Sony VPL-VW60 home theater projector - First Look

Sony VPL-VW60 home theater projector - First Look

Sony VPL-VW60 home theater projector - ReviewWhile Sony's latest Pearl incarnation ranks second to the native 15,000:1 contrast of the JVC DLA-HD1, it is probably the first new-generation mega-contrast home theater projector to reach Asian shores. Its entry has also bridged the price-performance gap among the competing projection technologies, making it the most affordable LCoS offering in town. In fact, a quick check with local retailers in Singapore found a dealer already offering a whopping S$1,000 (US$657.99) discount off the retail price.


From the outside, the full-HD VPL-VW60 is cunningly identical to its predecessor, albeit in a refreshing gun-metal finish. However, the underlying specifications is a different story altogether as the new VW60 comes equipped with a new SXRD panel, optics and Bravia Engine video processor. This elevates the iris-assisted dynamic contrast to a staggering 35,000:1, which is more than twice the contrast delivered previously by the VW50. This enables the VW60 to put out even deeper blacks as evident during a recent demonstration.

Unlike most DLP projectors currently in the market, there is a powerful 1.8x optical zoom lens. This, when combined with the Sony's handy vertical and horizontal lens shift capabilities, enables users to easily setup a theatrical-sized 100-inch projection from a comfortable 3.1m throw distance. What's more, despite the Sony's relative affordable price, the optical zoom and image focus tunings are fully motorized and configurable via remote--an added bonus for couch potatoes with ceiling-mounted units.

Lastly, most if not all important video sockets are covered on the left of the beamer. Putting aside the regular legacy jacks such as composite and S-video, there are also a set of component-video and dual HDMI terminals. The latter digital inputs are Bravia Link (HDMI-CEC) and 24P True Cinema-compatible which handle native-film 1080p24 signals. This theoretically eliminates unnecessary frame rate conversion which often results in video artifacts and unnatural motion judder.


Though we have highlighted that there is a lens shift function on the VW60, we found the range of its horizontal component rather limiting. It can only offset the projection by a very modest 6.7 percent left and right the vertical center axis, leaving minimal margin for error when physically aligning the projector. Furthermore, proper lighting control is a must to reproduce the best picture quality since the VPL-VW60 has a light output rated at an average 1,000 ANSI lumens.


Pricing-wise, the S$6,999 (US$4,604.67) "Black Pearl" VPL-VW60 will hardly match up against the more affordable Optoma HD80 and Epson EMP-TW1000. Then again, Sony products have traditionally been priced at a slight premium and more often than not, they also come in a more attractive design. If you have an eye for deeper blacks and are seeking an alternative solution from the usual DLP and LCD 1080p projectors, this Sony is definitely worth a closer look.