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Sony VPL-VW85 Projector - Performance 4

Posted on January 4, 2010 by Art Feierman

The Sony VPL-VW85 Brightness is better than the older VW70 it replaces.

Interestingly, last year, in measuring the VW70, Mike found that it wasn't measuring as bright when the dynamic iris was engaged. That wasn't a very good thing, since in best mode viewing you'll normally want the dynamic iris on, for better blacks.

This year, however, the VPL-VW85 doesn't seem to lose any lumens when Auto 1 or Auto 2 - the two dynamic iris choices are engaged.

Sony VPL-VW85: Bottom Line Sharpness

The Sony VPL-VW85 is just one more reasonably sharp LCoS projector. Overall, while there is some variation from one good LCoS or LCD projector to another, all are 3 "chip" devices that have to be converged, and that's never perfect. As a result, while the Sony looks reasonably sharp for a 1080p projector, it's definitely visibly not as sharp as most of the DLP projectors out there. Side by side, the sharpness difference between the VW85 and, say the old InFocus IN83, or the Optoma HD8600 or the Planar PD8150 is going to be easily discerned. Most of the better DLP projectors that are single chip are either "razor sharp" or close to it, while the VW85 and most non-DLP projectors are just "reasonably sharp". Or, another way of putting it: The Sony VPL-VW85 is average in sharpness for a 1080p projector, but not a match for the better 1080p projectors, which are definitely "sharper still."

Light Leakage

Light leakage is not a problem with the VPL-VW85. There is minor light leakage through the lens, especially if you are using the full lens shift, but the levels are low enough not to be a factor. Also of note, the actual LCoS panel is slightly larger than 1920x1080 so there is sort of a very dark band around the image (non-issue).

Image Noise

The Sony VW85 is very good, when it comes to image noise. Background noise is less than most projectors, and general image noise levels should prove to be below virtually any DLP projector competiton, but similar to other LCoS projectors and 3LCD models, as well.

Audible Noise

The VPL-VW85 is about average (or a little better) at audible noise as well. The Sony claims 22 db in eco-mode (low lamp power), which is better than most projectors. Sony does not provide a spec for full power operation, but it probably isn't more than an extra 5 or 6 db. The noisier home theater projectors at full power, tend to be up in the 31-34 db range, so this is a sonically quieter unit than many. Even for those who are the most noise adverse should be able to live with the VW85 at full power, and certainly, at low power.

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