Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW50 Pearl Home Theater Projector Review: Image Quality-6

Well, the black levels are first class. True, the Sony relies on a dynamic iris to achieve it’s maximum of 15:000 contrast ratio, so black levels vary depending on the how much very bright content appears on a frame, but overall, the Sony VW50 probably has the best performance so far, in this regard. I should first note, that I worked with the projector’s iris set to Auto 1 (for watching movies). This worked great. Auto 2 strikes me as a bit more dynamic, but also occasionally more detectable on certain scenes. I settled on Auto 1 very quickly, and would recommend that as the right place to start. (You can also turn off the dynamic aspect and set the iris manually (like the BenQ W10000). The dynamic iris worked well enough that I never felt the need. (My settings for HDTV, however, using Standard preset, also had the dynamic iris off, and was just fine for that type of viewing).

I’ll start the image collection with some standard, and overexposed versions of the same frames, to look at shadow details. This is to adapt from the limitations of my digital camera, which cannot capture the full dynamics of the projected image. If the mediums and brights look great, the shadow details are lost, thus, by also overexposing the same image, the bright areas get blown out, but the shadow details the projector actually projects, are now revealed.

This first image is from Phantom (HD-DVD). Note the texture (and the painted frescos on the walls, as well as details in the darker parts of the floor and even the horse.

Sony VW-50 PhantomHorseLarge
Sony VW-50 PhantomHorseOverLarge