Sony VPL-VWPRO1 Projector Review

This projector could have handled my 128″ high contrast gray Firehawk G3 screen effortlessly, for movie viewing. I would have liked to see the combination. That said, if my new screens arrive in time, I’ll be able to view the Sony on a 124″ diagonal (2.35:1) screen (I’ll be manually working the zoom to do what “lens memory” does for some projectors.)

Eventually I hope to put a 100″ or 110″ 16:9 Firehawk G3 or SST down in the testing room (in addition to other screens), but until then, it will be hard to give a direct assessment of how easily this Sony can handle a larger screen.

The Calibration page will provide the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset.

Sony VPL-VWPRO1 Sharpness

OK, some things don’t really change. 3 chip projectors, be they 3LCD, LCoS, or DLP, all have potential convergence issues, and none are ever perfectly converged. As a result, it’s common for even moderately priced single chip DLP projectors like the under $1300 Mitsubishi HC4000, or the over $2000 BenQ W6000, to be slightly sharper than most projectors using 3 chips, even up to $10,000.

That said, the slight softness compared to a DLP, is minor. On typical movie viewing most of us simply won’t notice any softness, since the film introduces its own softness and grain artifacts. Switch to digital HD source material – be it Monday Night Football, or ScyFi HD, Discovery HD, History HD, HD HD, or etc HD, and you will notice that a sharp single chip DLP will appear a bit sharper in a side by side comparison.

For most of my viewing until my theater is finished, I’m viewing from a lot further back than usual. 20 feet from a 100″ screen, instead of 11.5 feet from a 128″ screen. The Sony looks razor sharp at everything from this distance, on that sized screen. When I move closer to 10 feet away, the Sony is a touch soft, as I would expect, when watching all digital content. On movies, it’s just fine.

Overall, the sharpness is good, like many other 1080p projectors. There are only a handful of projectors – almost all single chip DLP projectors that will appear any sharper. I generally refer to almost all 1080p resolution home theater projecors as either sharp, or (a bit) sharper still. This Sony is sharp.

For your consideration, our usual close up images:

Top left: VPL-VWPRO1, Top Left Center – LG CF181D, Top Right Center – JVC RS25, Top right - Mitsubishi HC7000

2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE4000, left center: Epson Home Cinema 8700UB, right center: older Sony HW15, right: BenQ W6000.

Please note, we are still switching over to using the Playstation video logo as our sharpness example, instead of the old dts-hd logo. The original sample test disc from dts died, and they can’t find me another.

8700ub
LG CF181D
DLA-RS25
HC7000
PT-AE4000
hc4000
8700ub
W6000

Sony VPL-VWPRO1: Bottom Line Sharpness

LCoS projectors, like 3 chip LCD and 3 chip DLP projectors tend to be a little less razor sharp than good single chip DLPs, but that said, this Sony looks great on movies and other film content, and is sharp enough to impress on digital content like HDTV Sports, and Discovery HD.

Light Leakage

The Sony PRO1 has minimal light leakage, and that comes out through the lens. It is very minimal, and is most evident if you are using a lot of lens shift, and if you are looking for it on an extremely dark scene. In other words – no issue here!

Image Noise

Sony continues to produce projectors that are very good when it comes to most image noise. It performs just fine using the Silicon Optix HQV test disc. No issues worth reporting.

Audible Noise

Sony claims 22 db in low power, which is a very good number – almost silent. It does make a bit more noise, though in full power. Sony does not provide a number for full power, but it is probably in the high 20′s I’d say about 27 to 28 db. Its pitch is a bit different, but overall, this Sony’s noise levels are very similar to Epson’s 8700UB. That means I consider both to be very quiet in low power, and quiet enough to be fine for all but the most noise adverse enthusiasts. In a pinch, this Sony is brighter in its eco-mode, than its predecessor was at full power.

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