Sony VPL-VW665ES and VW335ES 4K Projectors at CEDIA

The VPl-VW365 and VW665ES are two new true 4K Sony projectors for those that just can’t afford the VW5000ES that I wrote about separately.With these two new Sonys come enhancements and better picture quality than the VW350 and VW600ES they replace. They also have longer lasting lamps, now rated 6000 hour in eco mode! Both support 3D, having built in RF transmitters. They both have motorized zoom lenses, plenty of lens shift, and Lens Memory so you can choose a wide “Cinemascope” screen such as the 2.35: ratio one I use in my own home theater.

VPL-VW365ES for the Media Room, VPL-VW665ES for the home theater

The 1500 lumens bright VW350ES comes in at $9,999.   This projector, like the VW350 it replaces, is best as a “media room” projector. It has a great picture, but lacks the big time black level performance that would make it comparable in a fully darkened theater, to the best 1080p projectors. Respectable, but:

If you want the greater “pop” and depth that better black levels deliver, then the VPL-VW665ES is for you.   (If you want even better, there’s the older, still current – previous flagship in the Sony lineup — the VW1100ES, which is now the #2, behind the new VW5000ES.

The VW665ES offers improvement in contrast (300,000:1 dynamic on/off) over the 600ES, providing those better black levels. Although the older model had good black level performance, this improvement should prove very visible and that alone, will make the VW665ES a projector visibly superior to its predecessor.

For an even more impressive image, the VW665ES supports HDR – (high dynamic range), which the lower cost VW365ES lacks.

Pricing on the VPL-VW665ES is $14,999.

Both are available this month (October), so you could ask yourself, upon deciding on which one: “What am I waiting for?” I imagine your local authorized Sony Projector dealer will be happy to help you out with your quest.  Seriously, If you are a movie fanatic and have the room, the VW665ES should wow you.  If you are more media room, the VW365ES with not as good black levels, will be a perfect, 4K fit!

News and Comments

  • bullhedger

    Note Sony announced that the VPL-VW365ES will also be getting HDR with a firmware update sometime in May 2016. Firmware updates on these projectors can only be done via USB stick and can’t be downloaded directly to the unit.

    https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=VPLVW365ES&upd_id=10676&os_group_id=18

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Thanks bullhedger. Yes, I can confirm that existing VPL-VW365s will be upgradable to HDR, and that future ones will ship with it. I hadn’t looked into the upgrade process yet, so wasn’t aware that it would be by thumbdrive. But, that’s not at all surprising, as projectors are rarely the “smartest” appliances around – for starters, not having Wifi in most cases. I know that when Epson rolled out their 5030UB upgrade it was the same thing. You download the upgrade, install it on a thumbdrive and insert it into the USB port. That worked well enough for the Epsons (we even did a short video), so I’m sure it will be just fine for the Sony.

      I’m finally expecting a VW365ES to arrive next month for review! -art

      • Andrew

        Just wondering if you have received your review sample yet as I am trying evaluate whether I should upgrade from the 350ES to the 365.

        • ProjectorReviews.com

          Hi Andrew! Sadly, no. They didn’t have one readily available so they are in the process of shipping me an HW45ES instead. I assume the 365ES will be next (unless the unlikely case of them next sending me their $60K 4K projector occurs). -art

          • Andrew

            Well that is said news as I have itchy fingers to pull the trigger on the 320 and really wanted to confirm if blacks and contrast have been increased at least. I will soon be checking out the 5000ES:)

          • ProjectorReviews.com

            Hi Andrew, An improvement would be nice, but it still lacks the dynamic iris. It really is therefore a media room projector compared to the HW65ES being a home theater projector. -art

          • Andrew

            well I slightly disagree on that its a “media room” projector only but yes a DI would be nice. I am very happy with my current 300ES and is a perfect home theater projector for my needs. I’ve had a current gen JVC, and a few Sony. The only improvements the 300 needs is blacks and apparently that has been improved even without the DI so quite eager to see.

          • ProjectorReviews.com

            Hi again, we’re on the same page. As you figured I’m sure, I’m talking relatively, since black levels have always been the biggest difference between the lower cost HWs, then for someone with a typical media room, which is never fully dark, there would be little reason to spend the extra $1K+ for the one with the dynamic iris. For someone with a good room, budget becomes the primary reason for not going with the more expensive version.

            The really cool thing, is I’m going to have the HW45 here the same time as the new Epson 5040UB. Now that is going to be most interesting. The new Epson will street for $2999 (the Pro version about a grand more with mount spare lamp and extra warranty). That Epson therefore prices nicely between the two Sony’s. I suspect the overall elegance of the Sony even with the lower price, won’t be enough to stop a lot of folks from spending the extra because of the difference – not in the normal 1080p picture, but in MAJOR Features.

            I know you love your Sonys, but you probably at least want to be aware. The new Epson is supposed to have better black levels than the 5030UB, although from my one 15 minute viewing, without the other one there, I couldn’t tell. I could tell enough though, that if those blacks are better, it will be slight.

            The temptation, though, will come from two things:

            The new Epson has a motorized lens and lens memory opening up the option of using a widescreen

            It handles 4K content and uses pixel shifting for a sharper image. And it handles HDR and DCI on that 4K. That’s pure movie theater quality.

            I expect both projectors to arrive within a week of each other, I will have them both at the same time, for a full two weeks minimum.

            It will be much fun. -art

          • Andrew

            Yep we are on the same page. I believe Sony has removed the DI form the 300/320 for a good reason as if it had that feature they would not be able to justify the significant price hike for it’s bigger brother so they had to do something to lower its value which is a shame from a consumer point of view as its a cracking machine. It will be very interesting to see your thoughts on the new Epson range, although I will not go back pseudo 4K as I really do appreciate the clarity and detail on the Sony I have doubts that any fake 4K unit will be able to match it, the new Epson machines will be a hell of a value pack and will enable a lot folks to get into UHD territory so big thumbs up for Epson. Given the previous units had very high nominated lumen output but only reached a fraction of that calibrated it will be very interesting to see how Epson improved on this as HDR will need lots of lumens and if you enable that P3 filter it will further decrease light output. Eagerly awaiting that review!

  • Dadzbus

    Big fan of your website and your reviews. You have helped me purchase my last 2 projectors and I’m possibly looking for a replacement again.

    My current projector is a Sony VPL-VW95ES. I have moved into a new house and built a dedicated theatre room. My screen is a 120″ Black Diamond.

    I’m looking at the 350ES and the 665ES. I would prefer to stay under $15,000 if possible but that VW1100ES looks remarkable. Still too expensive.

    I haven’t had the chance to see these projectors in action and I’m not a true audiofile but I would say 3/5th’s of the way there.

    Will the 350ES and the 665ES blow my 95ES right out of the water. Also, would someone who casually watches movies in my theatre room (wife, friends) notice a huge increase in picture quality. Weird question but I find others are a better measuring stick. I know I will see the difference.

    I appreciate your response and thanks for the writeup once again.

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Greetings Dadzbus Thanks for the easy question. When it comes to viewing 1080 content, the 95ES is going to be more similar to the 665ES (now the 675ES (only one change, support for a 4K streaming protocol called hybrid log-gamma.). The VW350 is now the VW365ES (also reviewed).
      I say that because the 95ES has better black levels than the 350/365.
      But, to answer your main question, with 4K HDR content, you will notice a dramatic difference between that, and ANY 1080p content – it’s the nature of HDR. The brightest areas, flashing lights, explosions, will have far more impact than without HDR, I’m talking major jump in Wow factor. Black levels with HDR on dark scenes aren’t as good as without HDR (including 1080), but overall, we’re talking bigger color space, and a noticeably more dynamic picture.
      So, YES!!! -art

      • Dadzbus

        Thanks for the reply Art.

        I talked to 2 different Sony dealers here and they only have 4 left of the 665ES in Canada and I decided to buy one. Again… thanks for your help.

        • ProjectorReviews.com

          come on back after 30 days with it, and share your impressions with others on this thread! thanks -art

          • Dadzbus

            Will do!

          • Red Herring

            Hi Dadzbus. So what’s your impression about the 665ES and how much did it cost you?

          • Dadzbus

            It’s a very noticeable improvement from my 95es. The picture is as crisp as a panel set. 4K content is unreal.

            My biggest concern with buying a new projector is that technology hasn’t changed enough to get the “wow” factor. I was wrong. This projector has a major wow factor.

            I had my projector professionally calibrated as well and I’m in a dedicated theatre room with zero light.

            I believe I paid around $14K

  • Dadzbus

    Hi Art,

    Me again, sorry. I came across a used projector with 1000 hours on it. Its the Sony VPL-VW1100ES that has been calibrated by a THX certified calibrater.

    I just ordered a brand new 665ES but I can return it. The projectors are virtually the same price. What would you do?

  • Mike Liddell

    Hi,
    I’m new to 4k. I just bought a floor model 600ES (replaced my Sony DA5800ES)
    without realizing it didn’t do HDR. The home theater company is coming back this week to talk about a different projector and the fact that blu rays on the 600ES look much better than 4K discs which are so dark they are almost unwatchable.
    Any advice on which model to switch to or the importance of HDR.
    I buy a lot of discs (have almost 4,000 blu rays) and it seems all 4k discs advertise the HDR feature.

    • Keith Christensen

      Get an oppo 203, there are settings to send to a non hdr projector and fix thr dark issues