PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 28, 2002  |  0 comments

The Sony VPL-VW11HT LCD projector is an update of the VPL-VW10HT, reviewed in the June 2000 <I>SGHT</I>. It uses the same 16:9 LCD panel as the Grand Wega KF-60DX100, but wraps it in a compact front-projector chassis. It offers the same wide range of aspect ratios plus a few additional ones, and accepts 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i component or RGB sources, scaling them all to the panel's native resolution of 1366x768. (Unlike in the Grand Wega, 720p is not first converted to standard-definition 480p.) There are also composite and S-video inputs, but no digital input. Six user-programmable video memories store, among other things, the user's calibrated picture settings, selected color temperature, and a default aspect ratio.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 19, 2003  |  0 comments

The Sony VPL-VW12HT is the latest version of Sony's flagship consumer LCD projector. In appearance it's a twin of its pre-decessor, the VPL-VW11HT (reviewed in the July/August 2002 <I>Guide</I>). Its 16:9 LCD panels have the same specifications. It will accept all of the most common source resolutions&mdash;480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i component or RGB&mdash;and scale them to the panels' 1366x768 native resolution. The user can select any of the most common aspect ratios: widescreen (anamorphic or letterbox), 4:3, and several others, including two that pass the source through without scaling. There are six programmable video memories to store different setups, including picture adjustments, color temperature, and aspect ratio.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 17, 2007  |  0 comments

No one imagined two years ago that the cost of acquiring a high quality 1080p projector would drop to the levels many of them sell for today&mdash;levels, it could be argued, that were driven by Sony's own extremely competitive pricing, especially on the $5K <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1106sonypearl/">VPL-VW50</A> "Pearl.".

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 12, 2017  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Native 4K
Superb resolution and color
Impressive HDR
Minus
No dynamic iris
No lens memories

THE VERDICT
The Sony VPL-VW285ES brings true native 4K resolution down to a price more viewers can aspire to. Add a generous helping of UHD’s wider, deeper color and high dynamic range, and it’s hard to resist.

Ultra HD with true native 4K resolution on its imaging chips has been, so far, difficult to do at a cost most consumers can accept. New DLP-driven 4K projectors that utilize pixel-shifting, which delivers the full UHD pixel count in successive half-frames of diagonally shifted pixels, have recently come on the market at prices as low as $2,000. But native 4K projectors that can put all 8 million pixels in a UHD frame on the screen simultaneously have been pricey, with the cheapest to date coming in around $8,000.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 10, 2015  |  4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $10,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate color
Ample brightness
Smooth, detailed picture
Minimal fan noise
Minus
No iris control
Doesn’t include 3D glasses

THE VERDICT
Sony’s lowest-priced 4K projector to date is packed with features and delivers a bright, beautiful picture.

When I hear someone question the value of 4K, the first thought that comes to my mind is: projection. Unless your nose is pressed up to the screen, a 4K image viewed on 50-inch flat-panel TV won’t look much different from regular old 1080p. A main advantage to 4K is that you can scale your display up to a massive size without having to worry about seeing the individual pixels that form a picture. And when you’re thinking about scaling a video display up to a massive size, nothing gives you a better return on investment than projection.

 |  Nov 19, 2006  |  0 comments

Sony took official ownership of CEDIA 2006 on Day 1 when it officially announced the VPL-VW50 SXRD front projector. Sony had previously lit the world on fire with the VPL-VW100<A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1205sony/">"Ruby"</A>, a fully outfitted three-chip 1080p SXRD projector with a retail of $10K, which was significantly less money than the premium single-chip 720p DLPs that ruled the day when it was released in Fall 2005 (not to mention that is a full two-thirds cheaper than Sony's first SXRD front pro, the <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/504sony/">Qualia 004</A>).

Shane Buettner  |  Oct 26, 2006  |  0 comments
  • $5,000
  • 1920x1080 threee-chip SXRD
  • Key Connections: Dual HDMI inputs, two component inputs, one RGB on 15-pin DSUB, one Ethernet
Features We Like: Full 1080p that not only accepts 1080p/24 signals, but displays it at frame rate that direct multiples of 24 for smoother motion, dynamic iris for deep blacks, uses less expensive lamp than previous SXRD PJs, and did we mention the price?
Ultimate AV Staff  |  Oct 24, 2006  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/1006sonypearl.jpg" WIDTH=450 HEIGHT=238>

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Nov 15, 2007  |  0 comments
Mid 1080p take II.

Not too long ago (June 2007), we checked out this projector's predecessor. In a roundup and the Mitsubishi HC5000, we chose the JVC as the hands-down winner for picture quality, but that wasn't the whole story. The VPL-VW50 was a close second, and one participant even picked it as a favorite, finding it quieter and easier to live with than the JVC. Now, a scant seven months later, the projector landscape has changed a bit. The new Mitsubishi is down to $4,000, and the new DLA-HD100 from JVC rose up to around $8,000, leaving the new Sony all alone at the same price ($4,999) its predecessor was last year.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 03, 2008  |  0 comments

When it was introduced at the 2006 CEDIA Expo, Sony's VPL-VW50 redefined the entire front-projector price structure. Of course, a few other manufacturers were ready with their own new projector announcements at that show, but the VW50&mdash;which came to be widely known as the "Pearl" after the company's code name for the project&mdash;generated the most buzz.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 28, 2014  |  1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $15,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Smooth, clean detail
Excellent color
Rich, dark blacks
Minus
Occasional iris pumping
Pricey

THE VERDICT
With its compelling reproduction of smooth detail, fine color, and impressive brightness with 2D content, the VPL-VW600ES offers a tantalizing taste of 4K.

In case you haven’t noticed—or have just returned from an extended spring break in Antarctica—the newest thing in home video is Ultra HD, or 4K. 3D is so 2010. 4K is now.

But 4K home projectors are still a rarity, and so far, there haven’t been any true 4K consumer projectors even remotely approaching the price of a good 1080p model. Until now, that is. Sony’s new VPL-VW600ES comes in at an MSRP of $15,000, or just over half the price of the company’s VPL-VW1100ES, a recent update of the VPL-VW1000ES (Sony’s first consumer 4K model). That’s not exactly chicken feed, but it’s a move in the right direction.

Kris Deering  |  Mar 21, 2016  |  1 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $14,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Native 4K imaging chips
HDR10 compatible
Minus
Lacks full HDMI v2.0a capabilities
Less than perfect focus uniformity
Careful setup needed for best results

THE VERDICT
Sony’s mid-cycle refresh of the VPL-VW600ES offers decent bumps in dynamic contrast, brightness, and features. While it still lacks some key future-proofing and has a few niggling issues, its compelling native 4K imagery is some of the best we’ve seen from front projectors on the market today.

Here we are now a full four years beyond Sony’s debut of the VPL-VW1000ES, the first consumer-level native 4K projector. And yet the bounty of 4K content that was promised at that time is really now just coming to fruition with an assortment of streaming options and a new Blu-ray format springing forth. In late 2015, Sony did what I’d call a mid-cycle refresh on one of our previous Top Picks, the VPL-VW600ES (May 2014; review at soundandvision.com), adding a few new features like HDR capabilities and improved contrast and brightness. But is the VPL-VW665ES the projector to buy as we head into the land of Ultra HD and all its promises?

Kris Deering  |  Jan 27, 2012  |  4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $7,999 At A Glance: Outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy • Whisper quiet • Punchy 3D images

The performance we’ve been seeing from the projector world as of late has just been astounding. Sony has been right there at the top of the heap, too, earning our Top Pick for the last three projectors we’ve reviewed. The company continues to push new boundaries with its recently reviewed flagship 4K projector, the VPL-VW1000ES, and price/performance boundaries with its superb VPL-HW30ES. Last year Tom Norton was pleased as punch with Sony’s first 3D projector, the VPL-VW90ES, and I’ve been lucky enough to follow it up with its latest high-end effort, the VPL-VW95ES. Sony claims improvements in 3D performance and value. With a price point that falls $2,000 less than last year’s model, the company’s definitely made good on the value part. But can a lower-priced high-end model really outperform last year’s Top Pick? Let’s find out.

Al Griffin  |  Sep 13, 2017  |  2 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $25,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp 4K image
Projects 120-inch picture from 10-inch distance
Can be used in average room-lighting conditions
Minus
Below-average picture uniformity
So-so contrast
Pricey

THE VERDICT
Sony’s ultra-short-throw projector can dazzle for daytime viewing and fulfills its promise as a big-screen panel TV alternative, but dark-room home theater enthusiasts may be less impressed.

When it comes to setting up a home theater, the main goal should be to get the largest image that your space and budget will allow. In many cases, that’s going to mean hanging a projector from a ceiling mount at the back of the room and attaching a screen to the wall up front. Next come the light dimmers and blackout shades—both necessities if you want to get the best picture possible from your projection rig.

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