Sony VPL-VW60 Bravia SXRD 1080p Cinema Projector Reviewed

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sony_vpl_vw60_projector.gifTwo years ago, Sony took the front projector market by storm with their unveiling of their infamous VW50 1080p front projector, code-named Pearl.   The Pearl was so good, in fact, that I bought one immediately upon returning from its unveiling at CEDIA in Denver.  The Pearl has been my reference projector since its arrival two years ago.  But now Sony has had another go at making an affordable, kick-ass projector to mess with the competition and its only fitting that, this time around, it's black.  The VPL-VW60, or Black Pearl, looks a lot like the old Pearl, same shape, dimensions and vibe, but underneath, the VW60 is far improved. 

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Light output, an Achilles heel of the old Pearl, has been increased to 1000 lumens, which isn't mad, but adequate to ignite a moderate-sized screen between 90 and 120 inches in a darkened room.  The contrast ratio is upped to (a reported) 35:000:1 with Advanced Iris Auto On.  Contrast numbers are usually trumped up by manufacturers and 35:000:1 looks to be no different.  However, numbers or no numbers, the VW60 does produce a deeper, more textured picture than the old Pearl. The VW60's native resolution is still 1080p (1920 x 1080) and is 1080/24p-capable.

Connection options are the same as well, with two HDMI inputs, a PC video input, component video input, S-video and composite video.  There is a 12-volt trigger for your screen, as well as RS-232C ports for your control system.  The remote is pretty much the same with the VW60 as it was with the Pearl.  All focusing, framing and picture adjustments are done via remote control.

Where the differences start to mount is the VW60's ability to be used with an anamorphic lens adaptor, taking full advantage of 2:35 source material.  It features the latest BRAVIA Engine SXRD chipset that has been at the forefront of Sony's stunning picture quality for years.  The VW60 also features RCP or Real Color Processing, which allows viewers to fine-tune the colors during calibration by targeting specific hues without doing a massive shift over the whole image.  However, the VW60's best feature of all is that, despite its upgraded status, it keeps the price the same at $4,999.99 retail. Of course, the new VW40 (which is basically a VW50 repackaged from what I can tell) is now only a mere $2,999.99.

Read about the high points and the low points of the VPL-VW60 on Page 2.

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