Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW1000ES Projector – Image Quality 4

Sony VPL-VW1000ES Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

A good 1080i NBA basketball playoff game looks great filling about 100″ diagonal, with almost any decent projector.  When you add real 1080p to 4K upscaling (never mind that elusive true 4K content), though, the playoff games I’ve been watching have been spectacular.  They are just plain sharper looking – crisper, clearer – more detail resolved.  In addition, the Sony’s MotionFlow CFI is extremely good.  Even in the high setting, little additional noise around moving objects compared to almost anything else.  The Sony’s “High” setting, seems cleaner than almost everyone’s Medium or Low settings. Just looks clean!

Sports just have never looked better.  As to all those concerts I watch – music videos most off of HDTV (i.e. the Palladia channel), some Blu-ray.  Those just look really sharp – photographic.  Outstanding, so I started with one of those.

The images are impressive.  Even more so, when you consider it is 1080i to start, which means when freezing the frame to take the picture, the projector shows only one of those “i” – interlaced – frames, essentially half the vertical resolution (thus some jaggies).

Bottom line for HDTV on the Sony VPL-VW1000ES Home Theater Projector

The Sony may lack the more precision sharpness of a first class single chip DLP projector, but it’s right up there for good sharpness with any of the 3 chip LCoS or LCD projectors. It converges very well, and still looks very sharp on digital content. I watched a few concerts, some Smithsonian HD, plenty of sports (football mostly), and more, when it comes to 2D digital content.

How about that menu above, from DirecTV (with the game in the corner)?  Click for large version and try not to drop your jaw!

For the sports images I have all my rear recessed lights turned on (7 down facing LED lights – each about 50 watt equivalent).  Sports viewing is more easily bright enough in 2D, with the low ambient light on roughly a 100″ screen.  Actually with about 1200 lumens, we could just as easily filled my old 128″ screen.

3D sports that I previously recorded, look excellent.  In my dedicated theater, 3D sports were reasonably bright filling about 100″ diagonal of my 1.3 gain Studiotek 130 screen, although in 3D I was happier with those rear lights turned off.

Content like the two Stephen Lowe “productions,” Tahiti 3D: Ultimate Wave, and Legends of Flight, are just downright awesome in 3D. (Images above and below from “Tahiti 3D” but 2D versions)

This Sony really is so excellent that it belongs in a really good room.  That said, if you’ve got the bucks, but have more of a media / gaming room with more ambient light in mind, don’t rule this Cinema grade projector out.  Within the limits of only 1200 – 1300 lumens maximum (mid-zoom), this projector can function in decent rooms that are not “cave-like”.  Afterall, it’s almost twice as bright as many projectors.  We consider 1000 lumens average for a brightest mode (mostly due to 600 – 900 maximum brightness on most projectors considered designed for theater rooms), while family room projectors, until this year, typically topped out around 1500 lumens (then 3D came along, and with it some over 2000 lumen projectors for the home.    So, if you are building that great room with couches, and good controlled light, a pool table, bar, etc., this Sony likely can do at least as well in this type of room as almost any premium projector (short of some much brighter, and several times the price, 3 chip DLP projectors, such as the higher end Runco projectors – not the LS series models we get to review that are under $30K).

If you are placing the VW1000ES in a less “dedicated” room, pay attention to your choice of screens. If a siginficant amount of any ambient lighting is coming from the sides, and really good high contrast gray screen can really help.  I would have loved to pair this projector in my last house – with my great room with rust colored walls, and far, far less than perfect lighting control.

Best 2D sports and HDTV I’ve seen, smooth CFI, 2K-4K upscaling, great color…  A sports and HDTV dream machine, that really only could improve noticeably if it were, say, a lot brighter.  That said 1200, calibrated lumens is nothing to consider lightly.