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Sony VPL-VW365ES 4K 3D Projector Review

by on December 21, 2015
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Overview

The VPL-VW365ES is a game-changer in home entertainment. 4K optimised and 3D ready, with 4K and 3D up-scaling capabilities, Sony has hit the nail on the head with this projector, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With 4K DVDs and streaming set to become the new standard as soon as the end of next year, this system has positioned itself as a front-runner.

The system is as packed with features and smart technology as you could dream of, with its incredible visuals and smart design outshining almost any projector on the market that comes close to the same price-range.

The Good

The VPL-VW365ES is one of the first native 4K UHD projectors in its price range. Using the same technology as in their professional range of projectors, the Sony VPL-VW365ES boasts three SXRD image chips – a dedicated chip for each colour range. The results are amazing, with a cinema-worthy depth and spectrum of colours. 4K DVDs deliver impeccable contrast and brightness, and the crisp, fine detail adds a new dimension to home theatre entertainment. The projector doesn’t only cater to true 4K though, and delights with its powerful 4K upscaling capabilities. DVDs, streaming and even lower resolution footage gets a new lease on life from the addition of a few million extra pixels to each frame.

Sony’s VPL-VW365ES is also here for the long haul. Projecting native 4K content at 60 fps seamlessly, and being 3D ready means this sleek system isn’t about to become redundant any time soon. The projector also comes standard with a 6000 hour globe, and a 3 year warranty to back it up.

While many projectors of this caliber do best with professional installation, the VPL-VW365ES is delightfully simple to set up yourself and probably one of the most adjustable systems available. The high-powered zoom lens and lens shift gives you a huge adjustment range, horizontally, vertically and even off-centre, ensuring that you get perfect picture quality in rooms of any size. Sony has made life even easier for those with limited space available by positioning the fan exhaust at the front of the unit, allowing you to maximise on throw distance. This won’t compromise your movie experience though, since the advanced fan system operates at a whisper and you won’t even know it’s there.

The bigger the image, the bigger the challenge is to maintain picture quality during fast-moving sequences. But Sony’s smart MotionFlow takes care of that, providing you with smooth, clear images that flow beautifully during even the fasted-paced action scenes. The VPL-VW365ES comes with a version of MotionFlow with some very nifty extras. You have a range of pre-set imaging settings to choose from, helping you to make the most of whatever content you’re throwing at the projector, and what your conditions are. Use some of the handy ‘dark frame insertion’ modes to prevent the tell-tale juddering or blurring of poorer quality footage, which cleverly avoids nasty image compression, or choose a ‘cinema scape’ setting to get the best from your 4K DVDs. Gamers will also be in their element with the option to select a ‘low input lag’ setting for ultra-responsive gaming. If none of the pre-set options are quite right for you though, you can easily adjust the colour, brightness and contrast yourself.

The VPL-VW365ES also boasts a built in 3D transmitter, which synchronises with the 3D glasses which come with the projector. You don’t need to swap out the lens to go from watching 2D to 3D, which is really convenient, but better still, the projector can upscale your 2D DVDs to 3D! And with that, the future is officially here.

Check the Price of the Sony VPLVW665ES 4K 3D SXRD Home Theater Projector on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

B&H Photo Video

The bad

While the VPL-VW365ES definitely wows with its exceptional range of colours and beautiful brightness, it just doesn’t deliver the same quality with its black level performance. If you’re really after that authentic cinema experience, we’re not sure this one is quite going to cut it for you.

The VPL-VW365ES is also not HDR compatible. That means that you’re not going to get those extended brightness or contrast levels from your HDR content, which is a pity.
In terms of connectivity, we also find the VPL-VW365ES to be a bit of a let-down. The projector doesn’t offer you a USB port, like more and more do these days, and leaves us hanging without a PC input or an analogue video input.

Lastly, although the VPL-VW365ES’s brightness is really good we argue that it could be better for a projector in the mid-range price bracket. This projector has 1,500 lumen brightness, whereas the Sony VPLHW40ES which is markedly cheaper than this projector (although has a 1080p max resolution) has 1,700 lumen brightness and the slightly more expensive Sony VPLVW665ES has 1,800 lumen brightness.

Final Thoughts

There are one or two aspects of the VPL-VW365ES that aren’t perfect, but do they really feature in comparison to the extensive list of ‘pros’? We say a resounding ‘no’. The visuals the VPL-VW365ES brings to the party are just that – a celebration of depth, contrast, brightness, colour and impeccable detail and texture. The projector also hits our shelves at the perfect time, with 4K DVDs and online streaming becoming more mainstream.

Understandably, the projector has some negatives. Most notably the black level performance is poor, it is not HDR compatible and doesn’t have the best connectivity. However, these negatives are more small annoyances than serious issues. We believe, on balance, that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the VPL-VW365ES.

Specs

SIZE & WEIGHT:

Dimensions (W X H X D) - 19 1/2" x 7 11/16" x 18 1/4"
Weight: Approximately. 31 lb (14 kg)
Display System: 4K SXRD panel, projection system

DISPLAY RESOLUTION:

Computer signal input: Maximum display resolution: 1920 x 1080 dots (HDMI Input only) / Video signal input: 480/60p, 576/50p, 720/60p, 720/50p, 1080/60 i, 1080/50 i, 1080/60p, 1080/50p, 1080/24p, 3840 x 2160/24p, 3840 x 2160/25p, 3840 x 2160/30p, 3840 x 2160/50p*3, 3840 x 2160/60p*3, 4096 x 2160/24p, 4096 x 2160/25p, 4096 x 2160/30p, 4096 x 2160/50p*3, 4096 x 2160/60p*3
Effective Display Size: 0.74 in x 3
Effective Pixels: 26,542,080 (4096 x 2160 x 3) pixels
Projection Lens Shift: Vertical: +85% -80% Horizontal: +/-31%
Screen Size: 60" to 300" (1,524 mm to 7,620 mm)
Projection Lens Zoom / Focus: Powered (Approx. x2.06) / Powered

INPUT AND OUTPUT TERMINALS:

HDMI (2 INPUTS) 1 - Digital RGB/Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr, IR IN – Minijack, LAN - RJ45, 10Base-T/100BASE-TX, REMOTE – RS-232C, D-sub 9-pin (female), TRIGGER - Minijack, DC 12 V Max. 100 mA

NOTE: For full specs visit: http://www.sony.com/electronics/projector/vpl-vw365es/specifications

Highlights

The VPL-VW365ES is in a league of its own when it comes to the features to price-tag ratio. A projector that has a native 4K resolution and that is 3D ready is very rare at this price point. Sony have used the same SXRD cards in this projector as in their professional range, and you can really see the difference in quality when you compare the colour depth and spectrum that the VPL-VW365ES delivers compared to other projectors in the same price range.

While a bigger image usually means bigger problems for picture quality, especially during fast-paced sequences, Sony’s exceptional MotionFlow technology ensures your action scenes don’t lag or judder, but rather flow smoothly and clearly.

You also don’t need a full size cinema room to get the most out of the VPL-VW365ES. The high powered zoom lens allows you to enjoy immaculate picture quality at size in a relatively small space. The projector’s smart, super-silent fan is also positioned at the front of the unit, meaning you don’t have to waste precious space when mounting it.

Check the Price of the Sony VPLVW665ES 4K 3D SXRD Home Theater Projector on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

B&H Photo Video

Visual Specs

When it comes to visuals, you’ll need to double your budget to find better than the VPL-VW365ES offers. It’s a projector with a native 4K resolution, super brightness (1,500 lumen) and exceptional dynamic contrast (100,000:1). Non-4K footage gets a major makeover from the projector’s 4K upscaling capabilities, so you can rediscover your favourite old classics like you’ve never seen them before.

Three professional grade SXRD cards, one for each colour range, give you an unsurpassed colour spectrum and depth. Further, Sony’s TRILUMINOUS display technology really make the most of the SXRD cards, giving you the broadest range of colours you’ll find from a projector in this price range. Especially in the details, you’ll find exceptionally finely-produced textures and tones.

That being said though, the VPL-VW365ES just doesn’t manage to impress as much with its black level performance, and falls short of the authentic cinema experience. Not being HDR compatible also means you miss out on the extended contrast and brightness levels from your HDR content.

The system also comes with a selection of pre-set image settings to choose from. You can easily scroll through the options to find the one that works best for your environment and what you’re watching. The cinema scape setting gives you the optimal settings to have your mind blown by 4K DVDs, and a ‘low input lag’ setting will please gamers with its ultra-responsiveness. Some very useful picture modes are the ‘dark frame insertion’ options, which help to prevent juddering and blurring from the typical poor image compression of lower resolution footage. We really love the bright TV setting that allows you to watch in striking colour and contrast when in a bright room. You aren’t limited to the pre-sets though, and you can tweak away at the brightness, colour and contrast to find your perfect combination.

One of the biggest questions when it comes to the quality of visuals for a projector is the zoom capability. Let’s face it, large images are where 4K UHD should really show off, and the VPL-VW365ES shows off and then some. Lose yourself in hyper-realistic colour, texture and detail at a glorious screen size of 150” for 4K footage, or 120” for 3D. If you don’t have the space to accommodate such a large screen size, that’s no problem either. You’ll still get the same amazing results from screens under 100”.

Connectivity

HDMI (2 INPUTS) 1 - Digital RGB/Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr, IR IN – Minijack, LAN - RJ45, 10Base-T/100BASE-TX, REMOTE – RS-232C, D-sub 9-pin (female), TRIGGER - Minijack, DC 12 V Max. 100 mA

Pricing

The Sony VPL-VW365ES is currently retailing for $9,998.00 on Amazon and B&H Photo.

Check the Price of the Sony VPLVW665ES 4K 3D SXRD Home Theater Projector on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

B&H Photo Video


Not so Great

While the VPL-VW365ES definitely has an exceptional range of colours thanks greatly to its TRILUMINOUS technology, it falls short of delivering the same quality with its black level performance. If you’re looking for a home entertainment system to rival that cinema experience, you may just have to go one model up.

The VPL-VW365ES is also surprisingly not HDR compatible, which means that you’re not going to get those great extended brightness or contrast levels from your HDR content, which is a let-down.

In terms of connectivity, we were expecting more from the otherwise on-point VPL-VW365ES. The projector doesn’t offer you a USB port, like more and more systems do these days, and leaves us hanging without an analogue video input, which would’ve been a smart addition.

Finally, although the brightness is great it could be better for a projector in this price range. This projector has 1,500 lumen brightness, whereas the Sony VPLHW40ES which is markedly cheaper than this projector has 1,700 lumen brightness and the slightly more expensive Sony VPLVW665ES has 1,800 lumen brightness.

Positives

Native 4K Resolution
Great 4K up-scaling
Good motion handling
3D compatibility
Good dynamic contrast

Negatives

Poor black level performance
Not HDR compatible
Average connectivity options
Brightness could be better

Editor Rating
 
Features
A

 
Quality
A-

 
User Friendliness
A

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B

Total Score
B+

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Bottom Line
 

At the end of the day, the VPL-VW365ES shines brighter than almost all other projectors in the mid range. You can have native 4K UHD resolution and 3D capability at screen sizes of up to 150” without the slightest compromise on colour, contrast, brightness or detail. Lower resolution footage gets a makeover too with the impressive 4K upscaling capabilities, and 3D upscaling capabilities from 2D just put the system in a league of its own.

We love that the high-powered zoom lens and smart, forward-mounted exhaust fan allow you to turn any size living room into a home theatre. The addition of Sony’s MotionFlow technology also ensures your action scenes don’t lag or judder, but rather flow smoothly and clearly. All these features are arriving at just the right time for the market too, ensuring that the projector remains a highly relevant home entertainment system for years. The VPL-VW365ES is simply professional quality hardware and software at an affordable price – a smart choice for anyone looking to upgrade their system for the long haul.

The projector is, understandably, not without its flaws though. Firstly, the black level performance is poor. Secondly, the projector is, surprisingly, not HDR compatible. Thirdly, connectivity is somewhat lacking, especially for a projector in this price bracket. And third and finally, brightness, although great, could be better, especially as other projectors in the mid-range price bracket have more powerful brightness features. Taken altogether though, we can confidently say that the issues with the projector are not major deal breakers but instead minor annoyances and don’t take too much away from the huge strengths and great performance of this projector.

Check the Price of the Sony VPLVW665ES 4K 3D SXRD Home Theater Projector on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

B&H Photo Video

 
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