Sony VPL-VW295ES Review

Sony VW295ES in Action
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The Verdict

If you are looking for a high quality projector with an outstanding picture for your man cave, the Sony VPL-295ES is one of the best on the market, particularly in the lower than $5000 market. Just take a look how gorgeous Super Bowl LIV looking when projected on this unit.

With the powerful 4K Motionflow video processor, the VPL-VW295es offers a smooth and clear picture, not matter the action sequence. Low fan noise, 4K Ultra HD resolution, reasonable price point and an included remote for across the room control makes the VPL-295ES an outstanding projector with excellent picture quality. 

Key Features

Sony has long been known for delivering high quality consumer electronics across a number of categories, and the VW295ES is no exception. This projector picks up where its predecessor, the VW285ES, by delivering a true, full 4K projection. The projector is driven by triple Sony 4096 x 2160 pixel SXRD imaging chip, an upgrade over the 3840 x 2160 pixel chips used in many competitive consumer 4K projectors. The difference is not perceivable during normal viewing, but was very normal during the Zoom modes during my testing. 

The VW295ES also offers 18Gbps in HDMI bandwidth for quality playback of 4K & HDR sources, an upgrade from 13.5Gbps on the previous model. In many ways this upgrade is more about future proofing the projector than performance today, as most program sources were more than adequately covered by the 13.5Gbps models. 

The unit comes equipped with a remote control that allows for motorized lens control – a vast improvement when compared to manually controlled units. You have options for both grayscale and full CMS management, although my experience has been that the unit is usually spot on directly out of the box. 

The projectors cooling fan runs in two modes: Low lamp mode and high mode. Even when running in High mode, the unit is only marginally audible at worst, and is easily drowned out by a home theater audio system. The projector also comes with 3D (3D glasses sold separately). The 3D unit is sufficient for occasional 3D viewing but I suggest that users who are particularly attracted to 3D check out the VW695ES instead.



Sony VPL-VW295ES Detailed review:

Here is the review of the different aspects of the Sony VPL-VW295ES

Performance - 4.5/5

The VW295EST was the first true 4K projector on the market, meaning that it delivers the same 4K picture that you would get in a movie theater. The 3 SXRD panels (4096 x 2160 pixels each) with full Digital Cinema resolution  produces a true 4K picture competitive with some of the best OLED TVs on the market. Very bright picture (1,500 lumens) combined with Sony’s Motionflow technology makes on-screen action look smooth, even with 4K content. Also includes IMAX enhanced certification and comes with a 2.06:1 zoom ratio. 

 Simply one of the best performing projectors out there. 

Features - 4/5

This is a unit where Sony paid attention to the small things. It starts with the ultra quiet cooling fan placed in the front of the unit, meaning that you can place the unit up against the wall, offering placement flexibility. Although the mounting brackets are sold separate, the unit can be placed on a tabletop or ceiling mounted, and comes with remote controlled video adjustment to compensate for those who cannot place the projector in the ideal location. The unit has two downsides I will highlight. First, although this unit has 3D capability, it is merely adequate. Second, the unit lacks one button lens memory or a dynamic iris. Despite this, the unit has standout visual performance. However, on a unit where everything else is top notch, that downside stands out. 

Value - 5/5

Although there are other competitors in the 4K projector market, the VW295ES comes with an outstanding mixture of true 4K video, high quality parts, and reasonable price that makes it an outstanding value. The unit also comes with a 3 years parts and labor warranty to give you peace of mind with your investment. 

"How does it compare"?

Sony VPL-VW695ES

A big-brother unit to the VW295ES, the VW695ES is in many ways a similar but upgraded version of the VW295ES. Major differences include better 3D capabilities, a brighter picture (1800 lumens vs. 1500 lumnes), and Dynamic Contrast. Think of it as a unit that carries all of the positives of the VW295ES, then goes the next step. The improvement comes at a significant step up in price, so the VW695ES may not be for everyone. 

BenQ CinePrime HT3550 4K DLP Projector

BenQ’s CinePrime HT3550 is its entry level option into the 4K projector model. While the VW295ES outperforms the CinePrime in most head to head comparisons, the gap in performance isn’t huge. In fact, that the unit can be compared to the VW295ES is a credit to what BenQ has to offer in the 4K projector space. At about a third of the price of the VW295ES, the BenQ is a very good option for those who are looking for an economical but high quality option.  

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