So after my leave of absence from Reviews I am back in the saddle with a very special 4K, 3D projector from Sony. I admit I liked last year's 600 version of this new replacement but I did not love it. A lot can change in a year and it certainly has here. I am most impressed with the fluid motion. Sony has definitely made strives here. Not just with football games but also with fast pans during Blu-ray action movies. So what else makes the 665ES stick out from the others? How about the fact it is the first projector to come with HDR (High Dynamic Range) which will expand contrast and give deeper blacks and brighter highlights. Colors will pop like never before. We just have to be patient while content is on the way but until then we can upscale SDR (Standard) to HDR with very good results. Unlike Deep Color this will take off. We also get HDMI 2.0 & HDCP 2.2 so you are ready for the future and beyond. Not to mention Sony's Reality Creation which offers some of the best scaling on the market today! So what else makes the 665ES a must see? Let's read on and find out.
As you can see the menu GUI is pretty much the same as the last few generations of Sony projectors. The Motionflow setting for sports I have it set to Smooth Low and love the results. For Blu ray movies True Cinema is definitely the sweet spot. The one main difference between the 1100ES and the 665ES is the motion. I have to say the 665 does better. Though I will say the 1100ES is a little sharper and colors are richer but if you never do a side by side you will be in total bliss with the 665ES. Something else worth mentioning. The Dynamic Range settings can make a world of difference. If your image just appears washed out or somewhat bland change the HDMI range under Dynamic Range and you will be blown away how the image comes to life. I have also been playing around with Auto Calibration which obviously tweaks the image. There is also a before and after which shows you the difference. Pretty effective I have to say after testing it with some Blu ray material. We also get Picture Memory positions. This is helpful depending on content. I also have always used the Blanking function to clean up the outer edges of my screen. Love the options!
As for 3D material I am liking it a lot better than last year's 600 model. And the glasses (pics above) we are using are really light and do an excellent job. They are active of course but they feel like the light plastic passive glasses you get at the local cinema. The 665ES even told me they were "Registered" when I was setting them up the first time. They do turn off on their own the second they do not see a 3D signal. I also found convenient storing cases. Links provided below for both the glasses and storage cases. Jaclyn (my Wife) loved them and these are the first glasses she has been excited about since the first original Monsters. The kids glasses also are really durable and fit comfortably. Same message on the screen when setting them up. The days of needing the Monster/Optoma 3D emitter to dangle by the lens are officially over. With Sony's universal built in 3D emitter and front facing fan let the convenience and comfort begin!
The remote is the same as before which is a good thing. Still lights up that familiar blue. There are direct buttons to Aspect, Motionflow, 3D, Color Space, Color Temp, Reality Creation (up converts non 4K to 4K resolution), Gamma Correction, Contrast Enhancer, Sharpness, Brightness, Contrast and the Advanced Iris. You also can hit the picture modes with one hit buttons. Menu and Position are in the middle and right above them are Focus, Zoom and Shift adjustments. Fits in your hand easily and is a no brainer to learn.
All images behind menu pics are from DirecTV!
Discussing TV for a moment I was very impressed with football. Per usual the colors and motion are always the best on Sony projectors. Grass, helmets and uniforms were rich and full of pop. Normal TV shows like The Walking Dead look very sharp and clear. Visions of the zombies limping slowly towards the screen are too lifelike. It's tough suggesting pic modes since they all look very good. I think personal taste will get you where you want to be. I like TV and Bright TV for sports. For drama shows I like Bright Cinema. Comedies like The Big Bang Theory, Black-ish or The Simpsons, I like TV. Obviously you can tweak from the setting you choose. I did prefer BT. 2020 (emulated) for my color space selection (more on that below). I was able to find the right mode for all material we watched. And easily.
Video games looked stunningly good. No lag time (noticeable) which can be an issue on other brand projectors. So with 3D, TV and VIdeo Games looking good how does Blu-ray look?
Blu-ray looks exceptional. After normally using Film 1 I have decided on Film 2 for normal Movie watching. From the presets I just preferred the color and how well shadow detail looked. Sure you can tweak it some but not a lot is needed. This is overall the best I have seen besides the 1100ES. Which is just a tad sharper and has a little more color pop. Motion though definitely goes to the 665. I am able to see more during slow panning scenes and fast action moments. The colors may get more exciting with HDR. What is HDR? High Dynamic Range is a technique that produces brighter and more detailed images. It combines multiple exposures and the combines them retaining detail within the brightest and darkest parts of a scene that are often lost. When we start to get sources with it the results will be inkier blacks and brighter whites. We will see subtle details between them as well. In other words pure eye candy. And being an eye candy extremist at heart I am excited about the future!
As you can see the movies look really good and lifelike. Overall sharpness is still top notch. Detailed images like hair and pores on faces from close ups have such clarity. Dare I say blacks are very deep and can go head to head with just about any other projector on the market. I was happy with each movie we tried. I can't see (no pun intended) anyone complaining about how well the 665ES performs.
And yes the 4K movies I viewed from the 4K Server also looked damn good. Having a projector or display that can render 8.8
million pixels makes a huge difference. Especially if you like sitting in the front row. When Ultra HD (4K) Blu-ray shows up we will be sitting pretty with enough eye and ear candy to keep us happy for a long time...
So let's talk technical for a moment. What makes the 665ES so much better than last year's model and other projectors being released this year? I eluded to it above and that is the BT.2020 color space which enables you to upscale non HDR content (SDR) so it has a stronger level of contrast. There just appears to be a better level of detail between blacks and whites. When you engage my favorite Color Space to BT.2020 (emulated) you are activating the up scale. That happens to be the color space standard of Ultra HD Blu-ray as well. This is what makes football POP and Blu-ray movies just look better. And dare I say noise-free as well? Actually 4K content looks even better as well. The dynamic contrast is rated at 300,000:1 with 1800 Lumens of brightness. Speaking of which the lamp is rated at a remarkable 6000 hours before replacement. And as mentioned above you get HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 and not to mention LAN connectivity. Each HDMI input supports YCbCr 4:2:0/8bit for native 4K content at 50 or 60 fps. There is also 10bit color support at 24 fps.
SO what did I not like? One thing I did notice was the Advanced Iris working between some quick transitions between dark and light scenes. Maybe this can be adjusted with a firmware update? Either way by changing it to limited it seemed to fix it. Obviously one could turn it off too. Still it wasn't a show stopper by any means. It's just one thing that can be improved. That and please add MotionFlow options with 4K content.
In conclusion... There's just so much upside with the 665ES it's nearly impossible not to fall in love. It is chock-full of features and tweaks. Enough to satisfy the most discerning video aficionados.
UPDATE: AFTER NEW FIRMWARE UPDATE THE ADVANCED IRIS IS NOW WORKING PERFECT!
Thanks again (and again and again) to Audio Video Interiors Chicago for getting me a 665ES to spend some time with. 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.
Special thanks to my awesome Wife for always being there. It's been a crazy 2015 but I can't wait to see what's in store for 2016. And no I am not just talking about the 5000ES from Sony. :)
Up next is the new killer pre-pro from none other then McIntosh. The MX160 Review will be out sometime soon...
Click or Tap here to go back to:
Link to 3D glasses: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ACN6P4K?redirect=true
Link to kid's 3D glasses: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C7AIZNU?psc=1&ref_=redir_mobile_desktop&ref_=yo_ii_img
Link to 3D glasses case" http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FN5S6ZI?psc=1&ref_=redir_mobile_desktop&ref_=yo_ii_img
Darth Vader enjoying the movie!
Equipment used for some or all of the Reviews in the "lab" are:
Sony VPL-VW1100ES, Sony VPL-VW665ES, McIntosh MX160 A/V Processor, Datasat RS20i pre-pro & RA7300 AMP (Fronts, Center, Sides & Backs), DarbeeVision DVP-5100CIE, DVDO Mini 4K Scaler, Simplay Labs DVDO DUO VP, DirecTV Genie, Xbox One, Sony FMP-X1 4K server, Monster Power HTS 5100, Oppo 103D Blu ray, Monster/Optoma/Sony 3D glasses, Parasound HALO A51 AMP (Heights & TOP), Antec Component Coolers, Vutec SilverStar Curved 3D 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. Monster 1000 HDX Ultimate HDMI cables top to bottom. And two Monster 35 foot HDX Hyperspeed HDMI cables.