Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW40: 1080p Home Theater Projector Review – Image Quality-11

Sony VPL-VW40 Projector Overall Picture Quality

The VPL-VW40 is pretty much what I expected. Being only a slightly reworked VW50, it is overall, similar. I will note that the older VW50 was a bit subdued in its picture, whereas the VW40 has more punch out of the box. I mostly attribute this to the color saturation being higher. With the older Sony, I typically increased the saturation slightly. With the VW40, I find myself decreasing it instead.

Overall, a very pleasing picture. Of the under $3000 crowd, in many ways, it is comparable to the Panasonic PT-AE2000U, but offers improved black levels.

The LCoS engine behind the VW40 gives it a different feel to the image – let’s call that a different flavor, than the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, in that some will prefer the Sony’ picture (all else being equal), while others will like the Epson better.

It seems now that we have a three horse race – DLP, LCD and LCoS all capable of high quality competing products, that each technology offers overall picture quality that does have strengths and weaknesses compared to the others.

Life was much simpler a year ago. The only LCoS projectors were more expensive than just about all single chip DLP and 3LCD projectors, and generally the DLP’s had the LCD projectors beat. Life was more straightforward. Now all three technologies are quality competitive, although the LCoS in general are the most expensive, the VW40 is an exception.

That said, overall, for the quality of the image, I favor the Epson, but the VW40 is close behind in my mind. I think, so far, that these two produce the best overall picture quality of the under $3000 projectors.

Bottom line: The Sony, overall, provides really good depth to their image, even after reducing color saturation slightly. Colors are vibrant, and the projector itself is pretty transparent to watch. Or, rather, I should say the Sony doesn’t get in the way of the picture on the screen. Only if you leave the saturation high, does it have a slightly artificial look to it.

Depending on the scene, there were times I favored the image of the VPL-VW40 over the Epson Home Cinema 1080UB, and others where I felt the Epson definitely stood out. The biggest difference between the Epson and the Sony, though, are outside of the image quality area, primarily, brightness, and warranty.