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Sony VPL-VW665ES 4K 3D Projector Review

by on March 4, 2016
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Overview

The Sony VPL-VW665ES delivers super sharp images in native 4K resolution (8.8 million pixels - 4096 x 2160). For some context, this is the same resolution which is defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives for cinema distribution. Yes, this projectors resolution is really that good. Further, the projector features advanced SXRD panels with a lightning fast response rate of just two and a half milliseconds, this greatly minimises the space between pixels for a notably smoother and more detailed picture.

The VPL-VW665ES is packing a1800 lumen, 280V lamp which delivers unrivalled brightness and lasts a pretty long time. How long? We’re talking 6000 hours of use time (in low light mode). The projector has a dynamic contrast ratio of 300,000:1 which will delight anyone who appreciates detail-packed images in vibrant colour with deep rich blacks. Further, the projector features proprietary Motion Flow technology which renders fast moving action shots super smoothly. But the projector has even more up its sleeve. The VPL-VW665ES has a built in sophisticated 4K up-scaler, so all of those standard resolution DVD’s and Blu-Rays will be given a new lease of life. Oh and did we mention that the projector is also fully HDR compatible?

This Sony projector does however come with an environmental notice due to the lamp's mercury component so disposal must follow environmental guidelines in your locality. Other little disappointments include lack of support for DCI-P3 colour gamut and some vertical stretches. But we feel that these small negatives only slightly detract from the other impressive features of the VPL-VW665ES.

The Good

Superb imagery at native 4K resolution.

The projector has 4 x HD resolution with 8.8 million pixels at 4096x2160 pixels, in other words, this is a real native 4K projector. This is the same resolution which is defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives for cinema distribution.

Unrivaled brightness.

The projector has an 1800 lumen, 280V lamp which delivers unrivalled brightness and lasts a truly impressive 6000 hours (in low light mode). It provides the brightness needed to really get the full effect of the projectors amazing contrast ratio. For comparison, the Sony VPLVW365ES has 1,5000 lumens and the Sony VPLHW40ES has 1,700 lumens.

Motorised zoom.

The Sony VPL-VW665ES is surprisingly easy to install in just about any room. It has a motorized zoom of 2.06 and a shift range with wide lens. You can adjust the projector’s position vertically to a high of 85 percent and 31 percent horizontally to generate the best angle to watch your films.

Proprietary 4K up-scaling.

Through the projectors Reality Creation super resolution up-scaler, it’s possible to upscale DVD and Blu-ray Disc films to near native 4K quality. Each pixel is analysed in every direction as a digital signal processes the algorithm, mapping pixels on a picture patterning database that’s been over a decade in the making. The result? Non 4K content is given a new least of life and looks sharper, cleaner and more colourful taking it as close as native 4K quality as possible.

Entertainment synchronization.

Through an in-built 3D transmitter, you can synchronize entertainment with this Sony projector. The RF 3D industry standard transmitter is able to synchronize with the glasses supplied with the projector to watch 3D films super-fast. Now you can effortlessly upscale your 2D movies to 3Ds to delve into the world of classic films in an entirely new dimension.

TRILUMINOS colour experience

This projectors TRILUMINOS colour feature produces richer and more detailed texture, colour and tone than almost any other projector in this price range. Crimson reds which are notoriously tough to reproduce are presented accurately, emerald greens and deep blues are displayed flawlessly and skin tones are reproduced faithfully and look more natural than ever.

HDR compatible.

Through a HDR (High Dynamic Range) signal, you can get more out of the projector. The HDR’s expanded and greater contrast range and brightness will deliver brilliant clarity in each image.

Key settings memory.

The VPL-VW665ES comes with a picture position memory feature that stores shift, zoom and lens settings for about 5 screen formats to remember the settings with ease. Remembering the key settings is important, it gives you the freedom to watch films in the optimal format quickly. So, once you have matched the Cinemascope, 16:9 ratio and other aspect ratios you can store the settings in the projector.

High calibration precision and choice.

The Sony VPL-VW665ES allows you to calibrate rapidly and painlessly. You have 9 modes of picture calibration to choose from including bright TV, bright cinema, game, photo, TV, reference, digital cinema and 2 cinema film forms. And don’t worry, for more colour tuning control via an advanced HSV manual is provided.

Unrivaled contrast.

The projector has a dynamic contrast of 300,000:1. This is truly impressive and an all but unrivalled contrast ratio. For comparison, the Sony VPLVW365ES has a contrast of 100,000:1 and the Sony VPLHW65ES has a contrast of 120,000:1. The result? Well, the VPL-VW665ES’s 300,000:1 contrast produces sharp, vivid accurate visuals which are helped further by the projectors powerful video processor and lens IRIS control.

Latest standards support

The powerful projector is able to project content in 4K at up to 60 fps (frames per second) for the smoothest of images characterised by superior realism and great colour. HDCP 2.2 support confirms the veracity of 4K high quality content services.

Minimal blur thanks to Motion Flow technology

Watch a lot of fast paced action movies or sports? If yes, then you’re going to love this feature. The projector renders fast moving visuals smoothly and with hardly any juddering thanks to its proprietary Motion Flow technology.

We think Motion Flow is pretty ingenious. It works by cleverly inserting extra frames between the original frames, firstly by comparing key visual factors on the successive framed and secondly by then accurately calculating the precise split second of missing action in the sequence. Truly remarkable technology. And if you want to go one better, the projector also has a True Cinema 24 option that accurately mimics true movie projection for those that want a truly authentic cinema experience.

Flexible installation for every kind of room.

Does it matter whether you have a small room or gigantic cathedral-like internal space? Apparently not! The powered zoom lens come with shift range wide lens and a zoom ratio of 2.1x; gives anyone in any kind of room to flexibly install the projector, including inside high ceilinged rooms.

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

5.0 - 1 Reviews

The bad

Environmental concerns.

The Sony VPL-VW665ES lamp is made of mercury, an element that is widely considered to be harmful to the environment. So when disposing of a fully used lamp it is worth knowing the correct procedure depending on the country you are in so that you are following environmental regulations. You are encouraged to contact local association or authorities to know more about recycling and disposal information.

DCI-P3 performance feature.

In contrast with the VPL-W5000ES laser projector, the Sony VPL-VW665ES doesn’t have the performance digital cinemas feature supporting DCI-P3 colour gamut. Only Sony’s VPL-W5000ES and VW1100 deliver the performance feature.

Lack of vertical stretches.

VPL-VW665ES just like the VW1100 doesn’t do vertical stretches; you might end up having to purchase a lumagen 4K video processor for that.

Final Thoughts

The Sony VPL-VW665ES is based on the SXRD Digital 4K Cinema technology that defines the company’s most professional projectors. The projector has fantastic brightness (thanks primarily to a 1800 lumen, 280V lamp), brilliant contrast (300,000:1) and offers a true native 4K resolution. The projector also has some unique innovations like MotionFlow and TRILUMINOS. All of these elements combined make for a projector that produces sharp, accurate, bright, rich images. Further, the projector has a proprietary built in 4K up-scaler ensuring that even non 4K content benefits from the projectors hardware and software innovations.

At the mid-range, where this projector is positioned, you would be hard pressed to find a projector that offers such a high and balanced spec. Similar priced products seem to lack a lot in a specific area which brings the product down – thankfully this projector performs well across the board with only some minor negatives which are mentioned below.

The mercury in the projector's lamp will definitely be a concern for some, considering the element is not healthy for the surroundings, disposal will require clear following of environmental guidelines on how this needs to be done. The Sony VPL-VW665ES also doesn’t support vertical stretch, and doesn’t have a DCIP-P3 colour gamut but these are just minor annoyances when compared to the immense power and feature set of this projector.

Specs

DISPLAY

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

LIGHT SOURCE: High-pressure mercury lamp, 280 W type

GENERAL FEATURES

CONTRAST RATIO
300,000:1 (Dynamic Contrast)
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)

CONNECTIVITY

HDMI (2 INPUTS) – 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-vw665es/specifications

Highlights

Native 4K Resolution & 4K Upscaling - The projector has a native 4K resolution (4096x2160). This is the same resolution which is defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives for cinema distribution. But as many critics rightly say, 4K is of little benefit to many at the moment due to the lack of native 4K content on the market, but here is where the VPL-VW665ES really shines. It has proprietary high quality 4K up-scaling technology which elevates standard HD and standard definition content to near 4K levels of clarity and crispness.

Stunning Brightness & Contrast – There a fair few native 4K projectors out there that are let down by poor brightness and contrast which means the viewer doesn’t get the full benefit of what 4K has to offer. Thankfully this projector is not one of them. The VPL-VW665ES has amazing brightness thanks to the 1800 lumen, 280V lamp which is brighter and more powerful than many similar projectors in this price bracket. And it has brilliant contrast thanks to a dynamic contrast range of 300,000:1, again markedly better than most other projectors in this price range.

Flawless Motion- Something that often ruins and otherwise fantastic display is poor motion handling. Poor motion handling is especially noticeable when watching motion heavy footage such as action movies or sports. You’ll be pleased to hear that this projector handles motion beautifully and we detected almost no motion handing issues. This is primarily due to the projectors MotionFlow technology feature which is further enhanced by the rocket-fast response rate of the panel.

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

5.0 - 1 Reviews

Visual Specs

The VPL-VW665ES has a native 4K resolution (4096x2160). This is the same resolution which is defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives for cinema distribution. The result? Pin sharp, colourful, life like images. The colours are further enhanced by the projectors TRILUMINOS colour feature which produces richer and more detailed texture and tone than almost any other projector in this price range.

As I’m sure many of you are aware. There is no point having a native 4K resolution if the brightness and contrast ratio are mediocre. Thankfully this is one of the areas where this projector excels. Brightness is great thanks to the 1800 lumen, 280V lamp – and it lasts pretty long too (6000 hours in low light mode). Contrast is just as good, the projector has a dynamic contrast ratio of 300,000:1, outperforming almost all projectors in its price range and some beyond its price range too. The contrast is helped further by the projectors powerful video processor and lens IRIS control.

Motion handling is also flawless thanks to the projectors proprietary MotionFlow technology. Action sequences and sports looks great and there is little to no juddering. The motion handling technology used in this projector is a cut above the standard and a lot of time and money has been invested in it – and it shows.

The projector delivers crisp, stunning images regardless of the input media thanks to its built in 4K up-scaler. Now standard DVD’s and Blu-Rays look almost as good as native 4K footage. This is a big deal as there isn’t that much native 4K footage on the market at the moment. That is likely to change in the coming years though.

Finally, HDR compatibility means you can get the best of a high HDR signal. HDR produces finer brightness and better contrast range that translates into better accuracy and greater clarity in each image.

Connectivity

HDMI1 / HDMI2 *4 -Digital (RGB/Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr)
Trigger-Minijack, DC 12 V Max. 100 mA
Remote-RS-232C, D-sub 9-pin (female)
LAN-RJ45, 10Base-T/100BASE-TX
IR IN-Mini Jack

Pricing

Currently retailing for $14,998 on Amazon. Unfortunately, there are not many (or any) 4k projectors for a much more reasonable price currently available.

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

5.0 - 1 Reviews


Not so Great

If any mention of mercury in the light of its negative effect on the environment is a concern, you'll probably be disturbed by the fact that the projector has a mercury lamp. It also lacks a DCI-P3 colour gamut for cinema digital performance and doesn’t really do vertical stretches.

Positives

Native 4K resolution
3D ready
Great brightness
Impressive dynamic contrast
Motion Flow technology built in
HDR compatible

Negatives

Environment issue with lamp made of mercury
DCI-P3 performance issue
Lack of vertical stretch

Editor Rating
 
Features
A

 
Quality
A

 
User Friendliness
A

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B

Total Score
A-

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User Rating
 
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B+

 
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B

 
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Bottom Line
 

The Sony VPL-VW665ES is in our opinion one of the leaders in the mid-range projector pack. It produces images at a native 4K resolution, has exceptional brightness (1,800 lumens) and great dynamic contrast (300,000:1). Further, it produces fantastically vivid and life like colour thanks to the TRILUMINOS colour technology. It also has especially good motion handling as a result of the proprietary True Motion technology built in. Taken together all of these features make for visuals that are pin sharp, vibrant and incredibly smooth.

The projector also breathes new life into standard definition and Blu-Ray content thanks to the built in 4K up-scaler. It makes non 4K content look almost as good as native 4K. Additionally, the projector has 9 Calibration modes and is fully HDR compatible. Finally, the projector is surprisingly easy to set up and is very flexible which means it can adjust easily to a viewing height and angle you are most comfortable with – this is something that is lacking in other projectors of this size and price.

Of course the projector has a few downsides. Most notably is the use of Mercury in the lamp which is a cause of environmental concern and the fact that the projector does not do vertical stretches. However, the drawbacks are more small niggling issues that generally pale in comparison to the immense benefits of the projector and its strong specs across the board. Overall, in the mid-range category, the Sony VPL-VW665ES is an all-round stellar performer and easily one of the best in in range.

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

5.0 - 1 Reviews

 
4 comments
 
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  • Warren Shaw
    March 4, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    What about black levels and contrast relative to alternatives such as the latest JVC model projectors as well as the issue of pumping? Prior reviews have suggested the Sony 4K projectors have great light output and color traits but do not do as well with contrast and black levels.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      March 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      Hello Warren, I’d argue that Sony’s projectors do indeed do a very solid job of contrast and black level management. They offer some of the only real native 4K consumer projection technology on the market and some of their models, like the VPL-VW665ES here, offer HDR, which is notable in a superb way under decently darkened conditions. These projectors of course can’t increase darkness through special darkened panels in the way that a TV display can (particularly and OLED display), since they project onto an external surface but by producing exceptionally powerful luminance, they can create the impression of higher darkness and can also thus expand the range of tones that allow for projector HDR. In this, the Sony models such as this one excel beyond their JVC counterparts in our view.

      Reply

  • John
    April 12, 2016 at 5:58 am

    How many times does this review mention the “mercury content in the lamp and lack of vertical stretch”?…
    It’s mentioned at least 6 times. Maybe its just the way the review is presented.
    Not trying to be awkward, just a valid enquiry imo. 🙂

    Reply

  • Ryan
    September 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I have owned this projector for 8 months now and my motion flow is jittery and my HDR has never worked properly with several players. I was hoping you could shed some light on my situation to help me resolve it via email. Thanks

    Reply

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