|Sony VPL-VW85 SXRD Projector Review|
|Home Theater Front Projectors SXRD Projectors|
|Written by Augie Bettencourt|
|Wednesday, 20 January 2010|
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Not long ago, projecting an image large enough to fill anything bigger than an 80” screen required purchasing a CRT (cathode ray tube) projector that weighed as much as a Smart Car and who only an investment banker could afford. Those CRT projectors projected film-like images with wonderful lush colors and excellent contrast, but they were slowly replaced with digital projectors weighing and costing one forth as much.
The new VPL-VW85 projector features a full HD 1920 x 1080 progressive Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) and 24p True Cinema technology, Motionflow 120Hz processing with black frame insertion technology, which is claimed to provide exceptional clarity and resolution for fast moving images and a high dynamic contrast of 120,000:!, with brightness of 800 ANSI lumens. Designed with the custom installation market in mind, the VPL-VW85 has a motorized, fully adjustable, 'lens shift' function that offers more options in terms of installation and projector placement, without image distortion. This allows you to tilt the image up or down without physically moving the projector.
The lens offers a 1.6x motorized zoom and focus with horizontal and vertical adjustment, making it easy to set up in a variety of environments and distances from a screen. A motorized lens is nice, because it does not require manually turning the lens by hand to change the image, which is especially important when ceiling mounting a projector. Because of the excellent zoom range, I was able to move the projector closer to the screen than ever before, which was welcome with my forward of seating application. This model also features Sony's Anamorphic Zoom Mode for use with an external anamorphic lens.
I removed my current table mounted Marantz VP-15S1 projector and in its place went the Sony VPL-VW85. The distance from the projector lens to screen measured about 13.5 feet with a 20 foot viewing distance from a Dalite,133” HDTV, Dalite Cinema Contour screen with High Power 2.8 gain material. On hand for the review was both the OPPO BDP-83 and Sony BDP-S1000ES Blu-ray players, so I connected both to the Sony VPL-VW85 with a 35ft, M1000 HDTV HDMI Monster Cable. For part of the review the video connections were made through a Denon AVP-A1HDC1 A/V processor for video switching, and then also directly to the projector.
Each time Monster Cable M1000 HDTV HDMI cables were used for video connections, Cardas Audio Golden Reference speaker and interconnect cables, and Monster Cable 600sw and Monoprice subwoofer cables. All the cables worked perfectly and had no problems. Associated equipment used for the review was the Sunfire TGA 7400 amplifier, Definitive Technology BP7000SC, Definitive Technology C/L/R 3000, Definitive Technology BPX speakers, Definitive Technology SuperCube Trinity Signature Powered Subwoofers and Buttkicker LFE Kit.. All are outstanding, reference quality products. I then used the Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics Blu-ray disc to calibrate the projector and was ready to start my evaluation.