Sony VPL-VW500ES/600ES vs Sony 55ES - AVS Forum
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I just dropped by my friend's shop and spent over 5 hours watching / auditioning the Sony 500ES 4K projector.

At first, we weren't very impressed. Then we realized that we were playing 1080p content upscaled thru the Onkyo receiver to the projector. Then we directly hooked up the HDMI to the Projector itself and suddenly it's a whole world of difference.

Ok, here's what we managed to do:

1. All materials are 1080p and below (like 720p).
2. We downloaded some 4K demo materials on YouTube, but the media player playing it (it was a china made media player with a software installed in it that supposedly can play 4K), was choking, was moving frame by frame.. and we have no idea if the output is even 4K or not (considering the HDMI out is not 2.0)... but it did look quite incredible, better than any of the 2K materials we played.. i guess without a proper 4K player, we will never know if what we saw was actually 4K or not... So, let's chalk this up to 'maybe 4k maybe not, but still looks incredible'...

Here's my review of the Sony 500ES:

1. It's a light engine. When playback on an 8 feet wide screen, it looks like literally a TV... colors popping like crazy. Avatar never looked better (not even in the cinemas).. Even after we zoomed it out to 10 feet wide, it was still extremely bright at cinema 1 and cinema 2 modes...
2. Contrast was pretty good. Not sure what to compare to... but not bad... black is almost black..
3. After spending about 4 hours on the projector, we decided to turn on the Sony 55ES instead. And suddenly everything looked like we were watching DVD quality.. it was that much difference. (note: we were playing blu-ray discs).
4. Avatar in 3D was incredible.. the best 3D i have ever seen.. and ultra smooth without any ghosting or any artifacts... it's just how 3D is supposed to be seen.. i guess until the laser projectors come out, this is as good as it'll get)

Here are some photos taken with my samsung phone.. so, don't pay them much attention except in comparison to the 55es... all you can do is relative comparison.. the actual projected image were FAR FAR better than tense photos... let's just say if you rate 1 to 10, these photos are 3, and the projected images were 10...

These are all from the 500ES











Ok, now compare the difference between the 500ES and the 55ES (Top photo is 500ES and bottom is 55ES). Note: these are all 1080p content (blu ray).

a) Gandalf (notice how much smoother his face is in the 500?)




b) Notice the colors and smoothness of the 500es compared to the 55es? Zoom into these photos and see for yourself.




After comparing both these projectors, i don't know if i could go back to 2K projectors or not.. Its like after watching BluRays and going back to DVDs. And I am talking about upscaled 2K, not even true 4K.. i can imagine how native 4K movies would look like..
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:58 AM
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It's an outstanding projector, no doubt about it. If you have the money, and don't mind spending it.

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Old 05-20-2014, 12:43 PM
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It looks like RC was turned up way too far on the HW55. This is most likely the reason you're seeing such a "harsh" looking image compared to the 600ES.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

It looks like RC was turned up way too far on the HW55. This is most likely the reason you're seeing such a "harsh" looking image compared to the 600ES.

Both were turned up exactly 55
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:00 PM
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Both were turned up exactly 55

That doesn't mean both implementations sharpen the image the same at that setting. I've seen a HW50ES and even at 20, RC cooked the image way too much. I'm assuming the 55ES is similar.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

That doesn't mean both implementations sharpen the image the same at that setting. I've seen a HW50ES and even at 20, RC cooked the image way too much. I'm assuming the 55ES is similar.

Ah ic. Will adjust it to 20 and see. Thanks
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:39 PM
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Just when I was super happy with my HW55ES........... Yes please change the RC setting. I find 18 about right
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:48 PM
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Just when I was super happy with my HW55ES........... Yes please change the RC setting. I find 18 about right

The RC on the 55 should be turned down close to 0.

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Old 05-20-2014, 05:04 PM
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The RC on the 55 should be turned down close to 0.

I keep mine between 8-12 for most sources.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Spent another few hours with the sony 500es projector. Did a lot of 3d testing. The projector was zoomed out to 10 feet wide screen and 3d was still excellent. At 12 feet wide 3d is too dim but 2d was still ultra bright.

Watching gravity in 3d with a 10 feet wide screen was awesome. We were standing literally 6 feet from the screen and it feels like you are in space. Black was pure black and the scenes were incredible. Picture were smoothe even if you stand a foot away.

However we were using a very high quality screen that have very accurate colors and contrast. Alas such screens don't come in acoustic transparency. I hope my eventual xd screen won't be too far off. Black on AT screens won't even come close to this screen.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgeek View Post
...However we were using a very high quality screen that have very accurate colors and contrast.
What was the screen?

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Old 07-16-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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What was the screen?

Thanks,
Dave
I can't remember the brand. But it's a grey screen not unlike the stewart blackhawk (so obviously have better blacks), and it also have very good colors. However, it has lower gain.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:14 AM
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Please make a call and find out what screen you were looking at? Thanks.

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Old 07-17-2014, 09:35 AM
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Please make a call and find out what screen you were looking at? Thanks.
I second that request - we're all curious now

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Old 07-17-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by coolgeek View Post
Spent another few hours with the sony 500es projector. Did a lot of 3d testing. The projector was zoomed out to 10 feet wide screen and 3d was still excellent. At 12 feet wide 3d is too dim but 2d was still ultra bright.

Watching gravity in 3d with a 10 feet wide screen was awesome. We were standing literally 6 feet from the screen and it feels like you are in space. Black was pure black and the scenes were incredible. Picture were smoothe even if you stand a foot away.

However we were using a very high quality screen that have very accurate colors and contrast. Alas such screens don't come in acoustic transparency. I hope my eventual xd screen won't be too far off. Black on AT screens won't even come close to this screen.
As it has been said many many times before, when comparing two projectors it is absolutely PARAMOUNT that you ensure that you are comparing a level playing field. That means ensuring that both projectors are in their best mode but also absolutely level matched in brightness. Otherwise the comparison will typically always favor the brighter projector or the one tuned better. In my experience you have the RC way too high and you're also throwing around comments about accurate colors and contrast with no basis. How do you know they were accurate? Did you verify them? The mode you had selected on the 500ES is for a P3 color gamut, not HD, so right there you weren't using accurate colors for the material on display.

Don't get me wrong, the 500ES is definitely a better projector than the 55ES, but you'd be surprised just how good the 55ES is when setup correctly. It shouldn't be worlds apart, but it should be a bit more refined. It is extremely difficult to fairly compare two projectors and the attention to detail is absolutely critical to do it fairly. I rarely if every see people do it correctly, even with the best of intentions.

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Old 07-17-2014, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
As it has been said many many times before, when comparing two projectors it is absolutely PARAMOUNT that you ensure that you are comparing a level playing field. That means ensuring that both projectors are in their best mode but also absolutely level matched in brightness. Otherwise the comparison will typically always favor the brighter projector or the one tuned better. In my experience you have the RC way too high and you're also throwing around comments about accurate colors and contrast with no basis. How do you know they were accurate? Did you verify them? The mode you had selected on the 500ES is for a P3 color gamut, not HD, so right there you weren't using accurate colors for the material on display.

Don't get me wrong, the 500ES is definitely a better projector than the 55ES, but you'd be surprised just how good the 55ES is when setup correctly. It shouldn't be worlds apart, but it should be a bit more refined. It is extremely difficult to fairly compare two projectors and the attention to detail is absolutely critical to do it fairly. I rarely if every see people do it correctly, even with the best of intentions.
For someone who don't even know what a 4K projector is, you sure assume a lot about someone else's opinions. How do you know we aren't playing each projector on their best mode? Were you there?

FYI, both projectors were auditioned by dozens of people at my friends' shop and we played with as many settings and modes as is possible. What i said about their respective quality is my own opinion. If you think they aren't world's apart, then your opinion differs from mine and my friends'... and all the more power to you.. and for someone who thinks JVC has a 4K projector that takes in 4K source and display them without losing any information, TBH I don't know how much of your opinion matters...

BTW: Level matching both projectors to the lowest denominator is the stupidest thing i have ever heard. Imagine trying to figure out which car is better, Honda or a Porche, but hey, why not just level match the speed at 10 mph for both cars?? Of course the brighter projector would look better (all else being equalled).. that's why they are made brighter. It's part of their superior feature. Watching 3D is so much better on the 500ES BECAUSE of it's superiority in brightness.. so, why not just turned down the brightness so that 3D looks terrible???

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Old 07-17-2014, 11:17 AM
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Wow, great reply. Here I thought you were someone doing a comparison for the sake of possibly deciding what projector to buy so my comments were more about what you may want to consider before making up your mind. Even with my apparent lack of knowledge I could tell from your statements that netiher was in its best mode, but what do I know, I've only been doing this professionally for over a decade. But if you truly feel you know more about video than I do, by all means, party on.

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Old 07-17-2014, 01:07 PM
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These threads are a great read. LMAO off.

Kris. Only a decade? You are a mere babe in the woods video wise.


I love the part that a screen has accurate colors. We all need to dump our inaccurate color screens, BIG HINT. It is the projector which deals with the accuracy of the colors and most all screens slightly shift colors which is taken into account during calibration so that the end result is accurate colors at least at the primaries and decent color temperature. The Sony can get you close to the secondaries too. Checking at points within the cube the Sony pretty much is on the money.Many colors will still be inaccurate to some extent and that's why true sickies calibrate to what is it now, 29 x 29 x 29 points? But with a color accurate screen, there is no need. Of course you must remember to plug in the screen and calibrate it.


Happy trails to you until we meet again.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:25 PM
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Alright Mark, 12 years of professional video reviewing and testing, but at least 20 years in the hobby. Some of us are still young and have our full vision facilities.


By the way, I'm absolutely loving the ST100 screen. While I still feel that the ST130 is an outstanding option, if you can swing a 100 it takes transparency that much further. Was a lot of fun doing direct comparisons. Thanks for getting me curious on that.

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Old 07-17-2014, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
Alright Mark, 12 years of professional video reviewing and testing, but at least 20 years in the hobby. Some of us are still young and have our full vision facilities.


By the way, I'm absolutely loving the ST100 screen. While I still feel that the ST130 is an outstanding option, if you can swing a 100 it takes transparency that much further. Was a lot of fun doing direct comparisons. Thanks for getting me curious on that.
I thought you helped Thomas Norton evaluate the Dwin HD700(RIP my projector friend)? Or I could be remembering wrong. That's the sort of thing which happens when one ages.

As long as a screen doesn't shift colors differently at different locations, meaning uniform, there's no such thing as a color accurate screen. Color is relative to what you project upon. Once corrected, there's accurate color. Color accuracy is only as accurate as the projector is capable of and in most cases has little to do with screen.

Other points like uniformity, gain, speckle and size are much more important than color. But hey, I don't even know what true 4k means.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:20 PM
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Nope, didn't help Tom with that one. But I did own a HD700 back in the day. Was my last CRT before the digitals took over.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:43 PM
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I started in video about 1984. My projectors CRT wise start with an Electrohome 8000 and ended with a highly modied red C element corrected 9500LC ultra with Moome inputs. Played with a variety of sony's and from a variety of small manufacturers of FP CRTs. Sold many Dwins both CRTs and digitals. I couldn't remember all the digital projectors I have owned by now have had and still using the Sony 1000/1100ES. I can't imagine replacing it and for sports viewing I haven't found anything better when coupled with a Lumagen with Darby.

For years I have been expounding the virtues of the screen champ, Stewart ST 100 or Snowmatt. When I switched from ST130 even I was amazed at the improvement. My best magic trick, making the screen disappear. Of course you need the lumens for the screen size you choose and you need a non reflective black pit. The Sony 1000/1100es id adequate for my 54 x 96. Those I have advised over the last several years to try the material if light output and room conditions are met have uniformly confirmed my observations and have no need to further screen material examination.

For great 3D, you do need some material with gain for the Sony with even my small screen.

For 2D, one cannot imagine the quantum step up in video system switching to this material brings. You just are no longer conscious of screeen material artifacts or even ever feel like you are watching from a reflector.

My visual observation capacities are indeed diminished but my knowledge hasn't. Krris, I do feel you will catch up someday but not anytime soon.

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Old 07-17-2014, 08:00 PM
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Nice. I'm gonna drag my feet if you don't mind. See you at CEDIA.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:55 PM
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I had been using the HD Pro screen (which is very good), but going to the Stewart ST100 takes it up a notch. I really do get absorbed into the image unlike ever before.

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Old 07-18-2014, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Wow, great reply. Here I thought you were someone doing a comparison for the sake of possibly deciding what projector to buy so my comments were more about what you may want to consider before making up your mind. Even with my apparent lack of knowledge I could tell from your statements that netiher was in its best mode, but what do I know, I've only been doing this professionally for over a decade. But if you truly feel you know more about video than I do, by all means, party on.
Upon re-reading your comments, I might have read a bit more into what you said. After being so nasty and 'I am better than thou' on the 'JVC e-shift' issue, i was thinking you were coming here just to troll...

Anyways, let's move on...

The 55ES is an excellent projector, no doubt. In fact, it was the fore-runner in my choice until I saw the 500ES on display. To me, it was truly night and day difference. (this is after a few days of tinkering with both at my friend's hi-fi shop).
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:21 AM
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good,Watching gravity in 3d with a 10 feet wide screen was awesome. We were standing literally 6 feet from the screen and it feels like you are in space. Black was pure black and the scenes were incredible. Picture were smoothe even if you stand a foot away.thanks[IMG]http://*******/WNKpGN[/IMG]
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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good,Watching gravity in 3d with a 10 feet wide screen was awesome. We were standing literally 6 feet from the screen and it feels like you are in space. Black was pure black and the scenes were incredible. Picture were smoothe even if you stand a foot away.thanks[IMG]http://*******/WNKpGN[/IMG]
If you're thinking of getting the 500ES, I am sure you won't regret it. It's the best 3D i have seen outside of IMAX.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:46 AM
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I second that request - we're all curious now

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I third that. It's just a minor curiosity, but from the hot-spotting evident in the screen shots I'd guessed it was a gray screen with gain.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:49 AM
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By the way, I'm absolutely loving the ST100 screen. While I still feel that the ST130 is an outstanding option, if you can swing a 100 it takes transparency that much further. Was a lot of fun doing direct comparisons. Thanks for getting me curious on that.
Kris,

Are you going to be writing more anywhere about the ST100 screen? I'd love to hear more about your experience with it.

I have the ST130 and love it, but I'm very particular about screen artifacts. For my image size with JVC projectors (I go up to 126" wide or so for scope movies) it seems I need the extra gain of the ST130 (not to mention for 3D). But since screen transparency is my ultimate goal, I dream of being able to employ an ST100 some time.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:03 AM
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Upon re-reading your comments, I might have read a bit more into what you said. After being so nasty and 'I am better than thou' on the 'JVC e-shift' issue, i was thinking you were coming here just to troll...

Anyways, let's move on...

The 55ES is an excellent projector, no doubt. In fact, it was the fore-runner in my choice until I saw the 500ES on display. To me, it was truly night and day difference. (this is after a few days of tinkering with both at my friend's hi-fi shop).
No worries and sorry if my post came off combative, it wasn't meant to. Glad you like the 500ES, it is a great projector of that there is no doubt.

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