Sony VPL-VW600ES Projector

In case you haven't discovered or have just returned from an extended spring break in Antarctica the hottest thing in home video is Ultra HD, or 4K. 3D is so 2010. 4K is now.

But 4K house projectors are still a rarity, and up to now, there haven't been any authentic 4K consumer projectors even remotely approaching the price of a great 1080p model. Until now, that's. Sony's new VPL VW600ES comes in at an MSRP of $15,000, or just over half the price of the company's VPL-VW1100ES, a recent update of the VPL-VW1000ES (Sony's first consumer 4K version). That's not just chicken feed, but it is a move in the right direction.

In its textured flat black finish, the VPL-VW600ES physically resembles the VPL-VW1000ES and VPL-VW1100ES, but it is changed enough to be clearly different. The inputs, including two HDMI ports, are on the side. The projector is louder and not extremely noisy in its Low lamp mode but still comfortably silent in fan noise in the lamp setting that is High.

That resolution is the full professional 4K resolution used for digital cinema.

Zoom, focus, and horizontal and vertical shift are motorized. With a 120-inch-diagonal (105-inch-wide) 16:9 screen, the potential throw spaces (lens to screen) range from 12.1 to 24.75 feet. Five lens memories could be programmed for aspect ratio, image size, picture position, and focus.

The VPL-VW600ES's Panel Alignment feature supplies manually arm color convergence to within a fraction of a pixel, either internationally or by zones (153). A subtle advancement was empowered by the convergence controls, while the colour alignment was fairly great from the box. But the adjustments should be made using an internal test pattern, which didn't consistently align exactly with an external pattern. I needed to go back and forth a couple of times to get it right.

There are nine selectable Calibrated Presets (graphic modes). The Benchmark way was chosen by me for the 2D calibration.

A Color Temperature control offers a number of collections, among them D65 (the Rec. A Color Correction control is truly a color management system, with Hue, Saturation, and Brightness controls for green, red, blue, yellow, cyan, and magenta. There is also an Auto Calibration feature, made to tweak the color following a period of use (not tested). With no provision for custom gamma, although ten preprogrammed Gamma Correction settings are offered, plus Away.

The Cinema Black Pro menu includes controls for a Contrast Enhancer the two lamp settings, and Sony's Advanced Iris. The Auto Complete and Auto Limited settings of the latter operate the iris dynamically to enhance contrast, opening up it in brighter ones and closing it down in shadowy scenes. There's also a control in this menu called "Brightness," but it's misnamed. Unlike the main Brightness control, which adjusts the black level, my measurements suggested that the Cinema Black Pro Brightness control acts like a manual adjustment for the iris. When the Dynamic attribute is turned off, or by itself it could be utilized jointly with either of the Dynamic iris settings.

The projector offers the normal 3D attributes, including 2D to 3D conversion. The 3D sync transmitter is made to the case: A pair of 3D spectacles that were active is provided for a nominal shipping charge; extras are $50 each. The Advanced Iris feature is disabled when 3D is operating.

The projector was situated about 14 feet in the screen and was used in its Low lamp manner unless noted otherwise.

The D65 Color Temperature setting, used for my viewing that is early of the factory, was pretty good, resulting in only visible that is subtle differences between the pre- and post-calibration results. I used the Limited Dynamic Control setting of the Advanced Iris, and the Low (or for some sources, the Middle) setting of the Contrast Enhancer. Improving the Sharpness setting beyond 15 created progressively more visible white line edge enhancement.

The Sony VPL-VW600ES's video processing, at least with HD source material, was outstanding. There were a few more rotating bar jaggies about the MA HD test than on the absolute best-performing displays we have seen, although not enough to deny a passing score. However there was one oddity. While the projector had not a problem upconverting 720p 480p, 1080i, or 1080p to the projector's native resolution of 4096 x 2160, it would not upconvert, a 480i source, as well as display. Together with the latter, a red "Frequency Out of Range" note appeared on a black screen. This must not be an issue for the majority of users, since almost all sources new enough to justify a pricey projector offer their very own upconversion to 1080p. Still, this is the first 4K screen we have seen with this restriction.

I 'd no complaints about the VPL-VW600ES's resolution, 2D brightness, or colour. The very best Blurays in my collection looked not as bad as I Have ever seen them--or better. The stuff I saw covered the gamut in the humor and heat of Quartet to the computer-animated Bolt and Monsters University, the sci-fi actioners Oblivion, Prometheus, and King Kong (2005), as well as an opera, Puccini's Turandot. The latter, apart from its brilliantly coloured and detailed costumes and sets (a Franco Zeffirelli production for the Metropolitan Opera, which always means a bling explosion), served another evaluation function. But you'd not have known this from its really eye-popping pictures. In several tight close-ups, the Sony even revealed some badly finished elements that might not have been visible from the crowd.

Like all irises that were dynamic, yet, some brightness compaction was created by the Sony's. This occurrence can decrease the impact of things that are glowing in a picture that is mostly dim. This is observable most frequently on scrolling end credits, where the proportion of white letters to the black backdrop changes continuously, however only infrequently on application content that is actual.

I did, nevertheless, sometimes see another anomaly in the iris that is dynamic: luminosity pumping. Such pumping was scarcely observable, yet, on application content that is actual.

The blacks of the Sony were nearly of the same quality as they get in a projector. But dimly lit scenes--including the shadowy caverns in Prometheus, the nighttime scenes in King Kong, as well as the many nighttime and cellar sequences in War of the Worlds (2005) seemed nearly of the same quality as I Have ever seen them.

With this review, I had been lucky in having a broad variety of 4K stuff accessible for the very first time, courtesy of Sony's FMP-X1 media player. This apparatus sells for $700 plus the price of a tablet PC to command it. Sony needs its Xperia tablet PC when utilizing the player and sent us one for the review. A promotional bundle cost of $16,000 for the projector accessible, and tablet PC was, player during our assessment but was finishing in March.

From your Sony Entertainment Network, it is possible to download a selection of 4K pictures together with the FMP X1. Nearly all of these offer quite short, free previews to get a taste of the video quality. Some are also accessible as 24 hour leases for around $7.

Each film download took hours, and preparing the player the initial time was a little bit of an ergonomic nightmare.

As I Have mentioned in reviews of other 4K screens, the 4K pictures offered a powerful mix of aspect and smoothness. Some observers also have mentioned a heightened feeling of depth--a kind of 3D-ness without 3D but I believe that is a bit. At best it did seem stunning as source content constantly does while a bit changed in quality.

The total 4K variation, in all instances, seemed smoother and a little cleaner. But short you'd be hardpressed to see the difference. Ultra HD isn't as ground-breaking from, or a video upgrade as, for instance, the transition from VHS to DVD DVD to Blu ray.

For those people who are enthusiastic about 3D, the bill will be filled by the Sony. With every brightness, although yes, its 3D is more subdued than 2D-fostering feature wide open, it is tolerably graphic. The 3D pictures really appeared brighter than they quantified (about 4 ft L, summit white), because the 3D gamma is extremely low. The dynamic iris is unavailable in 3D.

My just 3D criticisms, besides the naturally fainter 3D pictures, include Sony's 3D glasses. They are battery powered, meaning you need to replace the batteries than just recharging them and were much from the most comfortable I Have worn. That apart, the VPL-VW600ES's 3D pictures were vibrant and sharp. They were also unusually free. Not here. In the event that you enjoy 3D, your need should meet for depth.

The VPL-VW600ES is greater than a worthy addition to the projector lineup of Sony. Clear its smooth, and sharp pictures were a disclosure, and it is no exaggeration to state that apart in the power of some quite expensive versions that will service a display that is really enormous, it is the greatest projector to sit on my projector stand.

Luckily, there is more in play here than just greater pixel density--the chance for colour that is better. The standard BT is used by the sources to be found on the Sony server. 709 (Rec. 709) High Definition colour gamut, plus x.v.Color improvement. But what x.v.Color might offer is archaic in contrast to another colour improvements which may locate their way to future 4K sources and screens: a broader colour gamut (x.v.Color isn't a colour gamut, but instead an expansion of chosen colours), a fuller colour bit depth, and less competitive colour subsampling.

However, that is an extraordinary projector, and it is a simple recommendation, in case your pocket is deep enough.

Sony VPL-VW600ES Projector photo