Projector Reviews

Review: Sony VPL-VW1100ES 4K Projector – Hardware Tour 2

VPL-HW1100ES 4K PROJECTOR – HARDWARE Page 2:  Remote Control, Menus, FMP-X10 Media Player Connections

VW1100ES Remote Control

The Sony’s remote control is very similar to the remotes for most of Sony’s other home theater projectors, but is customized for the VPL-VW1100ES.  For openers, this is the first new Sony with a motorized lens system since the VW95ES four years ago.  As a result it has lens buttons for lens control and Lens Memory.  But, rather than jump around, I’ll tour you through all the buttons on this remote control

First let me say that range is very good.  I can get a good bounce off of my screen, with a total range of over 35 feet, without problem.

Next I want to comment on the backlight which is a soft blue.  While I like the color, I do find that the light is not bright enough to allow us to read the lettering on the buttons without straining.  Of course after a short while, an owner will know by heart where all the buttons they use are.

Top:  Left is the power button – press once to power on, press twice to power down.  In the middle, is the Input button.  Press once to bring up the Source menu, press again to rotate to the next input, and again, until you get the input you want.  Then just wait a second or so, and the projector will switch to that input.  You can use the arrow keys to move though those inputs as well.

Top right is that backlight button.  When you press it, the light stays on for something like 15 seconds, a very reasonable amount.

Next comes three rows of three buttons each one is for a different preset mode such as Reference, Cinema Film 1 and 2, Bright TV, etc.

There’s a space then three larger buttons for the lens functions – from left to right, Focus, Zoom, and Lens shift

Next comes the navigation controls with four arrow keys in a round formation and a centered Enter button.  But there are also three buttons surrounding the arrows.  The one on the upper left, the Position button let’s you toggle between your lens memory saved settings.  Below the arrows is the Menu button, and in the upper right is the Reset button which can reset a menu you that are in.  No, accidentally pressing the Menu button does not reset the projector’s global settings.

Below the navigation area are another group of nine buttons, this time they are mostly short cuts to key feature controls (sub menus).  The nine buttons are from top left:

Aspect ratio Motion Enhancer, 3D
Color Space, Color Temp, Reality Creation
Gamma Correction, Black Level, Advanced Iris

That leaves only three large rocker switches:
Sharpness, Brightness, and Contrast

That’s it.  Nice remote but for the too dim blue backlight.  I like blue, but manufacturers seem to struggle with blue – Optoma’s remotes use blue, and it’s blindingly bright, while Sony’s are too dim.  Go figure!

All considered, though, a very good remote control, thanks to the layout, although I would have liked to see a direct toggle between HDMI 1 and HDM 2, and for that matter, I wish the projector had an HDMI 3, but that’s not a remote issue.

Click Image to Enlarge

VW1100ES Menus

There are a ton of menus and sub-menus.  And then there are menus in the optional Media Player as well, but we’re going to stick to the projector’s menus since the Media Player mostly behaves like using any other download service, including your satellite or cable box.

All considered Sony’s menu structure is well thought out, and its been around a long time.  They are easy to read, and Sony has found a nice balance between not having overly large type in the menus which tends to  make the menus themselves very large.

The slide player here holds all the menu photos.  Some slides will have additional info, others not, as some menus are pretty self explanatory.  All told there are over 20 photos of menus here, although there are some sub-menus I did not include.

VPL-VW1100ES Menus

FMP-X10 Inputs

On the back of the Media Player/server there are two HDMI outputs.  The first is the main HDMI and would normally be plugged into the Sony projector (or other companies’ 4K displays).  The second HDMI is there for audio out (very necessary for many).  Please note, there’s a setup menu, and the default for the second HDMI is Audio off…

BTW the Sony being a high end projector, one challenge is that finding AV receivers, or even switchers that support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.  Viable switching is important,  because neither the VW1100ES or the FMP-X10 has a separate digital audio out.  FYI, I learned the other day, that one high end audio company – Krell, already has the needed switching.

Click Image to Enlarge