Sony VPL-VW365ES Overview
Once you get past that, what we have here is a 1500 lumen, true 4K projector with motorized zoom, focus and lens shift – but, no Lens Memory. Sadly, that was probably a marketing decision, to “differentiate the more expensive models that all have Lens Memory to that you can easily choose to own a wide screen for bigger movie viewing. Still, when I had it here, I found it took me well less than 1 minute on my remote control to adjust zoom and lens shift to go back and forth between HDTV shaped, and the wider Cinemascope shaped images.
Missing from the VW365ES is a dynamic iris. That’s another significant differentiator, as it translates into the VW365ES not having great black levels. The native contrast is very good, but to be competitive, a dynamic iris these days, should almost be mandatory.
That’s why I consider it more of a media room projector than one for the dedicated home theater. After all, it has good brightness – it’s calibrated brightness isn’t all that far below full rated power, with 1361 lumens counted by my calibrator.
That is, a good deal more than the Epson Laser that took top honors in this class (by modest subjective amounts). This true 4K “entry level” projector had to take on a JVC with awesome black level performance, but one that is a 1080p pixel shifter, so definitely unable to equal the Sony’s sharpness. By comparison, the Epson LS10500 is basically the same price, also is a pixel shifting 1080p projector, and also has great black levels if not quite as good as the JVC.
But, it’s a laser projector, which brings additional benefits to the party. Sony can appreciate it as they have currently four, 4K laser projectors in their lineup. This Sony, and the JVC are lamp-based.
The Bottom Line
I’m a black level fanatic, I love those rich, very dark scenes, that are only possible with great black levels. Otherwise, the award order might be very different.
Whether you’re using the VW365ES in a living room, media room, or dedicated home theater, paired with the right screen – this is one fine projector.