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Sony VPL-FHZ85 Commercial Interchangeable Lens 3LCD Projector Review - Notable Features

Posted on March 1, 2022 by Philip Boyle


The Sony exclusive Z-Phosphor light source

The first thing you might notice about this projector is how bright it is for its size. The VPL-FHZ85 (7,300 ANSI lumens) is designed to deliver higher brightness on a large screen while maintaining dynamic color even in spaces with large amounts of uncontrollable ambient light.

One real scenario that should benefit from this combination of high brightness and color is the ongoing pandemic with its genuine need for the public to socially distance in most indoor situations. High brightness ensures a vivid picture even in a room with some ambient light, such as a lecture hall. A bigger, brighter projected image makes it easier for audience members to maintain a safe distance from each other while still seeing content displayed on the screen.

In addition to high brightness, the FHZ85 includes several features built to ensure that the projector's brightness capabilities are optimized based on the room environment.

Competitive projectors using conventional signal processing can certainly raise the gamma level to make a projected image brighter, but only doing this will typically wash out colors as the brightness increases. The result is a brighter picture, but one that's not vivid or dramatic. This picture might be okay for an algebra class with a lot of equations projected onto a big screen, but it wouldn't be compelling for a museum art show or a church service.

Up to 20,000 hours of uninterrupted operation.

The VPL-FHZ85's Z-Phosphor laser light source is rated to provide up to 20,000 hours of uninterrupted operation, with no lamp replacement and virtually zero maintenance. In addition to the reliability of the laser light source, the VPL-FHZ85 also offers a sealed light engine so dust can't accumulate, which helps maintain image brightness and clarity over the projector's lifetime.

When dust accumulates on a projector's internal filter, the projector performance can be negatively impacted. The VPL-FHZ85 is equipped with an automated filter cleaning system that removes dust every 100 hours when the projector is powered down.


Sony Bright View, a really bright colorful image.

The VPL-FHZ85 uses Sony's exclusive Bright View signal processing technology to help the projector maintain dynamic color, even while projecting a very high lumens image. Bright View, a proprietary signal processing technology, brightens displayed images without sacrificing color in high ambient light, often an issue in business and higher education environments.

The VPL-FHZ85 uses a small sensor built into the projector that monitors the environment's lighting conditions in real-time and makes various adjustments that ensure a more consistent color even as the projector's brightness automatically adjusts up or down in response to changes in a room's lighting. Bright View creates bright and sharp images while maintaining color balance (High, Middle, Low). Thanks to Bright View, the image can be bright without color loss even in well-lit environments, ideal for applications such as classrooms or museums where it's not feasible or safe to dim the lights completely.


You sometimes need to retrofit older installation jobs if you're an installer. In some cases, you might have felt locked in with the existing projector brand due to the potentially onerous installation cost to reprogram the old system to work with a new projector from a different brand.

Like many Sony 3LCD projectors, the VPL-FHZ85 includes a protocol emulation feature that will allow you to control a network of Sony projectors using other manufacturers' RS232C control protocols. This feature lets you replace other manufacturers' projectors with a Sony without re-programming the AV system. You can also customize protocol emulation by using a .CVS file as a bonus.

The VPL-FHZ85 also supports Data Cloning which is designed to simplify the installation and setup of multiple projectors. With this feature, any settings made for one projector can be copied to subsequent projectors using a USB memory device. 

Imagine a school district purchases 25 projectors. The IT administrator can program one projector and then transfer the settings to the other 24 projectors. This feature is a big time-saver when installing and setting up multiple projectors.


VPL Projector Reality Creation
The newest generation of Sony Reality Creation technology

The VPL-FHZ85 includes Sony's newly updated Reality Creation algorithm to deliver the maximum amount of on-screen detail. More than a decade ago, Sony introduced Reality Creation. This feature analyzes displayed images and compares them against Sony's unique pattern database, using pixel remapping to ensure that video, diagrams, and text always look crisp and sharp with fewer adverse side effects and artifacts like those seen with traditional sharpening.

A new feature called Reality Text improves the visibility of characters and is ideal for presenting in conference rooms and classrooms. Users can adjust both Reality Creation and Reality Text via the menu.

Reality Creation is Sony's intelligent detail enhancement algorithm. Reality Creation intelligently applies different amounts of sharpening to various parts of an image. It can detect a wide range of objects from faces, architecture, flowers, trees, and more, as well as distinguish intentionally out-of-focus areas from low-resolution, blurry images.

Reality creation is a Sony-developed feature that has been around and improving for years, but this type of feature is not unique to Sony. For example, Epson professional projectors feature a similar process called 4K Enhancement Technology that is found on all Epson WUXGA projectors. 


Sony Intelligent Settings
These settings extend the life of the projector

To maximize its performance in any space, the VPL-FHZ85 features Intelligent Settings Version 3. This latest version of Intelligent Settings optimizes brightness, the cooling system, and other projector settings to suit the environment of the selected location. These adjustments are based on projector usage, image detail, color richness and fidelity, light output, cooling level, and output noise.

Use the Menu to set Intelligent Settings to ON and then choose a location that matches the environment where you are using the projector. For example, the Meeting/Classroom setting controls the laser output to maximize brightness levels based on actual usage times and operation frequency.

Location Options:

Meeting/Classroom – Optimizes text and graphic quality to display them clearly.

Museum – Optimizes color quality so that colors are reproduced accurately. This setting is suitable for use in quiet places such as galleries and museums.

Entertainment – Optimizes image quality to achieve balance. This setting is suitable for theme parks, public entertainment facilities, conference rooms in an exhibition hall, etc.

Multi-Screen – This setting is suitable when simultaneously using multiple projectors, such as when blending images from multiple projectors set up side-by-side.


Automaticall adjusts color, brightview and reality creation based on rooms light

Intelligent Setting V3 works in conjunction with Sony's new, built-in ambient light sensor called Ambiance, which measures a room's brightness to automatically adjust color gain, Bright View mode, and Reality Creation settings to match the environment and enhance the viewing experience.

In addition, Intelligent Setting V3 helps the projector produce a brighter image for an extended time while still delivering exceptional picture quality in nearly any environment.

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