Sony VPL-VW70 – Image Quality – 1

Click to enlarge So close. The side by side image below has VPL-VW70 is on the left, and the JVC DLA-RS20 on the right.

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Click to enlarge So close. The image immediately below it, is the same frame, but intentionally overexposed

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Click to enlarge So close. Below is a side by side with the Sony on the left and the JVC RS20 on the right:

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Click to enlarge So close. Next is a frame from the beginning of the The Dark Knight, showing the Legendary logo. As you can see, the black levels appear close to identical in this shot, however, the bright parts of the logo on the JVC (right) are much brighter (and therefore shifting toward white, as they are overexposed). The Sony’s dynamic iris is compressing the overall image, so, while it lowers the blacks, whites and near whites in darker scenes, are suffering a bit. The JVC which does not have a dynamic iris, therefore produces a more spectacular dark scene.

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Here are some all digital images, which are good ones for considering black levels. Look for the richness in the black part of some of the buildings and the sky in the second image. Both of these are digital hi-def images from the DVE-HD calibration disc.

Bottom line, on black levels: First off, they are extremely good. The blacks get very black, approaching the levels of the JVC RS20 (the best out there), on very dark scenes where the Sony’s dynamic iris can close the most. In this regard blacks get so dark that they are barely visible in the letterbox area.

Unlike the JVC (one of the few projectors in its class that achieves great blacks without needing a dynamic iris), the Sony does compress the dynamic range of the image if any white is present on a dark scene. Let’s say white, or other color combinations hitting full brightness. Most scenes such as city streets at night, or a scene in a dark room, still tend to have some very bright areas, even if small. The Sony will dim them down somewhat to let the iris close down more. This is a common attribute of most dynamic irises.

So, while the Sony is doing the same thing many other ultra-high-contrast projectors do, in terms of compressing the image, I point out the compression here because the VW70 is a projector that is almost certainly going to be compared to one of the JVC’s by most buyers. This is logical as they are in many ways similar.

Shadow Detail Performance

The VPL-VW70 does really well in terms of shadow detail. Not the best of the better projectors, but close.

I give it the slightest edge over the JVC RS20 in revealing dark shadow detail, but, again, likely due to the iris, there are some scenes where the RS20 can slightly outdo the Sony. Overall, though, the Sony has the edge.

More importantly, I’m really quibbling here, the Sony rarely loses anything of significance, you really have to go looking for any loss, you won’t find it casually watching.

When projectors in this range of black level performance deal with the closest information to near black, then those shadow details are going to be extremely dark, and difficult to spot. Projectors with brighter black levels will also be brighter on those same dark details. I’ll take the blacker blacks every time, in exchange for the slightest loss of detail that I’m not likely to notice while watching.

Top left: VPL-VW70, Middle: Panasonic PT-AE3000 Right: JVC DLA-RS10

VPL-VW70
Panasonic PT-AE3000
JVC DLA-RS10

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