Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW350ES 4K Home Theater Projector Review – Hardware 2

VPLVW350ES 4K PROJECTOR – HARDWARE PAGE 2:  Remote Control, Lens Throw and Shift, Menus

Sony VPL-VW350ES Remote Control

I like Sony’s projector remotes.  They are on the long side (definitely) not very wide, and have good weight and balance.  Also there’s no problem in my theater bouncing a signal off of my 1.3 gain screen for a total range of 30 feet.  Of course having a rear IR sensor on the VW350ES further enhances the remote’s working range.

As I always do, we’ll start at the top, and run through all of the buttons/features.

Top:  On the left is the backlight button.  Like other Sony remotes, the back light is blue LED. It’s not quite as bright as I’d like, just a little brighter would be better.  It’s far better than most backlit Optoma remotes that have blue LED lights – theirs are so bright they are almost blinding in a darkened room.

Next to it in the center is the Input button.  It’s smart.  It only shows you an input if there’s a device attached.  It does, however indicate a device even if that device is not turned on.  Since I only use HDMI for my testing/evaluation, pressing the Input button brings up a small menu which offers me HDMI 1 and HDM 2.  Pressing the Input button again, advances to the next source.  So, if I hit it, and it comes up on HDMI 1, and I press the Input again, it will toggle to HMDI 2.  Since I only have those two in use, pressing again returns it to HDMI 1.  It takes a couple of seconds (at least) to lock onto an HDMI input when you switch.  I prefer discrete inputs for HDMI 1 and 2 on projectors but this solution is pretty convenient, unless you have a lot of different sources hooked up.

You guessed it, the Power switch (green) is on the top right.  Press once to power up, twice to shut down.

Right below is a section with 3 rows of 3 buttons.  These control the 8 preset color modes, and the 9th is for the User mode.  Easy enough!

Navigation comes next with a round control for the up / down / left / right arrows.  The Enter button is in the center.  Around the ring are four curved buttons.  The top left one is labeled Pattern, but would be better labeled Lens or Lens Controls.  Pressing it once brings up a black screen (pattern) with fine green screen aspect ratio lines.  It will say Lens Focus.  Use the navigation to focus.  As with the control panel, press it again, and you get zoom, then one more time for lens shift.  Since Sony didn’t provide lens shift, I think most would have found things much easier if one could focus, zoom, and shift while content was on the screen. That folks, though is probably my biggest complaint about the hardware.

I better mention the bottom of the three buttons on the ring – that’s the Menu button!  The one on the upper right side is labeled Reset, which should, at least for a second, terrify you, having it so close to the navigation.  It will allow you to reset all the adjustments you made to a mode such as Cinema Film 1, or Bright TV.  The good news is it will ask you to confirm before it does anything.  You are more likely to use it when adjusting just one thing.  For example, if you are in the gamma sub-menu reset would reset your gamma settings back to the factory default.  Again, it will ask you to confirm first.

Below the Navigation ring are nine more buttons 3 x 3.  This time the buttons are shortcuts to submenus.  The top left of those is Aspect Ratio.  All the rest are picture controls.  The rest of the top row is MotionFlow (CFI) and 3D, while the second row has Color Space, Color Temp, and Color Correction (CMS).  The third row is Gamma Control (which brings up lots of presets), Contrast Enhancer, and Reality Creation (dynamic detail/sharpness enhancement).

Almost done!  All that’s left are three rocker switches in a row just above the bottom of the remote.  Sharpness, Brightness, and Contrast, with +/- for each.  That’s all folks!  All considered a well balanced remote control that works nicely, with only a couple of very minor things to complain about.

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Sony VPL-VW350ES Menus