I got mine yesterday and put in a good bit of time with it. Here are my initial thoughts which are all subjective to my particular setup and previous experiences.Unboxing:
I think Sony must of spent a month at least designing the box this thing ships in, I"ve never seen so much packaged into one tiny box. They did a great job here getting this to consumers safely. It is going to be a nightmare putting this thing back together when it comes time to sell it Unit:
Very light compared to my JVC 250HD, JVC RS40, and even Sony VW-70 B-stock I got a couple months ago from AVS. It looks well constructed overall and is a beautiful and QUIET unit.Picture:
Extremely, extremely nice out of the box. I'd say it rivals my previous JVC which I had calibrated with no adjustments to the Sony. I was a little disappointed to see that mine was set on high lamp mode out of the box because I thought it was naturally that bright in low light lamp mode, but it is still a pretty bright unit. Black levels are a tad under my JVC but nothing a majority of people would notice as they are still really nice.
I did not play with any settings that would enhance or calibrate the picture, but I did play with the various pre-set color modes and motion flow and I must say, Sony really nailed it. I haven't had this feature since my previous Epson 8700UB but the Sony is leaps and bounds better. It adds a lot to a 3D movie although if you set it to high, it will cause jerkyness and almost makes it look like it is running in a low FPS.3D:
So I owned a RS40 for 1 day before selling it on ebay because I got concerned with all the issues it had at the time and can compare against it from my limited experiences. I have a 140" AT screen that I built from scratch and it uses a 1.2 gain material and the Sony does a really nice job lighting up the screen while 3D is engaged. I watched scenes from Tangled, Resident Evil, Avatar, Monsters vs. Aliens, IMAX Space Hubble, How To Drain Your Dragon, Tron, and a few others and there was SOME ghosting on the various scenes I watched, but the Sony offers you a couple of adjustments to help with the problem and I was able to tweak around each movie to get rid of the ghosting. Compared to the RS40 I do not feel there is any competition here in terms of ghosting, but the images on both look fantastic. The only downside to the Sony was each movie was different and had to have the depth adjusted to different values which makes it cumbersome at times. I also had a few movies (Tangled being one) where I had to set the depth to -1i n order to get the ghosting to go away which limits the 3D effect. These were MKV files that my brother gave me so I cannot speak to if this is true for actual physical 3D blu-ray media.
I've owned over 5 of the 720p 3D DLP projectors in the past year trying to find one that would work in my room (either too short of a throw or too far) and I think the Sony does 3D as well as the DLP units overall once you flush out the right settings. I also have 2 3D tv's in my house Samsung 67" and an LG 60" Plasma and I like the Sony already more then the LG. For the heck of it I hooked up my PS3 and my Sager laptop to check out 3D gaming and both worked flawlessly without any effort in getting 3D engaged and working in the various games I tried. I will mention that on my LG TV I noticed some severe ghosting in Crysis 2 and I did not notice it at all with this projector.Pros:
-Has 3 3D options for MKV files or content it cannot autodetect is 3D. Simulated, Over-Under, Side-by-Side. This makes playing 3D MKV files pretty easy with the Sony and I was able to play various ones without issue.
-Quiet. I never really care about projectors and the noise they make because I blare my home theater setup, but I truly appreciate how quiet this unit is to the others I've recently owned.
-The remote control is quite nice and I like how it has a majority of what I want on the front of the remote without me having to dig through menu's. It also lights up extremely nice with a blue glow if you hit the light button which is another nice touch compared to my previous JVC.
-Picture out of the box is so good that I have little desire to mess with it right now. Typically I will run content on my projector without me being in the room to get hours on the bulb and then calibrate it, but Sony has done an extremely nice job with its presets. The only one that is like "whoa that is bad" is probably Dynamic for me because it washes out the colors.
-2D to 3D conversion - Believe it or not, this actually works fairly well. As mentioned above I have an LG Plasma with this feature and NEVER use it for anything but games because it really does nothing to the image. I tested the Sony out with a few sitcoms and I noticed everything from baseball bats to tennis shoes having depth in the image. The only downside to this feature is if you add too much depth you get severe ghosting but it is easily eliminated if you dial it down a notch once you start to notice it.
-The little dongle for the 3D glasses can be placed practically anywhere near the screen in my room and work. I got lazy and did not want to climb up a ladder to put it on top of my screen so I just threw it on the floor under the screen and the glasses still worked great without any sync issues. I do not think placement of the dongle will be that bad after all.Cons:
-Even though the unit can play 3D MKV files, it comes with some quirks that really irritates me which I am hoping I am just not seeing something. When you select over-under or side-by-side for the 3D mode, it eliminates motionflow abilities and also takes away the option to put the bulb in high or low mode. I honestly could not tell a different setting it in high or low and then engaging 3D so I think it is defaulting to low just based on how dim the picture looks compared to a 3D bluray disc where it sets it to auto and motionflow and the lamp feature is available. Interestingly enough when you use simulated 2D > 3D these features remain.
-Couldn't get it to work with my DirecTV box. I don't think this is the Sony's fault by any means, but I simply could not get it to recognize that I had a 3D display hooked up. I contacted DirecTV and they are sending me a new receiver for my home theater room so I will report back on Fri what the outcome is.
-I wish there was more brightness while in 3D and more brightness in 2D at low-lamp mode. This may be a calibration issue so I will reserve judgement once I play with it. For some reason I feel my JVC 250HD was brighter in 2D but in all fairness I have not touched any settings on the Sony yet to help with the issue. I never had the urge to put my JVC in high lamp mode but on the Sony I constantly kept flipping back and forth because it just looks so much better in high mode.
-I hate the glasses. Yeah I said it, I really hate the Sony glasses. They feel like you have a huge weight sitting on your nose and they just aren't comfortable. With all the 3D units in my house, including the Nvidia 3D Vision kit, the Sony glasses come in last place for me. I will be looking at other alternatives once I find some that work. I did notice there was a setting in the Sony for glassess brightness which I found interesting and I wonder how this impacts 3rd party glasses.
-I noticed some weird "flashes" in Resident Evil when there was a lot of gun fire and scenes panning back and forth. I am not sure if this was beacuse I was using an MKV file or what, but it was really bothersome to watch. I am probably not describing it that well but if others experience it you will see what I am talking about. The scene in the lobby where she fights all the men is what I am referring to.
-No digital zoom, focus, or lense hiding. When I say lense hiding I am referring to where the unit puts a cover or shield over the lense when not in use. Given this is not a cheap unit I wish Sony would have charged another $100 and incorporated these features because once you have them you to tend to really miss them when they aren't there (at least I do!) The only one I am not heart broken over is the zoom because I always had a problem finding the exact setting on my previous units where as doing it manually is much easier. Doing the focus manually is a real pain when you are 16ft away from the screen.Summary:
These are just my first day experiences with the Sony and so far I do not regret the purchase one bit. The wife and kid are going out of town this weekend so I will have plenty of time to play with it