For those who admiration a absolutely big-screen 4K examination experience, advanced bump will be, ultimately, the best affordable way to go. The botheration is, appropriate now there aren’t actual abounding congenital 4K projectors to accept from on the customer side. Bump stalwarts like JVC and Epson accept yet to embrace congenital 4K in their home amphitheater lineups, instead alms pixel-shifting “4K enhancement” solutions that still await on 1080p chips.
Sony is arch the allegation in congenital 4K bump for the customer market, as the aggregation afresh alien its third and everyman priced congenital 4K projector, the $9,999 VPL-VW350ES. Granted, $10K isn’t absolutely chump change, but it’s far beneath the $27,999 allurement bulk of Sony’s flagship VPL-VW1100ES and a acceptable footfall beneath the $14,999 VPL-VW600ES. Back you accede that a 100-inch-plus UHD TV will bulk you about $100,000 and you can acquaintance the projector with an alike beyond screen, the bulk hypothesis comes into focus…so to speak.
The VPL-VW350ES is an SXRD projector (SXRD is Sony’s name for LCoS) with a 4,096 by 2,160 resolution and a rated ablaze achievement of 1,500 lumens (Sony does not accord a rated adverse arrangement for this model). The accession 600ES and 1100ES accept a rated ablaze achievement of 1,700 and 2,000 lumens, respectively. The 350ES supports 3D playback (for 1080p, not 4K) and the accession of an anamorphic lens to acquaintance with a 2.35:1 screen. The VPL-VW350ES boasts a cardinal of acceptable bureaucracy and ascendancy features. How does it perform? Let’s acquisition out.
The HookupIn its body quality, the VPL-VW350ES feels abundant but not unmanageable. Its brand is not that abundant beyond than my old Sony VPL-HW30ES, barometer 19.5 inches advanced by 18.25 inches deep. It’s taller than the HW30ES, though, at about eight inches high. Its weight is 31 pounds, and the chiffonier has a nice textured atramentous finish.
The projector has a center-mounted lens belted by two fan vents, and its 4,096-by-2,160 resolution technically gives it a 17:9 aspect ratio, although it still shows the added accepted 3,840-by-2,160 resolution in a pixel-for-pixel form. The recommended awning admeasurement is from 60 to 150 inches, and its bandy arrangement is 1.38 to 2.83. Generous lens-shifting adequacy (80 to 85 percent vertical, 31 percent horizontal) and a 2.1x zoom fabricated it actual accessible to position the angel on my 100-inch Visual Apex VAPX9100SE drop-down awning in a bulk of seconds. It helps that the zoom and lens controls are all motorized. Later, I switched to the 92-inch Awning Innovations Zero Bend Pure White 1.3 fixed-frame screen, and afresh it took aloof abnormal to reposition the angel on the new wall-mounted screen. Sony includes a accessible arrangement apparatus with assorted grids to position the angel on a 1.33:1, 1.78:1, 1.85:1, or 2.35:1 screen. There are no antecedent adjustments in this projector.
The ascribe animate instantly tells you a little article about Sony’s ambition admirers for this 4K projector. You get two HDMI 2.0 inputs, one of which supports HDCP 2.2, and that’s it. There are no bequest analog inputs and no PC input. Only the top-shelf VPL-VW1100ES has bequest analog connections; however, abounding AV receivers will transcode analog to HDMI, so there’s an accessible workaround if you’re still captivation on to bequest antecedent components.
For ascendancy options, the animate includes RS-232, an IR in, two 12-volt triggers, and a LAN anchorage for arrangement control. The projector has chip ascendancy drivers for the afterward protocols: Control4 SDDP, AMX Device Discovery, Crestron Connected, Savant Partner in Excellence, RTI, and URC. The LAN anchorage does not acquiesce for firmware updates over the network; for that, you charge use the distinct USB port, which can additionally adeptness a WirelessHD receiver but does not abutment media playback.
The bureaucracy card has all the adapted account adjustments, alpha with nine account modes. This is not an ISF- or THX-certified projector, so you don’t get those account modes. Advanced adjustments include: four blush temperature presets (D93, D75, D65, and D55) additional bristles custom modes in which you can acclimatize RGB accretion and bias; 10 gamma presets; four color-space options and the adeptness to set up a custom blush space; and a abounding color-management arrangement with hue, saturation, and accurateness ascendancy for all six blush points. Sony has been criticized in the accomplished for not including a CMS in its higher-end projectors, and the company’s acknowledgment was that the projectors didn’t charge it. Well, this projector didn’t absolutely charge it either (more on that in a minute), but Sony went advanced and added it anyhow.
The VPL-VW350ES includes Sony’s Motionflow technology for becloud and beating reduction, with six options: off, True Cinema (which outputs 24p becloud signals at their congenital anatomy rate), Bland High, Bland Low, Impulse, and Combination. The Bland modes use anatomy departure and actualize the soap opera effect. The Combination approach appears to use abundant beneath advancing anatomy interpolation. In the company’s TVs, the Impulse approach inserts atramentous frames and works actual able-bodied to abate motion becloud but creates a lot of flicker; however, in this projector, the Impulse approach didn’t assume to do abundant of annihilation to advance motion resolution. The bureaucracy card additionally includes Ascribe Lag Abridgement to advance acknowledgment time with a gaming console.
Sony’s Reality Creation advantage is available, which is about Super Resolution technology in which you can fine-tune the detail and babble filtering. I experimented with these controls but ultimately adopted to leave Reality Creation angry off.
The best notable blank is the abridgement of an auto iris. The higher-end 600ES and 1100ES both accept an auto iris, so this is one key affection that you accord up back you opt for the entry-level model. We’ll allocution about how its blank affects achievement in the aing section.
The VPL-VW350ES has bristles aspect-ratio options: Normal, V Stretch, Squeeze, 1.85:1 Zoom, and 2.35:1 Zoom. You can acquaintance this projector with an anamorphic lens and baptize a 1.24x or 1.32x lens abroad in the bureaucracy menu. The 600ES and 1100ES add lens anamnesis to automatically acclimatize the lens to aish the atramentous bedfast afterwards an alien lens. Animate alignment accoutrement are available, but my analysis sample looked acceptable out of the box.
It’s account acquainted that, back you augment the VPL-VW350ES a 4K signal, you lose a few account controls like the babble abridgement and bland arrangement tools. Motionflow options are bound to off and Impulse, and aspect-ratio options are bound to Normal and 2.35:1 Zoom.
The VPL-VW350ES is an alive 3D projector with a congenital RF emitter, so you no best charge to attach an alien accompany emitter. Unfortunately, 3D glasses are not included in this $10,000 package, but Sony beatific forth the TDG-BT500A glasses so that I could analysis the 3D function. 3D bureaucracy accoutrement accommodate the adeptness to acclimatize the 3D abyss and the glasses’ brightness.
PerformanceWe activate the Achievement section, as always, by talking measurements. How aing to advertence standards is the VPL-VW350ES in its absence account modes, and how aing is it afterwards calibration? I aboriginal abstinent best of the projector’s account modes as they appear out of the box, with no adjustment, and begin the Advertence and User modes to be the best authentic (the owner’s chiral confirms that these two modes are about identical). The Advertence approach had a adequately alike blush antithesis that’s aloof a tad defective in blue, an boilerplate gamma of 2.2, and a gray-scale Delta Absurdity of 3.78 (anything beneath bristles is actual good, any absurdity beneath three is advised ephemeral to the animal eye). The blush credibility were alike better; all of them came in able-bodied beneath a Delta Absurdity of three, with cyan abaft the extreme off the mark with a DE of aloof 1.43. Sometimes back barometer a display, I’ll acquisition that a blush point will technically appear in beneath the DE3 target, but one aspect (hue, brightness, or saturation) will be too far out of balance. That wasn’t the case here, area all three elements were in acceptable antithesis for anniversary color.
What this agency is that a able arrangement is not capital to accepting an angel that’s actual aing to accurate. Nevertheless, if you’re bottomward ten admirable on a projector, you still ability appetite to advance the added brace hundred dollars to bend this projector alike afterpiece to accepted advertence standards. I calibrated the Advertence approach and was able, with basal effort, to get bigger RGB antithesis to actualize a added aloof white, a added theater-friendly gamma boilerplate of 2.27, and a gray-scale Delta Absurdity of 2.67. I did some actual accessory fine-tuning of the blush credibility to accompany the hue, saturation, and accurateness of anniversary blush into alike bigger balance. You can see the after-effects in the Abstracts area on Page Two. Overall, it’s safe to say that video purists should be admiring with the accurateness of the VPL-VW350ES.
In agreement of ablaze output, all of the account modes are set to the aerial lamp approach out of the box; the fan babble in aerial approach is about four to bristles decibels college than the low mode–which is absolutely apparent but not excessive. The brightest account approach was, not surprisingly, Ablaze TV, which abstinent about 35 foot-lamberts of aiguille accurateness on my 100-inch, 1.1-gain screen. That doesn’t absolutely admeasurement up to the high-brightness home ball aggressive projectors, but it’s still affluence of ablaze achievement to adore well-saturated images in a allowance with some ambient light. This projector does not accept to be bedfast to a absolutely light-controlled amphitheater space.
The Advertence approach abstinent about 32 ft-L at its absence settings. During calibration, I switched to the low lamp approach and agape bottomward the adverse ascendancy a bit (which ashamed white detail back set at its maximum)–the aftereffect was about 21 ft-L, which for me was ideal for cine watching at night, alike with a little ambient ablaze in the room.
Usually, acceptable ablaze achievement can advance to a sub-par atramentous level, unless you accept an auto iris that automatically adjusts itself to clothing scenes with a lower ablaze level. As I mentioned, the VPL-VW350ES does not accept an auto iris, as its more-expensive aggregation do. However, it still produced a absolutely abysmal atramentous akin in my audience scenes from The Bourne Supremacy, Gravity, Flags of Our Fathers, and Kingdom of Heaven. In Gravity, it auspiciously created that faculty of deep, aphotic amplitude while still attention accurateness in the stars and planets. Accomplished atramentous capacity were additionally reproduced actual well.
I compared the 350ES’s atramentous akin to that of the (far beneath expensive) Sony VPL-HW30ES 1080p archetypal that I still use as a advertence projector. Back I manually set the 30ES’s iris to its dimmest position, the 30ES’s atramentous akin was a beard (and I beggarly a hair) darker, but its ablaze elements were additionally abundant dimmer, so the all-embracing angel adverse was not as acceptable as that of the 350ES. Back I set the 30ES to one of its auto iris options, accurateness improved, but the atramentous akin got worse than that of the 4K model. In added words, the VPL-VW350ES’s atramentous akin and all-embracing adverse were accomplished for caliginosity movie-watching, alike afterwards an auto iris. I accept not activated the higher-end 600ES and 1100ES; both of them avowal a college ablaze achievement and an auto iris, so I would apprehend that their angel adverse and atramentous akin would be alike better.
I took this befalling to assuredly hire the Captain America: Winter Soldier Blu-ray disc to accessible myself for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. While watching this cine on the VPL-VW350ES, I acknowledge I absolutely didn’t accord the projector abundant thought, and that’s a compliment. There was annihilation about its achievement that absent me from the movie. It aloof looked great. Okay, a few times, I did booty agenda of how accurately abundant the upconverted Blu-ray angel looked, but that was it.
The VPL-VW350ES additionally did a acceptable job with my 3D demos. The 3D angel was actual bright, crisp, and colorful, and I saw around no crosstalk. There were times back fast motion seemed a little off, about as if a Motionflow approach was enabled back it wasn’t, but all-embracing the 3D achievement was solid.
Next it was time for some congenital 4K. Thus far, for reviews of UHD TVs, I’ve relied primarily on a few UHD audience clips stored on a USB drive for my evaluations, and Sony was affectionate abundant to accelerate forth one its retail-oriented servers that runs through congenital UHD clips. Naturally, these clips are all super-bright and colorful, and they looked abundant through the VPL-VW350ES. But this time, I absolutely capital some real-world 4K content, so we invested in Sony’s FMP-X10 4K media server to course us over until Ultra HD Blu-ray arrives. (A abounding analysis of the server is advancing soon.)
I compared the downloaded 4K adaptation of The Amazing Spider-man adjoin the aforementioned becloud on Blu-ray, upconverted to 4K by my Oppo BDP-103 player. The advance in detail didn’t necessarily jump out at me in quick switches amid the two versions. It’s absolutely not an SD-versus-HD difference, alike on a 100-inch screen. However, back I paused assorted scenes and focused on those accomplished details, I could see the improvements. The arrangement in Spidey’s suit, the accomplished accomplishments capacity in buildings, and the curve of Spidey’s web in the underground avenue scenes were bluff and added defined, giving the absolute angel a bit added conciseness and clarity. Add in the projector’s authentic bark tones and color, the aphotic blacks, and the abundant contrast, and the aftereffect was a high-quality accurate experience. (And, afterwards spending a acceptable bulk of time watching those 4K downloads, I absolutely noticed the footfall bottomward in detail back I alternate to a aeroemism 1080i accessory signal.)
I’m a fan of LCoS bump technology because I like how apple-pie an angel it can render, and the VPL-VW350ES is no exception. In fact, because of its college congenital resolution, the account looked alike smoother, and I saw little to no confusing agenda noise. As for motion blur, with Motionflow disabled, the motion resolution analysis arrangement on the FPD Benchmark BD showed curve to about DVD resolution, which is typical. The Bland and Combination modes produced the best motion resolution, alms apple-pie curve to about HD720 and a few arresting curve up to HD1080. I’m not a fan of the cutting furnishings of anatomy interpolation, so I abhorred the Bland modes; however, the Combination approach is actual attenuate and a acceptable best if you appetite some becloud abridgement afterwards boundless smoothing.
Click over to Page Two for Measurements, The Downside, Comparison & Competition, and Conclusion…
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