Looking to Replace a Sanyo PLV-Z4 - recommendations? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi - I've got a ceiling mounted 1080i Sanyo PLV-Z4 (might be the Z5...can't remember and the model isn't on the projector). I've got it in a basement room (though ambient light can be a bit of a problem) roughly 15' from the screen.

I bought it in 2006 and believe it or not, have yet to change the bulb. It's exhibiting signs that it may need a bulb change, so rather than spend 200-300 for an OEM bulb, I thought I'd upgrade to a 1080P model. I'm OK with spending 1000.00 - 1500.00.

Any recommendations? The Panasonic PT-AR100U looks pretty good. Anything better for the price?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow....no help at all here guys??? 63 views and no suggestions?
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 12:37 PM
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Depends what you will use it for, if you game or need 3D then that will eliminate certain choices.

Your main options in this price range (up to about $1600 or so):

2D Only at 1080p
Benq w6000, Mitsubishi hc4000, LG cf181d, Benq w1200, refurbished Epson 8700ub at Visual Apex, Viewsonic Pro8200, Panasonic ar100u, and Epson 8350

3D w/ 1080p
Optoma hd33 (3d), Acer 9500 bd(3d), Epson 3010 (3d)

Also see the Top Projector Picks link in my signature...

Read the below thread, it dishes out some advantages/disadvantages.
https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1404582

The Benq w6000, Benq w1200, Mits hc4000, and Epson 8700ub have the best image for 2D out of the list. The Epson 8700ub has the darkest blacks, then the Benq w6000 followed by the Mits hc4000, and the w1200 is just a nudge behind the hc4000 in contrast and black levels. Benq w1200 has severe gaming lag, so if gaming it gets eliminated. Benq w6000 is slightly noisier than the others but very bright and has the best black levels between it the w1200, and the hc4000.

For many, I think it comes down to a refurbished 8700ub vs. a Benq w6000 if shooting for the best overall 2D quality. The w6000 is sharper and produces ok black levels with the IRIS, but also noisier. The 8700ub has darker blacks, but the Benq looks smoother and more film-like, yet sharper at the same time. The Benq is significantly brighter, I'd generally take the Benq w6000 over the 8700ub due to brightness and sharpness, but it depends.

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply - Blu-Ray and X-Box will be the only uses. Not a fan of 3D.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to figure out if the hc4000 is better than the ar100u - on paper, the Panny seems to have better specifications.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 01:13 PM
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Better is a relative thing in projectors, depends. Overall, the Mits hc4000 produces a more film-like image, smoother and sharper, less edgier, more consistent, the Panny ar100u has a LOT more range in brightness. The hc4000 is not very bright and cannot handle any ambient light, but the PQ is more refined. If going by purely PQ in a dark room, even though the Panny ar100u's IRIS can probably beat the blacks of the hc4000 without an IRIS slightly, the hc4000 should overall have better contrast in most scenes. In bright scenes and gaming, or nature HD type stuff (scenery, mountains, etc...), that is where the hc4000 will jump ahead of the ar100u becasue of the hc4000's higher pixel fill ratio (smoother but shaper look). The Mits hc4000 has higher NATIVE on/off contrast even though the dynamic contrast isn't as good, but the Mits still wins most of the time.

Overall, the hc4000 is better than the Panny ar100u, but the Benq w6000 is even slightly better in some ways than the hc4000 if you can swing the extra cash (Benq is much brighter, slightly sharper, darker blacks).

Coming from a Sanyo, any of these projectors will be a huge upgrade for you, but a change to DLP would be the biggest leap. I would go with DLP as long as you are not sensitive to rainbows and can deal with the more constrained and less placement-flexible setup of the DLP's.

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post #7 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Very helpful coderguy - thanks much.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 02:52 PM
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I would add that, if you are interested in setting up a constant image height 2.35 system, most DLP projectors do not offer a large enough zoom range to permit doing this using the CIH zooming method. Of course you can add an anamorphic lens ( only if the projector has vertical stretch capability) , but then you are talking an additional $4,000 to $10,000.
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