- Jan 8, 2003
I know there are a lot of people out there who can't decide between the Infocus X1 and Sanyo Z1 for an entry level FP. A week ago I was one of them. With that being said I'd like to throw in my own 2 cents being that I just spent a few days with each. I bought the X1 last sunday. I hooked it up via S-video mainly because I couldn't find that component adapter at CompUSA or Radio shack. Right out of the box the X1 really impressed me. Great detail, decent colors, and really nice contrast. Blacks looked black for the most part, and the overall picture was really bright. The only problem I had with the X1 in fact, was rainbows. I saw rainbows...many of them. Anytime I looked away from the screen and then back, was when they really came out. High contrast scenes in LOTR Fellowship and Starwars AOTC really brought them out as well. I kind of forgot about them after a while, and I really didn't notice them as much. Kind of like the same phenomenon as being aware of when you blink. Anyway, I decided that the rainbow effect bothered me and I was set on returning the X1. After searching on the net for the best price on the Z1, I came across AGI. They're only four hours away from me so shipping only took a day. I connected the Z1 to the same Sony Progressive scan DVD player that I did the X1. The Z1 has component inputs right on the back , however, making this image true 480p. The first thing I noticed was that the Z1 was too far ( roughly 13 ft) from my 92" da-lite screen even with the zoom all the way down. After rearranging my setup, I moved the Z1 about 3 feet closer and it fit the screen perfectly. Unfortunately, that is pretty much where the perfection ended. I popped in Fellowship extended because it is the yardstick by which I measure all audio and video. Right off the bat the Z1 looked dull and pixelated. I remember reading a really comprehensive and in-depth review of the Z1 by a guy named Oren Jacob at avsforum who said the Z1 didn't look so hot right out of the box and required tweaking. Fair enough.. I popped in my home theater calibration disc to give it a whirl. After messing with the Z1 all weekend. I did get the picture reasonably close to the X1's. I just couldn't get the WOW factor out of this thing as I did with the Infocus. The X1 just seemed to have deeper blacks and brighter whites to me. I also coudn't get the Z1 as infocus as the X1 ( no pun intended ) I was contstantly fiddling with the lens to get that original level of detail that I got from the X1. The real irony of this comparison is that in every category imaginable other than the picture, The Z1 wins this battle hands down. 16:9 aspect ratio, component inputs, more menu options, better color control in 480p mode, eco mode, and a MUCH quieter fan. All these are irrelevent if the picture quality is not there. In my opinion, the Z1 doesn't have the punch the X1 does. On the other hand, the Z1 doesn't have the rainbow effects the X1 does. If you are not sensitive to rainbows, allow me to wholeheartedly reccomend the Infocus X1 to you. It has an amazing picture and costs $300 to $400 less than the Z1. If rainbows do bother you, don't be fooled into thinking the Z1 is going to give you the same image minus the rainbows. That's what I thought and was very much mistaken. As for me, I'm contemplating buying the X1 again to see if I get used to the rainbows as some people claimed they have. If not, I'm going to stick with my CRT for the time being. In a couple of years I'm guessing the DLP projectors with faster color wheels (read less rainbows) are gonna drop to the $1500 and under range. If indeed that does happen, I'll give it another try. And that, my friends, is my two cents.