Re: Sony VPL VW50 "Pearl" 1080p Projector Review
I have owned the Pearl for about 6 months and have been extremely pleased with it. I come from a CRT projector and I can really appreciate the smoothness and the black level and shadow detail possible on the Pearl. Some caveats, however. First, it is hard to get a really good feel for what the Pearl is capable of in the typical store set-up. One of the posts makes that clear. The Projector's black level and brightness are substantially affected by the position of the unit...ie distance from the screen. At the short end of the throw, you maximize the brightness while at the long end you minimize brightness and maximize black level. Secondly, the focus control is very tricky. If pressed quickly it doesn't seem to be doing anything, but it is making very small adjustments. It takes a lot of patience to get maximum sharpness out of this projector. Finally, it really needs an IFS calibration to bring out its best. Some of the user controls can, if not used correctly, create a real mess. Long and short, this is a great projector for the price, but like all projectors, not perfect. The JVC certainly does some things better, but at the price of a few others and at a higher purchase price as well. Finally, Pearl's tend to vary from sample to sample, at least initially, in that some have better conversion of the panels and some have some color uniformity issues. I got lucky with mine, but I understand that Sony has been very good about correcting such initial problems. Makes it even more important to buy one from a reputable dealer. However, if you can find a properly calibrated and focused Pearl, I personally think you will be very impressed. I am.