Sony VPL-VW70 Projector – Physical Tour 1

VPL-VW70 Menus

The Sony’s menus are well organized. Type size is on the small size, but still readable at normal seating distances.

The Picture menu is the one that people will use most often, and is shown here. From it, you can access sub-menus inclucing Picture Mode (ie. Cinema), color settings (Color Temp menu), Iris control and Lamp brightness (Cinema Black Pro), Gamma settings, black level and color space (Expert Setting).

Please note, on the Picture/Expert Settings Menu, the Gamma is listed. Sony provides six different gamma settings, as well as gamma adjust off. Mike reports that Gamma 3 has the closest overall gamma to the ideal 2.2 for movie watching, averaging just over 2.1. Gamma 4, by comparison, jumps gamma to 2.4.

From the Sony manual, here’s how they describe the different Gamma settings:

Gamma 1: Makes the scene much brighter, overall
Gamma 2: Makes the scene brighter, overall
Gamma 3: Makes the scene slightly less bright overall
Gamma 4: Makes the scene darker overall
Gamma 5: Gamma curve…makes dark area of the screen brighter
Gamma 6: Gamma curve…make the bright area of the screen even brighter

Please note, per the manual, on the provided disc, there is a program ImageDirector3, which allows you to save your preferred gamma in a computer. I did not look at this, but I suspect it may allow you to fine tune the gamma?

VPL-VW70 Menus - Slideshow

There are a number of other menus (including a passive Information menu. These menus control everything from intial setup – menu language, projector orientation (front, rear, ceiling, floor) to things like where the menus will appear on the screen. Shown to the right is the Setup Menu.

Sony VPL-VW70 Remote Control

Click enlarge. So close. Sony has a new remote control for the VW70. At least, it is different than the one provided with the VPL-HW10 (which used a remote we’ve previously seen from Sony). This Sony remote control is brightly lit with blue LED light. It’s easy to read, and, as I have mentioned before with other remotes using blue LEDs (like some Optoma projectors), if anything, it’s almost too bright. That’s still better than too dim!

The layout is new, and I must confess, it is now, perhaps my all time favorite remote control, of all the remotes I’ve worked with while reviewing home theater projectors. Keep in mind that I spend a lot of time using remotes, as I try out different settings. As a result, my usage is a lot different than the typical owner, but I still think everyone should find this to be an excellent remote control.

If the nice bright lighting and layout weren’t enough, the VPL-VW70 remote control also seems to have excellent range.

I should note, this is one large remote – measuring a full 10 inches in length, also of note, a few of the keys do glow dimly so with some difficulty, you can find it in a fully darkened room. That may sound minor, but, I got so frustrated over the last year plus, with my remotes for my two Sony PS3s, when trying to locate them when the lights are off, that I finally put a couple of day-glow stickers on both of them.

Let’s start at the top, and work our way down…

On the top right is a green power switch. Press once to power up, press twice, to power down. Next to it, is the Input button allowing you to toggle through the different sources. To it’s left, is the Light button, that turns on the blue LED lights that illuminate the buttons..

The next two rows are for the six Picture modes: Cinema, Standard, and Dynamic, pluse User 1, 2, and 3.

Because this Sony remote can control other Sony Bravia devices such as Blu-ray players and camcorders, you will next find a full set of playback controls, such as play, fast forward, next/previous chapter, pause, etc.

Also included in that section are the Sync Menu and Options buttons, to define and select those other Bravia devices. Different options are available depending on the devices. This whole control section only works when the compatible Bravia devices are hooked up via HDMI 1 or HDMI 2.

Next comes the main navigation section. It consists of the usual four arrow keys (in a round configuration), with a center Enter button.

Surrounding the navigation area are three buttons in a larger circle. The one to the upper left brings up the Lens functions (focus, zoom, lens shift). The bottom one is the Menu button to launch the menus, and the top right one is the Reset button. Personally, I find large Reset buttons located near navigation to be scary. Nothing worse than, “oops” I just reset everything.” Still there is a confirm function, but, pay attention!

Below the navigation area are five buttons that provide direct access to some of the more frequently selected controls: Gamma, Black Level settings, Advanced Iris, Color Space, and Color Temp.

Then there’s a decent space, and three more buttons. On the left, is Wide Mode, which lets you toggle through different aspect ratios, RCP, which is Sony’s color management system, and lets you individually tune each primary and secondary color. Note; We do not work with this section as part of our own “basic” grayscale calibration of the VW70. Most likely, if you hire a good professional calibrator, they will adjust the individual colors, as well as the grayscale balance.

That leaves just six more buttons – actually 3 pairs of direct controls. They are Sharpness, Brightness, and Contrast.

Again, an excellent remote. It is logically laid out, the buttons have a good feel. It fits well in your hand (mine is pretty average sized), and has excellent range.

Click Image to Enlarge

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