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Full HD 3D SXRD Home Theater Projector

Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector Sony VPL-VW95ES
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Weight: 26.5 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Lens:1.52x powered
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:n/a
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  Component, VGA In, HDMI (x2), Network, USB, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Sony's new VPL-VW95ES is a fully-featured powerhouse of a home theater projector. At $5,999, the VW95ES is a step above the numerous projectors in the $2,000 to $4,000 price bracket, and that step up in price brings a commensurate step in performance. The projector's 1000 lumen output is perfect for dark room home theater, while its 150,000:1 contrast gives the picture a natural, three-dimensional quality. Excellent color controls ensure life-like reproduction of any content you choose to watch. A 1.6:1 powered zoom lens with powered H/V lens shift makes setup a snap. The projector is also full HD 3D compatible and includes two pairs of glasses. An included three-year warranty keeps everything running smoothly. The VW95 is a solid value for projector enthusiasts who are serious about home theater.

The Viewing Experience

Lots of home theater projectors these days are essentially dual-purpose machines, allowing for projection in both darkened home theaters and brighter living room environments. The Sony VPL-VW95ES is not one of those projectors. From the ground up, this thing is built as a home theater machine. Everything about it is tailored for use in the dark, so to get the best possible performance out of the VW95 you'll need to spend some time on light control.

When you fire up the VW95, it's not very bright as projectors go. While most HT projectors have a brighter living room or dynamic mode, the VW95's Dynamic mode is just a slightly brighter, slightly bluer version of its normal Cinema modes. If you are looking for a multi-purpose projector, the VW95 is not recommended.

Once you get the VW95 set up in a dark room, everything changes. The projector's deep black level, which rivals that of the impressive Epson 5010, only really shines in a room with no ambient light. Color, which is already fairly close to 6500K out of the box and can be made closer still via calibration, is well-saturated and accurate. Objects on screen look life-like, not artificial or exaggerated. The picture has plenty of detail, but sharpness is not overdriven and there's no evidence of edge enhancement. And while the VW95 does have a frame interpolation system, the effect is quite subtle (and if you still don't like it, you can always turn it off).

In our preferred operation mode (Cinema 2, low lamp, middle of the zoom range) the VW95 lights up a 100" diagonal 1.3 gain screen at 18 fL. That's plenty bright, even if there's a little bit of ambient light in the room (though this will compromise black levels before it ever threatens brightness). When watching 3D, the decrease in brightness will likely require smaller screen sizes.

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Key Features
Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
Comments (7) Post a Comment
Shamim Posted Apr 2, 2012 10:20 PM PST
Although a wholesome review, shoot out with JVC DLA X70/90 remains to be much desired. Not a lapse of PC. By this time of year, JVC should have presented their flagship HTPJs to PC for review, more so to have their E-shift add- on validated by impartial experts. I don't know, may be they consider their PJs too good to be reviewed or they are shy. Regards
Beckster Posted Apr 5, 2012 3:36 PM PST
Hi there,

Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall seeing anything to do with the expected lamp life. I would imagine that it being not the highest lumen count that it may have a longer lamp life, but I'm kind of curious to find out. Also, how much would it cost for a replacement bulb?
Stephen Hulsey Posted Apr 5, 2012 9:21 PM PST
The lumen light output numbers along with suitable screen sizes for the amount of light are based on a new lamp. Light output decreases over the first 100-200 hours or so, levels off, and then decreases more as the lamp ages. I like a projector that has extra light output for my screen to compensate for the drop in light output as the lamp ages.
Frank Bitterhof Posted Apr 19, 2012 5:50 AM PST
"While some folks don't like the appearance of frame interpolation in 2D, it has undeniable benefit in 3D, where it smooths out motion and produces a picture that is much easier to watch."

Thank you, Mr. Livolsi, for this observation. According to my own experience folks that watch 3D content with frame interpolation don't find it disturbing but rather feel it adds to a realistic and good 3D presentation. IMHO this is one of the strongest arguments pro frame interpolation which some of us find odd, just because we simply have grown too accustomed to watch 2D content in repetitive 24 fps.
ed hansen Posted Jul 29, 2012 7:17 AM PST
where are reviews of Sony HD 1080P projects vs. Jvc. HOme cinema serices. I see some nice ones by JVC with hdmi, vga, enet inputs etc. ?
danielhoward Posted Aug 1, 2012 2:51 AM PST
Do you guys find crosstalk problems when playing 3D with depth set at 2? I found very serious.
Bennett Posted Sep 26, 2012 7:20 PM PST
Could we please have a comparision between the Sony VPL VW 95es and the new Sony VPL HW 50ES which begins shipping in October. I am waiting to make a buying decision based on your review of the HW 50ES, as the prices are close. Thank you.

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