Sony VPL-VW300ES – 3D Picture Quality
Unless you’re a dedicated hater of 3D, it’s definitely worth factoring in the price of some compatible active-shutter 3D glasses when you buy a VW300ES. While its 3D performance isn’t flawless, it is very, very good.
For starters the outstanding performance of Sony’s upscaling processing is arguably even more effective in 3D mode, as its ability to add detail and density to the image does an awesome job of making good 3D worlds feel more tangible and involving. Plus, of course, it’s when you experience 3D at the sort of ‘life-sized’, view-filling dimensions possible with a projector that the format’s immersive charms really kick in.
Motion is handled superbly well in 3D, too, as the projector totally avoids the juddering/billowing problems you still get with many rival 3D displays. This really helps keep the ‘real life’ illusion intact.
The VW300ES also retains excellent colour saturations and subtleties in 3D mode, and despite the missing dynamic iris and reduced maximum luminance versus the VW500ES, 3D images enjoy good shadow detailing and enough contrast ‘punch’ to serve up most if not quite all of the luminance-defined depth markets that good 3D images rely on.
The only problem with the VW300ES’s 3D images is that there’s a little crosstalk double-ghosting noise around objects in the mid and far distance when they stand in stark contrast to their surroundings. This is usually subtle enough not to prove much of a distraction, especially given how sharp, detailed and vibrant 3D images look. It’s certainly these positive qualities that define your 3D experience, not the minor crosstalk.
Other things to consider
As noted with previous Sony 4K projectors, the substantial bodywork built around its optics enables the VW300ES to run much more quietly than typical projectors, even if you’re using its high lamp setting. Excellent.
Also very good for the most part is the remote control that Sony supplies with the VW300ES. This features a bright button backlight to aid use in dark rooms, and its unusually large size means there’s plenty of room for buttons to be well spread out.
Yet more good news – for video game fans, at any rate – is that the VW300ES’s input lag is supremely low. Using the Game picture preset in conjunction with the new Input Lag Reduction option, we measured a figure of just 30ms. This is one of the lowest such figures we’ve seen from a projector, halving the figure recorded from the VW500ES.
Turning the new Input Lag Reduction option off sees the measurement rise to as high as 100ms, showing that the feature is far from the gimmick we’d initially suspected it might be.
Should I buy a Sony VPL-VW300ES?
If you’re serious about home cinema and can accommodate a projector, the VW300ES is one of the most irresistible models we’ve ever tested. Contrary to our fears, it doesn’t just go through the motions of delivering a 4K resolution; it also delivers the goods in all the other key picture quality areas, plunging a knife into the heart of its main home cinema projector rival, JVC.
JVC assures us it believes it will be in a position to respond to the VW300ES’s game-changing price and capabilities in 2015, and it’s important to stress, too, that the JVC DLA-X500, which can now be found for around £4000, outguns the VW300ES in the black-level department. But it doesn’t offer a true native 4K resolution.
For now at least, if you’re in the market for a projector and you want that projector to be both future-proof and startlingly affordable, the VW300ES is uniquely qualified.
With no real competition in the 4K projector market yet, Sony’s decision to release the VW300ES feels like an early Christmas present for home cinema fans. As an all-round package, it’s one of our favourite projectors of all time.
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Score in detail
2D Image Quality 9
3D Image Quality 9