Sanyo PLV-Z4000 review

The Sanyo PLV-Z4000 is an impressive projector but it suffers from motion sickness Tested at £1900.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This is an all-round fine performer, let down a little in just one area


  • +

    Easy to set-up and full HD spec

  • +

    impressive, natural colour palette

  • +

    decent detail.


  • -

    Motion could be smoother

  • -

    some hints of noise

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Previously the preserve of those willing to splash out plenty more, a high quality big-screen image can now be yours for less than £2000.

If you were thinking of buying a hefty slab of TV, a projector such as this Sanyo deserves consideration.

The 'Z4000 shows they're still not much to look at, granted, but more often than not they'll be tucked away out of sight. And thanks to a joystick and two scroll-wheel style controls, this model is easy to get centred on screen.

A 3LCD model, the Sanyo benefits from a 1920 x 1080, Full HD resolution and 120Hz motion processing. You'll find two HDMI inputs, alongside two component, one s-video and one PC input.

First impressions are positive. This unit is very quiet in operation without running too hot. After a quick tweak of the settings, we're left with a colour balance that's natural and easy to watch.

Decent attention to detail

Gran Torino
offers a realistic, relaxed palette and the Sanyo delivers it effectively. There's decent attention to detail, too, Clint Eastwood's big, creasy face being revealed in all its glory.

Robin Hood tests contrast levels well, and black levels are fairly solid and insightful. While there's not the punch and dynamism of the best in class, it's not far off.

Blocks of colour show-up a smidgeon of noise, but we're more bothered when the Sanyo's footing slips with fast motion. We try the motion processing modes but they introduce smearing and an unreal quality.

This Sanyo delivers decent detail, excels with natural colours, and makes a fine fist of more dynamic presentations - only motion issues cause us any real concern. So it's close, but no cigar.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test