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Sony VPL-VW365ES 4K Home Theater Projector Review - Hardware 2

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Art Feierman
VPLVW365ES 4K PROJECTOR - HARDWARE PAGE 2:  Remote Control, Lens Throw and Shift, Menus

Sony VPL-VW365ES 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 VW365ES 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.  Still, I have to bring the remote close to my face, sometimes to make out what's on the lit up buttons because I do find it dark, and blue doesn't help.  Light greens and orange backlights seem to work best for me.

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 (and this projector relies almost exclusively on HDMI), 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.

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 the remote - from top to bottom.

All considered a well balanced remote control that works nicely, with only a couple of very minor things to complain about.

Click Image to Enlarge

Sony VPL-VW365ES Menus

This section covers the main menus, and some of the sub menus.  It is identical content, "cloned" from the older VW350ES review, as the menus have not changed, except as relating to HDR and color space.  I show those menus at the end of the slideshow.

Main Picture menu

Contains a number of submenus (many of which have direct access buttons on the remote. The Expert Setting sub has even more menus. Color Preset brings up 9 choices.

Color (Picture) Presets

Eight defined presets with various gammas and other settings, plus one general User. Each preset holds changes you make, until you alter them. Plus User.
Settings you put in the presets can, however be locked in place from another menu to prevent accidental changes.
Device dependent. If my Blu-ray player on HDMI 1 was on User, and HDM 2 was on Bright TV for my satellite dish, it will remember and adjust when you change sources.

Reality Creation

Sony's dynamic detail and sharpness enhancement. 0-100 controls, noise filtering. When you select Test, the image switches from your setting to Off about every two seconds for comparison. Very helpful

Gamma controls

In addition to the usual preset range such as 2.2, 2.4, the other gammas such as Gamma 7, 8, 9 have interestingly setup characteristics that you might like best to match with sports, or some overly dark content or...?

Color Space

Multiple choices. In Mike's calibration he starts with Color Space 3.

Cinema Black Pro Sub-menu

On this Sony, only Contrast Enhancement and Lamp Brightness control. On most other Sony projectors Iris controls are also here.

Contrast Enhancer

Off plus 3 settings. It can make a serious difference. I did not experiment with it but briefly.
You'll find two images later on, showing Off and the Medium setting for comparison.

Aspect Menu

A main menu with just one control - your choice of aspect ratios.

Setup Menu

The usual: Menu positioning options, Language, Network options, Standby mode, and Lamp replacement

Function Menu

The first item on this menu is 3D but it does not show up if turned off.

Installation menu

Flip the image for ceiling mount, etc. Lens control (can be disabled so it's not accidentally adjusted). 12V trigger controls, and the very important panel alignment area. It works, is easy, and takes only a few minutes!

Information Menu

Shows you the usual, the model projector, resolution and frame rate, serial number, lamp life and the firmware version

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