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Should I buy the Sanyo Z2 sight unseen?? Please give advice.

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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Curt Luther

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Posted January 19 2004 - 11:48 AM

I was approved for my equity loan to complete my HT and I am finishing up the drywall now. I cannot find anyone in my area (West Michigan) that supplies the Sanyo Z2 or either Panasonic projector. Should I buy the Z2 without previewing some how? Has anyone else done this and wished they hadn't? Also does anyone know if it is available on line or will I have to pre order one? Where is a good place to buy one? Sorry for all the questions but I want to make sure I have one once my room is completed. Thank you for the help. Curt

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   joey mr

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Posted January 19 2004 - 11:57 AM

simple answer no Posted Image check the pj first before you buy itPosted Image

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   mike_bianchi



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Posted January 19 2004 - 12:30 PM

Curt, I feel your frustration. I've been researching for two months to buy a projector for my HT. The trouble is getting to actually see them in action - preferably all lined up in a row with a single video feed, checking each machine for your own personal best view. Especially in the sub-$2000 range, I found that there is always one defecient specification (lumens, color wheel speed, contrast, etc., etc., etc.). In my area I couldn't get any kind of demo. So, while trolling through Sam's Club one day I found a Philips 60", 4:3, HD-monitor for under $1500 and I bought it. It kills me to not have an actual projector but I went with the safest approach to know exactly what I'm getting. I planning a later phase of my HT to include front projection with a retractible screen for movie watching. Good luck in your search.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Ian-Fl


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Posted January 19 2004 - 12:46 PM

There are still issues with the Sanyo and Panasonic. Contrast levels on the Sanyo LCD are not as good as the Panasonic DLP projector. I read these questions all the time about removing dust blobs.
DLP projectors still have rainbows.
Having said that they are the best 16:9 projectors on the market in that price range. You won't do better. So if your comfortable with some weaknesses go ahead. I overlook them on my two year old projector all the time because I enjoy watching films on a big screen.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Eric Samonte

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Posted January 19 2004 - 01:04 PM

I pulled the trigger with no "demo" on several displays now, i.e., 2 Toshiba RPTVs and a Sanyo PLV-Z1. I did these all through the advice, experiences from mostly HTF members, some in-depth research and personal preferences. While it may sound intimidating and bordering on being foolhardy, I believe I made a well informed choice short of actually trying out the product. Also, for my protection, I have acquired extended warranties where applicable...or...get the unit with a good return policy.

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Ian-Fl


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Posted January 19 2004 - 01:49 PM

I bought my projector from a local retailer. It cost me a couple of hundred more than online. I didn't demo it, however I was quite prepared to return it if I was unsatisfied.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Duane_T


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Posted January 19 2004 - 04:23 PM

Curt, I don't know if this will help or not, but there is a thread at AVS about people willing to demo their projectors for those looking at buying. One guy on there has gathered all the info and made it searchable at


Maybe there is someone close to you with the projectors you are looking for.

I believe there was a similar post here on HTF a while ago too.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Rick Guynn

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Posted January 20 2004 - 03:08 AM

Panasonic doesn't make a DLP projector. Their 500U unit uses the same panels as the Sanyo (OEM'd from Epson). As mentioned, all projectors have their issues to one degree or another. It comes down to a matter of budget, requirements, and expectations. If your budget is $2k, then either the Z2 or the Panny 500 would be a great device. Keep in mind that if you do buy one, make sure you do some calbration on it out of the box before making any judgements. If you decide you want DLP and watch mostly DVD's, then you might wait and take a look at the upcoming Infocus 4805. If your budget is $3k, then you open up a few more doors... RG

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   ChadLB



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Posted January 20 2004 - 04:00 AM

I bought the Z1 without seeing it in person. I have no regrets at all. Just maybe wish I had waited for the Z2... If that is your budget( $2,000) then look at the Z2 or Panny 500 and decide which features you might benefit from.

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Ian-Fl


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Posted January 20 2004 - 04:55 AM

That's funny, I was reading somebodies impressions of the Panasonic 500u and he said he didn't like seeing rainbows so I thought the 500u was a DLP projector. I guess that person doesn't know what a rainbow is.

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted January 20 2004 - 05:05 AM

Most definitely at least try to get as much information from the people that have the unit before buying. There is another thread here regarding the Z2 that you may want to check out, and get in contact with the owner. That said, for $2K, either the Z2 or Panny500 would be good bets.
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#12 of 24 OFFLINE   DuWayne


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Posted January 20 2004 - 05:39 AM

Let me know if you have any questions... I own the Z2 and have about 3 threads started about it (one includes many pics). I suggest you do a search on Z2. In summary, buy it, you WILL be happy!

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 20 2004 - 06:01 AM

I bought my 1HD (Z1 clone) sight unseen based on the reviews and what people I trust said about it and I love it. Given the budget the Z2 and panny go at either one is a safe bet and are really nice projectors that just about anyone could be happy with. Besides these are both hot items so if you bought online and couldn't return it for some reason you'd have zero problems selling it here or on audiogon etc.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   ChadLB



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Posted January 20 2004 - 07:37 AM

Another thing to consider is the Z2 has a 3 year warranty while the Panny has I believe a 1 year warranty.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Christian Behrens

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Posted January 20 2004 - 08:16 AM

I bought mine sight unseen and am quite happy with it. Out of the box via DVI it looks extremely nice. As someone said earlier, it's just great watching films on a big screen, so I have no problems with the minor disadvantages, like black levels etc. I'd buy it again. -Christian
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#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Nigel T

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Posted January 23 2004 - 08:36 AM

I have had my Z2 for about 3 weeks now and have been really happy with the purchase. I had not seen one before I ordered mine. I can not find any problem with the image at all.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveGTP



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Posted January 23 2004 - 08:54 AM

I bought my Panny CP72 DVD changer site unseen. Ditto for my Fluance AV-HTB speakers & Onkyo TX-SR601 receiver. I'm going to buy an Infocus X1 from Circuit City next week. Dell is cheaper, but I can return the X1 if I have issues with it (rainbows, etc) thanks to CC's return policies.
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#18 of 24 OFFLINE   RandyMathis


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Posted January 23 2004 - 02:05 PM

I bought the Z2 sight unseen and I love it. I recommend Digital Video Essentials to help calibrate the picture. Each unit is different. The only problems that I have seen with mine are relatively minor. Via DVI I can't get Green 100% no matter how high I raise it. Red is difficult but doable (it could be my eyes). Blue is nearly perfect out of the box. Brightness is fine, contrast is fine, and cooling fan noise is a non issue. I have no bad pixels, very little vertical banding and screen door is only when viewing very close to the screen. The Z2 and the L500 use the same panels. I would choose the Z2 due to the lens shift. I use it and I appreciate how much easier it is to use the pj because of it. Also, remember that some problems are from the source. I thought that I had more problems than I really do, until I tried different sources and the problems went away.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert James Clark

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Posted January 23 2004 - 05:38 PM

I bought both the X1 and the Z1 (1HD) sight unseen and kept the Z1. Front projectors at this stage are just a difficult purchase. We are still on the bleeding edge and buying this way is frequently the only way. This should get better as front projection becomes more popular with the general public (which I think it will).

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   HoiT



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Posted January 24 2004 - 07:47 AM

Hi Guys, Since I live in Canada, I am paying more for all these wonderful toys. Last time I check the Panasonic AE500 sells for 3500 cdn and the Sanyo Z2 at 2750 cdn (all taxes are extra of course). Using an exchange rate of 1.29, both are above 2k US? Can someone tell me what are the prices for these two items in the US? Thanks. HoiT

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