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Sony VPL-VW600ES 4K Home Theater Projector

Posted on March 4, 2014 by Art Feierman
Sony's VPL-VW600ES offers true 4K for about $15,000.  If you have the budget, this is the projector to own. Some comparisons to the competition will be added, as well as additional commentary, including more on the VW600ES's 4K Media Player and Xperia tablet.

Specs Preview

Sony VPL-VW600ES Specs
Price 14999
Technology LCOS 3 Panel
Native Resolution 4096x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1700
Contrast 200,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.06:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life Sony does not specify. Likely at least 2000 hours at full power, 3000 in Eco-mode, generally conservative numbers
Weight 30.9
Warranty Three years

VPL-VW600ES Overview

I love this Sony projector.  The Sony VPL-VW600ES is a true 4K projector.  Priced at about $15,000, it's a game changer for those who can afford.  Even on 2K (1080p) content it looks sharper than any of the 2K projectors with fancy dynamic detail enhancement.  That's including Sony's own Reality Creation on their HW55ES, JVC's 4K e-shift, and so on.  With true 4K content, which, of course is scarce so far, the clarity and detail is stunningly better.   Mind you, as good as the VPL-VW600 ES projector is, Sony has the even better VW1100ES, for about $12,000 more.

Lot's of friends have seen some of the 4K content Sony provided with the projector.  The only terms I could use to describe their reactions are "jaw-dropping" and "awe".  Even the Olympics, in mere 1080i, with a little Reality Creation on, was a magnitude above what the HW55ES could do with Reality Creation engaged.

Right out of the box, color is excellent.  Post calibration it is near perfect.  If you don't like the color on what you are watching, the problem is probably the content, not the projector.

Sony's VPL-VW600ES comes with most of the bells and whistles - the special features that you might want.  Although we have a whole section of Special Features, I'll mention one right now, and that's lens memory.  So, the decision to go 16:9 screen or widescreen is yours, no anamorphic lens needed.

Also of note, this is one bright projector for a home theater.  It easily has enough calibrated lumens to tackle a  150" diagonal screen or even a couple sizes larger, without breaking a sweat.


Into 3D, no problem, the VW600ES does 3D and can convert 2D to 3D if desired).  This Sony uses newer lighter glasses that are RF rather than infra-red.  They are about as comfortable and minimal as active glasses get.  They do use button batteries though, that is, they are not rechargeable.  It's easy to swap out a battery.  3D picture quality will be discussed later, but let's say it's pretty darn good!

Don't forget, this projector comes with a video server - or rather 4K Media Play, and a tablet!   The round 4K Media Player  you hardwire into your router, and you control it with the Sony android tablet.

What's this all about?   Sony has a solution to provide some 4K content   Sony has a service so you can buy or rent, and download 4K movies to the Media Player.  I got to use the service and downloaded four movies (one was complementary).  The choices are from Sony Pictures and its affiliates, and include movies and a variety of other content.   So far movies total somewhere between one and two dozen.  But that could swell to hundreds by end of the year.  (That's a guess only.)   Sony has control of a lot of movies, starting with MGM long ago.

I'm an Apple guy, not Android, but I struggled on, got it all configured, and downloaded the first movie which took some time!  (Hey, it is 4K!)  Works as advertised.  More on it later.

Click Image to Enlarge

Highlights of the Sony VW600ES Projector

  • True 4K resolution:  3840 x 2160
  • Reality Creation for Detail Enhancement of all resolutions
  • Exceptionally Bright for a Home Theater Projector (1700 lumens claimed)
  • Impressive color even before calibration, auto calibrate feature
  • Lens Memory for working with both 16:9 or "wide screens" (ie. 2.35:1)
  • All lens features are motorized
  • Excellent placement flexibility (1.6:1 zoom and lots of lens shift)
  • Dynamic iris has manual and limited options
  • Panel alignment for aligning the 3 LCoS (SXRD) panels
  • 3D and 2D to 3D conversion
  • CFI - creative frame interpolation for "smooth motion"
  • Anamorphic lens support
  • Basic networking, support for Crestron, Control4, AMX and more
  • Includes Media Player and Sony tablet
  • 12 Volt triggers
  • Least expensive true 4K projector on the market (2/2014)
  • 3 year warranty

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