Sony VPL-VW1000ES Projector Review

Sony VPL-VW1000ES Sharpness

There are two aspects here.  As projectors go, or rather those with 3 panels (LCD and LCoS), tight alignment of the panels creates a sharper image lacking color separation at the pixel level.  This Sony has an automated alignment system that works in increments of 10% of a pixel diameter.  Looking at the structure close up, it’s as least as good as any other projectors I’ve seen with panel alignment features, including other Sony projectors, the new Epsons, and others.

Then there’s perceived sharpness.  That takes us back to the whole 4K resolution abilities of this projector.  First, the sharpness and clarity of true 4K is a major improvement over 1080p.  Even, though, the upscaling makes a very visible difference.  True, not as stunning a difference, but enough to provide a more detailed image than I’ve seen on any other projector, and it definitely appears sharper than those JVC’s claiming 4K by “firing” a 2K panel twice, with a physical offset between the first and second firings (by 1/2 pixel diagonally).

This Sony on 2K content definitely is a step up from those JVC projectors, or for that matter any of the sharper 1080p projectors including single chip DLPs.

For your consideration, our usual close up images.

Sharpness Comparison Images

Sony VPL-VW1000ES
Runco LS-10d
Center: JVC X70R
Epson Home Cinema 5010
SIM2 Nero 3D2
Sony VPL-VW1000ES
+Runco LS-10d

Now let’s look at 2K to 4K upscaling:

For all comparison images below, I set my Canon 60D dSLR to full 18 megapixel resolution for all the Map, and Logo images when shooting both the JVC and Sony.  The large images were, as usual cropped to 1000 pixels wide.  Thanks to starting with the full 18 megapixels, there’s plenty of resolution available to distinguish the performance of these two fine projectors.

I took some images of maps from the movie Hunt For Red October with Reality Creation. And I also shot them using the JVC X70R which does it’s “4K” thing using pixel shifting.

The first image is a slightly cropped shot of part of the map. (The projector for this first image, is the Sony)

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2K to 4K upscaling

Sony VPL-VW1000ES

The first image is a slightly cropped shot of part of the map. (The projector for this first image, is the Sony)

JVC DLA-X70R

This image was taken with the JVC DLA-X70R - that projector claims 4K, thanks to their physical shifting of their 2K engine, to lay down a second, overlapping 2K set of pixels. Firmware does what it can (within the limits of "large" overlapping pixels) to produce a smoother "4K" image. The small numbers (and lines) on the chart tend to be soft, and not precise.

Sony VPL-VW1000ES

This image, from the VW1000ES, also is cropped from the larger frame in the movie. This image was shot with Sony's Reality Creation on, with a nice low setting of 20 out of 100. Take a look at numbers and lines on this one. No question, they are crisper, and more solid, less "soft looking".

Of course clicking on these two images (above and below) gives you the larger 1000 pixel wide images for better comparison.

For observing the differences, I suggest looking at the 525 and the 138 below the marker X0930Z. Also look in the lower right corner at the details in the map, numbers and lines. The difference in clarity is rather striking.

Remember:  While the VW1000ES is a true 4K projector, the images you are looking at from the Sony are only 2K (Red October) upscaled to 4K.  If we had the same content in true 4K, it would no doubt be considerably sharper still!

Throughout this review I’ve discussed the significant difference between having a true 4K engine, and JVC’s “creating” 4K by doubling up on a 2K image.

Simply summarized, the JVC’s methodology of 4K (which I’d rather they didn’t call 4K), is no match for a true 4K projector, even if the content provided is only 2K. Yes, the JVC method does improve percieved sharpness over, a basic 2K projector, such as the less expensive DLA-X30 or twin, the RS45 (we reviewed the RS45), but NO, it’s no match for a true 4K projector.

Discussing the Sony vs. the JVC with real 4K content, is a very short conversation, as the JVC simply has no ability to accept any 4K source, the Sony can, and it looks a whole lot sharper than even Sony’s Reality Creation can do for 2K content.  End of that conversation.

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