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Sony Bravia SXRD VPL-VW200 Projector - Sony VPL-VW200
Having started off in a negative frame of mind, I might as well add here that, in the occasional scene, the projector's dynamic iris system caused noticeable brightness reductions and increases as it tried to adapt to changes in the image's dark levels.
From here on in, though, the news is pretty much universally good. Colours, for instance, are nothing short of magnificent. With the image calibrated well, the curiously cartoonish palette of Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on the Xbox 360 looks more radiant and intense than on any other single chip projector I can think of.
What's more, unleashed on something rather subtler in flavour, such as the Blu-ray of Blade Runner, it delivers a range of colours and a naturalism of tone that's again unmatched without spending truly megabucks.
When it comes to black level response, here again the VW200 is excellent, even without the dynamic iris system engaged. In other words, you don't have to worry about visible brightness ‘shifts' in order to still enjoy excellent black levels.
The Bravia Engine Pro system, meanwhile, is to be congratulated for how well it scales images of whatever resolution up to the 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count, and for the way it ensures that 1080-line HD sources look mesmerisingly sharp and detailed, with practically no trace of common noise types such as grain and dot crawl.
As two final plus points, the VW200 runs extremely quietly for such a high-powered projector, and manages to produce images of remarkable brightness considering how deep its native black levels are.
In most ways the VW200 is a really excellent performer, and the scope of its ambition is truly breathtaking. Yet somehow, with JVC's stunning and actually very similar HD100 model (look for a review of this in the coming days) available for under £5k, the VW200 just doesn't quite do enough to convince me that it's truly worth its money - especially since some of the fancy features that presumably contribute to its cost just aren't particularly convincing.