I am buying one today. But I am lost between mitsu HC4900 and PLV-Z2000. Guys who have evaluated both these products- can you enlighten me on what you chose. The price difference is only about 200$ for the PLV-z2000 and so in my ballpark.
I don't know that much about the HC, all I can say is this is my third Sanyo projector. I have the Z2000 now, never had one problem with any of them, and the Z2000 looks great. I use it with a 110 Carada BW screen. I see some really good rebaits now on the Z2000.
The comparison everyone is asking about is how the HC4900 stacks up against the Sanyo Z2000. Both of these models are selling for exceptionally low prices, and if your budget is around two grand and you want 1080p this holiday season, you will go for one of the two of them.
In a side by side viewing, they each have advantages over the other. The Z2000 is rated at 15,000:1 contrast, and the HC4900 is half that. In actuality, the Z2000 is capable of producing incrementally deeper black levels. A 2.35:1 film being displayed in the native 16:9 frame will have blacker black bars above and below the image on the Z2000 than on the HC4900. And when the scene fades to black, the Z2000 clearly has the advantage. On the other hand, in scenes of average to above average light level, black levels within the scene on the HC4900 can rival those of the Z2000, and the differences between the two become less evident.
A key advantage of the HC4900 over the Z2000 is that it has decidedly less digital noise. This is particularly apparent in films with a lot of dark scenes such as the HD DVD Phantom of the Opera. In low to moderately lit scenes, there is typically much less digital noise on the HC4900 than there is on the Z2000, and sometimes the HC4900 shows none at all. The HC4900's lack of digital noise, even with the noise reduction filter off, is probably the biggest surprise in the review of this unit.
The HC4900 also edges the Z2000 in image sharpness. Both of these units produce beautifully well defined high definition pictures, but the HC4900 has a subtle but noticeable advantage in overall image acuity. This is in part attributable to a reduced level of noise, but even in scenes where latent noise levels are equally non-existent, the HC4900 appears a bit sharper and more three dimensional.
As with the HC5000, one of the most remarkable attributes of the HC4900 is its color accuracy. The Z2000 comes close, but does not quite match the purity of color we were able to get from the HC4900.
Advantages of the Z2000 include a longer zoom range, and longer lens shift range. In combination, these advantages may make it easier to install in a wider variety of viewing rooms. The lens adjustments are manual on the Z2000, while they are powered on the HC4900. However, for most users who intend to install it once and forget it, the powered zoom and shift features on the HC4900 are of momentary value.
The Z2000 is HDMI 1.3 compatible and it has 1080p/24 compatibility, whereas as noted above the HC4900 has neither. Buyers will have different opinions as to how important these factors may be, so you can decide for yourself.
Lumen output is pretty much identical on both machines when they are set to their optimum video performance. Both of them measured out to be about 400 ANSI lumens. Likewise, pixelation is equal on both units, which is to say that it is a non-issue from normal viewing distances. The native 1080p resolution LCD panels are of sufficient pixel density to eliminate the concern over screendoor effects or visible pixelation.
So what is more important to you? I would characterize the Z2000's advantage over the HC4900 in black level and contrast to be modest but definitely there. I would also characterize the HC4900's advantages in color, image sharpness, and image clarity to be modest but definitely there. These are two very evenly matched 1080p LCD projectors when it comes to overall performance. Each has an edge over the other in some important way, and neither is perfect. But for the price, they are both amazing values considering that just a year ago, the cheapest 1080p projector was $4,495. It boils down to a matter of taste.
The Mitsubishi HC4900 takes 1080p projection below $2,000 for the first
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