Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Sony VPL-VWPRO1 Projector Sony VPL-VWPRO1
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:85,000:1
Lumens:1300
Weight: 22.1 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:SXRD
Lens:1.51x manual
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:n/a
Lamp Cost:n/a
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, RGB, HDMI (x2), RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Sony VPL-VWPRO1
1080p Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, March 10, 2011

Sony's newest home theater projector is the VPL-VWPRO1, a 1080p SXRD model built for home cinema use. This successor to the HW15 brings several improvements to the table, but it is largely an evolutionary step. The VWPRO1 keeps the HW15's bright cinema mode and great contrast, improving both slightly. Good connectivity and quiet performance make the VWPRO1 easy to set up, as does its 1.6:1 zoom lens with both horizontal and vertical lens shift. An included spare lamp helps to ease the cost of upkeep.

With an MSRP of $3400, the VWPRO1 faces some stiff competition from lower-priced challengers. However, its large-screen performance is unmatched in its price bracket, making it the projector of choice for those seeking the ultimate in really big big-screen home theater.

Applications / Best Uses

In home theater, it's all about image quality. After adjustment, the VWPRO1 has a beautiful, film-like image that makes Blu-ray movies and other high quality HD content look its best. The picture is sharp and clear, though without even a hint of pixelation at even 0.8x the screen width (a typical viewing distance is 1.5x the screen width, according to THX). Detail is clear without appearing over-sharpened. Color out of the box appears slightly cool, but some adjustment brings it closer to spec. The projector's auto iris keeps black levels low in dark scenes, but even very bright scenes do not lose excessive shadow detail.

The VWPRO1 is built for use in a light-controlled theater environment. Its most notable feature is an extremely bright cinema mode, which is bright enough to pair with a 150" diagonal or larger screen under the right conditions. If you don't have a dark theater room, you could also go in the opposite direction and use the VWPRO1 on an 80" screen in your living room, creating a brilliant picture that will stand up well to ambient light.

Long zoom ranges and horizontal/vertical lens shift are common on many 1080p home theater projectors. The VWPRO1's range for both is sufficient for all but the most challenging of installation problems, though several competing projectors have greater range. The projector features a 1.6:1 manual zoom lens that can project a 120" diagonal image from 12' 2" to 19'. The lens shift has a vertical range of 2.5 picture heights and a horizontal range of .75 picture widths. This may give you enough range to use a rear shelf mount at the back of the room, a ceiling mount over the seats, or even a coffee table placement if you so desire. Each has its benefits, but ceiling and rear shelf mounting are the most commonly used, and rear shelf mounting is the most popular with do-it-yourself types. A ceiling mount can appear more professional, but a rear shelf mount has the potential to place the projector in the optical sweet spot, which helps to ensure even screen illumination.

To hit the optical sweet spot, choose a throw distance that lets you use the middle of the lens' zoom range. For a 120" diagonal image, this will be about 16'. You'll also want to minimize the use of lens shift, thus allowing the image to beam straight out from the projector and evenly illuminate the screen. Using the middle of the zoom range knocks about 12% off of maximum lumen output, but with a projector as bright as the VWPRO1 you should have a few lumens to spare.

Review Contents: Applications Advantages Advantages and Limitations Shootout vs Epson
  Shootout vs Sharp

Reader Comments(9 comments)

Posted May 30, 2013 8:33:55 PM

By Jonathan

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what is input lag on the SharpVision XV-Z17000?

Posted Jun 20, 2011 8:55:15 AM

By iNFiNiTE

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VPL-HW30ES $300 more?? Where are you getting that? The VWPRO1 is available now, at around $3,400. The HW30ES wont be available until sometime in July, and is being quoted at OVER $4,000. That doesn't mean it will be $4,000, which is $600 more. Over $4,000 probably is going to mean $4,700, likely a thousand dollars more. That $1,000 more doesn't get you the extra bulb, that the VWPRO1 ships with, nor any 3D glasses.

Posted Jun 19, 2011 11:49:30 AM

By Royce Arlak

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Why would not I buy Sony VPL-HW30ES instead, for $300 more? After all it is "ES" (Elevated Standard) and offers 3D projection. Any comments from someone.

Posted May 30, 2011 10:20:54 PM

By SYED SHAMIMUL HASAN

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Projector Central reviews on Panasonic AE4000U and Sony VPL-VWPRO1 are excellent.Howevevr, a shoot out between the the two is particularly desirable. Both the reviews are useful even today-in assisting people like me to choose between Sony and Panny. Is the sony picture superior to Panny's. If yes,does the delta justify price increment.

Posted Apr 2, 2011 3:51:54 PM

By Marek

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I would like to ask about the numbers you mentioned in the brightness comparison between 8700 and Sony. Using 8700UB, if you zoom out and switch to dynamic mode (which is the brightest), you will get around 1256 lumens. If you zoom all the way in you will get 837 lumens in dynamic mode. It seems to me a little high when you say you can watch football at 1830 lumens. Could you confirm or correct these numbers? I did some search about 8700UB as I am considering buying this projector, but it seems to me you are mixing Epson 8350 and 8700. Thanks.

Posted Mar 15, 2011 9:55:19 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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John,

For our video delay test, frame interpolation was disabled, as was 4:4 pulldown (which also imparts a slight video delay). We always try to compare projectors on an equal footing, and in this case that means all special features turned off.

Posted Mar 12, 2011 4:35:04 PM

By John

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Ok, I had to post. Im not saying either projector is better, but I game on a projector....thinking about upgrading soon to a 1080p one (for movies, games wont benefit really this generation unless your pc gaming)

I wanted to comment on the "video delay." It should be noted that the 8700UB's frame interp feature was probably turned on. This will cause delay for everything. The projector cant guess what frame to create after it gets 1 frame. It has to wait at least 1 frame (probably a few)....basically it has to wait and get frames 1 and 2 and then interpolate the frame inbetween them...and then display it. Frame interpolation will definitely always give you a sense of lag in video games. I would hope there would be a way to turn the feature off for gamers. Anyway, I just wanted to give my input....not writing off either projector...just putting that out there.

Posted Mar 11, 2011 10:34:19 AM

By kevinp

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Nice but I am still waiting for a projector that has a lamp life that matches that of the projector (and i don't mean the projector should break after only 3000 hrs) that can can do 1080p 3D. without rainbows or ghosting.

Posted Mar 10, 2011 8:30:18 PM

By AustinChad

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The street price of the VWPRO1 is actually only a couple of hundred more than Epson.

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