Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector – Image Quality 5

Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

Other than having twice as many lumens (2000 thousand instead of the 1005 maximum we measured), I’m perfectly happy with sports on the VPL-VW95ES. Colors are dynamic, the CFI works nicely and smooths motion. Shadow detail and black levels really aren’t an issue for sports as sports is rarely dark. The abilities of the VPL-VW95ES come into play for other HDTV content, be it concert videos (I’m a huge fan), or travel and education type material from the likes of Discovery HD, History HD, SyFiHD, Nat Geo HD, and so on.

Bottom line for HDTV on the Sony VPL-VW95ES Home Theater Projector

The Sony may lack the more precision sharpness of a first class single chip DLP projector, but it’s right up there for good sharpness with any of the 3 chip LCoS or LCD projectors. It converges very well, and still looks very sharp on digital content. I watched a few concerts, some Smithsonian HD, plenty of sports (football mostly), and more, when it comes to 2D digital content.

In my theater, I can have all my rear recessed lights on (7 down facing LED lights – each about 50 watt equivalent), and even sports viewing is more than bright enough in 2D, with the low ambient light. While there isn’t a huge difference in brightness between the Sony’s various modes, filling a 100″ screen (16:9) even with the ambient light in any of the modes, works great in my theater. I never really needed to go to “brightest mode” except for 3D, or if I chose to partially open a couple of my shutters to let in a little sun light.

Which reminds me! Sports in 3D can be really great. I’ve recorded a couple of college football games, boxing (not my thing, normally), X-games, and so on. Very cool in 3D on the Sony. There sure isn’t a whole lot of content yet, but more is coming… including for the second year, the BCS championship game.

Content like the two Stephen Lowe “productions” Tahiti 3D: Ultimate Wave, and Legends of Flight, are just downright awesome in 3D. (Image above from “Flight), image below from a program on Food trucks.

This works for me. Mind you, if I was trying to use this projector in a room with off white walls and ceilings, I’d be running out of lumens much faster, but in the theater type situation the VPL-VW95ES is normally heading into, sports and HDTV should be just fine, even with lots of company and a fair amount of controlled ambient light.

If you are placing the VW95ES in a lighter room, pay particular attention to your choice of screens. If a siginficant amount of any ambient lighting is coming from the sides, and really good high contrast gray screen can really help.