If you enjoy watching football, TV shows, and films in all their 4K HDR glory, but have been avoiding to acquire a projector because you have the fear of a device that poorly handles HDR content getting in your way or hanging from the ceiling somewhere, this Sony VPL-VW715ES may change your mind. This sleek, compact powerhouse is the future of home cinema presentation.
This projector maintains all the great features we loved in the previous model; the VPL-VW695ES. It focuses on improving the HDR experience which is one of the biggest improvements you can have on your projector. Sony has achieved this by making adjustments to the video processing ability on this projector to provide even better picture quality.
But the VPL-VW715ES also improves on this in other ways. It is equipped with a powerful zoom lens which helps improve the image quality by making projected images have a sharper appearance, overall refining detail, and sharpness; all of which are qualities that make the VW715ES a perfect fit for cinema enthusiasts.
For those who enjoy competitive gaming, this home theater isn’t the best choice because of its high input lag (33-40ms range). It may, however, be favorable for casual gamers because Sony does include an input lag reduction “switch” to reduce the input lag to a tolerable level. Let’s dive right into some of the features that make this projector outstanding.
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Features of Sony VPL-VW715ES
Improved 4K HDR Experience
HDR is a huge deal for many people who enjoy watching realistic pictures on their screens. That’s the main goal of HDR, to ultimately deliver true, vivid, and accurate picture quality on your screen.
This is achieved through the addition of new video processing technology (X1 processor) which Sony has designed specifically for HDR viewing and viewing from 4K HDR content. The result is that you can view your HDR-enabled content with all its strength, presence, and details.
The X1 processor allows Sony to do much more with HDR signals that pass through the chip. This processor analyzes the HDR content frame-by-frame to further enhance colors, detail, contrast, and deepen black level.
The X1 processor makes use of the Dynamic HDR Enhancer for more precise image tones by enhancing the brighter areas and in the dark areas bringing down the black levels beyond what HDR feed calls for. It also explores the data in a frame to create lifelike pictures and reduce noise (by utilizing a super reality creation engine).
Summarily, the video processing capability of this home theater has been completely revamped so that the images are much sharper and also display a much more vibrant color temperature.
The image processing is done to allow you to achieve a high brightness while not being too dark or too bright which can, in turn, affect your HDR experience. With HDR everything becomes natural, as though you’re watching nature with your own very eyes.
True Native 4K Resolution
Like all Sony 4K HDR home theater projectors, the VW715ES utilizes three native 4K SXRD liquid crystal on silicon chips (LCoS) imagers to deliver true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160 pixels each). This is the same resolution as your favorite commercial movies and TV shows. And most important, these panels faithfully reproduce all pixels which are closely packed together, with no pixel shifting required, to offer a seamless image even when close to the screen.
The SXRD panel does not only provides a high-quality image but also delivers a crystal clear 4K image with ultra-sharp details, colors, and contrasts. Most TV shows and live broadcasts are still produced in HD, so good 4K upscaling continues to be important. Besides, Sony’s SXRD panels use a 4K X-Reality PRO™ upscaler to convert any content —video, and film — to near 4K HDR quality. The images will look crisper, with more detail and refined color.
1,800 ANSI lumens brightness output
In addition to the improvement of image processing and 4K upscaling, the VW715ES features a rated brightness of 1,800 ANSI lumens that allows you to enjoy clear and vivid images especially in a dark room. 1,800 lumens may not seem enough, but with an impressive 350,000:1 contrast ratio for brilliant and deep blacks, and with the ability to show HDTV picture quality to the max, you’ll want this projector in your home.
While brightness is important, it is the deep black levels that separate a good home theater from a great one. The VW715ES features Sony’s Dynamic Iris, which is an iris that can be controlled automatically to maintain a set level of brightness or manually adjusted for optimal picture quality.
The Dynamic Iris helps the projector manage light output and control the image on the screen without any loss of contrast. This feature is especially useful when watching your favorite movie in a room when the light starts coming in from windows as it keeps images sharp at all times and also provides proper levels of brightness when needed.
Motorized Lens with Memories
Picture positioning has never been easier with Sony’s VPL-VW715ES. The motorized lens system allows for accurate picture placement and also has memory to help you accurately place the projector in your preferred location for optimal viewing.
This means that you won’t have to worry about where you’re laying in your home theater since the projector will automatically align itself with the screen. Every time a new movie is played, this feature also remembers the optimal position of the lens and will have it ready for display when needed.
The VW715ES also features a 2.06X wide zoom lens that will make your movie viewing experience much more enjoyable.
Built-in Auto Calibration
Sony’s advanced Auto Calibration Technology takes the guesswork out of projector adjustments by analyzing your room’s light and color and then automatically achieving the best picture settings for you. This means that with this projector, you will be able to see the best and most realistic picture quality immediately.
Excellent 3D Experience
Sony’s new SXRD panels can deliver perfect 3D home theater images through 2 pairs of SXRD projectors. This is one of the most stunning aspects you’ll experience when watching an actual true 3D movie.
This projector produces excellent 3D images through a compatible TV or device (Blu-ray player, game console, cable box) with an HDMI connection. This projector has a 3D-ready built-in RF emitter which is compatible with third-party 3D glasses for full 3D viewing. You can enjoy the convenience of an on-screen 3D menu system that lets you adjust the distance, focus, and image size of the image.
It’s worth noting that although most new titles on Blu-ray discs do not contain 3D, many of us may have a decent volume of 3D titles in our libraries and can enjoy watching them through the 3D-compatible VW715ES.
Low Latency Mode
The VW715ES includes a low latency mode to make the input lag as low as possible therefore maximizing your gaming experience. When this mode is switched on, the picture processing and the input lag are cut down to approximately 30ms. This allows you to play your games most naturally, for a more enjoyable gaming experience. You can either use this mode all the time or on and off, depending on the content you’re watching or gaming.
Multiple Connectivity Options
The VPL-VW715ES has a lot of connectivity options to make sure you can connect with different devices. It has two HDMI 2.0b input ports which are HDCP 2.2 compatible for connecting to a 4K video source and for viewing 4K HDR content from connected sources using a compatible high-bandwidth HDMI cable.
It also has one USB port for firmware updates and an Ethernet connection for internet streaming for those who want to stream directly from the internet.
A single cable is needed for both audio and video transfer. The projector comes with an RF wireless remote control and a built-in speaker system that delivers stunning output quality; all you need to do is adjust the volume according to your taste.
Compatible with HDR10 and HLG Content
This projector supports high dynamic range images. VW715ES supports both HDR10 for 4K UHD Blu-Ray disc and streaming devices. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is designed for live broadcast, so you’re set to stream live award shows and sports when the network starts broadcasting. It is important to have HLG support in this era of streaming services such as Prime Video and Netflix. Because of this, you will be able to enjoy darker blacks and brighter whites while still maintaining a high degree of detail in these areas.
It is undeniable that each product does have two sides of a coin. Let’s have a quick look at some of the pros and cons of this home theater to underscore if it is worth the penny.
Pros of Sony VPL-VW715ES
Flexible setup for rooms large and small
This projector can fit in any room, no matter the size. For a small home theater projector, this is ideal as you can get it up to the ceiling with ease and without drilling into the ceiling or disturbing your neighbors or those who are sleeping (at night).
This projection system will allow for multiple people to view content in a larger setting. Many projectors come in smaller packages but when you realize that these may only fit in a couple of rooms, this projector will be able to fit in many more rooms.
Impressive HDR picture quality and black levels
The major improvement on the VW715ES compared to the older model it replaces (the VW695ES) is its HDR experience. This projector has an extraordinary ability to produce images with richer and vibrant colors with admirable highlight details, which averages them in real life.
This is important for those who watch movies or play games in a fairly ambient lit room. The black levels are also very impressive because it offers the capability to increase the overall contrast and local dimming range of the image depending on your screen size.
Satisfying 3D experience
This projector gives users a fulfilling 3D experience. Many people are skeptical of 3D because it seems to have some disadvantages such as the need for special glasses and it may cause a headache or eye strain. This projector’s 3D experience will make you forget about the drawbacks, though.
Cons of Sony VPL-VW715ES
The lamp isn’t bright enough for well-lit spaces
With 1,800 ANSI lumens, the brightness is too low and you’re limited to a light-controlled room and fairly ambient viewing only. The low brightness may also be insufficient to light up larger screens.
Too expensive for its product class
Although this projector shows some significant improvements over older models, it is very costly for its product class. There are comparable projectors that offer a better picture quality at a lower price, and it may be a wise option to go for one of those instead. If you have money to spare, though, this is an excellent choice.
Here are some of our recommended alternatives if, in any case, you were dissatisfied with the limitations this projector has to offer.
Many other projectors can give you a sublime HDR experience at a far lower price. One of them is the Sony VPL-VW325ES, which delivers a true native 4K resolution at 1,500 lumens of brightness and has comparable picture quality as the Sony VW715ES for half its price. Plus, it is the least expensive Sony’s true native 4K home theater model.
Another alternative is the Sony VPL-VW915ES. For an extra $7,000, you will have a projector with more lively colors, higher picture contrast, and a powerful Z-Phosphor laser light source that maximizes the potential of the Triluminos display. Moreover, the lifespan of its lamp is twice that of VW715ES.
From the way it looks and its cost, the Sony VPL-VW715ES is an ideal projector for many home theater enthusiasts. It provides impressive 3D and HDR experiences and a more in-depth picture management system for 4K ultra-high-definition content you want to watch. However, just because this projector has these excellent features does not mean you need to buy it. Some alternatives can give you a similar experience at a much lower price range.