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Sony VPL-VW70 Projector  Print E-mail
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Written by Roger Coakes   
Thursday, 16 April 2009
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Sony VPL-VW70 Projector 
Page 2

Movies and TV:

I started with a favorite high definition test disc, Paramount’s Transformers, specifically the crash landing scene in chapter 11.  The deep, crisp blacks in the night sky as the Transformers ripped through the atmosphere were absolutely stunning, so much so that I wondered if I was looking at a flat screen HDTV at times.  The dancing flames of the crash zones gave an extremely intense contrast to the black levels, but not so much that it seemed overbearing or unrealistic.  The vivid detail of the 1080p picture quality was impressive and the picture was smooth as silk during a couple of the later battle scenes.   

I also popped in the HD discs for Batman Begins and Superman Returns for two very diverse types of pictures.  The VPL-VW70 was able to pull off the inky blacks in chapter 18 of Batman Begins, the scene where Falcone is captured.  While the film has always had a dreary, dark image quality, the video processor was able to pull off a strong contrast level.  Alternately, chapter 11 of Superman Returns offered a peek into color management.  The scene in which the 747 begins a freefall from space brought out lush, bright colors as the plane ripped apart in the blue sky.  The rich green grass as Superman stopped the plane within the baseball stadium really popped off the screen as well.

Standard definition material offered a somewhat softer image than the high definition discs, but still a high quality picture in terms of contrast levels and color definition.  White-field uniformity was spot on in all the test material.  Primary and secondary colors were all rendered naturally.  I never found an over-saturation of color during any film and there was very little noise as well.  Most interestingly, this is one of the first projectors that I didn’t notice during any fan noise during any of the films I previewed.  Quiet scenes during a movie were not hampered by a noisy fan in the background.  Even after several hours of testing, the VPL-VW70 was absolutely silent and relatively cool to the touch.  

The Downside:

Sony’s VPL-VW70 Projector is an absolute beast of a projector.  The enormous size may be troublesome for consumers looking to hide the projector effectively in their home theater.  The 26 lb weight and bulky size may also be problematic if self-mounting the unit.  It’s so large that the packaging for the projector is on par with a desktop computer box.  While I’m amazed that the projector is deadly silent during operation, the sliding lens cover can sound overly abrasive when shutting down the unit.  The motorized operation of the two black slats certainly looks stylish, but doesn’t mesh with the silent nature of the VPL-VW70.

I found the color tuning options to be expansive, but calibrating the unit for proper color performance may be overwhelming for the first time user.  The default color schemes are a bit over-saturated for my taste and have to be modified extensively to get an accurate color temperature.  The gamma options only add to the confusion and it’s simply a matter of preference after a while.  The user manual identifies the Gamma 5 setting for use with matt projection screens, but the other setting descriptions are hopelessly unspecific.  Noticing differences between the gamma settings is also tough to discern without the proper lighting conditions.

Conclusion:

It’s absolutely evident why Sony has positioned the VPL-VW70 as their premiere projector.  The near-silent operation, resplendent picture and plethora of tweaking options offer a caliber of quality that I found refreshing for a front projector.  You can even utilize an anamorphic lens with the projector as the VPL-VW70 uses a trigger on the lens sled to slide the 2:35:1 lens into position when turned on.  If you have the skills to calibrate the VPL-VW70 properly or a custom installer to help you, this ridiculously quiet projector is absolutely worth the investment.   

Manufacturer Sony
Model VPL-VW70 1080p Home Cinema Projector
HDMI Input Yes
# of HDMI Inputs 2
# of Component Video Inputs 1
Native Resolution 1080p





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