I know I'm extremely late to the game with this projector (even the 1100ES is over a year old now) but I just wanted to give some thoughts after spending a week with the projector. I've put roughly 40 hours on the unit this past week. For some reason my recollection after getting to play around with Mark Haflich's 1100ES last fall didn't leave me with the same impressions I have now with my unit. I don't know why but my projector just seems so much more "dynamic"? If I recall we were using Cinema 1 mode and I've been doing the bulk of my viewing in Reference mode. The former is far dimmer and I think this is why my experience with my unit has been so different. Rather than post a extremely lengthy essay I'll simply say the reivew @Kris Deering
did of the 1100ES over at Sound and Vision (posted here
) is spot on with my impressions so far. Kris and I have always seemed to agree on things. I also think he's one of the most honest reviewers out there. He tells it like it is. But I want to add on to his review and make a couple points that I think are worth saying about this projector.
The first thing I want to talk about is motion, and more specifically, motion resolution and motion processing. In many ways this projector reminds me of a high end DLP projector. These units have excellent motion processing and subjective motion resolution is much better than I expected. Better than the other Sony units I've had here. This is one reason why I say this projector resembles a high end DLP projector. Motion resolution, aka the ability to maintain detail inherent in the source during motion, has always been one of the weaknesses of non-DLP projectors. This unit is by far and large the closest you can currently get to DLP in this regard. There is next to no visible added “smear” or ghost trails added by the LCoS panel with a 24p image. On top of that, I’ve never seen a projector with better motion processing. Motion processing deals with recreating the cadence of the movie. Typically this will be 24 frames per second or more specifically 24/1001 as the way it’s meant to be played back through our consumer devices. Proper cadence reconstruction will yield you smoother pans and other motion shots. I've noticed many times that pans and other motion at various speeds on my JVC DLA-X500 can look a bit too choppy. Now, I realize there are very real limitations with shooting films at 24 frames per second and those motion limitations can be captured and be inherent in the source material. But fear not, a simple A/B comparison of two displays can show which one is better at recreating cadence and if one is worse off it will show itself in a visible way. This is how I noticed the JVC had some issues with it. This Sony simply adds less choppiness if there's some in the source. In fact it looks better than most high end DLP projectors I've seen too. Motion shots in films will look as they should on the 1000ES and that is a very exciting feature to have. I don't know if this is some sort of processing technique or if it has to do with the 240hz (10:10 pulldown) native refresh rate of the projector or possibly a combination of both. Either way, I love it.
And the last point I want talk about is how natural the image looks. Again, this is a trait I normally classify a high end DLP projector with having. I've never (NEVER) seen an LCD-variant projector have this quality before. There is an effortless look to the image that is addicting. I've never seen a JVC or Epson projector have this trait. I don't know what creates it. I would imagine it's a combination of high ANSI contrast, great lens quality, subjectively good motion handling, and video processing that does as little as possible to the incoming image to create this natural "look". The Sony has all of these characteristics in spades so it's no wonder it has this quality. By comparison, a current generation JVC can look a little more digital. Sometimes the image takes on a pasty appearance with a subtly harsh look. It's subtle on the JVC but after seeing so many DLP projectors it's just something I've noticed on the JVCs. The Sony never appears this way and, again, resembles a high end DLP by comparison. Kudos to Sony for this. This is one of those elusive qualities I thought I'd only ever see on a DLP projector. So while the on/off contrast isn't at the JVC level, it is noticeably better than the DLP competition currently out there. With this higher on/off contrast compared to DLP projectors and class leading ANSI contrast, nearly all material looks excellent in terms of intra-scene contrast and looks state of the art. Only the darkest of material favors the JVC. If Sony could just get native contrast to around 20000:1 with the iris open at max zoom, with it's great dynamic iris implementation on board, I think this projector would literally be the best projector for every situation out there. But as that isn't the case I'll be keeping my X500 for the time being for content that's particularly dark. Maybe Sony will introduce a 1200ES with better contrast? One can hope....
Anyways...this went longer than I meant it to. But the owners of this projector already know what I'm talking about as most of them have had it for a few years now. Enjoy your projectors. I suspect we'll be getting many years of enjoyment to come as UHD bluray isn't even here yet.