Sony VPL-VW1000ES Projector - Performance
6/1/12 - Art Feierman
On this page, we take a look at the VPL-VW1000ES projector's brightness, sharpness, and image noise. We'll discuss brightness in conjunction with 3D usage, as well. Also considered here, are the physical attributes of light leakage and audible noise.
Sony VPL-VW1000ES Brightness
Before I get into a lot of measurements and numbers, let's talk practical. This projector, fully calibrated, puts out about 1200 lumens. In a good room, that should provide respectable brightness for a 150" diagonal screen. I've even watched movies, while filling my 124" screen, in low power mode.
This projector doesn't have a mode that's uglier that has significantly more lumens, but that 1200 lumens will certainly still fill a niced sized screen, 100" diagonal and even larger, with modest controlled lighting for sports viewing with friends. I'm talking about my room with 7 down facing led lights in the back half of the room, or with my shutters open just a little in the daytime allowing a controlled amount of daylight to leak in.
Sony rates the VPL-VW1000ES projector as a 2000 lumen projector. We never measured anything close to 2000 lumens, but that surprised me not at all. We don't measure looking for the absolute brightest a projector can do, as that usually isn't a very usable picture. I consider this projector's performance to be in line with expectations, in fact, if anything, I was very pleased to end up with 1200 calibrated lumens.
First are the lumen measurements for each of the preset and user modes. Also included, was the measured color temp for white, for each mode.
VPL-VW1000ES Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Reference= 1269 @ 7127, 1368 lumens @ 6858 with Color Temp on DCI
TV= 646 @ 7560
Cinema Film 1= 704 @ 6934
Cinema Film 2= 330 @ 6579
Cinema Digital= 526 @ 6752
Game= 1269 @ 7193
Photo= 1128 @ 5916
Bright Cinema= 1187 @ 7180
Bright TV= 967 @ 11508
All the images below were taken with the same exposure so you can get a hint at the relative differences:
Reference Mode: Pretty much the only mode you need. Still, below, we show you the relative pictures from each mode. These are all about the same brightness, due to compensating with the camera when these images were taken. The actual brightest range varies dramatically, with the least bright mode being less than 1/3 as bright as Reference mode.
Cinema Film 1:
Cinema Film 2:
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Reference mode):
Zoom out: 1279, 1379 on DCI Color Temp
Zoom in: 1035
Considering this is a 2.1:1 zoom lens (that is a lot of zoom range), the less than 25% difference between wide angle and telephoto is most impressive.
Lumen Output (Low Lamp, Reference mode): 884
We measured a drop of almost exactly 30% when dropping the lamp into eco-mode, that should be consistant across all modes.
Color Temp over IRE Range (Best Mode, Pre calibration):
Reference (or Cinema Film 1 which is seems identical)
30 IRE 7390
50 IRE 7082
80 IRE 7117
100 IRE 7127
VPL-VW1000ES Dynamic Iris
Effect of Iris settings on lumen output (Reference mode):
Iris on Auto Full= 1209
Iris on Auto Limited= 847
Iris on Manual (maximum opening) = 1256
Iris on Manual (50% open) = 869
Iris on Manual (minimum opening) = 547
Iris Off = 1269
As you can see, in manual mode, stopping the iris all the way down, the Sony is still putting out over 500 lumens in Reference mode.
That should give you a pretty good idea of the relevant settings and how they affect the projector's picture.
Sony VPL-VW1000ES Projector - Post Calibration
VPL-VW1000ES Best mode- Reference (calibrated): 1176 lumens @ 6814
VPL-VW1000ES Brightest mode- Reference (uncalibrated):
1269 lumens @ 7121
Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration) Reference Mode:
20 IRE 6256
30 IRE 6456
40 IRE 6615
50 IRE 6518
60 IRE 6445
70 IRE 6371
80 IRE 6477
90 IRE 6506
100 IRE 6814
Average gamma= 2.29
3D Brightness of the VPL-VW1000ES
This Sony with its roughly 1200 lumens (you can probably find an extra 200+ lumens by sacrificing picture quality) can do a nice job on 3D content with screen sizes around 100" diagonal. I was very comfortable with that size 3D image on a number of 3D movies. As one of my screens is a StudioTek 130 (Stewart Filmscreen), with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, I had the opportunity to fill it with some movies that are 2.35:1 in 3D, at the full 124" diagonal. Overall, I felt the image was definitely a bit less bright than I actually would have liked to call reasonably bright..
Mind you, I'm big on having a good bit of 3D brightness. This evening, about 3 hours before I am writing this, I was in a local IMAX 3D theater (Regal), watching Men In Black 3. No question about it: 3D at the 124" diagonal size at my house with this Sony may be a touch less bright than I like, but no question about it, this setup in my theater is significantly brighter than the image at the IMAX theater. I guess, I should stop complaining. I'd say that the brightness difference between my viewing at 100" and at 124" diagonals is a smaller difference than from viewing in my room at 124" compared to the IMAX.
From our calibrator: Mike's NOTES: This is probably the first projector I’ve seen where the brightest mode was arguably also the best mode. Reference mode, which puts out over 1200 lumens, has a decent RGB balance. By contrast, the dimmest mode (Cinema Film 2) is only 330 lumens and has terrible RGB balance, with an overabundance of green. Reference mode calibrated quite well, with an average Delta E of 1.2, rising above 3 only at 100 IRE.
As usual, Sony provides a range of color spaces that tend to make using a CMS unnecessary. BT.709 is just about right on the Rec. 709 standard. Color Space 1, 2 and 3 expand the gamut to varying degrees, with Wide 3 being the largest gamut of the three. There is also an even wider DCI color space, which is designed to conform to the new DCI standard.
The Calibration page provides the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset.
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:
Top left: Sony VPL-VW1000ES, Top Left Center: Runco LS-10d, Top Right Center: JVC X70R, Top right: Epson Home Cinema 5010
Below: SIM2 Nero 3D2, left, Optoma HD8300 on the right
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)
The image immediately below 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.
This image below, 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.
Sony VPL-VW1000ES: Bottom Line Sharpness
Nothing like 4K! And we projector owners deserve this higher resolution. Even on 1080p content this Sony will appear clearer and sharper than any projector I've seen with "2K" panels. We have a second comparison for you here:
Below consider these two sets of images. The first is the Sony PS3 logo photographing the projection from the VW1000ES. The second one is the JVC DLA-X70R, about 1/3 the price, but also about as good as a sub-$10,000 projector gets. The images were taken at different times, and as is common, the actual size of the icon is different in the two images.
Still, click on each image for the larger versions, and compare. Can you say "No Contest!"? The Sony is obviously the sharper image even if the JVC looks pretty darn good, doing JVC's idea of "4K" (I'll call it emulation.) JVC accomplishes it by using 2K sized pixels but doing each frame twice with essentially an offset of 1/2 pixel diagonally. Interesting concept, and technically 4K worth of pixels, its just that those pixels are EACH, 4 times the size of the pixels of the Sony! It's sort of like trying to draw a detailed image first, painting with your finger tip (Sony), then doing the same image again painting with a 1 inch diameter pad (JVC).
VW1000ES Light Leakage
Previous VW series Sonys had no light leakage that I noticed. The VPL-VW1000ES projector vents out the back, and not even there is there any noticeable light leakage. I'd have to say that at this price point you are entitled to all the details (like light leakage being taken care of). Sony has succeeded in this area.
VPL-VW1000ES Image Noise
Any image noise is pretty minimal. Some slow panning shudder that has been noticed on the lower cost Sony's does not seem to be present here. Overall, nicely clean as we expect from today's projectors. There are various noise controls but I never felt the need to engage any of them, except for the Reality Creation feature (2K to 4K upscaling).
Sony VPL-VW1000ES Audible Noise
Impressively quiet. Forget the db measurements. I've been living with this projector for 150+ hours of viewing sitting no more than 3 feet from the lens, and the only time I've noticed the fan noise is when the sound is off.