Ok, I've been crazy busy with a lot of personal and business things, so it's been really hard to do as much viewing as I'd like and certainly to spend the time to compose my thoughts.Summary
The sum of the various performance features of the VPL-VW95 place it as the best projector I've owned. This is partly the nature of evolution, as there would be no way to compare an Epson 1080UB to the 95es, but also a testament to Sony addressing many deficiencies in the much more recent 90, and doing so with remarkable precision.
My initial hesitation purchasing the 95 (and indeed which led me down the path of trying the Panasonic 7000) was partly my disappointment with the 90, and partly my expectation that this would be only an incremental upgrade, and that next year's "105" for whatever they call it, would be the ticket
But following the same measured, rational thinking that led someone to decide to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, I took the plunge. I've avoided drowning or being crushed by boulders and have emerged exhilarated!
Some points to remember:
- I am not a movie only user, so I am looking at combined performance of 2D and 3D Blu Ray, lots of HD hockey, golf, and football, and other HD TV viewing.
- My screen is a 133" DaLite High Power 2.8, projector apps 15.5 feet from screen tabletop mounted a few feet behind my head.
- My room is not a complete bat cave, but I would say I have 90-96 percent light control in the evening.
- If some of these comments differ than my first post, it is either a refined view or senility.
Since many have asked about a review from a comparative perspective, I will try my best to position the 95 to my two other most recent projectors, starting with the chart below:
For Overall Performance
, this is my judgement of combined positives and negatives of all the major characteristics of each projector. For the 95, it just feels by far to be the projector I would reach to turn on first for almost any viewing if I were to leave all three in my roomColor (Out Of Box)
is fairly self explanatory - while you can squeeze out better performance with calibration, if you don't intend to go down that path, you will find the 95 is awfully good without having to do much at allCalibrated Color
is something to be careful of here in my evaluation - the RS50 was expertly calibrated by Jeff Meier about 8 months back - the Sony and Panasonic are (and were) works in progress with my recent purchase of Chromapure and the DVDO Duo (using the automated process, as I am a dope when it comes to understanding the nuances of manually calibrating) The 50 is approaching a year old, still going strong on the original bulb, and the 95 is of course brand new. Still, there is something more natural and pleasing about the color from the 95 than from the 50, though not earth-shatteringly so. JVC is no slouch in this area.Black Level
performance still goes to JVC, but it's very , very close, and for me, immaterially different.
Both the JVC and Sony are just razor sharp
. I've not bothered to play with the convergence feature on the Sony, as it was quite crisp OOB, and with the 90, I noticed that color was affected when it was used - haven't tested this yet with the 95 (to see this, I put of a solid 50% grey screen and turned on the software convergence feature on the 90 - you would suddenly see a pinkish or magenta haze appear over large swathes of the screen, though to be fair, it didn't seem to really present itself with normal material)Native motion handling
was great with the Sony, and the Panny was a close second. I never liked the motion handling on the JVC's, native or otherwise. As a side note, the smoothest 24p rendition seemed to be the Sony as well.
The Sony bests the 7000 with FI
as well, which surprised me a bit - but in the critical viewing of hockey games, names on jersey's held up best with the Sony. JVC's FI is similar to watching cottage cheese vibrate.
The JVC showed the best color uniformity
when viewing a grey or white screen. The Panny appear to be an LSD trip. The Sony had faint broad areas of red or green tint in test patters, but never in actual material (online the Panny which was touch to watch hockey on as you could see the uniformity issues)Brightness uniformity
was almost equally great between the Sony and the JVC, and my initial comments of subtle bright corners may have been from an ambient source. Still, I "feel" the JVC is a tad more uniform. The Panny continues its LSD trip in this categoryApparent Contrast
is the phrase I use for how it looks/feels, as getting into the details of this kind of measurement is beyond me. But the 95 and 50 both seem to have equal punch and range to the overall rendition of the image. The Panny begins to detox...
The Panny has recovered! and feels to be the brightest
projector of the bunch, though the 95 is close. The 50 sits this dance out.
For Fan Noise
, my feeling is the Sony could be a bit quieter. It seems to be more the particular tone or pitch of the fan noise - the JVC and Panny are more even/flatter - the 95 seems tuned to a particular pitch which is a bit more noticeable, but again, if you are ceiling mounted I doubt either would be an issue. But I can hear the Sony in 3d (high lamp mode) during quieter passages.3D performance
is superb with the 95 - maybe a smidge of an edge to the Panny on the ghosting department, but the Panny was less comfortable, with more of a jitter to the image. The Sony is the smoothest. Unsurprisingly, the JVC found the Panny's LSD tab and is unavailable to participate cogently in this category.
The ghosting in the Sony is minimal - one of the worst titles I've experienced with the JVC is Despicable Me, and the amount of ghosting with this title on the 95 is extremely small using the Sony glasses. The Monster glasses do help dial out a bit more, though I need to spend more time this weekend playing with all the tuning options.
If I were to characterize it, I would say at it's worst, a title might be 99% ghost free, 1% some ghosting on the 95. Of the 1%, the severity is 1 to 5 on a scale of 10, and the Monster's can cut that severity number in half.
I hope this is helpful to some, and as I have the time to view more, my comments may evolve. I know this may not be technical enough for some, but my previous and future calibration efforts and posting of the results is about as technical I can get and remained married.
Apologies for any continuity or spelling errors I haven't caught - have to break away for a bit now...