- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 07 May 2012
The Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector On the Bench
Out of the box, the Sony is reasonably good. The RGB balance for the grayscale was lacking in red, with large errors at the bottom of the grayscale and dE values over 10 that are easily visible. The color points look a bit off but that is only due to the Sony defaulting to the Wide colorspace instead of the normal one. Gamma was low at virtually 2.0, with a large drop off at 90% before coming back up at 100%.
After calibration the grayscale was much better with all of the values being very good except for the 20% value. I chose to use DeltaE UV instead of the more common DeltaE 1976 for the grayscale measurements as that removes luminance from the math, and with grayscale the luminance is handled with gamma. This will lead to larger error numbers, but they will be more accurate. It also prevents the grayscale error from being affected by the gamma controls, in case they don't interact well.
In the gamma you see an issue at 90%, where the gamma drops significantly for some reason. I found that the 90% gamma issue didn't occur unless I was using one of the User color presets, but as the other presets don't allow you to adjust the grayscale it is a compromise I had to accept. If you have an external processor like the Lumagen Radiance, I would use a preset color to get a more linear gamma response. Using the RCP control I was able to get the colors perfectly dialed in, with dE 1994 values below 1 and the luminance was virtually perfect. I also didn't notice any ill effects on the image from using this, and kept it enabled after doing a lot of A-B comparisons. The 95ES makes it very easy to switch between having RCP enabled and disabled, which is nice.
On the video processing bench, the Sony did well except for the jaggies test, where it looked very bad for some reason. With 3:2 and 2:2 content the pulldown worked perfectly. The Sony also rolled off some chroma detail with 4:2:2 signals, so I would feed it either 4:4:4 or RGB to get the full resolution out of the projector.
With a 96" 16:9 screen area and a gain of around 1.3, the Sony was giving me close to 16 ftL in low lamp mode, and 23 ftL in high lamp mode after calibration. These come out to around 520 lumens in high lamp mode and 360 lumens in low lamp mode, rated very conservatively. I usually ran in high lamp mode as the projector was still very quiet, and using the zoom method for my 2.40 screen would reduce that light output as well. With the iris disabled in high lamp mode and measuring directly from the lens, I measured an on/off contrast ratio of 7,613:1, and with the iris enabled that number jumped way up to 37,449:1 as you would expect.