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

VPL-VW365ES PROJECTOR – HARDWARE TOUR:  Overview, Lens, Control Panel, Inputs and Connectors

VPL-VW365ES - Hardware Overview

The VW365Es is a largish home theater projector.  It comes finished in a matte, medium dark gray rough textured finish. The large lens area looks impressive with its gold trim.  Controls are almost invisible (right side if looking from the front), and even the connections (opposite side) are recessed on the side to make them hard to spot (until you have cables coming out of them.)

The projector doesn’t look it, but is almost square.  It’s just over 19 inches wide, and just over 18 inches deep.  It is taller than most, measuring almost 7 3/4 inches high, where most home projectors are in the 4 to 6 inch height range.  Thus it appears bulkier than its footprint might suggest.

The VPL-VW365ES  should blend in very nicely if you have a dark ceiling in your theater. Not so much, if you have off white ceiling in more of a living / bonus / media room type of environment.  The spouse/partner factor may come into play.

Other than venting on either side of the lens, the only other thing you will find on the front of this Sony is the IR sensor for the Sony’s remote control. The 3D emitter is radio frequency (RF) and is internal.  The large vents on either side of the lens are the exhausts, the intakes are in the lens area, below it, and on the back of the VW365ES. (There are both front and rear IR sensors.  The menus will allow you to select either or both.)

There are screw thread adjustable feet on the bottom, and the lamp door is on the top and left side (if facing the front of the projector).

VW365ES Lens

Sony’s power zoom lens offers a 2.06:1 zoom ratio.  That’s excellent range, but typical of the competing projectors such as the JVCs and Epsons – 2.0:1 and 2.1:1.  Close enough. The lens is recessed, and centered in the front of the projector.  Sony typically offers some pretty good quality optics.  Of note, the loss of brightness going from wide angle (closest placement) to telephoto, results in only about a 30% drop in brightness. That’s better than many zoom lenses with comparable range.

This Sony lacks Lens Memory, so you cannot save settings.  You will have to re-adjust if you are a wide-screen (Cinemascope type of aspect ratio) owner, each time, when switching between widescreen (2.35:1 etc.) and HDTV(1.78:1) content to get the largest possible image up.

Control Panel

All of the controls are located along the lower edge of the VPL-VW365ES’s case on what is the right side, if you are facing the front of the projector.

sony-vpl-vw365es-control-panel
Sony VW350ES, VW365ES Control Panel

 

Moving from the front toward the back, the controls are spaced less than one inch apart, and consist of small buttons for Power (once for on, twice for off), Source comes next – it lets you toggle through all the inputs that have devices connected.

Next up comes the Menu button, and then a small square rocker style “joystick” for up, down, left, and right navigation. Pressing the button straight in is the Enter function. That leaves only the lens controls which have one button.

Pressing the lens control button toggles you though focus, zoom and lens shift, then off again.  With any of the lens control settings selected, the navigation “joystick” is used to make changes – that is, to focus, zoom, and lens shift.

The remote control can also be used to adjust the lens settings.  That allows you to get close to the screen to accurately focus.

VPL-VW365ES Inputs and Connectors

The power cord connects to the projector in the back, on the far left side (if looking from the rear, so basically behind the control panel).  The rest of the inputs and other connectors are on the lower right side, recessed from the bulk of the projector’s case.

vpl-vw365es_side-inputs
VW365ES Inputs and Connectors

Those connectors starting from the back left, and moving toward the front, consist of first, the LAN network connector. It accepts a typical RJ45 “ethernet” jack.  Moving toward the front you will then find a USB connector.  That one is there for upgrading the firmware of the projector. With many new standards yet to be released, I believe its very important that manufacturers offer a reasonably easy way to allow owners to upgrade their units.  I have not had the opportunity to try it, but Sony seems to think it important as well.

Next up are a pair of HDMI inputs. They support the HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 required for Blu-ray UHD.

Sony does provide a good deal of space between connectors I should note. Installers will appreciate.  On the other hand, the recessed connectors are a bit of a pain when the projector is on a table top (as it is for me when reviewing)  Fortunately most end users will have their projectors mounted.

Move over a little more and you’ll see an Serial RS232 input using the traditional DB9 connector.  That is followed by an IR input connector.  This should allow for hard wiring a remote control.  That might be used if the projector is in a rear screen setup.  Or it might be there because Sony will surely launch a commercial version of this projector.

A pair of 12 volt screen triggers are all that’s left.  This Sony does support use of a 1.24X anamorphic lens, so one trigger might be used to control a screen, while the other controls a motorized lens sled.

Current dealer prices for Sony VPL-VW365ES

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Projector People 
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