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

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Art Feierman
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.

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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

Picture Menu

This has most of the key controls that affect the picture quality, and many sub-menus

Color mode presets

Sony provides 9 preset modes and all of them also function as 3D modes for 3D content as well

Reality Creation Sub-menu

On or off, use the right arrow to adjust

Reality Creation - Sub-Sub menu

From here, you can enter, and adjust Resolution and noise settings. You can also select Test which quickly toggles back and forth between. RC off, and current settings.

Actual Reality Creation Adjustment

A slider from 0 to 100. 20 is normal default. 50 is a lot of "sharpening and detail" above that - more artifacts

Cinema Black Pro

Two functions - the Iris control and lamp control of High or Low (eco)

Advanced Iris Sub-menu

Auto Full is full dynamic iris, Auto limited sets a maximum opening, and Manual can be manual (non-dynamic) iris, and the control for Auto Limited

Manual Control for Iris

Simple slider - Max allows the iris to be wide open


2:3 pull-down, and Motion Enhancer (CFI) for smooth motion (Low, High

Motion Enhancer sub-menu Choices

Low or High. Low is modest, fine for sports, TV, but movie enthusiasts wills till complain about "soap opera" effect. High? Sports!

Color Temp

Lots of presets, plus several Custom to place calibration settings

Color Temp Sub - Color settings

Shown here - putting in calibration settings into Custom 3 color

Expert Menu

Lots of goodies, from noise reduction to gamma, color correction (calibration, color space...

Gamma Presets

Six standard gamma settings and four more with atypical settings. 2.2 is considered normal

Black Level Adjustment

This is digital processing, not tied to the dynamic iris

Screen Menu

Simple - just aspect ratio, which allows you to use the Lens Memory settings, and also Overscan. Sorry, no Edge Masking option

Lens Memory controls

As you can see, I have two settings in place, one for normal 16:9, and one for 2.35:1. Select one and zoom, focus and lens shift adjust

Setup Menu

Some standard stuff - choice of menu language, Hi altitude fan mode, menu position, standby mode, and lamp reset

Function Menu

3D, HDMI range, test pattern and background black or blue.

Installation menu

Lens controls, IR (front/rear), Panel Alignment and configuring the Network

Panel Alignment

Individually align the panels digitally, typical Panel alignment methodology

Networking Configuration

Hardwire the VW1100ES into your local network for command and control, more

Information page

Not much here, but note that I've been watching this projector for more than 200 hours. (NICE!)

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.

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