When I received the call early evening a few nights ago I did not hesitate at the chance to run out and pick up the VW90ES projector. The drive was a little over a hour. Of course on the way back at was only 30 minutes since I ignored all traffic signals! Opening up the VW90ES felt different than other projectors. Mainly because there were two pairs of 3D glasses included. Also a 3D Sync transmitter adaptor. Both items I have never seen come with a projector before. So after having it a couple days I am ready to finally start typing my thoughts and opinions. And please keep in mind that is all they are... Enjoy!
After a long Friday I am ready to start my Review. I love a nice cold Dr. Pepper (one of my favorite pops) so as I take my first thirsty sip and savor the flavor I can't help but think my eyes are doing the same looking at the VW90ES. Both of those senses are being fulfilled! And this is where I will start. Comparing the 90ES to the other projectors I have had recent and last year. As many know I ended last season with the JVC HD990 (RS35). It was a terrific projector that did just about everything right. Still the Sony VW85 was just a little sharper. I am amazed to say the VW90 is even sharper! Reminds me of some of the best DLPs even! On another positive note I am getting back my Blanking function (custom for all sides instead of JVC's percentage Blanking options) as well as those quick Black Level and White Level tweaking selections. And how could I not bring up the Film Projection feature! Before I considered the 990 my "best ever" but as of this Thanksgiving Holiday the Sony VPL VW90ES has become my new champion. One major reason is MOTION. I have never viewed action and sports this cleanly. Please trust me when I say screen shots will not do it justice. And this is where it begins...
DirecTV... Just watching Dexter showed me a few things. Every Sunday evening we host a Dexter Club (I know that's nerdy) and I cannot wait for their opinions this upcoming episode. I love group opinions! The opening never showed this much detail and fluidity. I had the 90ES in Standard with Gamma on 9 and Black Level on -2 with White on +1. Color Temp Middle, Color Space at Wide 3 (breaking all the rules), Auto Iris on 1, Film Projection Off and Motion Enhancer on Low. This yeilded excellent results. Same for watching Avatar which dare I say at times looked nearly as good as the Blu ray disc!
The SONY VPL VW90ES
3D PROJECTOR REVIEW
NFL on DirecTV... Wow!!! The NFL Network game looked next level. Sending in 1080p/60 Computer Level combined with the 90ES's fluidity was the best I have ever seen football. Below is a pic where you can actually see the laces on the football! Using Dynamic with Gamma 9, Black level -3, White +1, Motion Enhancer High and Film Projection 2, Wide Color 3 and Temp High- I was blown away! I can't wait for this Sunday!!! Especially CBS games. I will be adding more pics. The close up of the football below is also pure eye candy. You can see individual blades of grass and dimples on the ball!!!
I was impressed to easily see the players shadows and spectator's faces. Close ups of the players revealed the emotions that we rarely see so clearly during a game. Helmets reflected the stadium lights and the color of the grass and player's uniforms were top notch!
Unpacking and setting up was a piece of cake. I was able to get the VW90ES perfectly aligned and running in no time. Being able to Shift up and down and Left and Right using the remote makes life much easier. Speaking of the remote I am happy to report it is still my favorite style. Like last year's VW85's it lights up blue. It also has direct command buttons to Motion Enhancer (Sony's 240hz) and Film Projection mode. Color Space and Color Temp as well as their Advanced Iris. Speaking of I must say I do not notice it pumping at all. I think others are more sensitive (or exaggerated) but if you do happen to see it there is the option of just turning it off. You also get Gamma which has 10 different settings (plus off) within each you also get Black and White level tweaks! And besides direct Black Level access there is the Menu, Lens, Input and my favorite Adjust Pic. It goes through the major settings so you can tweak the image even more faster. The Menu can either be in the lower left corner (my favorite) or in the middle of the screen. I took some pics of the Set Up Menu. Without sounding redundent it is pretty much like all the Sony Projector Menus of the past. With two major differences. Now it's black and gray with white letters and numbers and now there is a 3D section. More on that later!
Notice the two HDMI 1.4 inputs as well as the 3D Sync Transmitter output. My backrow is 22 feet away and Sony says their TDG-BR100s (their glasses) work best at around 5 meters. Since I purchased the Sony 3D Starter kit I already had an extra Transmitter. I connected a 12 inch LAN cable to their adaptor and put the 3D Transmitter on the back of my 90ES. This insures the backrow getting 3D without interruption. You can see it on the back of the 90ES in the pics below. Just use black electrical tape to help hold it up. It helps add for a nice conversational piece. Most won't even notice it anyway...
Below is an example of how Sharp the VW90ES is. DirecTV's guide has never looked this good before. Using the 90ES's Focus control is simple and it is very easy to dial in the sharpest image. Notice the remote pic to the right. It is easy to read and lights up in a classy blue.
Here are some pics of the Set Up menu... As you can see it is very easy to navigate. I like the selection and or flow of it. Sony makes it simple.
When doing 3D there are a couple things you need to remember. TIP: Make sure the VW90ES's 3D menu is set to AUTO. If not there is a good chance that even 3D will be played in 2D. This could save you time and frustration. TIP 2: Make sure you put the filters (pic to the right) on your glasses. Thankfully the VW90ES comes with plenty. There are larger ones for the TDG BR100s and the smaller are for the BR50s. I purchased a few extra pairs of glasses so more than two people can enjoy 3D. After experimenting some I am happy to say that even the smaller filters work perfectly fine on the larger lens. Just make sure you push them towards the inside more. Crisis averted!
So how does 3D look? Let me just say first there is minor ghosting at times but for the most part the image is super sharp with seamless motion panning. Sony's 240hz does make quite a difference with fluidity. It is hands down the best projector I have had in my theater in regards to motion. I believe there are other factors that could come into play when it comes to 3D. How far away you are sitting? Are your eyes sensitive? Can you sit still? Brightness was pretty good. Of course I am using a Vutec Silverstar screen and the 90ES is only 13 feet away. I tested Alice In Wonderland, Monster House, Disney Demo, Panasonic Demo, A Christmas Carol, Polar Express, Aliens vs Monsters, Open Season and Clash of the Titans. I also experimented some with the 2D to 3D conversion. It was very interesting. The lines on the football field from the game the other night were actually standing out! It was fun checking out different shows and movies but for the most part I don't think I will be doing Simulated 3D all the time. Below are some actual pics of 3D on the VW90ES. I took them through the glasses. Do not try this at home!
It's all in the DETAILS!!!
Blu ray... Using Cinema 1 with 1080p/24, Gamma 9, Black level -1, White level +1 and Color Temp Low 1 yeilded terrific results. I am in Full HD Heaven. And with the risk of repeating myself again and again the motion is just amazing. Panning has never been this clear before. Whether the scene is a still shot or fast action the sharpness never goes away! Sony's 240hz SXRD panels our first rate. And with the Iris on Auto 1 Sony claims you can get a contrast ratio of 150,000:1. And for those who want accuracy the VW90ES looks as good as any THX Mode on other projectors when Normal Color is engaged. Flesh tones are superb. Black level is rich/deep. And at a rating of 1000 ANSI Lumens my screen looks like a huge plasma! Colors are nearly as defined as the VW200 which uses a Xenon lamp. The 90ES does 10 bit color which delivers smoother gradations between shades of the same color. Without the contours that are visible on other displays. Sony also claims their Video Processing applies eight separate process steps which increase sharpness and color clarity. All I will say is all of this is evident when watching Blu ray titles. The looking out a window analogy doesn't even apply here. I think it appears more like looking into a room within a room. That's how amazing the image is in 2D. The Dark Knight never looked better. Close ups were extremely sharp. Action scenes had the fluidity as if you were there! Predators and Grown Ups also were first rate. Toy Story 3 was as next level as you can get. I am hosting a movie night this evening and I can't wait to hear the opinions of my guests. I will definitely have to report back... Stay tuned...
The opening scene in The Dark Knight is brutal on many displays. Not the VW90ES. It handled it with ease. Moire' and panning noise was virtually nonexistent. Cool that!
Other stuff... Panel alignment at least on my VW90ES is near perfect. I added a couple of pics of it. And yes the 90ES has Panel Alignment Adjusting (like the VW85) just in case...
Of course I have not measured this VW90ES yet. Same for attempting a serious calibration. It is brand spanking new so I will wait a little while on both. I will also say this projector is very quiet. Even in High Lamp mode. It also turns on and off very quietly. Unlike my JVC HD990 (and their other last gen models). Those sounded very close to my electric shaver. My short video game play (Halo, Black Ops and Madden) was terrific. I want to also say the manual is very easy to read. You also get Sony's Image Director disc. And since this is an ES model it comes with Sony's special Prime Support and a 3 year warranty. Great Customer Service is hard to find these days!
Yes, I removed the tape!!!
So looking into the future it is hard to imagine just how much better it can get. After viewing the VW90ES the past few days it has given new meaning to the terms "Full 1080P HD" and "Full HD 3D." I know before I said it was like "being there" for sports but now it is like standing on the sideline! Same for movies but instead you are in the scene! Sony claims the VW90ES is designed to satisfy serious home cinema enthusiasts. I can without a doubt say they hit the mark and then some. With their outstanding (no pun intended) 3D images that are both immersive and sharp plus (not to mention again) the superior motion handling the VPL VW90ES is the absolute best yet!!!
Equipment Used for all or part of this Review:
DirecTV HR24 500, DVDO DUO Video Processor, Monster Power HTS 5100, Panasonic DMP BD300T & Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu ray players, Onkyo TX NR1008 Receiver, Emotiva UPA-1 AMP, Sherwood Newcastle A-965 7 Channel AMP, Antec Component Coolers, Vutec SilverStar 120.5" screen with a Carada Masquerade Masking System.Pinnacle Speakers- Center BD600, Heights BD500 OWs, Left and Right and Surrounds Super K555s and the KLCR for surround back. Subwoofers- Pinnacle Dig 600, plus four MTX Lolita Low Profiles. 7.6 Sound! Remotes: Harmony 1100 and a Sony Navitus. Monster M1000 Ultimate HDMI cables top to bottom...
Thanks for reading!!! 11-20-2010 Joe Rodriguez (JoeRod)
Filters... - >
Like standing on the sideline!!!
Thanks to our resident expert Rob McDonough of Sony
Recommended 3D Settings for the VPL-VW90ES Home Cinema Projector:
Cinema: Cinema 3
Iris setting: Auto 1
(glasses will make black levels darker to the eye)
Color temp: Custom 4 or Custom 5
Gamma: 6 or 1
(try Black to -2 and White to -2) highlight the gamma mode you prefer, then click to the right
Brightness: Mid (High if using Xpands)
Once you make these changes to Cinema 3, always choose Cinema 3 when playing 3D content.
For 2D content, the presets for both Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 are recommended -- whichever option you or your customer personally prefers.
Famous Potato Cod fish from IMAX's Under The Sea Blu ray 3D...
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If you are interested in Sony projectors call Noah at (630) 788-6624. His expertise will definitely lead you on the right path. Tell him JoeRod sent you!