Moreover, the DVI input is unable to display a true 1080i signal--it downconverts those signals to 540p. The manual says as much, and we confirmed it in testing. With both our HDTV set-top box and our Sencore VP403 HDTV signal generator, the 2000 changed 1080i to 540p. The resulting picture was riddled with noise and quite unacceptable. The DVI input can accept 720p, however, making this issue somewhat less damning--if you have a DVI source that can convert 1080i HDTV to 720p resolution beforehand (almost all DVI sources can). If you don't, the DVI input is essentially useless for HDTV.The performance of the XV-Z2000 is surprisingly good for such a budget-priced projector. However, there is one glaring omission that prevents it from getting a higher performance score: lack of 2:3 pull-down detection. When we watched it on a standard interlaced DVD player, the opening scene of Star Trek: Insurrection was painful to look at, riddled with motion artifacts and jagged edges. Therefore we highly recommend that you use a good progressive-scan DVD player with this projector.
Blacks appeared deep and inky-looking after we set up the projector properly. Unfortunately, we also found them quite noisy, with lots of roiling dots visible, especially from closer seating distances. This effect is probably due in part to the video processing.
We determined that the 7,500 Kelvin color-temperature setting actually came closest to the NTSC standard of 6,500K (who knew?), and having the gamma set to Cinema 1 gave us the greatest range from black to white (contrast ratio). Grayscale prior to calibration was reasonably close to the standard, but afterward, we were able to improve it to near perfection.
Color decoding was not perfect, pushing red a little and somewhat minus green, but not as bad as many displays we've tested. The lens does exhibit some chromatic aberrations (red and blue fringing along white lines), but considering the expense of good lenses and the low cost of the Z2000, this is entirely understandable.
After setting up and calibrating the projector, we watched some of our reference DVDs and some HD material from Time Warner Cable. Our benchmark Seabiscuit looked pretty good, with solid detail and color saturation. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back looked impressive as well, but scenes taking place in space did appear a bit noisy.
HDTV sources looked mostly excellent, although again there was some noticeable noise in dark scenes. With channels such as Discovery HD, which produces most of its shows in HD video, the picture looked awesome. Conversely with HDNet Movies, which airs a lot of film-based HDTV content, the material didn't look as clean. Film-based HDTV was simply a lot noisier looking.
Resolution is excellent; the projector measured a full 720 lines on a 720p resolution chart using the component-video inputs. As we mentioned previously, the projector is unable to display 1080i via its DVI input.
|Before color temp (20/80)||6,250/6,900K||Good|
|After color temp (20/80)||6,550/6,400K||Good|
|Before grayscale variation||+/-389K||Good|
|After grayscale variation||+/-67K||Good|
|Color decoder error: red||+ 5%||Good|
|Color decoder error: green||-10%||Average|
|DC restoration||All patterns stable||Good|
|2:3 pull-down, 24fps||N||Poor|
|Defeatable edge enhancement||Y||Good|