yesterday... which I will now watch football exclusively on the projector every Sunday (skipping the plasma and my sony rptv!)
Nothing like it, it felt like you were standing right on the sidelines at times, or up in the seats looking down at the game. I know HD football games looks fantastic on smaller tv's; like you are looking through a window, but this is more like looking through a window and actually being there. I have an Onkyo 6.1 surround system which I'm upgrading the speakers to Infinity's and in the small room it was funny hearing the players at times and the fans in the Denver/Oakland game yesterday. hearing some guy yelling " You Suck Collins!!!" every once in a while helped to complete the experience.
I cannot wait to get my Xbox 360 now at the end of the month. I fired up some World of Warcraft for a little bit and for those who may know the game the gryphon ride from Stormwind to Ironforge was amazing. Really can't wait to see HD games using better anti-aliasing and such.
So I'm extremely happy with the purchase, sight unseen no less, I thought for sure I would get it and then probably want to tweak like mad; but it's not the case. I can see where it may not be "ink black" like the black level doesn't match the deep black velvet on the sides of the screen for example, but I am personally fine with that; the levels are totally acceptable for me.
Would like to thank the posters on this great forum, and especially CT Weibe for his review/advice and also 1Time in the DIY forum for suggesting simply UPW for a nice picture way back in June/July. Without these forums I would not be viewing my 75" screen of doom!! :D