How does Sony VW-50 (Pearl) stack up to new crop of "ENTRY LEVEL" 1080p projectors? (A question for VW-50 owners) - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-18-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I was wondering how would the Sony VW-50 projector stack up to entry level 1080p projectors of today. I have an opportunity to buy a used Sony VW-50 (aka "Pearl") projector. In its time, it was a fairly high end SXRD projector from Sony (year 2006-2008). I was reading a review of this unit ( which indicated that it has soft picture (lacking detail and resolution) which is not what the reviewers were expecting to see from a 1080p projector. Also, they stressed its lower light levels.

I brought this projector home (the guy is letting me try it) and sure enough, the picture is not very bright. I wouldn't say it's dim, but compared to a very basic 720p DLP I have (Acer H5360), it was no where nearly as bright. I am using a HTPC (Nvidia 650Ti video card) as video source. The screen is 120" white 1.3. Dark basement with no ambient light problems. The bulb in Sony VW-50 is relatively new, and when watching it on its own, you can tell that the bulb is just fine.

I only watch mainstream HD movies (Blu Ray and MKV files) on the projector. It is not used to play any games or watch TV/SD.

My impressions in comparison with the entry level 720p projector that I have (Acer H5360):
1. Acer was way more bright and had a pop and deep colors
2. Sony was much more pleasing to eyes with a "smooth" picture. However, it did not seem as "sharp" or bright. I sometimes felt that Acer H5360 720p DLP was showing a bit more "detail" (e.g. ridges of sand or weeds in a desert were more defined and "edgy"...)
3. After watching Sony VW-50, I did find Acer not only a bit too bright (had to squint my eyes to watch after Sony--it almost hurt my eyes) but also a bit too *harsh". If I were to describe the difference it would be like comparing a photo taken with DSLR to a (*good quality*) pic taken with a point and shoot digital camera. I hope that makes sense.
4. Sony had excellent shadow details which were superior to what the Acer H5360 showed, but interestingly enough, the black and white colours in themselves were more blackis and whitish in Acer. Sony in comparison showed black itself as very dark grey and white as more dirty white (or even pale). That's when showing, fully white or fully black image (e.g. a notepad window in PC,etc).

Anyways, that was just a quick and dirty comparison to a very entry level (and probably crappy by standards of readers of this forum :-) 720p projector. I was wondering how would the Sony VW-50 projector stack up to entry level 1080p projectors of today. I am not wanting to compare it to similarly priced higher end projectors (i.e. $3000+). Rather, I would seek some opinions on its comparisons to entry level 1080p projectors of today like Epson 8350, Epson 3020, Benq w1070, ViewSonic Pro8200 etc etc.

Thanks much for your help and comments.
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-18-2013, 11:14 AM
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The w1070 would beat it in SOME areas, but the Sony would still look more film-like and have darker blacks, though the w1070 easily beats the Acer h5360 hands down. The Epsons would look even more digital or harsh compared to the w1070 and especially more harsh compared to the Sony, simply because LCD has a more digital look to it than LCOS or DLP.

What would you prefer, the older Sony or something like a Benq w1070, hard to say as it would probably depend on what you are watching. If you are asking to consider one of these other projectors, you might also consider the JVC RS-45 B-STOCK units, but watch out for the lamps if you are a heavy hour user per year. The Rs-45 B-STOCK is what will beat it the most out of all these for under $2000.

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post #3 of 3 Old 07-21-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I have answered my own question.
After having used the VW-50 for a few days and watching a few 1080p content on it, I am blown away by its smooth silk picture quality and unreal color and black levels. It is so pleasing to and easy on eyes that there is not even a hint of fatigue even after a movie which over 2 hours and 30 minutes. Now I know what "film like" really means. I have used other better and high end projector too so now I can say for sure that this thing still delivers to satisfaction.

This is not to say the new projectors can't touch it etc. They are probably very good too but this thing (and I am not going to say "for the price" as I am buying it used because that somehow conditionalizes the statement) rocks!!!

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