Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VZ1000ES Ultra Short Throw 4K Home Theater Projector – Hardware

Sony VPL-VZ1000ES 4K PROJECTOR – HARDWARE:  Overview, Lens, Inputs, Control Panel, Remote Control 

The VPL-VZ1000ES is no small 4K home theater projector.  But, that won’t be a problem. This projector is going into your desired room, and it’s likely going to stay there until you sell your house!

77 pounds! From a dimension standpoint it measures 36.4 inches wide, almost 19.5 inches deep, and just over 8.5 inches tall.  Maximum power consumption is 435 watts. (Based on the US average of $0.12 per kw, that works out to about a dime a movie, reasonable enough for a very expensive projector).  Note that most of the faux-K projectors out there draw between 280 and 450 watts, so it’s not out of line, in terms of efficiency.  BTW, the 77 pounds is without the cosmetic side panels attached – they wouldn’t be needed if the projector is placed into custom cabinetry.  Even the cosmetic top panel might not be needed in some cabinets, or recessed into a ceiling.

Inputs and other connectors, as well as the control panel, are located on the side of the VPL-VZ1000ES.  That would be on your right side, if you are facing the screen.   The projector sits as close as 6 inches back from the screen!

Sony VPL-VZ1000ES Lens and Placement

As is normal for ultra short throw projectors, there’s a limit to the image size.  The VZ1000ES can project an image as small as 80″ diagonal, and as large as 120″ diagonal. Of course that range probably encompasses 95% of all the home theater projector setups out there – with the other five percent going larger.

Much to my surprise the Sony projector has power lens features – focus and zoom.  Now normally you don’t expect to find a zoom feature on a UST projector, so understand, the zoom range is only 1.02X – that’s two inches of size relative to a 100 inch screen. In other words, the zoom is there for fine tuning, but that can be extremely helpful.  And there’s a surprising amount of lens shift, another feature not found on most UST projectors.

There’s +/- 6% of vertical lens shift and +/-3 percent of horizontal.  The vertical is most interesting, as for a 100″ diagonal screen, that allows a total variation of about 6 inches, that means you’ve got a six inch range to work with between the bottom of the screen and the projector, which is placed below, or 6 inches of flexibility if mounted above the screen.  Nice, very nice for a UST projector.

VPL-VZ1000ES Inputs and Connectors

The input panel is located on the side of the Sony VPL-VZ1000ES. cables are fed from the rear (opening facing the screen), and a cable cover hides the connectors when finished.

Although there aren’t a whole lot of connectors, that shouldn’t be a problem. There are four HDMI inputs!  They all support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP copy projection 2.2, the current standards (and necessary for both 4K UHD content and 3D Blu-ray content.

There’s a serial port – RS232 for traditional command and control systems.

And there’s an RJ45 Local Area Network (LAN) jack.  It supports to 100 Base-T and can be used with HD-BaseT gear to run not just HDMI, but command and control over low cost CAT6 cable.

There is one USB (type A, 500ma), and also a 12 volt screen trigger.  Finally, there’s an input for hard wiring the remote control, which could come in very handy if the projector is recessed into a custom cabinet or a ceiling.  Other uses would be with command and control, or simply because the projector is set up in a rear configuration behind a traditional rear projection screen.

Control Panel

The VZ1000ES control panel is just forward of the inputs, on that right side, but unlike the connectors, it remains visible when the cosmetic side panels are put on (aka cable cover).

You can see all the options on the image in the section above – same shot with the inputs/connectors.  There are five buttons plus indicator lights.

From the top, first is the power switch – once for on, twice for off.

Input comes next.  Pressing the input brings up the input menu, while each additional time you press the button, toggles through the different input options.

Then comes the menu button, followed by a button that’s really a mini-joystick.  Sony has been using a mini-joystick (for lack of a better name) to navigate the menus on their home theater projectors for at least 4 generations.

Finally, comes the lens button for motorized lens control, providing, as I mentioned earlier, for power focus, zoom and lens shift!

Remote Control

Sony remote control for their home theater projectors with motorized lens controls.

No surprises here, as we’ve reviewed this remote several times in other recent Sony projector reviews.

Highlights of the remote – across the top are power, backlight and Input selection.

The next section 3 x  3 buttons, have direct access to the many preset picture modes (and user saved). Now this is a good thing, because one thing I don’t like about the menu system is switching from one more to another can be painful, as often there is a second or two delay.  So, say, getting from Reference to User might take 10 seconds!  But from the remote, just press the mode you want, and it will be up in less than a second – two seconds at the most.

Then comes the navigation area and Menu button.

Below that another 3×3 matrix of buttons this time providing direct access to the most frequently used sub menus, such as Color Space, Gamma, Reality Creation, 3D, etc.

Finally, at the bottom are three rocker pairs, Sharpness, Brightness and Contrast.

That does it!