Posted on November 26, 2016
The Sony VPL-VW365ES is the least expensive true 4K home theater projector currently available, at $9999 list price. It supports 4K HDR for dazzling picture quality, and has an impressive feature set. It replaces the older VW350ES which we previously reviewed, and awarded. The VW365ES is designed to be nicely bright – just enough to be paired with a light rejecting (ALR) screen in rooms with good, but not great light control, and of course, it’s great in your dedicated home theater or cave, should you have one or are about to create one.
We’ll start off with an overview of the VPL-VW365ES, and a list of its highlights. From there, other pages will consider special features, a tour of the hardware, our take on a number of aspects of picture quality, and performance measurements. Finally, a summary of the whole VW365ES review, including a pros and cons section.
Let’s get started.
The VW365ES is a largish home theater projector. It’s case is dark with a matte finish so that it blends nicely into a dark ceiling in a dedicated home theater. But if your room has a lighter ceiling, despair note, because this Sony is a sleek, clean looking design.
Of course the most important aspect of this projector are its three SXRD (LCoS) 4K panels (3840×2160). I see the VW365ES first as a “media room” or home theater projector. Give it a room with respectable control over light, and pair it the right screen, and you will have one impressive setup, that will blow away your friends and truly entertain you.
Sony projectors are extremely strong on picture quality. In general I might say “natural looking picture.” We’ll discuss how good, later.
In the photo player above, the first three images are from HDTV, then three from Blu-ray movies, and finally, four 4K content images.
The lens zoom, focus, and lens shift are all motorized, for your convenience, but the projector lacks lens memory, a minor inconvenience for some. The zoom has a huge amount of placement flexibility.
Sony has reduced the selection of inputs to the minimum, relying on HDMI, and the likelihood of a modern AV receiver, or alternative. It comes with a backlit remote control.
3D is upgraded from the older VW350ES, it’s now RF rather than IR based. No glasses are included, but good, very lightweight 3D glasses today start from well under $20.
Links are broken in this article.
Working on it. Or rather, webmaster notified. He’ll be fixing it. I expect it will be working again tomorrow. -art
How do you feel about this projector vs. last years Sony vw665es, as I can get both for roughly similar prices?
Greetings Noah, I’d definitely go with the VW665ES as it is the step up model ($5K more list price) to the VW365ES. Dynamic iris, better blacks, lens memory…
The reason the VW665ES is discounted is that the new version has one additional feature – support for hybrid log-gamma, a streaming protocol. Whether that even catches on, I’m not sure, but, no matter. The point is, that you are getting the superior projector for the same price as the 365ES, with the deal possible because of the minor change/newer model. -art
Hi Art, Simular question as Noah.
I’m comparing the 665 to the 675. There is a $6,000 difference for the upgrade to 675. Would I be completely foolish to spend that extra money on the 675? I think it’s nuts but would like to know your opinion. Also, do you see a need for video scalers with these projectors. As you can tell I’m pretty green and i’m coming from a VPL-VW95ES.
Hi Dadz! Here’s my thinking – the difference – hybrid log-gamma is a new standard for streaming 4K content. That raises the question of whether we’ll all be streaming 4K content. Personally – so far, I’ve never met a movie being streamed to me with anything near the quality of a disc. With 1080p streams, there’s always been far more compression, oft seen as occasional dark blocks of black or near black on dark scenes, especially where there’s a lot of motion. We projector people tend to be picky about such things. Quality to date has been disc first, then cable/satellite, then streaming. Could that change, and could hybrid log-gamma by why? I don’t have the answer yet, but I’m going to ask Ron, who is far more technical. I’m also going to bounce that back to Sony, since they, and JVC are the only companies supporting hybrid log gamma. I also don’t know if an external box ie a DVDO, could support and convert as needed. (That would seem likely, as it’s not a copy protection thing, but I’m guessing.)
I’ll see if I can get Ron to address this in his next blog. His is “The Technical Side…” which you can find in the blogs pull-down on the masthead, or on our list of blogs on the homepage. -art
Thanks Art, I appreciate the feedback. I went with the 665ES. I’m going to need a new 4K receiver and Blu-ray player for the projector so the $6K in savings will pay for that. Again, thanks for your quick response.
Hi, Nice article. Would you go with a discounted 600ES which does not support HDR or this 365ES which does. Which projector do you feel would give better picture quality overall? The issue with the 600ES (trying in my house now) is the 4k discs are dark, some unwatchable, the blu rays upconverted look great.
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