Sony VPL-VW85 Projector Review
The VW85 is a very good looking projector physically (“wife friendly”), in almost all ways, except that it is one of the largest home theater projectors around, in the under $10K price range. The top of the projector is done in a nice, shiny, black finish with embedded blue speckles. When the room lights are on, that does add just a touch of blue to its look. Most of the other surfaces are a matte very dark gray.
Facing that side, from back of the projector to the front, you’ll find the power receptacle, two HDMI inputs, and a standard HD15 connector for the usual analog computer input
(it can alternately be used as a second component video input… Next, comes the S-video (DIN connector), and composite video (RCA jack). Then comes the standard component video input (3 color coded RCA jacks). Next to that are two jacks for screen triggers (or controlling an anamorphic lens sled, or masking system (trigger 2 engages when “wide mode” is set to anamorphic zoom). Finally there’s an RS-232 serial port for command and control by a room control system, or a computer, if so desired.
The HDMI inputs support 1.3, Deep Color, x.v.Color, HDCP, computer HDMI standards, and LipSync. That pretty much covers the newest standards. This is an improvement over the older Sony VPL-VW60, which had HDMI 1.3, but, for example, lacked Deep Color support. (No content yet, for Deep Color, but, we should see some content in the next year?)
The Sony’s menus are well organized. Type size is on the small size, but still readable at normal seating distances.
The Picture menu is the one that people will use most often, and is shown here. From it, you can access sub-menus inclucing Picture Mode (ie. Cinema), color settings (Color Temp menu), Iris control and Lamp brightness (Cinema Black Pro), Gamma settings, black level and color space (Expert Setting).
Below are images of three of the Picture mode’s sub-menus:
Please note, on the Picture/Expert Settings Menu, the Gamma is listed. Sony provides six different gamma settings, as well as gamma adjust off.
Please note, per the manual, on the provided disc, there is a program ImageDirector3, which allows you to save your preferred gamma in a computer. I did not look at this, but I suspect it allows you to fine tune the gamma.
There are a number of other menus (including a passive Information menu). These menus control everything from intial setup – menu language, projector orientation (front, rear, ceiling, floor) to things like where the menus will appear on the screen. Shown to the right is the Setup Menu.
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