Sanyo PLV-Z700 front projector Page 3


Primary Color Point Accuracy vs. SMPTE HD Standard


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The PLV-Z700 delivered the most accurate color reproduction with its Creative Cinema picture preset and Default color temperature mode selected. Grayscale tracking before calibration averaged 395° below the 6, 500-K standard from 30 to 100 IRE. That's pretty good for a factory-fresh projector, but regardless, darker areas in the image showed a mild reddish-brown cast. The projector does not have separate gain and bias controls for red, green, and blue, just global level adjustments for each color. This arrangement made it impossible to raise the color temperature for only the lower IRE levels. Still, raising the overall color temperature a bit delivered a more pleasing picture.

Color decoder tests through the HDMI and component inputs revealed that red, green, and blue were all within 5% of spec. As compared with the SMPTE HD specification for digital TV colors, the set's green and blue primary color points were mostly very close to ideal at the factory settings; adjustment of the Color Management controls brought most of the color points within 1% of SMPTE spec.

The PLV-Z700 offers three iris modes: Fixed (off), Mode 1 and Mode 2. Mode 2 delivers the deepest blacks, so that's the one I used. It also offers three lamp levels; I used the lowest. Even with these modes activated, though, I couldn't get the projector to deliver true deep black. With these settings, and with the iris set to Fixed, the native contrast ratio measured 375:1. With full-field 100 IRE and 0 IRE patterns and the iris in Mode 2, the contrast ratio of the calibrated projector measured 1,628:1. Overscan measured 0% for 1080i/p-format high-definition signals with the overscan switched off; with overscan adjusted to maximum, it measured about 3%. A crosshatch pattern showed no significant convergence error.

The gamma settings are designated with numbers ranging from -7 to +7. I settled on -1 as the best overall. The adjustment steps are coarse, making fine-tuning impossible. Brightness uniformity was just okay. On black and dark gray fields, the picture shifted to red toward the top and blue toward the bottom. On brighter fields, this effect was less noticeable, and I didn't notice it at all with normal program material.

The PLV-Z700 breezed through the tests on the HQV Benchmark Blu-ray disc - no great surprise, because the reviewer's guide that accompanied the projector practically dared me to run them. The film and video resolution tests looked great, and it performed at least as well on the "jaggies" as any projector I've tested. I could find no noise reduction adjustment, but the projector does seem to have effective noise reduction processing. Test patterns showed substantial reduction of noise without much apparent effect on detail.

It's obvious that 480i upconversion is one place where Sanyo cut corners to hit the price point. When in Auto mode, the projector's trips up on the HQV DVD's 2:3 pulldown (Film Detail) test, but works fine with regular movies. And the image from standard-def sources looks soft. But using high-def video sources or the video upconversion built into a good A/V receiver will eliminate this problem.