SONY VPL-VW5000ES 4K 3D
LASER PROJECTOR REVIEW
VW1000/1100ES VW665ES and now the VW5000ES!
I remember where I was standing the first time I heard about this new amazing "raising the bar" projector Sony was releasing. It seems like ages ago but here we are now out of breath staring at this real Elefant "tank" hanging from the ceiling. Yes the new Sony VPL-VW5000ES is every bit as heavy as it is expensive but you can't put a price on the best ticket in town for your eyes to view paradise. Again and again...
Before I get into it allow me to reflect for a moment. Do you know how you get that feeling (well maybe electronic freaks like me do) when you first get a new component? Like a nice new TV or projector? Yes, I have had quite a few over the years and a lot of Sony projectors. Let's see there was the:
And those are just the ones that stayed in my home as my main projector for at least a little bit. Some definitely(1000/1100ES and VW200) a lot longer. Imagine the feeling of first turning on each of these projectors and then combine all of them which is exactly how I felt firing up the 5000ES. Does it live up to the hype? Let's get started!
So what makes the 5000ES different than other projectors? Is it no lamp with 5,000 lumens of brightness? Maybe the fact it is almost 100 pounds heavy? It could be because it does MotionFlow with 4K signals? Maybe it's because it comes with a HDMI card which can be upgraded for future feature consideration? Oh it might be because it covers the full DCI-P3 wide range color space? Last guess, is it due to the infinite contrast range? You could make a case for all of those but the major difference is the ultra-pure highly efficient laser light source. This Z-Phosphor light source means no more lamp swaps and virtually maintenance free for 20,000 to 40,000 (high versus low brightness mode) hours! All optical components from the lens to the light source are sealed. No dust worries. And with its one-way air flow discharge system and liquid cooling system the 5000ES is very quiet.
So what else does the 5000ES offer that makes it so special. I like the quick turn on/off mode. Works just like it says. Built-in Auto Calibration which allows color to be calibrated to the original factory condition. No extra equipment needed! The built-in color sensor stores all the information. I also like the constant brightness mode. The laser light maintains the same image brightness. Cool! As mentioned above Sony's Triluminos display with its extended range of colors supports the same DCI-P3 color space as the pro cinema projectors. It will also emulate the BT.2020 color space like its smaller sibling the 665ES reviewed here. And for all you video game freaks there is a low latency mode which gives the fastest response time I have ever witnessed between your screen and the controller! So all non 4K content via Sony's Reality Creation
will go through an upscale process. Even 3D movies will be displayed at
4K resolution. Sony's proprietary algorithm analyzes every pixel in any
direction. This pixel mapping process is based on 10 years of accumulated
expertise. Also take note they've simplified their Motionflow offerings. True
Cinema again is the sweet spot which cinema purists will rave about. Fast-
moving scenes maintain brightness while drastically reducing blur. Whether
you're watching a blockbuster or the big game the 5000ES is always in full
throttle providing the best seat from anywhere...
As you can see in the diagram off to the right this is a seriously large
projector. You know how sometimes they say something is built like
a tank? Well this definitely reigns true with the 5000ES! And if you think
about it, it does look like a heavy well built tank too. Just make sure you
line up help if you're planning to hang it from your ceiling. Of course the
well packaged box it comes in will be your first indicator you will need help.
Without wanting to spend too much time discussing the remote (pic below)
since it's pretty much the same as the last few of generations I will say I am
very used to them. The very top has the convenient light button which just like
it sounds makes the remote buttons backlit. Then we get the input button and
directly below it direct hits to the picture modes. Then there is Focus, Zoom
and Shift for the lens adjustments. Next in the middle is the directional and
select buttons with the Menu and Position for the image. This allows Picture
Position memory for up to five different settings. Then on the remote you
get your usual gaggle of adjustment buttons pertaining to a Sony projector.
Advanced Iris, Motionflow, 3D, Color Space, Color Temp, Gamma, Aspect and
Contrast Enhancer. Oh and not to forget Reality Creation. Then below those
are the usual suspects. Sharpness, Brightness and Contrast. Overall these
remotes are easy to learn and fit rather well in your hand. Plus the backlit color is a cool blue.
Without further ado... It's time to discuss how the new Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray format and Blu-ray 3D look on the Sony
5000ES. I was literally nervous with excitement as the first disc was loading. And when the first preview began my eyes became instant believers! As have all my guests who have witnessed the 5000ES.
I decided to start off with Sicario. Being a very popular choice which we played the regular Blu-ray a lot on the 665 I figured it would be the perfect candidate to go first. This movie also has some nice sound demo moments. I then put in what is considered by many to be the best looking UHD title to date, The Smurfs 2. Then newly released The Revenant. I had a good friend over when I started that one. Lets just say there was not a remote chance either of us was going to check messages or emails on our phones. Our undivided attention was sucked in the second the Indian attack began. The best true description I can come up with is it is just like opening a window and looking outside. It is as if you are right there in the woods with them as they are praying not to be struck by an arrow! My heart was definitely beating faster. The sound coming from my Datasat RS20i (Reviewed here) was the perfect combo. As an arrow whizzed past our heads to the corner of the room it made us jump! Deadpool also is a stunner!
I have also checked out other titles both Blu-ray and the new 4K UHD titles. I plan to update this Review at the bottom with movie screen shots soon after we complete the screen switch out. I have a super high gain Vutec screen and the 5000ES is so bright (check out Ken Whitcomb's measurements below) that he suggests a Stewart Studiotek 100. With other projectors I could see some hot spots or sparkles in sky or bright scene footage but with the 5000ES I can see it in most material. Even 3D is noticeably brighter. The Laser brightness setting was dialed back to 20 by Ken which considering it is at 80 for its default setting shows just how bright this projector is! Speaking of 3D lets check out a few pics now instead of later:
I have a few different displays in my home which do 3D. We have a Samsung 4K in the basement restroom (nice since I never have to pause a movie when guests are over) and a Sony 4K in the bar. We also have a LG OLED in our bedroom. The LG OLED is terrific and the other displays are a close second. The OLED has a more "digital"
look while the 5000ES has a superior film quality look- with a touch of "digital" as well. I guess it would depend on your taste but I definitely prefer the way bigger screen which the 5000ES gives. Either way you will have a good time with either type of display doing 3D. Let's check out some GUI pics:
Measurements provided by KEN
WHITCOMB at bottom of the
page. I'd like to personally thank
him for coming up. It was a true
pleasure meeting him and he is a
genius in the AV industry.
Please allow me a quick moment to reminisce about the past 10 years or so in my theater. As you can see since 2005 a lot has changed. From red seats to black and of course from 720P to 4K. Projectors with lamps to well, you get the picture. And don't even get me started on the audio end. Also thanks again to my awesome Wife for her understanding/support of my Home Theater obsession or habit. Her WAF (wife acceptance factor) is off the chart!
The door to my happy place.
Equipment used for some or all of the Reviews in the "lab" are:
Sony VPL-VW5000ES, Sony VPL-VW665ES, Datasat RS20i pre-pro & RA7300 AMP x 2, HDFury Integral, DarbeeVision DVP-5100CIE, DirecTV 4K, Xbox One, Sony FMP-X1 4K server, Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Ultra Blu-ray player, Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Ultra Blu-ray player, Zigen DA14-UHD HDMI distribution amplifier/splitter, Monster Power HTS 5100, Oppo 103D Blu ray, Value View 3D glasses, Antec Component Coolers, Stewart Studiotek 100 Screen, Speakers: MARTIN LOGAN STAGE X Center, THEOS (Left and Right), VANQUISH (HEIGHTS & ATMOS & T), AXIS (Backs), Subwoofers- Martin Logan BalancedForce 212 X 2, Dayton APA150 Sub AMP x 2, 8 Aura Pro Bass Shakers, 8 Black Seatcraft Venetian Home Theater Chairs (with Raffel Integrated Lighted Cup Holders), Remote: Harmony 1100, iPad Mini. Cables: Monster Black Platinum HDMI cables top to bottom. And two 35 foot Monster Black Platinum HDMI cables.
Thanks a million to Audio Video Interiors Chicago for getting me a 5000ES! Thanks especially to Noah for his patience from all my calls and texts asking if it was in! If you are ever in their area (by Oakbrook Mall) stop in and check them out. They have plenty of cool stuff to play with. Give Noah a call at (630) 607-0054 and tell him hello from me.
SONY VPL VW5000ES Measurements:
THE JOURNEY OF MY 5000ES FROM FED EX TO THE CEILING
I need to extend a BIG thank you to Noah and Angel for their help in getting this "Tank" mounted. As you can see the more help definitely the easier it will be. I will also be needing their help in a couple weeks when we change out the screen. With the RS20i and now the 5000ES the last part of the home theater puzzle will be the screen. With all three major components of the Home Theater "as good as it can get" it may be time to retire from my Review/Reports! No worries as I will keep my site going...
To read more details about the Sony VPL-VW5000ES click on the pic below:
The 3D glasses I am using are from ValueView.
They can be found here. Upon setting them up you get the registered message below. We also have some kids size as well. Some say 3D is going away but not in our house! Cool cases for them can be ordered here.
Those familiar with Sony's GUI will easily adapt to the 5000's. A couple of cool new features are here. HDMI signal Format for one. There's a Standard and Enhanced mode. I like the True Cinema for movies with their Motionflow settings. I find it cool in the info section you get the temp of the air intake. The fans in the back can be busy but still with minimal volume noise won't be an issue. I also love when you Focus how it is easier to get it to that sharperest sweet spot.
Another feature. In a completely darkened room there is a switch for a light to assist you in manually making adjustments. Cool! Pic:
After installing a Stewart Studiotek 100 with the 5000ES I am very happy and relieved to say they are a perfect match! Coming from a super high gain screen like my Vutec I was nervous about the brightness level. That is not a concern at all using the 5000ES. Also the high gain would always have that sparklie or moire' type look in light blue sky scenes or very dark ones. Not with the Studiotek. It is by far the cleanest image I have ever viewed. And that goes with all material. And to think I used to blame the source for most of it. Now we know better. When I say we I also am talking about Jaclyn my Wife. She could also see a night and day difference. So how hard was it to install?
Having Ken out was a lot of fun and was definitely a good learning experience. He is a professional and can improve any Home Theater experience within minutes. As you can see from his findings the 5000ES when paired with a High Gain (super high) will require sunglasses. With his suggestion we have on order the Studiotek 100 from Stewart. We are excited and look forward to seeing the difference. I will add more to the Review and include new screen shots. Coming soon...
So what else can I say for now? Is the 5000ES the end all be all of Home Theater projectors? There is room for some improvement (blank screen delay) when changing menu features or resolutions. Hopefully that gets improved in a future update. I will say the amount of depth and detail is astounding. Lifelike to be exact. Even the GUI Menu's letters are razor sharp. It's very hard to put into words the amount of realism the 5000ES brings to the image. And before you say it should for what it costs let me just say this caliber of performance could easily cost two to three times more! Being able to make a 2D image appear almost 3D like without the glasses is the biggest compliment I can bestow on the 5000ES. Come to think of it that is the biggest compliment I have ever given any display.
Read the rest of the Review below...
The STEWART STUDIOTEK 100
& The Tale of Two Screens...
First mission was removing the Vutec screen. Then taking in the Stewart screen. As you can see it was neatly packed and protected nicely with bubble wrap.
Assembly of the Studiotek was seamless (no pun intended) and we installed it over my original Silverstar screen from 2005. It was actually a few inches bigger than the Vutec Curved model it just replaced. We were excited when we noticed the image just barely (by an ant's butt) fit the screen. We didn't have to move the 5000ES back which is no small feat since it weighs over 100 pounds with the mount. Finally it was time to start checking out some movies and sports!!!
First I checked out a couple 4K HDR Ultra HD titles from Japan. Let's just say as of now these are hands down the best demo reference material you can get. Buildings and beaches looked so good. so clear and lifelike as if you were standing live and in front of them. Ken ended up making his way back here right after the screen install. He also was very impressed with the difference the Studiotek 100 makes. He measured 10,775:1 contrast ratio using his Minolta LS-100 luminance meter with a Klein Instruments diffuser. He also measured
46 fl with the laser at 60 in Reference mode. Periodically he plans to come back and take new measurements. Again it has been a pleasure learning and just hanging out with Ken. He's a serious Home Theater aficionado! You can see at work (pic on the left)...
So finally how does DirecTV look? Well, one of the most important presentations to us has to be sports. It comes a very close second to movies. Checking out recorded games was a lot of fun. I was expecting the best looking football, basketball and hockey material I have ever seen in my basement and I was not disappointed. Close ups show grass stains on jerseys! Speaking of grass it is great to see consistent shades across the entire screen. Sure the Studiotek 100 plays a role as well but this combination is going to make for some memorable Sundays this Fall. Hockey and Basketball both besides looking vibrant offered an upgrade in motion. Following the
City Limits and Miyako Island
puck around has never been easier. It is almost like the game is in slow motion. I was amazed at the difference. Smooth Low is the MotionFlow setting I am using for sports with Bright TV or TV. Same for basketball. When a long three is taken you can actually follow it through the crowd. Instead of playing "Where is Waldo" you can see it all the way to the rim. Baseball also makes you feel like you have a front row seat! I have always been impressed and have always declared the Sony brand as king of sports and the 5000ES will further provide proof by example. Check out a few sport shots but remember they are way more impressive when viewed in person.
Commercials are equally impressive. Some will make your mouth water as well...
It really felt like we were sitting Platinum Glass at the Blackhawks in game 6! Oh wait we were. Pic below shows us and as great as it was in person the 5000ES proved just as fun at home!
As you can see in the live action pic on the left...During Curry's long three shot you can still see the ball in the crowd! Sports just doesn't get any better than this at home...
So enough with sports and DirecTV. Let's take another look at how Blu-ray and UHD 4K Blu-ray looks using the Studiotek 100 Screen. As of now I am using the Oppo 103D for "regular' or "plain" Blu-ray and the Samsung
K8500 for UHD 4K Blu-ray. Though honestly speaking I can't wait for Panasonic to get their player out over here in the U.S. I plan to Review it with the 5000ES sometime in July. So how big of a difference does a screen make? I have been in jaw-dropping heaven when we watch movies! The Stewart Studiotek 100 reveals the exact source as it is
intended. With no extra type of image noise from a higher gain screen we are seeing the cleanest image. And as good as it looks we again are thrilled with the motion. True Cinema is Sony's special movie MotionFlow brand. As good as it is on their previous models it is just as good if not better on the 5000ES.
At the time of publishing Sony released a new firmware update which was to help address the HDR issue that seems to push the colors off (RED)somewhat when using the Samsung 4K Ultra player. Hopefully the Panasonic player coming very soon gets it right. Review coming soon. The update also helped with the GUI and the response times. There were also some minor bug fixes. It is very easy to update as long as you don't panic and be patient. Follow the instructions. And after it is ready to be powered back on WAIT for the fans to do their job and the 5000 to power back on. Walk away or read something. Just be calm and wait...
So how do movies look with the new Stewart Studiotek 100 installed? Last night we had some close friends over to watch Mad Max (4K Ultra HD) and Jurassic World in 3D. They hadn't seen the 5000ES in action yet. I started the evening off with the Oregon demo from the Samsung UHD Video Pack media server. It is short and one of my favorites to show off the capability of the 5000ES. It is very "lifelike" or "window like" or as if you are looking out a window in front of you in real time. It also provides a good minute or two head start on the popcorn. They were already in awe when we started Mad Max. This one also has a reference soundtrack. It matches the top notch image. Then it was time for the main feature presentation of Jurassic World in 3D. This is a Blu-ray 1080p disc. Let's just say 3D on the 5000ES is a truly amazing cinematic experience. If you have one and you aren't doing 3D you really are missing out. It would be like being married to Margot Robbie and never well you get my point. There was a moment in which they were standing on a building and you could see the sky and clouds behind them. The scenery was so crisp and clean it was as if we were there with them. The 3D image on the 5000ES is plenty bright and has an astounding amount of depth. The local movie theaters just can't touch it. The sound again was equally impressive. We all agreed the Aura Bass Shakers (Reviewed here) just added to the immersive experience. We could feel each and every ROAR from the soundtrack. This kept our eyes glued to the screen while our hearts were pounding. Jurassic World was an edge of your seat popcorn fun thrill ride!
Sony claims their new reference-quality VPL-VW5000ES is the world's most advanced projector designed specifically for home cinema use. They then say it features stunning 4K resolution powered by a new laser light engine that provides 5,000 lumens of brightness and is compatible with High Dynamic Range (HDR). Also that it emulates the new BT2020 color gamut and covers the full DCI color space. Lastly that it provides over 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation and is truly the ultimate home cinema display.
Perhaps the biggest fan of the Sony VPL-VW5000ES is Hondo. He really enjoyed Life Of Pi 4K Ultra HD. There just seems to be never a dull moment. We are always saying "down in front" to him...
*On a side note I just wanted to say we decided to finish the theater completely. I always had a long blackout curtain on the far wall to give an illusion of a wall. Well, nothing beats an actual wall with a pocket door. Sound is such a huge improvement. Not to mention the aesthetics. Thank you to Jim for doing a terrific job. Very happy!
We tend to agree and call it like we see it...
OUR MOST CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE EVER, AT HOME!
The Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Ultra HD player U.S. version. I will be comparing it to the Samsung model. Special advanced thank you to my long good time friend Robert at Value Electronics. He is getting plenty in this month (July 2016) so either call him or go to his site and send him an email. Reserve yours now. Call (914) 723-3344 tell him hello from me. or click the link below...
STEWART STUDIOTEK 100 screen report bottom of page in part 2...
Click the 100 below to go to Stewart and learn more about the Studiotek 100 Film Screen.
Click here to go back to JOEROD HOME THEATER.COM
Below is the Steward Screen Clean Kit. I definitely hope to never need actually need to use it but rest assured if something happens it will be great to have on hand. Contact your local dealer for details on ordering yours today!
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Image on the 5000ES from The Dark Knight!