Projector Reviews

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 04, 2013  |  5 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $4,000 At A Glance: Superb detail resolution • Superior blacks and shadow detail • Solid color performance • Includes spare lamp

In Sony’s pantheon of projectors, the VPL-HW models are the company’s solid middle-class family. While a product selling for $4,000 or nearly so isn’t likely to be found at Target or Walmart, in the projector world it sits nicely between bargain basement and “if you have to ask” pricing.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 14, 2016  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great brightness for the price
Dynamic iris control enhances contrast
Very good 3D performance
Minus
Low Lamp Control setting greatly diminishes brightness
Manual focus, zoom, and lens shift controls

THE VERDICT
Thanks to its dynamic iris, Sony’s 1080p projector beams bright images with great contrast and delivers performance so good that you may not care it’s not 4K.

The last time I had my hands on a Sony product, it was a 4K projector priced at ten grand. That model, the VPL-VW350ES, had many positive attributes (I gave it a Top Pick stamp, after all), along with one weakness: somewhat lackluster contrast compared with that of projectors that provide a dynamic iris control.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Apr 09, 2006  |  0 comments
Forget these teeny-tiny 1080p TVs. It's time for high rez on a big screen.

I've been saying it since the first 1080p displays hit the market: There's no need for 1080p on a screen smaller than 65 inches. Your eye just can't resolve that kind of detail at the distance just about everyone sits from their TV. Resoundingly, no one cared. Where that level of detail is really useful is with projection. With a screen of 90 or 100 inches, you can use every bit of detail you can get. Texas Instruments was pretty candid about not needing to rush in to a 1080p front projector chip. After all, where was the competition? At CEDIA 2005, Sony forced their hand. OK, I honestly don't know if Sony's announcement had anything to do with TI's timeline, but I found it interesting that, at CEDIA, there were no 1080p DLP front projectors, and, at CES three months later, there were a half dozen. Sony's bombshell was their announcement of the VPL-VW100 LCOS 1080p front projector. At $10,000, it's a full $2,000 to $3,000 less than the 720p DLPs. Projector sales are 90 percent numbers, and 1080p is a big one.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 18, 2005  |  0 comments

<I>When our Photo Research PR-650 SpectraScan Colorimeter&mdash;the tool we use to calibrate most of the projectors we review&mdash;went into the shop for repair recently, not destined to emerge until mid January, a decision had to be made. The Sony VPL-VW100 is one of the hottest video products to hit the market this year. Do we wait until January to post our full review, or bring you what we have now&mdash;observations based on using the user controls, a test DVD or two, and experience with other well-calibrated displays&mdash;followed up later by additional details, including a full calibration. I decided on the latter, to bring you the information we have just as soon as possible, making this first-ever </I>Ultimate AV<I> two-part review that doesn't involve more than one product. Part two of this review can be found <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/206sony2/">here</A>.&mdash;TJN</I>

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 19, 2006  |  0 comments

While my <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1205sony/">December 2005 review of this video projector</A> was complete in most respects, the absence of our Photo Research colorimeter (in the shop for repairs) did leave a few holes in the formal measurements. These were promised for this Part II.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 24, 2012  |  1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
(92-inch high-gain screen)
3D Performance
(118-inch standard screen)
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $25,000 At A Glance: Superb 4K resolution • Excellent blacks and shadow detail • High-gain screen recommended for 3D

Editor's note: This is an addendum to our earlier review of the Sony VPL-VW1000 4K 3D projector, covering only its 3D picture quality. Click here for the orignal review.

In our February 2012 issue, we published an exclusive first look at Sony’s new top-of-the-line projector. In addition to stunning performance with conventional, high-defintion, consumer material, the VPL-VW1000 employs 4K imaging chips, offering four times the resolution of standard high-definition video.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 06, 2011  |  9 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance   (See Review)
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Editor’s note: Click here for Tom Norton’s review covering the 3D capabilities and performance of the VPL-VW1000ES.

Editors Note: Home Theater is pleased to bring you this exclusive first review of Sony's VPL-VW1000ES, the world's first 4K projector built from the ground up for the consumer market. With more than four times the resolution of HDTV, 4K is already transforming digital cinema, and it now stands to create a more engaging and dramatic home theater experience as well.—Rob Sabin

Price: $25,000 At A Glance: Superb resolution • Excellent blacks and shadow detail • Four times the pixel density of 1920x1080 HD

Things could hardly be looking better for the video projector fan. The quality you can get today for under $10,000—or even under $5,000—is astonishing.

But the competition is fierce, and to stand out in the crowd, manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. True, 3D is still on its run as the NBT of the decade. Beyond that, 4K video lurks, waiting for its time in the spotlight.

Kris Deering  |  Nov 04, 2014  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $27,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Razor-sharp optics
Accurate DCI and Rec. 709 color
True 4K performance
Minus
Contrast could be further improved
Pricey

THE VERDICT
The VPL-VW1100ES is a flagship projector in every sense—from its second-to-none lens to its phenomenal accuracy.

Two and a half years have already passed since Tom Norton delivered the first review of Sony’s initial salvo into the 4K projector world, the VPL-VW1000ES. It earned top marks from Tom, who called it the best projector he’d ever seen. Now, three years later, Sony has a new flagship, the VPL-VW1100ES, which includes an upgrade to the latest HDMI 2.0 connection standard and some video-processing refinements. It retains the core components of the old model but takes advantage of the small market of consumer 4K content available today.

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.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 28, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent resolution
Good HDR brightness
Quiet
Minus
Middling black level
Limited BT.2020 and P3 color coverage
No 10-point white balance adjustment

THE VERDICT
Sony’s VPL-VW295ES isn’t significantly different than last year’s VPL-VW285ES, but it’s still a tempting entry in the limited world of affordable true 4K home projectors.

Until recently, most home 4K projectors used lower-than-4K-resolution imaging chips and employed various types of time-offset pixel shifting to display a 4K image on a screen. Such projectors are affordable and widely available, and they can be remarkably effective. True, full 4K projection, on the other hand, has remained something of a golden goose, priced out of the range of mere mortals.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 02, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent detail
Vivid color reproduction
Motorized focus, zoom, lens shift
Minus
Relatively limited light output
No dynamic iris
Basic HDR tone-mapping adjustment

THE VERDICT
Sony's entry-level full 4K projector delivers detailed, seamless images and is a great option for dedicated home movie theaters.

Sony's projector lineup is notable for its use of the company's full 4K-resolution (4,096 x 2,160-pixel) SXRD (Sony-speak for LCOS) chips. It's also been notable for featuring a 5K model—5K as in $5,000, the price for the line's entry-level projector. Back in 2021, the company replaced that model, the VPL-VW295ES, with the VPL-VW325ES, an updated version offering a few new features, though at a higher $5,499 price. Are the updates worth the extra coin? Let's find out.

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.

Pages

X