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Sony VPL-VW85 SXRD Projector Review Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
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Sony VPL-VW85 SXRD Projector Review


I started with the Sin City Blu-ray and it looked stunning.  The first thing that struck me about the Sony VPL-VW85 was an increased level of detail and clarity I was not accustomed to.  Detail levels were outstanding with every blemish, pore and hair visible like never before.  Color balance was also spot-on.  Whether it was the fishnet design in Gail’s clothing, whiskers on Hartigan’s face, or wrinkles on Marv’s face, every line and detail clearly stood out. This was the first digital projector that was not DLP based that really impressed me.

Iron Man looks incredible on Blu-ray and looks startlingly detailed when viewed via the Sony VPL-VW85. I felt like I could see every grain of sand in the desert scene, and both colors and textures really popped.  Certain scenes like Tony Stark’s beach house or when he first regains consciousness after being injured had excellent contrast and image depth.  Past HD-ILA and LCD projectors I have viewed had positive attributes like good resolution, but lacked the image depth of DLP.  This was the first non-DLP projector I have viewed that has the positive detail and resolution attributes of HD-ILA/LCD with the excellent contrast and image depth of DLP.  I watched Iron Man with visitors and they even commented on how they had never seen film images in any theater that looked this good.

My favorite Tarantino film is still Reservoir Dogs, but I think Inglorious Basterds is his best work since Pulp Fiction.  The Inglorious Basterds Blu-ray appeared bright, razor sharp with warm, natural flesh tones, which made intentionally shocking moments of deep, red blood spatter appear even more shocking.  As a side note, I have experimented with many different screen materials from companies like Dalite and Stewart.  For a table mount application, I have not found a screen material that works better than the Dalite High Power screen material.  It is retroreflective, so the light that hits the screen is bounced back to the source of the light.  Since my projector is table mounted in front on my seating position the light is reflected back to my eyes, without adverse hot spotting or color shifts.  Contact Dalite for a High Power material sample and try it if your projector is table mounted.  You will be impressed.
The Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Blu-ray is the best looking concert Blu-ray I have seen to date, and was amazing to watch via the Sony VPL-VW85.  It was filmed with nine different high definition cameras and the detail is stunning.  Close-ups are razor sharp, so facial detail is so clear you can see every whisker on Dave Matthews’ face.  Color realism, shadow detail, and depth-of-field were amazing.  The live performance was filmed in native 1.78:1 1080p24, so the Sony VPL-VW85 perfectly filled my 133” HDTV screen.  The image was bright, had excellent depth, ideal colors and was the sharpest I have ever seen it look.   I could not believe the image I was watching was 133” in size and still as clear as it was.

I also wanted see how the Sony VPL-VW85 handled animation, so I watched Pixar’s Up Blu-ray.  As expected with most of Pixar’s animation, color, contrast and black level detail was as good as it gets.  From the fine detail in Carl’s face, colors of balloons, to the beautiful views of Paradise Falls, everything looked gorgeous and had excellent depth.  Again, the 1.78:1 aspect ratio completely filled my screen with some of the best images I have seen.  


Expensive CRT projectors no longer rule the video projector market.  There are lower-cost digital projectors produce better-than filmlike images that are razor sharp with wonderful lush colors and excellent contrast ratios.  The Sony VPL-VW85 Bravia SXRD projector offers leading-edge technologies, such as a full HD 1920 x 1080 progressive Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD), 24p True Cinema  technology, Motionflow 120Hz processing with black frame insertion technology, and a high dynamic contrast ratio of 120,000:1 with brightness of 800 ANSI lumens, all in a sexy package.  

It also offers important, flexible installation and projector placement options with a large, backlit remote that is easy to use.  Offering a stunning level of detail and clarity, lush colors, image depth and inky black-levels, the Sony VPL-VW85 produced some of biggest, brightest, most beautiful high definition images these eyes have seen.  With a retail price of $8,000 and curves sexier than Sofia Vergara, all these good looks aren’t cheap, but I have yet to see a projector under $15,000 that produces a better looking image, which makes the Sony VPL-VW85 a bargain.

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