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Sony VPL-VW600ES 4K Projector: Performance 3

Posted on March 4, 2014 by Art Feierman

Lens Shift Range

There are no visible lens shift controls on the Sony VPL-VW600ES, or for that matter none for zoom and focus either, as all lens functions are motorized.

Lens Shift is not quite even in the vertical plane with a bit more range to move the image up than down (85% vs 80% of a screen height).

The Sony can be ceiling mounted with center of the lens about 17 inches above the top of the screen surface (100 inch, 16:9 screen).  If not inverted, such as a high shelf mount, the maximum range would be about 2 inches less.  If table top, the center of the lens can be up to 17 inches below the bottom of the screen surface.

That's very good vertical lens shift range although hardly exceptional.  Horizontally there's about 30 inches to left or right of center that you could place the projector.

Of course using one direction impacts the range of the other.  Most people, however use a fair amount of vertical, and almost no horizontal.

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Image Noise

Overall, image noise is not a problem, other than in one area mentioned earlier.  There is a certain slow panning speed that seems to drive the Sony VPL-VW600ES and other Sony projectors pretty crazy.  It seems to be a rarely found speed for a pan, perhaps because directors and cinema photographers are aware that it is a challenge?

Understand please,  it's not that this panning speed only affects these Sony projectors.  I see the same issue with the Epson UB projectors like the current Home Cinema 5030UB, and also on JVCs and others.   It's just that you get a lot of judder - what seems to be objects (like trees, mail boxes, houses) oscillating back and forth slightly, but vigorously in this pan.  With the Sony projectors the oscillation is worse, more visible, but they all do pretty much the same thing, but vary in degree.

A pan like that appears near the beginning of the movie RED, as the camera pans around a neighborhood.

So, how to fix?   I tried all of the Sony noise features, none seem to have any real effect.   On the other hand, FI, or CFI - creative frame interpolation, to be precise, definitely does make a difference.  Switching MotionFlow to Smooth High, which they recommend for 24fps movies, cures the problem completely, however, you are now watching a movie that is no longer movie-like 24fps.  You will be seeing the usual "soap opera" or "live digital video" effect.  I'm not a fan for movies, as is the case for many enthusiasts.

Off and Pure Cinema modes make no difference, and Impulse didn't solve the problem either.  The Smooth Low, provided some improvement, but also still gives you the "live digital video" look.

Bottom line:  Deal with it.  It is rare that I have encountered this problem with pans, in fact I can't think of another scene as bad as that one in RED.   I figure if you encounter one pan like this for say 6 or 10 seconds every fifty movies or so, it's something we can all live with.

Audible Noise

Not bad, not bad at all.  And that's especially true considering this is a particularly bright home theater projector capable of about 1500 calibrated lumens.

In looking through the Sony VW600ES's user manual - the specs page, Sony does not publish audible noise numbers. That forces me to guess, as we do not measure.  I've seen a 26 db spec published one place but it didn't specify full power or eco-mode.  So, I'll guess.

Let's start by saying the Sony is very quiet in its Eco-mode, which many of you will use, since in most cases you'll have lumens/brightness to spare.  Based on knowing that the Sony is, for example, definitely quieter than the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB, I would put my best guess for Eco-mode in the 22-24 db range, which is excellent.  At full power, the VW600ES projector is definitely noisier, my best guess being 27-29 db.  (By comparison, figure the Epsons at 31-32.  I suspect the Sony is more likely to be at the lower end of my guess range.

Bottom line on audible noise:  Those few who are very noise adverse will not be thrilled with the Sony running at full power, but even the most concerned of you should have no problem at all with Eco mode, where there's still over 1000 calibrated lumens.

For the rest of us:  No problem at all.

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