Shootout: Three 1080p Front Projectors Page 6

Shootout: Three 1080p Front Projectors

Sharp XV-Z20000

the listYou may know Sharp as a maker of flat-panel LCDs, but the company has also been a key player in the DLP front-projection market for many years. The XV-Z20000, Sharp's current flagship, offers not only full 1080p resolution but also a 7-segment, 5x color wheel to minimize or eliminate the "rainbow effect" often associated with single-chip DLP units. Its sleek design, with a glossy black-and-silver exterior, has "high-end" written all over it.

Other features found in the Sharp XV-Z20000 include a sophisticated dual Iris control, multiple gamma presets along with software to design your own custom gamma curves, and a color management system to adjust the saturation, hue, and level of the primary (red, green, blue) and secondary (magenta, yellow, cyan) colors.

The Z20000 is well outfitted input-wise, with HDMI, DVI, and two sets of component-video jacks to take in high-def signals. Sharp's remote provides an uncluttered, fully backlit keypad with direct input buttons and Iris, Brightness, and Contrast keys for crucial adjustments on the fly. The Resize button toggles among aspect-ratio modes that include a Dot-by-Dot option that displays signals with no scaling.

SETUP With my 100-inch diagonal screen, the Sharp's 1.35x zoom lens allowed for a throw range of 13.5 to 18 feet, though I was disappointed there were no motorized adjustments at this price - just a manual zoom and focus and a vertical lens shift that raises or lowers the image about 50%. Between the two lamp settings, Bright and Eco-Quiet, the first throws a picture bright enough for a well-lit room but suffers from considerably more fan noise than Eco-Quiet (which was already pretty audible).

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