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Sony VPL-GTZ380 4K SXRD Projector Review - Hardware

Posted on November 29, 2021 by Phil Jones

While the GTZ380 is twice as bright as its "little brother", the VW5000Es, it looks nearly identical. The chassis measures approximately 22 inches wide, 9" high x 30" deep, and weighs about 112 pounds. Although the GZ380 is much larger and heavier than most standard home theater projectors, it is both the most compact and lightest unit in its class. A larger chassis is worth it for the benefit of incredible brightness, better black levels, a motorized lens with horizontal/vertical shift, and blessedly quieter operation.

Sony claims a very quiet 33-39 dB which is significantly quieter than most competitive high-end home projectors. The unit's cooling intakes are on the front flanking the lens as well as the left side. The projector’s exhaust vents are located along the rear.

Most 10,000 lumen home cinema projectors are typically so noisy you’d have to install them in a quiet box or in an entirely different room. Surprisingly for a projector of this brightness, the GTZ380 is exceptionally quiet, only producing a nicely low-pitched background fan noise that you are very unlikely to even notice.

Sont GTZ380 Control Panel and Connections

When looking at the projector from the front, the inputs and control panels are located on the left side. The GTZ380 also has dual 18Gbps HDMI inputs, which is more than enough bandwidth to support 4K@60P HDR with 10bit color. Since the GTZ380 will also be used for professional applications, there are also two DisplayPort connections. The power connection is located on the projector’s left side.

The sample GTZ380 that I reviewed came with the projector remote control that is included with a Sony professional projector. According to Sony, the GTZ380 will ship with their standard backlit home theater remote.

I like the consumer remote better since it is bigger than many projector remotes with large and well-spaced buttons. You can use dedicated buttons to quickly switch between the Calibrated Picture Presets. To make quick, fine adjustments to the image, there are buttons to directly access many of the picture quality settings including MotionFlow, Color Temp, and Gamma Correction.

Having direct access to the HDR Contrast Enhancer via a dedicated button is especially useful when viewing HDR materials. It's quick and easy to switch between the High, Mid, and Low settings to adjust the look of HDR content.

The GTZ380 is often bundled with a 1.95:1 motorized standard throw ARC-F zoom lens (VPLL-Z8014) which is a lot of zoom range compared to most home theater projectors whose zoom lenses usually range between 1.1:1 to 1.6:1, depending on the brand and model.

The bundled lens (VPLL-Z8014) has a throw ratio of 1.49:1 to 2.91:1. It offers +/-80% vertical and +/- 33% horizontal lens shift.

VPLL-Z8014 Throw Distance for a 16:9 (1.78:1) Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal) Min Screen Distance (in) Max Screen Distance (in)  
100” 130 (3290 mm) 253 (6430 mm)
120” 157 (3970 mm) 304 (7730 mm)
150” 196 (4980 mm) 381 (9680 mm)
200” 263 (6670 mm) 509 (12930 mm)
300” 395 (10040mm) 765 (19440mm)

VPLL-Z8014 Throw Distance for a 2.35:1 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal) Min Screen Distance (in) Max Screen Distance (in)  
100” 129 (3260 mm) 250 (6360 mm)
120” 155 (3930 mm) 301 (7650 mm)
150” 194 (4930 mm) 377 (9580 mm)
200” 260 (6600 mm) 504 (12800 mm)
300” 391 (9930mm) 757 (19240mm)

For even more installation flexibility, there is also a short-throw ARC-F lens available (VPLL-Z8008). The throw ratio of this lens is 0.85:1 to 1.09:1. It offers +/-50% vertical and +/- 19% horizontal lens shift.

VPLL-Z8008 Throw Distance for a 16:9 (1.78:1) Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal) Min Screen Distance (in) Max Screen Distance (in)  
100” 75 (1890 mm) 94 (2400 mm)
120 90 (2280 mm) 114 (2890 mm)
150” 113 (2860 mm) 143 (3630 mm)
200” 151 (3840 mm) 191 (4860 mm)
300” 228 (5790mm) 288 (7330mm)

VPLL-Z7008 Throw Distance for a 2.35:1 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal) Min Screen Distance (in) Max Screen Distance (in)  
100” 74 (1870 mm) 94 (2370 mm)
120” 89 (2250 mm) 112 (2860 mm)
150” 112 (2830 mm) 141 (3590 mm)
200’ 150 (3800 mm) 189 (4810 mm)
300” 226 (5730mm) 285 (7260mm)

Both ARC-F lenses are available for the GTZ380 offer motorized focus and zoom as well as plenty of horizontal and vertical lens shift. Having a large amount of zoom and shift capability makes installation a breeze, especially when you are trying to replace an older unit that was previously fixed mounted.

Sony uses a common menu system across its full lineup of home theater projectors. While Sony has not changed the look and feel of their menus in years, they add extra menu items to control any new features and capabilities as needed.

Of course, the higher-end model projectors have more menus because of the additional features. For example, the flagship GTZ380 offers menus for Lens Memory which it supports, while the entry-level VW325ES does not. The type is slightly on the smaller side, but you will still be able to easily read them from a normal seating distance. Overall, the menus are well-thought out and organized.

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