Sony VPL-VW885ES LCOS Projector Review Test Bench

Test Bench

Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: Infinite (Dynamic), 15,000:1 (Native)

Measurements were taken in various conditions, with most taken in the Reference preset and with the laser at 80%. The gamma correction preset was selected as 2.4. All calibration was done with the dynamic laser disabled, and the contrast ratio measurements were done with various settings for dynamic dimming, as noted. All viewing and measurements were done on a 140-inch-diagonal, 2.35:1 Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 100 screen (1.0 gain).



The full-on/-off contrast was measured with a Minolta T-10 meter at 12 inches away from the lens face. The highest native contrast ratio (dynamic laser disabled) was obtained with the projector at 100 laser power. This produced a contrast ratio of approximately 15,000:1. Using the dynamic laser in Full mode resulted in an infinite contrast ratio, as the laser turns fully off. In Limited dynamic laser mode, the peak contrast ratio was 20,000:1. As noted in the review, these dynamic modes were essentially ineffective with real program material. For my viewing, I used the projector at 80 laser power for standard dynamic range. This produced a native contrast ratio of about 14,000:1 and 16 ft-L on my screen. (Note that user setup plays a significant role in what type of contrast performance you can expect to see from this or any other projector.)

The RGB tables were captured from a calibration workflow in CalMAN from Portrait Displays. RGB color points and grayscale tracking out of the box were very good and on par with previous Sony projectors I've tested, with a peak Delta E of 5. (Delta E of 3 or under is considered reference and imperceptible to the human eye.) Minor tweaks to the grayscale and gamma controls resulted in a peak Delta E of 3. Gamma averaged 2.42 with the projector set to 2.4 and Rec. 1886 as my target gamma in CalMAN.


The color gamut in the Rec. 709 profile was nearly spot on, with no value exceeding a Delta E of 3. Peak error after calibration was less than 2 Delta E, which is excellent performance for any display. Luminance and saturation values throughout the inner gamut were also very accurate.—KRD

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Davidthomas's picture

I auditioned this projector-twice. I went back as I found it disappointing in nearly every way. The black level and shadow detail were not competitive with my 7 year old JVC. The optics were no better than the other Sonys subjectively. And it wasn't very bright and was disppointing on HDR. I am now thinking it would be better to wait for OLED to break 100 inches before I upgrade. When that occurs I wonder what role there will be for front projectors. Does anyone have any idea how long it will be before OLED gets to that point?

drny's picture

Though it is technically possible to manufacture 100" OLED display panels, the limited market of buyers makes the financial investment that LG would have to undertake not feasible.
Far more likely is the fast improvement of ultra short throw projectors.
At $25,000 Sony's VPL-VZ1000ES UST projector points to things to come.
The Chinese have also boldly entered the UST projector market, believe me, they will push the market.
Of course patience will reward us. Within five years, 4k Home Theater projectors will come very close to current high end 4k TV displays.
I say so because current $5,000 projectors outperform a 2010 Plasma display from Pioneer or Panasonic which sold for an exorbitant $5,000.
It was exactly the high cost of producing such high end Plasma panels that killed Plasma. LG won't make that mistake.
My advice, wait and see what the market bears.
Of Course you can also update to the latest JVC DLA 990.
It will make the wait far more pleasant.

Billy's picture

Samsung has small flat panels that fit together like a puzzle, can make any size ya want. If that is as good as my recent LED 4K panel, then I will be satisfied not to upgrade my projector and 10 foot screen. Not sure we need OLED in that size, a non OLED can come awful cose. Make mine a 10 foot model for 3 or 4 grand, I/m sold. THEN projectors days are numbered. I think that will be the future. I saw the 60K Sony laser projector, I was blown away, but that had fine glass lens, why did they use a low end lens? I once saw a Runco 1080P that had such a good glass lens that I swore it was a 4K on a 12 foot screen! OPtics make all the difference, sham on Sony for not knowing that, they do, just trying to make a quick buck.

RaleighTiger's picture

Some of us have projection setups that mandate a retractable screen, usually due to not having a room that can be fully dedicated to a home theater with a fixed frame, permanent screen. LG did demo a rollup OLED screen at CES, but that is apparently still at least a few years from being a consumer product. It was also only 65" with no price given so it's not clear how large LG might be able to make that in a reasonable price any time soon.

Until there's a rollup/retractable OLED (or other) solution at 100-120" sizes for under, say, $15k at least, it's hard for me to contemplate giving up a projection solution.

HDTV1080P's picture

High-end DLP and LCOS projectors are the best way to watch movies in the home for those with a dedicated dark home theater room. If one can mount the projector on the ceiling in their existing home theater room. DLP projectors are reference quality when it comes to motion resolution and 3-D. LCOS are also fairly good.

In the commercial movie theaters DLP projectors and LCOS projectors are used to provide large pictures. Perhaps decades in the future a paper thin poster style roll up screen that has images better then OLED might replace projectors in the commercial theaters. However for now 100% of commercial theaters are using projectors because of their reference 4K and 3D quality. Dual 4K DLP IMAX style projectors are also available for the consumer market.

So it makes perfect sense to get a high-end DLP projector or SXRD projector for the home to come close to the quality of a movie theater experience. I have no complaints about IMAX 3D or Dolby Cinema Theaters. Most consumers would prefer a IMAX setup in their home over a OLED flat panel any day.