Review Price £4,999.99
Sony VPL-VW95ES - Performance and Verdict
Then there’s the VW95ES’s sharpness with HD material. The only word we can think of to describe this is ‘blistering’, so exceptional is the projector at revealing every tiny detail in pristine HD sources. What’s more, this detail is produced without any noise and without making you feel aware of the pixel structure of the SXRD chipset. In this respect the VW95ES produces the sort of ‘polished’, smooth yet still ultra-detailed finish you’d normally expect to find with a very high-quality (and more expensive) DLP projector.
To be honest, it’s really hard to find any significant fault with the VW95ES’s 2D performance, but the same can’t quite be said of its 3D performance. For while the VW95ES is miles better with 3D than the VW90, it’s undeniable that there is still a little crosstalk around.
Thankfully this is by no means present in pretty much every 3D frame as it was with the VW90. But it’s still quite apparent around some bright objects in the mid-to-far distance during quite deep 3D shots. This is especially true if you choose the option in the projector’s 3D menus for running the 3D glasses on a high brightness setting.
However, if you head the other way and reduce the glasses brightness to ‘-1’ (one step below the default setting), crosstalk thankfully diminishes massively. The only catch with doing this, of course, is that you lose quite a lot of brightness from the image when compared with the actually impressively light images using either of the VW95ES’s ‘1’ or ‘2’ 3D brightness settings. So long as you’re watching in a darkened room, though, for us the advantages of the -1 glasses setting outweigh its negatives.
In other ways the VW95ES’s 3D images are very good indeed. They enjoy an excellent sense of depth thanks both to the big reduction in crosstalk from the VW90, and the way the projector still manages to produce good black levels and shadow detail despite the dimming effect of the glasses.
Colours look warm, rich and reasonably accurate even using the ‘-1’ glasses setting, and motion is very easy on the eye irrespective of whether it’s passing across the image or from front to back. We personally preferred to use the Motion Enhancer system on Low during 3D viewing, but even if you’d rather turn it off, motion still looks good.
In most ways, Sony’s latest 3D glasses are an improvement over previous versions too. Their best quality is the way they provide a really pronounced ‘cover’ over the top of the lenses to stop light coming down from above to get between the lenses and your eyes. This makes the glasses a bit chunkier than is fashionable, but we’d take image quality over fashion any day. The glasses also fill your field of vision nicely, and they’re rechargeable. This leaves as their only fault the appearance of a few internal reflections around the outer edges of each lens.
The last thing to report about the VW95ES is, fittingly, another bit of good news: namely that it does not mar its superb performance with unpleasant fan noise. In fact, as hoped earlier, it’s remarkably quiet for a 3D projector.
The VW95ES is a huge leap forward over the disappointing VW90, to the point where its 2D performance is so stunning that it does enough in itself to justify the hefty £5,000 price tag. Crucially, though, the VW95ES is also a very enjoyable and accomplished 3D performer - even if Sony still has a little way to go before it fully silences its crosstalk critics.
Scores In Detail
- 2D Image Quality
- 3D Image Quality