I’m back in 3D projector heaven, thanks to the arrival of the Sony VPL-VW90ES, Sony’s $10,000 replacement for the VW85. The VW90ES brings you 3D in a package claiming 1000 lumens. It doesn’t deliver on all of them, coming up typically short (few companies hit their claims). No matter, here’s a taste of what I’ve learned.
First, no question about it, with the same setup, this Sony VPL-VW90ES, was significantly brighter than the JVC DLA-RS60 we had here a couple of weeks ago. Of course that projector was expected to be brighter than the Sony VW90ES, since it claimed 1300 lumens. We sent it back thinking we got a bad one, but so far, still waiting on JVC for another. I kept the screen size small so far, for 3D viewing, to about 80″ diagonal, for 3D viewing, and it wasn’t bright, but it was definitely good enough for some really impressive viewing. I’ve yet to see if the Sony’s bright enough to fill my 106 inch screen (same Carada Brilliant White surface, up in the theatre. (1.4 gain).
Actually, I’m not hopeful. Oh, it will likely be adequate with a nice, new lamp, but after 1000 hours on the bulb… Brightness is going to be a concern with all 3D capable projectors until the manufacturers start mostly tripling the typical brightness of today’s home theater projectors. The Sony’s brightest measurement was just about 800 lumens.
But, the Sony is first, and foremost a 2D projector, and while I’ve watched only minutes, so far, in 2D, it seems to be very much like my recollections of the VW85, but a bit brighter. And that’s a very good thing (especially for 3D). Black levels are again, very “ultra high contrast” and while still not a match for the JVC competition, the 90ES should pretty much be able to hold it’s own with all but a very few of the other ultra high contrast projectors.
Nothing wrong with the Sony’s blacks, so if the roughly 50% brightness advantage (measured) of the Sony (compared to the JVC) turns out to be accurate, I do believe most people wanting 2D and 3D, will opt for the Sony over the JVC, with sheer horsepower for 3D trumping a black level advantage. Of course, if the JVC’s turn out to be brighter than our first look… meantime, there have been mentions by owners of RS50 and RS60 (or their HD series equivalents), on the web also reporting low brightness measurements. We’ll get it all sorted out.
I digress. If we forget about the 3D for a moment, and you want to learn a whole lot more about the VW90ES, try our full review of the Sony VW85 last year. The VPL-VW90ES review will publish next week – target date is March 14th!
That’s it for now. Got to finish writing up the Runco LS-10d review. -art
PS. Although 3D is still rough around the edges, I have to tell you I’ve been watching some spectacular and interesting 3D content of late. I’ll recommend the Blu-ray 3D Tahiti disc. Not just great looking footage, but lots of surprising high quality 3D graphics you would never expect. Very cool. As to the surfing shots, try standing 4 feet from the screen with your glasses on… whoa!