Posted on March 16, 2020 By Art Feierman
Sony VPL-VW695ES Home Theater Projector Review: A Serious Gaming Projector, 3D, CFI, Lens Memory, 12 volt Screen Triggers
Defintely a good gamer not killer exceptional, but then definitely good for a dedicated higher end home theater projector vs a low cost gaming projector! This projector will keep you competitive. True there are a number faster projectors when it comes to input lag (most, however, are slower)! When looking around the menus, I quickly spotted in the Expert Settings, a feature labeled: Input Lag Reduction. They could have simplified, by just renaming it: “Gamers, turn this On!”
Measuring with the Input Lag Reduction setting turned Off lag was a dismal – unusable for fast games – 158ms! Ouch.
Fortunately, with Input Lag Reduction turned on, my Leo Bodnar Input Lag lag measuring device, my expectations were satisfied. When you have everything set up, we’re looking at 38 ms input lag, which these days is pretty good for projectors and for gaming in general. By comparison, Epson’s models are mostly a bit faster at 27 or 35ms, Optoma makes some low-cost gaming projectors down to around 8ms (extraordinary) but I know of nothing at this price point as fast. Even most hardcore gamer projectors are at least 16ms.
The recently reviewed BenQ HT9060, a direct competitor to this Sony was in the upper 50ms range – considered marginal by most serious gamers. Most lower cost DLP projectors are worse than the Sony, except those specifically designed as gaming projectors.
Here’s how we call input lag times in terms of performance.
55ms +/-“Acceptable” to all but the most hardcore, high-speed gamers.
33-40 ms: “Good. Definitely fine for all but the most aggressive. (that’s just over 1 frame behind on a 30fps game, or 2 frames behind on a 60 fps game. The Sony came in just over that 2 frame delay. Pretty good.
27 ms – Reasonably great!
16 ms – About as good as it gets, a few are this fast, mostly lower-cost models
8 ms – a couple of lower-cost gaming projectors -and a lot of expensive monitors.
3D, (I’m pirating most of this from the VW295ES review) much like the big screen experience itself, is all about being immersed in the content.
I am most pleased with Sony for continuing to provide 3D support on their newest projectors, and that includes the VPL-VW695ES. It seems like more 4K UHD DLP projectors have abandoned 3D than are offering it. I enjoy 3D, often debating which is more fun: Ghostbusters 2016 in 4K with HDR or 3D without, and the same for several other movies that provide both in the box.
I watched just enough 3D this time – on the VW695ES (less than 4 hours) including Ghostbusters (4K), plus The Great Gatsby and Avatar (1080p).
As many 3D enthusiasts know, 3D has mostly died on LCD/LED TVs, primarily because, to appreciate 3D you need that really large screen to be properly immersed. Viewing a 65” TV from 12 feet away, just presents an image too small (relative to your entire vision) to appreciate the immersion abilities of 3D. Try 3D on a 120” screen, from the same 12 feet. Awesome! The picture will occupy almost four times more of your view! And dazzle you (and me!)
Sony’s 3D looks very good. We’re still using active 3D glasses, and there’s a little bit of crosstalk, but overall, no issues big enough to take all the fun out of 3D viewing. And it certainly is fun! That’s my 2 cents! And yes, Avatar is still truly spectacular in 3D, especially on this Sony pointing at a 120” diagonal screen. BTW, I had forgotten how cool The Great Gadsby looks in 3D.
Regular readers know I’m not a big fan of creative frame interpolation – aka smooth motion.
Sony, unlike most other companies, offers a number of options in terms of Creative Frame Interpolation. Now I normally only care for CFI for sports. And certainly, avoid it with movies. I will say that almost everyone’s CFI gives you an obvious “soap opera effect.” When fed the usual 24fps movie. It really changes things, especially noticeable on the really large screen.
Sony, however, has one very good CFI mode, though, that adds very little of that look to movies. In other words, if I were to choose to have CFI while watching most movies, I would want it to be Sony’s CFI.
Start with a projector that has power focus, power zoom and power lens shift. Add a couple of lens settings memories to a projector’s menu system, and you can save them. This allows many of us to go “wide screen” to match most movies. Myself I have long owned 2.4:1 aspect ratio screens (HDTV is 16×9 which is only 1.78:1).
If you aren’t going widescreen, you don’t need Lens Memory.
With Lens memory, on a widescreen, with the projector properly positioned, adjust the lens for the largest HDTV image on your widescreen, and save that setting, Adjust the lens to fill the entire screen with a widescreen movie. Save that too. Bingo. You can now toggle back and forth effortlessly, as you use different aspect ratio content.
This Sony VW695ES comes with not one, but two 12 volt screen triggers.
For those not familiar, just as the name sounds, a 12 volt trigger (signal), can be used to cause a motorized screen to roll down, or roll up, when the projector is powered up, or off. Of course, the screen has to be properly equipped to work with the 12 volt signal.
So, why two triggers. Even if you are using one to control a screen, there are other devices that can be controlled by the 2nde trigger: A number of motorized window shades makers offer 12 volt control options, including an anamorphic lens sled for widescreen. (But most with this projector would just use lens memory…)
Also some lighting, hey, even a water fountain could be turned off, automatically when the projector turns on. The system is really very basic, just a pulse output when the projector powered on and off that can be used to trigger other, equipped devices.
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