The VW665ES is not just about full 4K resolution!
But being a true 4K projector is a big part of what makes it special. If this was merely a 1080p resolution projector, it would be one of the best ones around. We would be debating whether it was better than competing first class projectors from the likes of JVC, Runco or Epson.
This is our top regular award for projectors. In addition we offer additional awards in our special reports
The world is changing, though. Today 50 inch, 60 inch, and 70 inch are rolling off store shelves boasting 4K resolution as the next great thing.
Folks, it really is, but then, you aren't really going to appreciate 4K on a 50 inch LCDTV unless you are watching it from 6 feet away or less.
But if you have a projector like the VPL-VW665ES in a nice theater like room, and a 100" or 120" or larger screen, you probably can set up your room so that you are sitting only 6 or 10 or 12 feet feet back as desired. Anything under 10 feet back would just be too close (for just about anyone's taste), with a 1080p projector
With 1080p projectors, 6 feet back from a 100" screen you'll see the pixel structure on 1080p content. Not good. With a 4K projector, though, the pixels will still be invisible, content will appear smooth and detailed.
And, the relative screen size will be something akin to sitting between 1/3 and one half way back in a typical movie theatre - that means the screen will seem huge, being better able for you to be fully immersed.
4K content is coming, and that means you as a projector owner, can take advantage of a true 4K projector like this Sony, to become both more immersed, and see more, and glorious, details. That folks, is what it's all about, and the VW665ES does it great.
In the VPL665ES screen images above, the first 7 are of 4K content, followed by five 1080p movie images, and the last three are 1080i.
For those of you who skipped some of the inner pages of this review, the close up 4K images above give you the best idea of how much detail and sharpness this Sony is capable of. Remember you are viewing from probably less than 2 feet away. Those are heavily cropped, but they are saved as 2000 pixel wide images so you are looking at a small portion of the full frame of the content, but with 2000 pixels across what you are seeing is at full 4K resolution, give or take what your monitor gives up with its relatively large pixel structure.
Bottom line: With 4K content, the VPL-VW665ES will let you sit closer, enjoying more immersion while also providing more perceived sharpness, and let you more detail than exists on 1080p content. Sweet!
With about 1500 watchable lumens with accurate picture, the VPL-VW665ES is bright enough to qualify as what I dubbed years ago as being a "light cannon". In the right room, a 150" diagonal screen size is not even a challenge.
Think of it this way, for the same brightness you would find in a typical movie theater (12-16 ft lamberts), you need around 400 lumens with a typical 1.1 gain screen that is 100 inches diagonal.
Since the VPL-VW600ES has almost four times the brightness - post calibration, we can quickly interpolate that it should be able to handle a screen size of up to 200" diagonal while producing it's best possible picture. That should make it the darling of many hollywood directors, cinema-photographers, etc., for their home screening rooms - which are typically a magnitude larger than the home theater screens we mere mortals own.
But since few of us will have more than 140" diagonal, most of that extra brightness will serve for dealing with ambient light - especially intentional ambient light you want to watch certain content with some lights on, or light coming in. Sports and most TV viewing come to mind.
As always, there's always the issue of 3D, as you always give up more than half and more typically about 2/3rds of 2D brightness. That means that 3D at a 100" size is actually reasonably bright. I can enjoy 3D even at the full 124" diagonal, but at that size I would like some extra brightness. My wife, is down on 3D. It's not so much the 3D glasses, but brightness. I talked her into a 3D flick the other night using this Sony. She enjoyed the experience "because it wasn't really dim." Hallelujah!
Of course, with a projector that has lens memory, as this Sony projector does, there's nothing to stop you, the owner from creating a smaller projected image for use with 3D, that can be accessed at the touch of a button on the remote control, if desired. And of course, if you go a step further, you could have a masking system that would mask the visible screen size down to the size of your 3D projection.
When you look around the market, projectors that can put noticeably more than 2000 lumens on the screen fit into one of two categories: Home entertainment projectors which really aren't remotely comparable - selling mostly for under $1500, and super expensive high brightness projectors from the real high end companies, such as SIM2 and Runco. Of course most of those much brighter projectors, cost $30,000 to $100,000+ and are still only 1080p resolution. Tsk, Tsk.
In other words, short of dropping an amount of cash on your next projector that makes this Sony seem downright inexpensive, nothing is significantly brighter, if you are looking for serious picture quality. The low cost home entertainment projectors can be extremely bright, but the Sony's picture is magnitudes better!
End of the conversation on brightness.