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Sony Bravia VPL-VW80 SXRD Projector - Sony Bravia VPL-VW80 SXRD Projector

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Sony’s imaginative approach to user interfaces can be seen, too, with the MPEG noise reduction system the VW80 carries. For this allows you to pick your preferred block noise and mosquito noise combination by shifting a point along a ‘graph’ where Block NR runs along the horizontal axis and Mosquito noise runs up the vertical axis. The beauty of this system is that it lets you pinpoint much more accurately the setting where either or both noise reduction routines go from aiding to actually spoiling the picture.

Yet more impressively high-tech fine-tuning comes from an electronic panel alignment feature that enables you to achieve a perfect alignment of the red, green and blue elements within each pixel.

And then there’s the VW80’s ‘Advanced Iris’ system, which can automatically adjust the amount of light let through the projector’s iris in response to how dark or bright a particular image is, thereby making black levels more convincing and expanding the possible contrast range. Thanks to this dynamic iris, the VW80 claims a prodigious contrast ratio of 60,000:1 – so far as we can recall, the highest such figure we’ve seen on a projector to date. Not forgetting, of course, that it’s not a ‘native’ figure, but one that depends on reducing and increasing the image’s brightness.

A particularly nice thing about this dynamic iris is the flexibility Sony has apportioned to it. For as well as being able to select between two levels of ‘aggression’ for the system in terms of how much brightness it cuts out, you can also adjust the speed of the iris’s reaction time to slow, fast or ‘recommended’; set the iris manually; or even turn off iris control completely.

Yet more black level support comes from the option to run the projector’s lamp at a low output level, and from a black level boosting circuit tucked away in one of the many well-presented onscreen menus.

And still we’re not done with the VW80’s picture features. For also onboard are an anamorphic zoom mode for people with anamorphic lenses, Sony’s 24p True Cinema system (via the two provided HDMIs) for purer playback of Blu-ray’s 1080p/24 format, and Bravia Engine 2. This latter proprietary Sony system uses eight-stage, real-time processing to enhance various aspects of the picture, but especially colours and noise levels.

The remarkably long raft of features we’ve just trawled through come on top, meanwhile, of the increasingly inevitable Full HD pixel count, as well as an All-Resolution Crisp Focus lens designed to optimise resolution and focus.


December 13, 2008, 5:42 am

Sorry everyone I have to tell the truth here, I have seen this Sony Bravia VPL-VW80 on a Sony demo day’ at a local dealers, based in the UK the picture was technically brilliant; I was blown away, but @ �.00! It is not significantly better than the sim2 D60E at �.00 (approx) on just on a purely enjoyment factor alone, and this is what we are really talking about here isn’t it? This maybe personal taste and that is that is my point. Personal taste is everything.

To arrive at this conclusion I had to ignore all the technical spec i.e. contrast ratios etc. (I got so bored with hearing about black levels) the only thing only the technical aspects that interested me are the adjustable features of the projector for example, vertical shift so I position the projector in a vertical position to suit my room now and if I move house. I could not see the rainbow effect on the Sim2 D60E until it was pointed out to me and even then it took 10 minutes to find a scene with it on and then we had to freeze a frame to see it, even then it was so small it was not worth talking about.

If you are thinking about any of these projectors then remember what is most important is you and your current or most frequent viewing environment, and the sources it will be connected to i.e computer or Play Station for games etc. find a projector to suit, then find a screen by the same process including your chosen projector. And remember while watching your demo DVD if you get caught up in the story and forget to look at the contrast and the blacks etc .. Then this is the projector for you!! Enjoy. I invite your comments and experiences.

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