Projector Reviews

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 |  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

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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  |  0 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  |  Mar 13, 2018  |  5 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $25,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
True 4K (4096 x 2160) SXRD panels
HDR support, including HLG
Laser light engine
Minus
Middling dynamic contrast
Limited HDR adjustments

THE VERDICT
With the new VPL-VW885ES, Sony has added a premium laser model to its consumer projector line, but even at $25,000, it comes with some compromises.

These days, if you want a true native 4K projector (no pixel-shifting required) that doesn't have a Sony badge on it, you'll have to spend $35,000 and up for the privilege. Meanwhile, Sony now has four different models below that mark, starting at $5,000. Since the debut of the VPL-VW1000ES (in 2011!), we've been waiting for other manufacturers to join the native 4K fray—and yet, here we are.

Kris Deering  |  Oct 07, 2020  |  11 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $20,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
True 4K resolution
Laser light source
Excellent out-of-box color accuracy
Minus
Some limitations with HDR
Steep price for feature set

THE VERDICT
Sony's new projector is capable of delivering dazzling images, though it lacks some cutting-edge features and components expected at this price point.

Three years ago, Sony introduced the VPL-VW885ES, a 4K LCOS projector with a laser light engine. I found the 885ES to be capable of throwing high-quality images when I reviewed it, but in the end wasn't fully enamored with the new projector. Basically, I felt it had obvious shortcomings that were hard to ignore at the premium $25,000 price.

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.

Kris Deering  |  Feb 20, 2019  |  6 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $35,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Breathtaking image quality
Reference-level optics
Laser light source
Minus
Low light output for price point
Lacks dedicated picture mode for HDR

THE VERDICT
The Sony VPL-VW995ES delivers reference-level images with all video formats and benefits from a high-end lens that's optimized for 4K playback.

In 2018, I reviewed Sony's VPL-VW885ES 4K laser projector, a $25,000 model that I hoped would be the successor to previous Sound & Vision Top Pick winners from Sony, the VPL-VW1000 and VPL-VW1100ES, but it fell slightly short of expectations. At CEDIA 2018, Sony unveiled its VPL-VW995ES, a next-gen step-up model in the ES projector line that sported the high-end optics missing from the VW885ES plus a few new tricks. The VPL-VW995ES appears to be a true successor to the earlier designs, but at a steep $35,000, does it have the chops to command such a lofty price? 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.

Mike Wood  |  Jan 18, 2001  |  First Published: Jan 19, 2001  |  0 comments
"It's not dead yet! In fact, it looks like it's going for a walk."

Monty Python's take on the plague in the Middle Ages could just as easily be applied to the CRT-based front-projector market. Pundits have long proclaimed that CRT technology, at least 30 to 40 years old and an admitted setup and maintenance hassle, is dead, or at least in its last years of life. Upstarts like DLP and D-ILA and adolescents like LCD are ready to take CRT's place in the front-projector market. Then, as other consumer-projector manufacturers close their doors, a new CRT company pops up.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Mar 19, 2012  |  0 comments

This is my second time writing this review. I don’t mean that I tweaked and changed it a lot and that this is a second draft. I mean I had to completely rewrite it. No computer error: I simply found something so bizarre, so transformative about Epson’s Home Cinema 5010 projector that it radically changed my opinion of it. So much so that I had to start over completely.

And I almost missed it.

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