SONY VPL-VW1025ES 4K HDR LASER PROJECTOR
REVIEW PART 1
So here we are in May of 2021 and I am still overwhelmingly shocked Sony released the 1025ES out of literally no where. After having the 915ES a little bit and of course the 995ES for awhile I was campaigning for a new model with the ARC-F lens (like the 995ES, 5000ES and new GTZ380) and the X1 processing (like the 715, 915, 380 and Sony's higher end TVs.) The Sony VPL-VW1025ES combines the best features and rolls them into one complete, impressive package. Weighing almost 50 pounds It can be a daunting task for one person to ceiling mount. Still once up the reward for the heavy lifting is obvious and well worth it. Fresh off the new GTZ380 release I was most excited to see the Dynamic Dimming. As much as I loved the 5000ES and 995ES they just don't have the dimmable range the 1025ES and GTZ380 has. When combined with its Dynamic Iris (which the 380 does not have) the image in some instances can be even more impressive than the GTZ380! Let's first go over some of the set up menus which those familiar with Sony projectors will immediately recognize. Film 1 and Bright Cinema have always been my favorites. Bright Cinema for Sports and some movies and Film 1 for movies as well. Of course this is just my preferences.
Looking above you can see I prefer Smooth Low for Motionflow. For all 4k/60p movies. If you are watching 4k/24 then True Cinema would be your best bet. Reality Creation should be used in smaller increments. I suggest 10 to 20 for most sources. D Focus Optimizer leave ON. For your Laser Settings I prefer FULL for Dynamic Dimming and Contrast Enhancer at Middle.
The Remotes are the same style Sony has used for many years now.
I am not complaining at all in the least. I am a big fan of the layout
and the cool blue backlit color. As always you get direct button hits
for the Picture Modes and other various pertinent settings. Focus,
Zoom and Shift make your life easier placing your image in your
screen. Of course I have had lots of practice (too much) setting up
Sony projectors but the 1025ES was a breeze. And again even if
you're a superhero strength wise it's a good idea to have a "spotter"
help you hang your 1025ES. Connecting to the ceiling mount can
be very hard holding it up with one hand/arm while using the other.
Anyway, the Focus adjustment allows you to dial it in with very
small increments. I have now seen the sharpest image in my theater thanks to the 1025ES. The corner to corner sharpness with edge to edge clarity is absolutely astounding. Zoom and Shift are both very
flexible which help you quickly adjust the image within your screen. If you happen to have a little image overspill this can be easily be
overcome using the Blanking setting. You can block out the image
on the sides and the top and bottom. You should easily be able to
dial your image in to fit your screen perfectly. The Remote pictures
show the Remote normal and then of course with backlit on.
Yours will not include the cheesy 4K HDR10 sticker at the bottom...
The above images are screen savers from the Nvidia Shield Pro. They are very impressive and show the 1025ES abilities to present the darkest colors with the brightest colors on screen at the same time. This next level ability alone makes it better than the 5000ES I had. Definitely better than the 995ES it very recently replaced. Besides the brightness which I don't need for my size of screen the 1025ES bests the 5000ES in every other way This is a perfect segue into the topic of Movies...
Godzilla VS Kong looked terrific! We streamed it on HBO MAX using the new Apple 4K TV 2021. King Kong's hair and facial expressions were so lifelike. The colors were rendered exceptionally well. The image of the girl holding her Kong teddy shows morning mist in the background. You felt as if you needed a towel watching it. Kong's face in the other pic shows a great example of the corner to corner edge to edge sharpness. The sweet spot is the entire screen! We watched the new Conjuring movie. The fade to black moments were hands down the best I've seen in my theater. Those left our room 100% completely blacked out. You could not see your hand in front of your face. The image to the right is from right after the opening scene. That's how inky black the 1025ES can get. The letters are literally appearing to float in the air and not on our screen! With the majority of the film taking place at night or in dark areas it is imperative to point out the excellent shadow detail and the ability to reproduce dark with light elements on the screen at the same time. The 1025ES executed these moments perfectly. It was just as terrific with day time normal scenes. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at the difference the 1025ES made with all material. It does come in at 5K more that the 995ES (MSRP) which some were saying seemed extreme for just adding the X1 processing. The word "just" is very misleading. Those that can view both models or a few Sony models and then the 1025ES will see the difference in eye candy. Speaking of let's discuss sports for a moment. I usually review a new Sony model during the NFL season but with this being Summer no such luck. Sure I could look for older games on the DVR but that is not as fun. I did check out a couple but plan to update this Review with a "Part 2" installment this Fall. For now let's do a small preview.
I checked out a play or two (maybe more) out of curiosity and was immediately reminded how fluid the game action was like with the 915ES I very recently had here. Of course the 1025ES being sharper and with more pop really reminded me of my new Sony 75" 8K model with X1 processing. Yes, I am once again comparing a new state of the art projector to a high end flat panel. It's all in the X1 processing! I plan to get into football more this Fall but for now I will say this was the best tracking of the football I have seen to date. Patrick Mahome's throw in the example below was taken in real time. No still pausing. You can make out the laces on the ball spinning while the ball moves threw the air all the way to Tyreek Hill's hands! Impressive!
So after having the 1025ES now for a few weeks I can now say without a doubt this is the most pristine image I have witnessed in my theater. There's no "honeymoon" phase affecting my eyes. The 4K- 4096 x 2160 resolution is the Cinematic Standard which all future Review models will be compared with. The bar has been set even higher now. With the new X1 for projector chip doing scene-by-scene analysis there's no limits to just how great Sony's new models can be. I am still fascinated with the range the 1025ES has between its brightest brights and its darkest darks. I know football will get a tremendous lift with motion alone but for now our Cinematic Standard is at an all time high in our home theater...
If I can take a quick moment to thank my family for all their love and support. The girls now 4 1/2 are growing up way too fast. Our Son who is now 7 months and full of charm steals the show as well everywhere we go. Next month however he is facing a very tough life challenge for his young age. He has Craniosynostosis and will have a very long surgery to correct this. He is a "Cranio-Warrior" and very brave. Keep us and him in your prayers please...
If you are interested in the 1025ES, 915ES, 715ES or another Sony projector don't hesitate to contact Noah at Audio Video Interiors. Call (630) 607-0054 and tell him I sent you. Also, I am available to answer any questions you might have. This is an amazing fun hobby and I enjoy helping others...
Click here to head to Sony for more detailed info!
Click here to go back to: