SXRD™ 4K Ultra HD laser projector (2017 model)
Our take on the Sony VPL-VW885ES by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Ultra-pure laser light delivers ultra-crisp images
As you might guess, Crutchfield is full of gearheads, and we love technology "firsts." Sony's VPL-VW885ES is the first laser projector we've carried, and one of the first laser-based models available to consumers. When you consider the extraordinary purity of laser light, and the added benefits of cool, efficient operation, and no lamp to replace, this feels like the start of a new era for home theater projectors.
The VPL-VW885ES is a true 4K projector. What do I mean by "true"? I mean that the 'VW885ES's picture has 8.8 million pixels, to accurately reveal the tiniest details and subtlest textures in 4K sources. By comparison, pixel-shifting "4K-compatible" models typically have around 4 million pixels. Full 4K creates that 3-dimensional "looking-through-a-window" sense of realism.
Sony's powerful Hollywood-honed video processing
The VPL-VW885ES's 4K Ultra HD projection system has four times the detail of 1080p.
Recently, I got to tag along with a group of Crutchfield's advisor trainees on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the just-opened Alamo Drafthouse Cinema here in Charlottesville.
Tech-wise, the heart of the multiplex is a large second-floor hallway where the projectors live — all Sony 4K models. The VPL-VW885ES is based on the same 4K Digital Cinema SXRD™ technology used in Sony's professional projectors. (But even Sony's expensive cinema projectors haven't made the switch to laser yet.)
The VPL-VW885ES has another ace up its sleeve — its powerful Reality Creation video processing is based on Sony's years of experience upscaling movies to 4K in thousands of theaters worldwide. You can select the amount of Reality Creation processing to be applied to each video source. The improvement is easily visible on everything from Blu-ray discs to streamed Netflix® movies to satellite or cable TV feeds.
How do you improve on 4K? Add HDR.
Our eyes can see a much wider range of contrast and color than current TVs can display — even most 4K Ultra HD models. So, while 4K provides more pixels, TV makers are introducing new technologies to deliver better pixels that produce more vivid, colorful, and lifelike images.
The most important of these technologies is HDR (High Dynamic Range), which significantly expands the picture contrast range with both deeper blacks and brighter highlights. HDR gives colors more pop, too. The VPL-VW885ES's laser light source and real-time laser light control can deliver truly spectacular HDR effects. This light controller behaves like a dynamic iris on a lamp-based projector, precisely adjusting light output on the fly, to optimize both dark and bright scenes.
A growing amount of streamed video content encoded with HDR information is already available, and Ultra HD Blu-ray players and discs have really taken off. The VPL-VW885ES has two Ultra-HD-ready HDMI inputs with maximum bandwidth of 18 Gbps, making this one of the most future-ready projectors we know of. Even as 4K content is released with higher frame rates and color bit depths, this projector will be able to display it in all its glory.
Banish blur with Motionflow™
The larger the image, the more challenging it is to maintain a smooth, clear picture during fast-paced onscreen action. Sony's Motionflow is one of the most sophisticated and refined blur-reduction technologies available, and the VPL-VW885ES has their most advanced version with yet. This is Sony's only consumer-grade projector with Motionflow processing for 4K video sources.
Flexible setup for rooms large and small
Although Sony describes this as a "compact" projector, it's the largest and heaviest model we sell. When you get into this price range, many customers will opt for professional installation, but Sony did design the VPL-VW885ES to be fairly easy to install and set up. It features a powered zoom lens and powered lens shift for adjusting the image either horizontally or vertically, to allow for off-center projector placement. Sony recommends a maximum screen size of 300", but you'll also get amazing results with screens sized 100" or less.
Out-of-the-box picture settings are so spot on, you'll be tempted to leave them as-is. But if you like to tweak, you can fine-tune brightness, contrast, and color to suit a wide range of rooms, screens, and video sources.
Available late November.
For the best picture quality from this 4K projector, we recommend using a 4K-rated projector screen.
- Ultra High Definition home theater projector
- Z-Phosphor™ laser light source delivers ultra-pure light with zero maintenance
- High Dynamic Range (HDR 10 and HLG) for extremely wide contrast and high brightness levels with HDR content
- widescreen 16:9/17:9 aspect ratio (can also display 4:3 material)
- 3 SXRD panels with Full Digital Cinema 4K resolution (4096 x 2160 pixels each)
- recommended image size: 60" to 300"
- light output: 2000 ANSI lumens
- real-time laser light control adjusts light output for infinite dynamic contrast
- Advanced Reality Creation upscaling improves high-definition video sources to near-4K quality
- TRILUMINOS™ Display technology for a wider color range
- 4K Motionflow™ frame interpolation for improved motion clarity even on 4K sources
- auto calibration uses a built-in color sensor to maintain color accuracy
- 3D-ready with built-in RF emitter (active 3D glasses sold separately)
- 2.1X powered zoom/focus lens (standard-throw)
- lens shift image adjustment (powered, horizontal and vertical)
- Picture Position Memory makes it easy to store settings for multiple movie aspect ratios for easy recall
- 2 HDMI 2.0a inputs
- Ethernet port supports network monitoring and control protocols
- USB input for firmware updates
- RS-232C port for external control of the projector via compatible computer or third-party control device
- two 12V trigger outputs for controlling a motorized screen or other device
- detachable power cord
- 286-watt laser diode light source lasts up to 20,000 hours
- ultra-quiet cooling fan (24 dB)
- illuminated remote control
- can be placed on a tabletop or ceiling-mounted (mounting bracket sold separately)
- 22-1/16"W x 9"H x 19-1/2"D
- weight: 44 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years parts & labor carry-in service (90 days on lamp)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- Note: projectors don't include any type of built-in TV tuner, but they can display signals from an HDTV tuner, satellite receiver or cable box
Why Shop With Us?10 Reasons.
Features and Specs
|Resolution (pixels)||4096 x 2160|
|Approximate Lamp Life||20,000|
|Brightness (in ANSI Lumens)||2000white/2000color|
|Vertical Lens Shift||Yes|
|Horizontal Lens Shift||Yes|
|Vertical Keystone Correction||No|
|Horizontal Keystone Correction||No|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
|Type of Warranty Service||Carry-in|
|Total Video Inputs||2|
|Wireless HDMI Input||No|
|Component Video Inputs||None|
|Composite Video Inputs||None|
|USB Media Port||No|