Sharp XV Z201

Louis Mazzini

Active Member
Hi. This is my first posting after loitering around for the past few weeks trying to absorb some of the wisdom that’s abundant here, and finding it all very useful; thanks.

Like many, I’m looking to buy my first projector, and (also like many, it seems) am having difficulty deciding on which one. Having immersed myself in this whole business throughout March I’d almost ruled out DLP on two grounds: Firstly, the rainbows on cheaper models (eg Infocus 4800) are far too annoying for me. Secondly, the more expensive models don’t give me this problem, but almost exclusively seem to have long throw lenses which wouldn’t give me the screen size I’d like (92” width) for my room size (about 13’ throw distance). And they’re expensive of course. So, I was about to settle on an LCD (the ubiquitous Panasonic AE500) but, after a good long look at one a few days ago I found myself wondering if, as excellent as its image was, the blacks just weren’t black enough.

My understanding is that any halfway decent DLP will give better black levels than the AE500. True? (Also, for some reason, I prefer the idea of this technology over LCD; maybe because it just seems …cleverer). And now to the point of my message, does anyone have any information on the Sharp XV Z201? It looks like it could be exactly what I'm after. Anyone seen a review? I’ve seen its specs on a couple of websites (where it’s selling for what looks like a good price, around £2700), and it’s listed as being the same as the XV Z200 but with a wide angle lens. That means short throw, yes? Does anyone actually own this projector, can anyone tell me if, basically, it’s any good..?

John Boorman’s book on the making of his film The Emerald Forest was called “Money into light”; I guess that’s what we’re all doing, and I’d really appreciate any advice anyone can give me to help me spend mine on the best light I can. Cheers.


Active Member
I own a Z200 and am very satisfied with it, I assume the 201 is equally as good. Wasn't just blacks that made me go for the DLP (they are better), but also sharpness of image and level of banding in low level greys. Didn't compare against an AE500, but did compare against the Z2 and it looked awful in comparsion to the Sharp (but then again it was just over half the price!). Its possible that you may find pixelation an issue (sharp is only 1024x576 pixels) so I'd demoe it at you screen size and viewing distance, I think both seven oaks and nexnix do both PJs so...



Previously Liam @ Prog AV
I think the Sharp is one of the best value DLPs out there. It really packs a punch that only the likes of the NEC, Vidikron and Projection Design can beat (and they're all based on the same chip but nearer £4k!!).

Of course there are the cheap MT8's (1280 x 720 DLP) going around, you should have no problem finding a good review of one of those...

Louis Mazzini

Active Member
Liam, I agree, the Sharp XV-Z200 certainly appears to be one of the best value DLPs (on paper anyway, I’ve not seen one running yet…).

I’ve just read its first print review that I’m aware of however (April What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision), and was disappointed to see it get a far from favourable write-up (“performance way below Screenplay 5700”). I should add that the reviews in this group test were all fairly brief and, perhaps more significantly, the Sharp was listed at £3495 (when it can easily be picked up for well under £3000 both on-line and in shops) against £3000 for the Screenplay (of which I’m unaware of any significant on-line discounts). The Sim2 Domino 20 was the other machine that shone in this group test; as far as I know, all three of these share similar specs, so it would be interesting to know what factors make their performances so apparently different.

So, is there anyone out there with a XV-Z200 (or 201) who would compare it more favourably with the 5700 or the Domino 20..?


Active Member
Hi Louis,

The review in the magazine only slated the Z200 for image quality on the Denon A11. I have the Samsung 935 which is a beauty and I know that me and the other guys who are using it think it is super. The review did go on to say that he used a different player and the results were better.
The reviewer in this months "Your Guide to Hi-Fi & Home Cinema", thought it was a quality projector.
If you look under the DVD forums and on the AVS forums, you will notice a lot of people complaining about the DVD player performing badley and that there is a firmware update due to be released.
Wouldn't trust the review on the Screenplay. Not many people like Infocus units as the colour wheel breakup and reliability is worse than comparible units, but if price is you main push, you probably won't go far wrong.
The Sim2 is a super unit, but isn't it very expensive still?
I think it uses the same technology as the Z10000 which I compared against the Z200. The Z200 is the best of the Sharp range, but that's my opinion. If money was no object, I would seriously consider the Marantz unit.......

Choice is down to you........Best of luck and hope you enjoy whatever you choose.


Dear all, I am considering between the Sharp Z201 and Hitachi TX100 model. Now in Hong Kong, the Z201 could be available at GBP1500 while the Hitachi newly released TX100 model will be around GBP 1000, grateful if you could help me to choose between them. I do not own any projector before and thus this will be my first one. The consideration I have will be the short throw distance because of HK environment. Also, the shop recommend me to use OS Pure Matt II screen for Z201 and Kikushi Grey screen (150 GBP more) for Hitachi model.

Already spent too much time to choose which model, look for your great help.



Active Member
Home Cinema choice reviewed the Sharp XV-Z200 in the July 2004 issue, and gave it 4 stars out of 5. Highs were colour vibrancy, detail retrieval and black level. Lows fan noise.

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