If you’re serious about setting up a home theatre then you can’t go past a projector. And Sony’s new VPL-EW300S 4K projector should be at the top of your list.
Sony has been a real pioneer when it comes to 4K and has had a hand in the technology from lens to lounge room.
It’s this legacy and experience that has been poured into the latest, and more affordable, 4K projector – the VPL VW300ES.
Sony’s first 4K home theatre projector was priced north of $25,000 and there were many a customer wishing the superb product was more affordable.
Two years later and these customers finally have their wish with the VPL VW300ES.
This latest Sony model, priced at $10,999, has a native 4K resolution of 4096 x 2169 – that’s more than 26 million pixels and four times that of full high definition.
The advantage of a projector is the ability to create a true cinema feel at home and beam a larger image without compromising picture quality.
And with the Sony VPL VW300ES you can – if you have a wall and room big enough – project a picture up to 300-inches.
For our review we set the Sony 4K projector up in a home theatre with a 110-inch screen.
To buy a 4K TV that size would cost more than $100,000.
The Sony VPL VW300ES is not small – it weighs 14kg and is nearly 50cm wide and about 46cm long. Ideally the best place to install the projector is on the ceiling with a mount that can handle that kind of weight.
There are two HDMI inputs and it has a brightness of 1500 lumens that provides enough light to watch the projected image even in well-lit rooms.
Installation and set-up was straightforward and surprisingly simple.
This is helped along by the projector’s lens which has up to 2.06x zoom and the flexibility to manage even high-ceiling installations.
For our set up, we were easily able to access the lens focus, lens zoom and lens shift to adjust the projected image to fit our screen.
With set-up completed it was time to feast our eyes on the Sony projector’s amazing 4K picture quality.
Now there is no native 4K content to speak of – but it’s coming.
In the meantime we had to be satisfied with the projector’s Reality Creation feature that basically upscales full high definition content like Blu-ray Disc to 4K quality.
Also on board is Sony’s Triluminos display technology that can display even more colours with excellent black and white levels and contrast.
Add to that the fact that the VPL VW300ES can display up to 60fps (frames per second) – higher than the regular 24fps – and the result is a much smoother image and more realistic colour reproduction.
All of this adds up to a picture quality that is nothing short of stunning.
Apart from the obvious added clarity, the Sony projector also had a great brightness level that was strong enough to hold up even in rooms that you can’t make completely dark.
We watched several Blu-ray Discs – including recently made films and others of varying ages – and were amazed with the results.
The Reality Creation upscaling feature is what really blew our socks off.
Recently released films like Guardians of the Galaxy and sci-fi thriller Oblivion with Tom Cruise looked absolutely pristine.
The upscaling was very subtle yet incredibly effective.
Upscaling on other 4K displays usually involves pumping in a lot of brightness, creating exaggerated hard edges on objects and generating obvious extra detailing.
But that was not the case with the Sony VPL VW300ES. The greatest compliment we can pay was that we thought we were actually watching 4K content.
Even older movies on Blu-ray like Mad Max 2 from 1982 and the original Rocky film (1976) looked like they were made six months ago with 4K cameras.
Dark scenes also looked great with plenty of detail and yet another ingredient in the truly remarkable image you get from the Sony 4K projector.
Even when playing videos games there is hardly any input lag. We used the Game picture preset along with the Input Lag Reduction option (yes, that’s a feature) and played Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare online through our PlayStation 4.
The projector can also manage 3D but you have to pay extra to get the active shutter glasses – Sony doesn’t include any with the projector.
It is also whisper quiet despite having a front-facing fan and only moves the noise needle up to 26 decibels. The front-facing vents means there’s no need to worry about having a lot of wall and ceiling space around the projector.
Sony has hit it out of the park with the VPL VW300ES 4K projector which provides excellent performance and incredible picture quality.
If you want a real cinema experience in your dedicated home theatre then this Sony projector is, even at $10,999, outstanding value that will repay you with the highest quality for years.
And when there is native 4K content to pipe through the projector you’ll be thanking yourself that you made the investment.
If there was one projector we had to buy – it would be this one.
SONY VPL VW300ES 4K PROJECTOR