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Sony VPL-VZ1000ES Laser, True 4K, Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on June 27, 2017 by Art Feierman

The Sony VPL-VZ1000ES is a 4K ultra short throw home theater projector. It is one serious projector, which claims 2500 lumens, at a hefty $24,995 list price. That's not exactly chump change. In addition to being true 4K, it supports HDR which stands for high dynamic range. It also supports a wider color gamut (BT2020)  than we are used to with HDTV or Blu-ray disc (REC709). The short story: this Sony projector is similar in most ways to Sony's flagship, but less than half the price, exactly half the brightness.  It has an ultra short throw design, which is significant.  It is a three chip (panel) LCoS projector - which Sony trademarks as SXRD.

This review is a bit different than most of my other home theater reviews.  My goal is primarily to describe the experience, rather than go over the top focusing on details.  That's due to the nature of most people likely to buy this projector.  Other than those "hobbyists" who will sell their first born for a great projector, the rest of you, I figure are mostly reasonably well heeled folks who won't quibble about the price tag, or worry about the cost of calibrating it, in fact, they are most likely people who will end up spending far more on their theater or other room's furniture, than they will spend on this projector.


Sony VZ1000ES looking great on scene from Lucy, in my living room. Note however, this was not taken when the patio behind, and the room itself are drenched in sunlight. (See other images.)

Some of these projectors will end up in a room and system costing $50K, but others might spend $250K or more!  (Think those fancy themed theaters, $3,000+ each for good leather seats, a first class surround sound system, etc.  If you have the bucks, it's easy to spend a ton creating a theater. Most likely this projector will be just a small part of many people's system, at least financially, but a huge part of the enjoyment!

The Sony is also intended, thanks to its ultra short throw design when paired with the right screen, to leave the dedicated theater, and play in other rooms, but ones with at least reasonable lighting (unlike my own living room, as you will see later.)

I really loved it in my home theater.  When I moved it downstairs into my ridiculously bright living room, paired with a Screen Innovations Black Diamond UST screen, I found my bright living room's ambient light on sun-drenched days to be just too much for its 2500 lumens to handle, but it worked well in the same room under less strenuous challenges (i.e. at night with a lot of lights on, or on any not overly bright day like the one in the image above.

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