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Sony VPL-XW5000ES 4K SXRD Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on September 28, 2022 by Phil Jones
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The Sony VPL-XW5000ES is a 2000-lumen native 4K home theater laser projector that retails for $6,000. The XW5000ES, which is Sony’s entry-level 4K home theater, is the least expensive native 4K 3-chip LCOS projector on the market.

The Sony XW5000ES is the successor of the highly-rated VPL-VW325ES ($5500 SRP), which we reviewed last year. The VW325ES was one of my favorite projectors because it offered accurate color, deep blacks, and high native contrast. In fact, the VW325ES was my number one recommendation for anyone whose budget was less than $6000.

While the VW325ES was an excellent unit, the new XW5000ES offers several notable features that make it a worthy replacement.

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Sony VPL-XW5000ES Specs
Price$5999
Technology3 LCoS panels (SXRD)
Native Resolution3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2000
Contrast∞:1
Zoom Lens Ratio1.60:1
Lens ShiftYes
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight28lbs
Warranty3 year

Overview

All of Sony's current lineup up of 4K home theater projectors, including the XW5000ES, utilize a Z-Phosphor laser light source. The laser light source has a rated life of 20,000 hours which results in years of nearly maintenance-free operation. The fact that the XW5000ES is a laser projector is a big deal. In the past, the least expensive laser light source equipped 4K SXRD projector was the VW915ES which retailed for about $20,000.

In addition to a Z-Phosphor laser source, the XW5000ES also utilizes Sony’s new 0.61 native 4K UHD SXRD panels. While these panels are more compact, they still offer native 4K UHD resolution, deep blacks, and high native contrast.

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Previously all Sony 4K Home Theater projectors used 0.74" SXRD panels with the same native cinematic 4K resolution (4096x2160) and 17:9 aspect ratio as your favorite 4K movie theater projector. However, most consumer 4K content is produced in 4K UHD, which is 3840x2160 with an aspect ratio of 16:9. This means that nearly 7% of the older SXRD panel’s resolution was not utilized when viewing 4K UHD material on a 16:9 screen.

When using a 16:9 screen, the extra pixels found on the 0.74" SXRD panels were just zoomed off the screen. Not only were you not using all the pixels on the screen, you were not using all the projector’s brightness.

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Newly developed SXRD Panels combined with a redesigned optical block result in a compact native 4K laser projector

The new 0.61" native 4K UHD SXRD panels were designed to faithfully reproduce all 8.3 million pixels found in the 4K UHD (3840x2160) SDR and HDR content you watch daily. The result is a more compact/lighter chassis with no wasted resolution or brightness.

Smaller, denser SXRD panels also reduce the size of the optical block and lenses, resulting in a compact projector that can deliver the performance of a larger model. This is one of the main reasons why the XW5000ES is the lightest and most compact native 4K projector in its class. When compared to the VPL-VW325ES, the new XW5000ES is slightly smaller and lighter while delivering 500 lumens more brightness.

While the new SXRD panels used in the XW5000ES offer very high native contrast, the projector’s dynamic contrast is nearly infinite due to its ability to precisely modulate its Z-Phosphor laser light source.

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As of 2022, all Sony 4K SXRD projectors, including the entry-level XW5000ES are equipped with the X1 Ultimate video processors, which have been optimized for projector applications. The X1 Ultimate is Sony’s most powerful video processor, and it was first introduced in Sony's flagship 4K SXRD projector, the VPL-GTZ380.

Of all the benefits of the X1 Ultimate Processor, the most notable is the Dynamic HDR Enhancer feature which dramatically improves the look of HDR content.

Thanks to the Dynamic HDR Enhancer, the XW5000ES can analyze HDR content scene-by-scene and then precisely adjust the signal levels in the light/dark areas and laser light intensity automatically to optimize the HDR contrast according to a scene. HDR scenes are brighter, with richer colors and a better black level.

In addition, a second feature called Object-based HDR Remaster analyzes and adjusts the colors and contrast of individual objects on the screen. Some projectors can adjust contrast frame-by-frame, this is accomplished along a single contrast curve. The X1 Ultimate adjusts each object in each frame individually of both SDR and HDR content using multiple contrast curves per frame. Because of Object-based HDR Remaster, you will experience results in greater depth, richer textures, and an even more realistic SDR and HDR image. The XW5000ES is compatible with both HDR10 and HLG content.

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While more and more 4K HDR content is available every day, we still watch a lot of HD content. When HD content is projected onto a massive screen, you often see noise and artifacts. For even better 4K upscaling, the X1 Ultimate also includes Dual Database Processing. Two powerful image improvement databases work together, dynamically improving images in real-time. 4K X-Reality PRO™ upscales images to near 4K clarity while a second database cleans the picture and reduces onscreen noise.

To maximize the gaming experience, the XW5000ES includes a Low Latency Game Mode. When this mode is engaged, the projector switches off most of its video processing to dramatically reduce game lag.

Sony quotes 27ms input lag when playing content in 4K@60fps and just 16ms gaming in Full HD@120fps. We measured 4K/60p at 28ms and 1080/120p at 17ms, which will satisfy most gamers.

In addition to the XW5000ES, Sony is introducing two additional laser-based 4K SXRD Home Theater models. Check out our video interview above with Rob Brennan (Sony's Product Technology & Training Manager) from the Spring 2022 Projection Showcase, where we discuss the new lineup in detail.

While Sony has slimmed down their projector lineup slightly, they still offer a total of five 4K HDR home theater projectors, starting with the XW5000ES ($6,000 SRP) and moving up to the flagship GTZ380, which is $80,000 (minus the ARC-F Lens).

The XW5000ES is one of three new Sony 4K laser home theater projectors introduced in 2022

As we mentioned earlier, the Sony VPL-XW5000ES ($6000 SRP), which retails for $500 more than the VW325ES ($5500 SRP), is still the least expensive native 4K LCOS-based 3-chip projector on the market.

Like all the new Sony 4K SRXD models, it utilizes the X1 Ultimate video processor and a laser light source. Previously you would have to spend at least $20,000 to get a Sony Laser SXRD projector, laser sources are now available on Sony models starting at just $6000.

See below for a summary of the Sony 4K SXRD projector lineup for 2022.

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Stepping up from the XW5000ES to the VPL-XW6000ES ($11,000 SRP) adds a higher-end motorized ACF lens with 2.1:1 zoom and picture position memories. The XW6000ES also delivers 500 ANSI lumens more brightness.

The VPL-XW7000ES ($26,000 SRP), which we reviewed earlier, replaces both the VPL-VW915ES ($20,000 SRP) and the VPL-VW1025ES ($40,000 SRP). When compared to the XW6000ES, the XW7000ES can deliver 700 lumens more brightness.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Price: $5,999.95
  • Z-Phosphor laser light source
  • Technology: 3 x 0.61” SXRD panels (LCoS)
  • Native Resolution: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
  • Brightness (Manufacturer Claim): 2,000 lumens
  • Lamp Life: 20,000 hours
  • Contrast: ∞ (infinity): Dynamic
  • Zoom Lens Ratio: 1.60:1
  • HDR10/HLG compatible
  • X1 Ultimate Video Processor
  • Frame and Frame HDR Auto Tone Mapping
  • Two 18Gbps HDMI 2.0b (HDCP 2.3) inputs
  • Manual Focus/Shift/Zoom
  • Weight: 28 lb
  • Warranty: 3-year parts & labor

HARDWARE

CHASSIS

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The XW5000ES utilizes a new chassis that is more compact and lighter than previous Sony 4K laser home theater projectors. The chassis measures approximately 18 inches wide, 7 7/8 inches high x 18 5 /8 inches deep, and weighs about 28 pounds.

When I first pulled the XW5000ES out of the box, I was surprised by how light the unit was. Anyone installing the XW5000ES will appreciate the weight reduction, especially trying to mount it on a ceiling.

While the XW5000ES is still much larger and heavier than most DLP-based 4K laser home theater projectors, the larger chassis is worth it for the benefit of better black levels, horizontal/vertical shift, and quieter operation.

Sony claims a very quiet 24 dB which is significantly quieter than most projectors that I have reviewed. The projector’s intake vents are on the front of the chassis, flanking the lens and sides of the unit. The exhaust vents are located along the rear. Whether in a dedicated home theater, or a media room, it is very unlikely you will notice the nicely low-pitched background fan noise.

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When looking at the projector from the front, the inputs are on the lower left side while the small control panel is located on the upper left side of the chassis as well. The XW5000ES also has dual 18Gbps HDMI inputs, which is more than enough bandwidth to support 4K@60P HDR with 10bit color. The power connection is located on the back of the projector on the lower right side.

REMOTE CONTROL

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The XW5000ES includes Sony’s standard backlit projector remote control that is included with all their consumer 4K projectors. Since it is bigger than many projector remote controls, the buttons are large and well-spaced. You can use dedicated buttons to quickly switch between the Calibrated Picture Presets.

To make quick, fine adjustments to the image, there are buttons to directly access many of the picture quality settings including MotionFlow, Color Temp, and Gamma Correction. Having direct access to the HDR Contrast Enhancer via a dedicated button is especially useful when viewing HDR materials. It’s quick and easy to switch between the High, Mid, and Low settings to adjust the look of HDR content

The BenQ X3100i remote is identical to the company's remote control on the recently reviewed BenQ W4000i. I like this remote control, which significantly improves the previous X Series remote controls. BenQ has increased the size of the remote. It is similar to their more traditional candy bar remotes found on models like the HT2060 but with a curvier and more comfortable grip. BenQ has also added a backlight to the remote.

The BenQ X3100i remote control is well laid out. The top section has power controls. It also features shortcut buttons for Autofocus, which does not work with this projector, and a shortcut button for the 2D Keystone feature. The next row has the Source, Mic, and Projector Menu buttons.

The remote control has the typical D-pad with an "OK" button, a Back button, a Settings Menu button, Volume Up/Down buttons, and a Mute button. In addition, the X3100i remote control also has a dedicated shortcut button for Game Settings, Picture Modes, and Sound Modes.

This great remote is functional and very comfortable to hold, with the ability to control every menu-driven projector feature. Features like focus, zoom, and vertical lens shift can only be manually adjusted on the projector.

LENS ASSEMBLY

The XW5000ES is equipped with a 1.6:1 manual zoom lens. Sony offers two quality levels of optics. The XW5000ES uses the standard lens, but it has been redesigned to match the new 0.61” 4K UHD SXRD panels. It delivers impressive sharpness and clarity, especially when compared to the optics found on 4K capable DLP projectors near its price range.

The lens on the XW5000ES is manual, so focus and zoom adjustments are made using rings located on the lens. The horizontal and vertical lines shift adjustment knobs are located on the top of the projector's chassis under a cover.

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While the lens utilized in the older VW325ES offered more zoom and was motorized, switching to a manual lens on the XW5000ES is a worthwhile sacrifice to get a brighter laser light source and a better video processor for just $500 more than the older model. Many owners just utilize the motorized lens adjustment during setup, so the feature won’t be missed in a lot of projection applications.

Throw Distance for a 16:9 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Min Screen Distance (in)Max Screen Distance (in)
80”                                     96 (2440 mm)154 (3910 mm)
100”121 (3060 mm)192 (4890 mm)
120”144 (3670 mm)232 (5880 mm)
150”181 (4600 mm)289 (7360 mm)
200”242 (6130 mm)386 (9820 mm)

Throw Distance for a 2.35:1 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Min Screen Distance (in)Max Screen Distance (in)
80”                                    102 (2580 mm)162 (4130 mm)
100”127 (3230 mm)203 (5170 mm)
120”152 (3870 mm)245 (6212 mm)
150”191 (4850 mm)306 (7770 mm)
200”255 (6480 mm)408 (10370 mm)

The XW5000ES also offers a good amount of horizontal and vertical lens shift

Lens Shift Range: +85/-80% Vertical and +/-33% Horizontal

Having a large amount of zoom and shift capability makes installation a breeze, especially when you are trying to replace an older unit that was previously fixed mounted.

MENU

Even though the XW5000ES is utilizing a new chassis, it still uses a common menu system that Sony has used across their lineup of home theater projectors. While Sony has not changed the look and feel of its menus in years, they add extra menu items to control any new features and capabilities as needed.

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Of course, the higher-end model projectors have more menus because of more features. For example, the step-up XW6000ES offers menus for Lens Memory which it supports, while the XW5000ES does not. While the type is small, it is still easily read from a normal viewing distance.

PERFORMANCE

COLOR REPRODUCTION

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Like all Sony projectors that I have reviewed, the color reproduction of the XW5000ES was very good out-of-the-box. The REFERENCE, USER, and IMAX ENHANCED picture presets were only a few hundred degrees off my calibrated white balance target of 6500K.

The most accurate picture modes on most projectors are usually the least bright. With many projectors, you must sacrifice half of the projector’s rated brightness to produce accurate-looking colors. However, the better-looking modes on the XW5000ES were actually some of the brightest.

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Like other Sony home theater projectors, I would be satisfied with the picture quality of the XW5000ES whether it was calibrated or not. However, I did take the time to measure the projector’s picture modes and calibrate its USER Mode.

Since your room and screen material has a major impact on the overall picture, we don’t recommend using someone else calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, copying someone else results can cause more harm than good. However, below are the before and after calibration results in my room.

To test measure and calibrate the XW5000ES, we used Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

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Out-of-the-box, the Grayscale was better than average. When measured, the color temperature was just a few hundred degrees off my target of 6500K. Like most projectors that utilize blue-phosphor light sources, the image was slightly cooler than desired.

Since the Color Tracking is measured after Grayscale had been adjusted, the average Delta error was just 0.55, which is extremely low.

In the USER picture preset, the gamma measures lower than my target of 2,2, resulting in a slightly elevated black level in my room on my matte white screen, but this was easily corrected using the GAMMA CORRECTION and BRIGHTNESS adjustments.

  • Picture Mode: USER
  • Gamma: 1.85
  • Color Temperature: 7169K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 4.7
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 0.55

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

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We calibrated the USER picture preset. White the default COLOR TEMP setting of D65 was fairly close to 6500K, I switched the COLOR TEMP setting to Custom 3 then made some quick adjustments to the WHITE BALANCE to produce a very good Grayscale. I increased the RED GAIN while slightly reducing the Green GAIN and BLUE GAIN.

The achieve my gamma target of 2.2 in my room, I set the GAMMA CORRECTION to 2.4 and reduced the BRIGHTNESS setting. The XW5000ES offers COLOR CORRECTION (CMS) adjustments that can be utilized to improve color tracking, However, after finetuning the projector’s Grayscale, the average color tracking errors were so low that there really isn’t a need to make any further corrections

  • Picture Mode: USER
  • Gamma: 2:19
  • Color Temperature: 6493K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 0.62
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 0.45

Delta E measurement of 3 or less is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. Even before calibration, the XW7000ES had an average dE of less than 5, which is good. After calibration, the XW5000ES had a grayscale average dE of 0.62, which is outstanding. While the projector has CMS adjustment, they are now needed to achieve outstanding color tracking.

The XW5000ES can reproduce about 90% of DCI-P3 color space, but SDR and HDR colors still appeared rich and vibrant. While adding a color filter would extend the projector’s color gamut coverage, Sony does not use them in their home theater projectors.

I have never been a fan of using cinema filters when viewing HDR content because they reduce the projector’s brightness. Colors look more saturated when they are brighter. When viewing HDR on a projector, I personally prefer the look of extra brightness over a slightly wider color gamut.

Once the Grayscale (RGB Balance) was accurately adjusted for SDR), colors will also look good when viewing HDR content.

While you can use the projector’s WHITE BALANCE adjustments to further improve the HDR Grayscale, the difference would be slight and difficult to see.

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BRIGHTNESS

The Sony VPL-XW5000ES has a rated brightness of 2000 ANSI lumens. To measure its max brightness, I set the projector to IMAX ENHANCED Mode (the brightest mode) and increased the projector LASER LIGHT SETTING to its maximum. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

Sony XW5000ES Brightness (IMAX ENHANCED mode, Lamp Control ): 2017 Lumens

At wide zoom, in IMAX ENHANCED Mode, the XW5000ES measured 2017 lumens, which is inline with Sony’s rated brightness of 2000 lumens. You will find the XW5000ES more than bright enough for viewing SDR content on a 180” screen or HDR content on a 150” screen in a dark room.

Picture Mode Brightness (Default Laser Power Settings)

Picture PresetBrightness (Lumens)Color Temperature
Cinema Film 116957182K
Cinema Film 216057156K
Reference16377152K
TV148310241K
Photo14906027K
Game16017163K
Bright Cinema16238354K
Bright TV157610202K
User16217169K
IMAX Enhanced17027057K

You can buy a 4K capable laser DLP projector that has a higher rated brightness for less than an XW5000ES. However, when many DLP projectors are calibrated or placed in their most accurate picture modes, their brightness is far lower than their rated brightness.

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  • Sony-XW5000ES-Brightness - Projector Reviews Image

The XW5000ES can deliver most of its rated brightness while delivering accurate colors. In other words, when calibrated, the 2000-lumen XW5000ES is brighter than many calibrated 3000-lumen DLP projectors.

In addition, when viewing HDR content, the Dynamic HDR Contrast feature did an excellent job maximizing the brightness on the screen. The XW5000WES produced a brighter, more vibrant HDR image than many competitors’ projectors with far higher rated/measured brightness.

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

While brightness is important, deep, accurate black levels separate a good home theater from a great one. If you compare two projectors with identical brightness, the one that can produce deeper blacks will deliver a higher perceived contrast.

One of the main reasons to buy a higher-end home theater projector, like the XW5000ES, is much better black levels, resulting in higher contrast. This is beneficial when watching movies in a darkened theater or in a room with lots of light control.

The native contrast and black levels produced by the new 0.61” SXRD panels appear to be similar, I would even say better than what was delivered by older 0.74” units used in the older Sony 4K SXRD projector like the VW325ES.

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Since the XW5000ES has the same 4K UHD SXRD panels as the higher-end XW7000ES ($28,000 SRP), its black level and excellent shadow detail in my viewing room looked similar to the much more expensive model. Combining the high native contrast of the SXRD panels with the precisely modulated laser light output resulted in outstanding black levels.

I did most of my viewing with the DYNAMIC CONTROL set to Limited, which engages dynamic laser dimming. Not only were the blacks nice and deep, but subtle details in the shadows were also clearly visible.

PICTURE QUALITY

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Due to its native 4K UHD (3840x2160) SXRD panels, the XW5000ES produced sharp, detailed images from my 4K UHD Blu-day player and Kaleidescape.

Good 4K upscaling continues to be critical because most TV shows and live broadcasts are still produced in HD. Due to Sony’s decade of experience upscaling content to 4K, sporting events and broadcast content shot in HD looked great on my 120” screen.

4K HDR content can deliver expanded color space with better highlight and shadow detail, but even the brightest HDR projectors can struggle to reproduce HDR faithfully.

The XW5000ES is equipped with an X1 Ultimate, which is Sony’s most powerful video processor, so it includes the Dynamic HDR Enhancer feature. This gives the projector the ability to analyze and adjust HDR content frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping to deliver respectable full-screen brightness while still displaying a good amount of highlight detail.

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When viewing HDR content, I left the Dynamic HDR Enhancer set to LOW most of the time. Switching the settings to HIGH will increase onscreen brightness at the expense of clipping more bright highlights. If you want to adjust the Dynamic HDR Enhancer setting, you can quickly switch between levels by pressing a button on the remote control.

Even though the XW5000ES is utilizing frame-by-frame tone mapping, sometimes brighter highlights are occasionally clipped. This does not indicate that the XW5000ES is not dynamically HDR tone mapping. Sony believes this is necessary to keep most of the image on the screen as close to the director’s intent as possible. Remember, you can always adjust the HDR Contrast setting to restore any clipped highlight information.

The X1 Ultimate processor combined with the XW5000ES ability to deliver 2000 ANSI lumens of brightness resulted in better SDR and HDR reproduction than the VW325ES it is replacing.

SUMMARY

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When designing the XW5000ES, Sony did a great job finding the right balance of performance, features, and value. Not only is the XW5000ES the least expensive 4K model in Sony’s home theater lineup it is also the least expensive native 4K home theater laser projector on the market.

The XW5000ES is like a base model sports car. When compared to the fully loaded model like the XW7000ES, it may not have all the bells and whistles of the higher-end model, but the XW5000ES will still outperform most products in its class. This is because the XW5000ES includes several Sony technologies that were previously only found in Sony projectors priced 3-times more.

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The XW5000ES is packed with the latest Sony features and technologies

Projectors Reviews has always loved Sony projectors and have given awards to multiple models over the years. However, in the past, if you wanted the benefit of a laser light source, you had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get it. The laser light sources, like Sony’s Z-Phosphor system, are not only getting better and better but also more affordable. Now the Z-Phosphor laser light source is available on the XW5000ES which retails for less than $6,000

The XW5000ES produced close to its rated brightness of 2000 ANSI lumens even in its most accurate picture modes. Many projectors deliver significantly less than their rated brightness when placed in their most accurate picture mode. It is not uncommon to see the brightness cut in half. The 2000-lumen XW5000ES measured brighter than many calibrated 3000-lumen DLP projectors once they were calibrated.

Due to its projector-optimized X1 Ultimate processor that combines signal HDR analysis and precise modulation of its 2000-lumen laser source, The XW5000ES produces a stunning HDR picture.

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While some projectors struggle with a lack of brightness and produce dull HDR video, Sony’s new Dynamic HDR Enhancer works to eliminate this problem. Powered by the X1 Ultimate Processor, this feature measures the average and peak brightness of HDR10 content, and then precisely it adjusts the signal levels in the light/dark areas and laser light intensity automatically to optimize the HDR contrast according to a scene. So, whether viewing HD, 4K or HDR content, the picture quality delivered by the Sony XW5000ES was outstanding right out of the box.

When it comes to native contrast and black level, very few home theater projectors, except for JVC DILA projectors, can match/beat the XW5000ES. I have not come across a single-chip DLP home theater projector that can even come close.

The XW5000ES is equipped with a manual lens with a good amount of zoom and horizontal/vertical lens shift capability, which simplifies installation, especially when trying to replace an older, previously mounted unit.

The XW5000ES is one of three 4K home theater laser projectors that Sony introduced in 2022. To learn more about those models check out our Sony XW-Series article that covers the new lineup in detail.

The XW5000ES is the entry-level model in Sony's 4K Home Theater projector lineup

 

The only projector in its price range that rivals the XW5000ES is the JVC RS1100/NP5 ($7000 SRP) which is $1000 more. The JVC DLA-RS1100 does offer more features, including a motorized lens, HDR10+ compatibility, and 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs for 8K@60fps and 4K@120fps playback.

The XW5000ES is slightly brighter than the JVC RS1100, it has a laser light source, and it is much lighter and far more compact. When viewing SDR and HDR, both projectors delivered an outstanding image.

The JVC RS1100 did a better job preserving highlight detail, but the image looked slightly flat compared to the XW5000ES. Regardless, any projector enthusiasts would be happy with either one. Which unit looks best really comes down to personal preference.

Lastly, the RS1000 is a lamp-based projector. The Sony XW5000ES is the least expensive 3-chip native 4K LCOS laser projector on the market. If you desire a laser-based JVC 4K DILA projector, you must spend $11000 for a JVC RS2100/NZ7.

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The XW5000ES is available in black and white

Many people considering the XW5000ES will also explore the Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 ($5000 SRP), which is an excellent projector as well. Like the XW5000ES, the Epson LS12000 also has a laser light source, but it is 700 lumens brighter and has motorized lenses and 48Gpbs HDMI 2.1 inputs.

While the Sony and the Epson deliver accurate colors and produce very good black levels, the Epson LS12000 retails for $1000 less. However, I think the XW5000ES produced a better HDR picture. Also, the 0.61” native 4K UHD SXRD panels used in the XW5000ES delivered a sharper, clearer image than the 4K Pro UHD 3LCD panels used in the LS12000. Over the years, Epson has made some major improvements to its pixel-shifting technology, but it still can match the clarity and detail produced by a native 4K imager.

Higher-end Sony projectors and competitive models like JVC RS1100 and Epson LS12000 have motorized lens assembly with Picture Positioning (lens memories). These Lens Memories can be used to save different motorized lens settings, like one for HDTV and one for widescreen movies. This feature is useful for someone with a 2.35:1 screen because they can quickly adjust image size and position based on the aspect ratio being viewed. However, many users have 16X9 screens, so the motorized lens feature would probably only be utilized during setup.

Also, features like 8K@60fps and 4K@120fps look good on paper, but if you are a movie enthusiast, they offer very little benefit. No movie content is available in 8K, and movie buffs still love the cinematic look of 24 frames per second content, so 120fps is basically utilized in gaming and test footage.

The XW5000ES is a worthy successor to the award-winning VW325ES

When compared to the award-winning Sony VPL-VW325ES ($5500 SRP), the new XW5000ES costs about $500 more, but it is equipped with a Z Phosphor Laser Light source, which is 500 lumens brighter and includes the better X1 Ultimate video processor. Just last year, you would have to spend $20,000 on a Sony VPL-VW915ES if you wanted a laser-based Sony 4K home theater projector.

Sony-XW5000ES-Hot Product Award - Projector Reviews - Image

The combination of high performance and value makes the XW5000ES one of this year's hot products

 

I think Sony did a great job choosing the most important performance features to deliver the best bang for the buck from the XW5000ES. With a retail price of $6000, the XW5000ES is more expensive than a DLP-based laser home theater projector, but if you truly care about picture quality and can fit the XW5000ES into your budget, it should be at the top of your list.

Due to its outstanding SDR and HDR picture quality and feature set I believe the XW5000ES is an amazing value. The XW5000ES is highly recommended.

PROS

  • New SXRD panels deliver superb black levels
  • Native 4K UHD resolution (3840x2160)
  • 2000 ANSI Lumen Z-Phosphor Laser Light Source
  • 20,000 Hour Light Source Life
  • Great “out of the box” picture
  • Excellent video processing (X1 Ultimate)
  • Frame by Frame Tone Mapping to optimize HDR10 viewing
  • Dual 4K HDCP 2.2 (18Gbps) HDMI inputs
  • Excellent 4K upscaling
  • Excellent placement flexibility due to:
    • 1.6:1 manual zoom lens
    • Lots of lens shift (vertical and horizontal)
  • Ultra-Low input lag: 27ms on 4K@60fps (16ms on 1080p@120fps)
  • Lighter and more compact than competitive 3 chip native 4K models
  • Least expensive 3-Chip native 4K LCOS Laser projector on the market.
  • 3-year parts/labor warranty

CONS

  • The lens is not motorized
  • No lens position memories
  • 3D is not supported
  • Lacking the 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs required for 4K@120 playback
Sony VPL-XW5000ES Specs
Projector ModelVPL-XW5000ES
Technology3 LCoS panels (SXRD)
Price$5999
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2000
Brightness DescriptionLaser
Contrast Ratio∞:1
Projection 
Native Resolution3840x2160
Max Resolution4096x2160
3DNo
Blue RayNo
Ultra Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio4325
Video Compatiblity720p, 1080i, 1080p, UHD, 4K
HDTV720p, 1080i, 1080p
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Noise Level (-db)24dB
AudioNone
DVI or HDMIYes
Power Zoom FocusNo
Lens ShiftYes
LAN NetworkingNo
Zoom Lens Ratio1.60:1
Optional LensNo
ClassroomNo
SpeakersNo
Special FeaturesHDR10/HLG compatibility, Dynamic Tone Mapping, Anamorphic lens compatibility, Auto Calibration Mode
Wireless NetworkingNo
Dimensions18.13" x 7.88" x 18.59"
Weight28lbs
Warranty3 year
Year2022
Full Specifications
Projector ModelX3100i
Price$2,399 MSRP
Imager TypeDLP (0.65" DMD)
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160 pixels
Native Resolution2716 x 1528 pixels
Brightness 3300 ANSI Lumens
Light Source Type4LED
Light Source Life30,000 hours
Contrast Ratio600,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio1.3X
Power Zoom/FocusNo (manual)
Lens ShiftYes Vertical
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio16:9
Input Lag4.16ms 1080P@240Hz, 8ms 1440P@120Hz, 16ms 4K@60Hz
DVI or HDMIHDMI
3DYes
Blu-Ray 3DYes
Sound SystemTreVolo tuned 5-watt x2 speaker 
Noise Level (-dB)33/28 dB
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityYes
BusinessNo
ClassroomNo
PortableYes
Special Features4LED, Android TV 11
NetworkingWiFi via the QS-02 streaming device
Dimensions (HxWxD)(WxHxD) 10.7 x 8.4 x 10.2 inch (272 x 213 x 259 mm)
Weight15.0 lbs (6.8 kg)
WarrantyLimited Three (3) Year

 

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