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Review: Sony VPL-VW1100ES 4K Home Theater Projector - Hardware

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Art Feierman
VPL-HW1100ES 4K PROJECTOR - HARDWARE:  Overview, Lens, Control Panel, Inputs and Connectors, 4K Server

VW1100ES Hardware Overview

We'll start at the front of the VW1100ES projector, but remember, in this case, there's more hardware than usual.

In addition to the projector itself, and its remote control, you also receive the FMP-X10 4K Server/Player, and it's own remote control.

The Lens - wow.  The front of the Sony VPL-VW1100ES is gorgeous, with it's huge lens area and black and gold trim.  The Sony makes a statement, which probably will help with the "spouse factor."  The projector is large, but finished mostly in a matte dark gray, but that lens impresses.

The lens itself is 2.1:1 motorized zoom lens which Sony refers to as an ARC-F lens, specially created for this projector and optimized for 4K.  Based on the image, I'd have to say that's one fine piece of glass.

There's nothing else visible on the front (which is a shiny black).

The top of the projector is bare but for a small Sony logo.   If you are facing the front of the projector, then a good deal of the action will be on what is the left side.  It has the control panel, and below it the inputs and connectors.  The other side is blank.

The back of the projector has the venting!

Control Panel

Sony's "thing" on their home theater projectors seems to be minimalism. The control panel is tiny.  It's located along the bottom edge of the top half of the case in the left side (when facing the projector).  All the buttons are in a line that is maybe 4 inches from front to back.

Moving from front to back are the Power button (press once for on, twice to power down), next button is the Source button.  It will bring up a list of the sources.  Re-pressing the Source button while that menu is up, will toggle you through each of the inputs.  When the source you want is highlighted just release and it will switch over.


Click Image to Enlarge

The next button is the Menu button.   That's followed by a micro-joystick type button (that's square).  You can push it up, down, left, right to navigate, or press it straight in which is the Enter function.

One more button - that's it.  It's marked Lens and brings up all those lens options for the motorized zoom lens with power focus and power lens shift.

Overall, the buttons are designed to be near invisible, and succeed.  The micro-joystick works, but takes a little getting used to.  Still, hardly an issue, considering almost no one will use it beyond the initial setup, and likely even not then.  I got to use it a lot, of course, from convenience, since I never got to ceiling mount the projector.

Inputs and Connectors

Sony VW1100ES hardware - inputs

Sony VPL-VW1100ES Inputs and Connectors


Located at the bottom of the left side, are all the connectors.  Because the top part of the case extends well beyond the bottom, that means these connectors are all well recessed to help with hiding cabling.

Starting from the rear and working our way to the front, first are a pair of HDMI inputs.  These are genuine HDMI 2.0 inputs, with HDCP 2.2 copy protection needed for Blu-ray UHD (4K).

Next comes a DB15 connector for an analog computer input, followed by three color coded RCA jacks for a component video input.  (That analog computer input can be used as a second component video input instead of computer input.

Moving right along, next comes an RJ45 jack for an outboard 3D emitter, or double as a 12V source.  Another RJ45 jack for plugging in to a Local Area Network.

There's a DB9 serial port for command and control next, followed by an IR in.  Finally there are a pair of 12 volt triggers, for screen control or other purposes such as controlling an anamorphic lens sled.

That completes the projector hardware, now let's take a look at the accompanying 4K Media Player.



FMP-X10 4K Media Player

The 4K Media Player (server) comes with the VW1100ES.  This is Sony's latest version, supporting HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.  The server comes with a small black remote control.  I've already discussed aspects of the 4K server in the Special Features page.  The media player has wifi built in, so about the first thing you do is configure it to your home wifi, so you can download content.

From a hardware standpoint this square-ish device is pretty compact.  There's a power button on the front, and outputs and connectors on the back.  The power supply is outboard.  There are two HDMI inputs, the main one, and a second one that can be configured for audio out.  (I used it to send the audio to my sound system.)  There's also a USB port to input content.  I have included a couple images showing some menus of  the Media Player.

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