Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW40: 1080p Home Theater Projector Review – Image Quality-4

Now, so that you believe me, when I say the Sony really is good at black levels, here’s a side by side, comparing the VW40 with the Optoma HD803, my next review. The Optoma is a classic DLP projector, claiming a “mere” 8000:1 constrast ratio. As usual, click to enlarge

Amazing isn’t it. In this case, you can see that the Optoma’s blacks are significantly lighter gray than the Sony. It also puts in perspective the blue corner problem. Obviously the earlier comparison with the Epson was exposed for much longer, because the Epson is so good, even then the blacks are barely gray. In this case, you see immediately that the Sony is better than the Optoma. And those “bright” blue hotspots on the Sony? Even they are below the average background level of the Optoma. The image itself, please note, is very overexposed, so you can even see the black levels. You can tell this because player’s white pause marker in the lower left is obviously blurred from being over exposed.

In fact those blue corners normally aren’t even visible even on dark scenes.

Bottom Line: So far, of all the 1080p projectors tested, the only home theater projector with list price under $4000 that does have a real black level advantage, is the Epson. I do not believe any of the other 3LCD or DLP projectors can match the Sony. As to other LCoS projectors, well, there really are only 3 others under $10,000. The least expensive of those are the Sony VW60, and for just slightly more than the VW60, the JVC RS1.

Sony VPL-VW40 Shadow Details

Panasonic PT-AE2000U
Panasonic PT-AE2000U








For a brief explanation of the relationship of black levels and shadow detail check out the first couple of paragraphs of this same section, from the recent Sony VPL-VW60 review. This link will take you to the Image Quality page of that review. Just scroll down to the shadow detail section.

Here are a number of images found in most reviews, and a couple comparisons.