Sony VPL-VW70 – Performance

Sony VPL VW70 Brightness

The VPL-VW70 is below average in brightness, post calibration. In Cinema mode (“best mode”), were the VW70 measurements included in our 1080p Comparison Report, the VW70 would be the second least bright of the nine projectors.

Out of the box (pre-adjustment) measurements, for these measurements, the Auto Iris was disengaged in all modes:

Cinema: 555 lumens @ 6783K (Auto Iris disengaged, but most will run it engaged)
Standard: 602 lumens @ 7539K
Dynamic: 609 lumens @ 8368K however, we would recommend using the Medium color temperature setting, instead of the default of High. Using medium:
Dynamic: 636 lumens @ 7223K – slightly brighter, and much better color.

Because it is unlikely that most users would want the dynamic iris turned off when using Cinema mode for movies, we also measured Cinema mode with the Iris set to Auto 1. This yielded much lower brightness, and a slight shift in color temperature, and the measurement we will use for comparing to other home theater projectors:

Cinema (Iris Auto 1): 366 lumens @ 6478K

Switching to low lamp mode, reduced brightness approximately 37%, a larger amount than with most other projectors (typically you see a 20-25% drop). We measured with the Auto Iris disengaged, and measured 349 lumens down from 555 lumens with lamp at full power.

More details and information can be found in the calibration page of this review.

With a 1.6:1 lens, the brightness difference between closest position (wide angle) and furthest (telephoto) is not near as great as the many projectors with 2:1 zooms, but greater than those projectors with 1.2:1 zooms (mostly DLP models). We did our measurements in Dynamic mode, with the Auto Iris disengaged. The same percentage drops and increases should be consistent in other modes.

At full wide angle, brightness increases by approximately 9% to 662 lumens compared to the mid-zoom point.

At full telephoto mode, brightness decreases by 19% to 492 lumens compared to the mid-zoom point.

Bottom line, if ceiling mounting is your thing, you can up your brightness slightly by mounting the projector so you are almost to full wide angle. Conversely, if you shelf mount in the rear, you are likely to be at full telephoto, or close, on the lens, which will result in almost a loss of 20% of brightness.

If you haven’t already visited the Image Quality page of this review, where we discuss (among other things) brightness, you may want to check out the HDTV section of that page. There you will find images showing the Sony VW70 with a sports image of about 100 inch diagonal, with the room dark, and other with modest ambient light present. There is also a good shot of the room to give you an idea how lit up the room was, when the ambient light photo was taken. You’ll also find the same image with ambient light present, in Cinema mode, and another in Dynamic mode, to show the brightness difference.

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