Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW365ES 4K Home Theater Projector – Performance 2

VPL-VW365ES 4K PROJECTOR – PERFORMANCE – PAGE 2:  Sharpness, Audible Noise and Image Noise

Sharpness

The gallery above has a variety of images from three resolutions – two 1080i images of NFL football (one GameMix) off of DirecTV.

Next is a pic of Katniss, and then a close cropped version of the same frame.   The remainder are 4K images, a full frame, and a close cropped version.  The close cropped versions are saved as 2000 pixels wide to show you the full detail possible (since we are looking at 2000 pixels across only a small part of the 4000 pixel wide frame.

Sharpness and detail are excellent.  Based on previously comparing the more expensive but similarly sharp VW665ES against a JVC with pixel shifting, the Sony should easily surpass the JVC overall on 4K content. When it comes to very fine lines, the Sony will be very visibly superior, since each pixel is 1/4th the size.

Epson’s  LS10000 and their new 5040UB/6040UB models are more 1080p pixel shifters like the JVCs, but the Epson’s give the Sony a closer contest. On 1080p content, the Epsons will often seem sharper and crisper, but that’s due to some very heavy image processing, and the Epsons in turn will provide a slightly “harder” looking image, which if you look closely you’ll fairly easily spot in closeups of faces.  On true 4K content, the Epson again, seems very sharp, but it really cannot match a true 4K projector, especially on the finest detail, because again, each pixel is 4x the size of a true 1080p pixel.  On a fine one pixel wide line, there’s absolutely no contest.  Still on normal movie content, it is curious that the Epson at a glance seems as sharp.  I like the pixel shifters, especially the Epson’s for their perceived sharpness and detail to the entire picture, but it simply isn’t as natural, and obviously can’t deliver the finest details to rival a true 4K like this Sony. I’ve included an close-up of the same computer screen from Enders game from an Epson pixel shifter for your consideration.

Audible Noise and Image Noise

The Sony VPL-VW365ES is a very reasonably quiet projector, even with the lamp and fan on full power mode.  Sony does not publish a decibel rating for the projector in their manual or their brochure, so it’s guess time, since we don’t measure fan noise.

My best guess is that this projector at full power is no more than 30 db.

In eco mode, the Sony is likely below 25 db, which means very quiet.  No one should have an issue with low (eco) mode, and very, very, few will have an issue with the  fan noise at full power, during normal viewing.  It is at least slightly quieter at full power than any projector to come though here recently.  I’d put it 3-4 db quieter than Epson’s UBs, or BenQ’s HT6050, for example.

The Sony is basically clean when it comes to image noise. With one or two exceptions (companies that is), today’s projectors are all doing a great job. In the early years – almost a decade ago, there were huge differences in processing from one projector to the next.  Today, most differences that are significant relate to handling 3D.

Sony’s one chronic issue is that it has more trouble with one particular speed of panning than other projectors.  I’ve seen this on all the other Sonys.  My test for this is the opening scene in RED where Bruce Willis is standing outside and the camera pans his suburban neighborhood.  The trees literally vibrate.  Oh, 3/2 pull-down and other MotionFlow options can tame it (including CFI), but for watching at pure 24fps, it is an issue. Fortunately, panning a little faster or slower gets rid of the problem. The RED sequence is the only significant one I’ve found, at least one that lasts more than a second or two.  Someone recently pointed out a second scene, in the attic at the beginning of National Treasure.  They pointed that one out on an Epson which had a problem with it (not as noticeable as the Sony).  So I tried this Sony on that scene, and sure enough – now I have two short pans (totaling perhaps 20 seconds between them) that I’ve spotted in my entire library.  (There are probably a few I’ve missed).  In other words, no worries.

Bottom Line on noises – both audible and image.  As quiet or quieter than most other projectors around its price, and a good deal quieter than some. In low power mode, quiet enough that no one should complain at all. Image noise, only the panning, and that 3D performance could be better, but some of that is the inherent LCoS technology, so far only DLP seems to have the ability to be really free of crosstalk, whereas the Sony definitely exhibits some.  Not bad though, unless you are really crosstalk adverse, in which case, sorry, there are no 4K DLP projectors yet.

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