SXRD™ 4K laser home theater projector with HDR (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.
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 2.0b 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 8-15/16"H x 19-9/16"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
What's in the Box:
- 4K Video front projector
- 8' AC power cord
- Remote control (RM-PJ24)
- 2 "AA" batteries
- Lens cap (installed)
- Operating Instructions on CD-ROM
- Quick Reference Manual
- Limited Warranty Sheet
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|
Laser Light Source with 4K SXRD Panel: The Sony VPL-VW885ES home projector combines an advanced Z-Phosphor laser light source with Sony's 4K SXRD panel technology to give you stunning 4K HDR laser clarity with 2,000 lumens, infinite contrast ratio, rich cinematic colors, smooth motion, and dazzling brightness.
- High Efficient Z-Phosphor Laser Light Source: The VPL-VW885ES's ultra-pure, reliable Sony-developed Z-Phosphor laser light source lets you enjoy perfectly clear 4K pictures with the right brightness level for a very long time. With its Z-Phosphor laser light source, the light output power is automatically adjusted depending on the brightness of a scene in content for high dynamic infinite contrast. With an impressive 2,000 lumens brightness and a spectacularly high contrast range, 4K images are clear and bright with sparkling highlights and rich, deep blacks. The ultra-pure, highly efficient laser light source provides long lasting brightness releasing you from the worries of brightness decay typical of lamps. In addition to long lasting brightness, you'll enjoy reduced operating costs compared with conventional projection systems, plus less worry of lamp failure half way through a show. The ultra-pure, highly efficient laser light source provides gives you years of illumination with a 20,000 hour lamp.
- Advanced SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display): The advanced SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) panel technology featured in Sony's digital cinema projectors delivers native 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution images, with more than four times the detail of Full HD. Fine details are wonderfully clear and natural, without jagged edges or visible pixels. Advanced SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) panels with an ultra-fast response rate of 2.5 milliseconds minimize the space between pixels for a smoother, more detailed image. Consisting of a thin LCD layer backed with a highly reflective silicon plate, SXRD splits the white light of the lamp into different colors using mirrors and sends them to a red, green, and blue panel in 4K resolution. Light passes in and out of each panel, allowing more effective light blocking for exceptionally deep blacks.
Full Digital Cinema 4K: With more than 4x the resolution of Full HD, native 4K offers 8.8 million pixels (4096 x 2160) for a picture that's so incredibly lifelike, it's like looking at the real thing. Sony's VPL-VW885ES SXRD 4K video projector offers Full Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI)-based 4096 x 2160 resolution, delivering a cinematic 4K experience in your home. With 4096 x 2160 resolution and pixels one quarter the size of those from traditional 1080p projectors, the Sony 4K projector delivers smooth, lifelike images with fewer artifacts, even on home theater screens up to 300" in 2D (or 150" in 3D). Now you can sit closer to the action, while jagged edges and revealed pixels are eliminated. It also provides 4K Upscaling for non-UHD source and supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) video.
- 4K Reality Creation Upscaling: Sony's exclusive Reality Creation technology analyzes images right down to the pixel level. It then employs pattern-matching algorithms developed over years of movie production to enhance crispness even without increasing digital picture noise. It also upscales existing full HD Blu-ray DiscTM and DVD movies to near 4K quality. Dramatically improving your viewing experience, the projector's Reality Creation engine for 4K upscaling enhances both the "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray Discs and high definition 1080p content including 3D video. Now you can watch all your favorite HD movies and television shows in 4K (3840 x 2160).
- HDR (High Dynamic Range): The VPL-VW885ES lets you take full advantage of the latest content produced with HDR (High Dynamic
Range) for extremely wide contrast range with an even higher range of brightness
levels and volume of colors. The Sony projector's HDMI
2.0a inputs support HDR (High Dynamic Range) content; including HDR10 and
HLG. HDR reproduces a greater dynamic range of luminosity or brightness
levels, bringing greater contrast to the screen. This increased contrast
reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to
the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth.
- HDR10: HDR10 is an open standard and currently the most popular HDR format on the market. It supports 10-bit color and 1,000 nits. It uses static metadata at the start of a movie to tell the receiver and your TV that the video content is encoded using HDR.
- HLG: HLG (Hybrid-Log Gamma) is primarily designed for live video feed and over-the-air broadcasts. It uses no pre-encoded metadata and is backwards compatible with SDR. HLG's native compatibility allows much of today's existing SDR infrastructure to be re-used for HDR in the future.
Dual HDMI 2.0b Inputs: The Sony VPL-VW885ES is fitted with two HDMI 2.0b inputs to connect your high-definition and ultra-high definition sources; such as Blu-ray/DVD player, Satellite/Cable receiver, game system, or AV receiver. In addition, the HDMI inputs can be used to connect a PC to this TV.
- Supported Video Resolution: The HDMI inputs will accept 4K/60Hz, 1080p (24/60Hz), 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i signals.
- HDCP 2.2 Compatible (HDMI Input 2 Only): HDCP 2.2 is supported only by the projector's HDMI 2 input. HDCP 2.2 is short for "High bandwidth Digital Content Protection" and is used for 4K video copyright protection for compatibility with 4K Blu-ray players and 4K Satellite/Cable providers.
Note: The projector does not offer any analog video inputs.
Color Technologies: The Sony VPL-VW885ES incorporates Triluminos Color, 4:4:4 Color Subsampling, Wide Color Gamut (BT.20.20), Deep Color, and x.v.Color technologies for perfect color and smooth gradation.
- TRILUMINOS Display: The VPL-VW885ES incorporates TRILUMINOS Display color, reproducing more tones and textures than a standard projector system. Hard-to-reproduce crimson reds, aqua blues, and emerald greens are displayed beautifully, so landscapes and seascapes look more vivid. Faces look better, too, with skin tones more faithfully reproduced. As a result, you'll discover true-to-life colors and tones.
- 4:4:4 Color Subsampling: All HDMI 2.0b inputs will support up to 4:4:4 chroma subsampling for full color data rendering of 4K video (30/60fps). With 4:4:4 color, luminance (brightness) and chroma (color) are sampled at the same rate, resulting in an RGB color palette as big as the video sampling rate for a video image with more total colors, plus greater color accuracy and detail.
- Wide Color Gamut (BT.2020): The BT.2020 color standard delivers a much wider color gamut and represents about 75% of the total visual color spectrum, while the current Rec. 709 color standard selected as the color space for HDTV and early generation 4K Ultra HDTV covers only 35% of the total visual color spectrum.
- Deep Color: The projector also supports Deep Color which allows the color depth of video signals passing through HDMI to be raised. The number of colors that could be expressed by 1 pixel was 24 bits (16,777,216 colors) with a standard HDMI jack. However, the number of colors which can be expressed by 1 pixel is 36 bits with a Deep Color enabled HDMI jack. Since the gradation of the depth of a color can be expressed more finely with more bits, continuous color changes can be more smoothly expressed.
- x.v.Color: The 4K projector also supports x.v.Color, offering a wider color range than the current broadcast standard. For the x.v.Color feature to be useful, the entire video production chain must be compatible (camera-editing-format-player-display).
High Brightness & Infinite Contrast: With its laser light source and real-time laser light control, the light output power is automatically adjusted depending on the brightness of a scene in content for high dynamic infinite contrast. The Sony VPL-VW885ES video projector outputs 2,000 lumens of white light and 2,000 lumens of color light (ANSI rating) for a bright and dynamic picture.
Motorized Lens: The Sony VPL-VW885ES features a F3.0-F4.0 lens with a focal length of 21.7mm to 44.7mm. Installing the VPL-VW885ES is easy with its motorized lens and wide throw distance range. The 2.06x powered zoom lens and a wide lens shift range provide further installation flexibility and remarkable performance in nearly every screening room. The Sony VPL-VW885ES video projector can produce a 4K image that is adjustable between 60" and 300". The projector's adjustable lens provides a wide range of placement possibilities for a given screen size.
|Screen Size (16:9 Format)||Throw Distance|
|100"||121" - 247"|
|120"||145" - 297"|
|150"||181" - 371"|
|200"||242" - 496"|
Note: Check out Sony's Projection Simulator App (for Apple iOS 6.0+ and Android OS 4.0+) to help you choose the right screen size for your preferred viewing distance and projector location, plus get other helpful installation tips.
Installation Adjustments: During the initial setup, or subsequent adjustment, these features help optimize performance and offer placement flexibility.
- Lens Shift: Lens Shift lets you raise, lower, or reposition the projected image without changing the angle relationship between the projector and the screen. It also reduces the need to physically move the projector horizontally or vertically to fit the image within the borders of the screen. This projector has a vertical lens shift of +85% -80% and a horizontal lens shift of +/-31%.
- Image Flip: Flips the image vertically or horizontally.
- Blanking: Allows you to adjust the displayable region within the four directions of the screen.
- Panel Alignment: This feature allows you to adjust the gaps in the color of characters or the picture.
Note: Sony does not offer Keystone correction for this projector because it degrades the image. When applying the digital process of keystone correction to an image it uses compression and scaling to manipulate the shape of the projected image so the number of individual pixels used is reduced, lowering the resolution and thus degrading the quality of the image projected.
Auto Calibration & Picture Position Memory: Over time, the aging of components like the lamp make changes to the look on the screen. A built in RGB sensor and software allow you to quickly adjust your picture to the way it looked when first installed. You can also store lens, zoom, and shift settings for up to five screen formats for easy recall. Picture Position Memory remembers key settings so you can quickly watch movies in the ideal format. Match aspect ratios, including 16:9 and Cinemascope, and store these settings in the projector.
Motionflow XR & True Cinema 24p: Whatever you're watching, you'll enjoy a silk-smooth on-screen look in fast-moving action sequences with Motionflow XR. This innovative technology creates and inserts extra frames between the original frames by first comparing key visual factors on successive frames, then calculating the split second of missing action in the sequences. True Cinema 24p mode mimics true movie projection for cinema purists.
Picture Calibration: Quickly calibrate your picture to the type of content you're enjoying with a variety of adjustments.
- Aspect Ratio: You can select an aspect ratio best
suited for the video signal received. Choose from the following:
- 1.85:1 Zoom: a 1.85:1 aspect ratio picture is displayed in its original aspect ratio, enlarged so that black bands do not appear at the top and bottom of the screen
- 2.35:1 Zoom: a 2.35:1 aspect ratio picture is displayed in its original aspect ratio, enlarged so that black bands at the top and bottom of the screen are as small as possible
- Normal: input video is displayed in its original aspect ratio, enlarged to fill the screen; this mode is suitable for viewing 1.78:1 (16:9) and 1.33:1 (4:3) video
- Stretch: displays video that has been squeezed to 1.33:1 (4:3) as 1.78:1 (16:9) aspect ratio
- V Stretch: this is the most suitable mode for using a 2.35:1 screen to view 2.35:1 video with a commercially available anamorphic lens
- Squeeze: with this setting, 1.78:1 (16:9) and 1.33:1 (4:3) video will be displayed in their correct aspect ratios when you use a commercially available anamorphic lens
- Picture View Mode: You can select the picture viewing
mode that best suits the type of video source or room conditions.
- Cinema Film 1: picture quality suited to reproducing the highly dynamic and clear images typical of master positive film
- Cinema Film 2: picture quality suited to reproducing the rich tone and color typical of a movie theater
- Reference: picture quality setup suitable for when you want to reproduce faithfully the original image quality, or for enjoying image quality, without any adjustment
- TV: picture quality suited for watching TV programs, sports, concerts, etc
- Photo: ideal for projecting still images taken with a digital camera
- Game: picture quality suited to gaming, with well-modulated colors and fast response
- Bright Cinema: picture quality suited for watching
movies in a bright environment, such
as a living room
- Bright TV: picture quality suited for watching TV programs, sports, concerts, and other video images in a bright environment, such as a living room
- User: adjust the picture quality settings manually to suit your taste then saves the setting; adjust brightness, color, hue, color temperature, sharpness, and noise reduction
- Picture Quality: You can easily adjust the picture
quality that suits your taste by selecting the adjustment.
- Reality Creation: adjusts the detail and noise processing of images; the texture and detail of the picture become sharper. while the noise (picture roughness) becomes less prominent
- Cinema Black Pro: increase the brightness in order to project brighter images or decrease the brightness in order to enhance blacks
- Clear White: emphasizes vivid whites
- Color Space: converts the color space best suited for your video content
- Color Correction: Adjusts Hue, Saturation or Brightness of the selected color - Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta
- Contrast Enhancer: corrects the level of bright and dark parts automatically to optimize contrast according to a scene
- Smooth Gradation: smoothes the gradation of the flat parts of images
- Gamma Correction: adjusts the response characteristics of the tone of the picture
- MPEG Noise Reduction: reduces block noise and mosquito noise, in particular in digital signals
- Input Lag Reduction: reduces the delay of the display for a video
Active 3D Technology: The Sony VPL-VW885ES gives you the option to enjoy 3D (three-dimensional) pictures and graphics. You can enjoy an immersive, realistic movie and gaming experience in Ultra-HD 4K using Sony's active 3D glasses (TDG-BT500A, sold separately). Enjoy 3D content from your HDMI connected Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, or gaming console (all sold separately). When using the active shutter glasses, the on-screen image is precisely synchronized and delivered with the full high-definition image intact, for an optimum 3D viewing experience. Sony's 3D technology displays high speed synchronized left- and right-eye images to deliver an amazing 3D experience. And since each frame you see is shown in high-definition, the 3D action still offers razor-sharp detail. You can adjust the following 3D settings.
- 3D Adjustment: You can adjust the depth of the 3D image to your personal preference, as well as set the image brightness when using the 3D display mode.
- 2D-to-3D Conversion: To ensure that you can enjoy 3D any time you want, Sony has incorporated 2D-to-3D conversion, which allows you to watch your favorite 2D movies, TV programs, or games in virtual 3D.
Remote Control: The supplied IR remote allows you to wirelessly control many of the projector's functions.
Custom Installation Inputs: The Sony VPL-VW885ES features an IR remote input, dual 12V triggers, RS-232 port, and LAN jack for custom installations and applications.
- IR Input: The video projector has a 3.5mm minijack input for use with an external IR receiver (sold separately).
- 12V Triggers: Use the 12-volt triggers outputs (3.5mm) to trigger on a motorized screen and other components.
- RS-232C Port: Seamlessly integrate the VPL-VW885ES into virtually any major automation system via the bi-directional, industry-standard RS-232C connection.
- RJ-45: The RJ-45 (LAN) port supports network monitoring and control protocols (SDAP, SDCP, DDDP).
Mounting Options: The VPL-VW885ES can be placed on a table top or ceiling mounted (mounting bracket sold separately). The projector has two adjustable rubber feet to angle the unit when projecting from a table. There are three 5mm threaded inserts that allow you to use a projector ceiling mount (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) to mount the unit from your ceiling.
Whisper-Quiet Fan: Due to the VPL-VW885ES advanced air discharge system, Sony's whisper-quiet fan emits only 24db during show. time. Plus, having a front air intake and exhaust allows the VPL-VW885ES to be positioned near a wall without having to worry about cooling issues.
Power Saving Modes: If no signal is input for 10 minutes, power is turned off automatically and the projector goes into standby mode.
USB Port (Software Updates Only): You can download files to update the software of the unit from Sony's Online Support Site. Simply copy the downloaded files to a USB thumbdrive, then insert the USB thumbdrive into the USB port of the projector and perform the update.
Warranty: The projector is covered by a 3-year parts and labor warranty, while the lamp is covered for 90 days.
Our Product Research Team
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