Sony VPL-VW90ES 3D projector review

Full review: Big screen 3D at home

Image 1 of 6 Sony VPL VW90ES glasses and filters
Sony VPL-VW90ES glasses and filters
Image 2 of 6 Sony VPL VW90ES side controls
Sony VPL-VW90ES side controls
Image 3 of 6 Sony VPL VW90ES glasses
Sony VPL-VW90ES glasses
Image 4 of 6 Sony VPL VW90ES crosstalk after calibration
Sony VPL-VW90ES crosstalk after calibration
Image 5 of 6 Sony VPL VW90ES crosstalk before calibration
Sony VPL-VW90ES crosstalk before calibration
Image 6 of 6 Sony VPL VW90ES main
Sony VPL-VW90ES main

3D as the director intended it to be shown

The problem with 3D at home is that it’s just too darn small. As TV makers hawk 3D screens down to 32inches, the benefits of entering the third dimension from your couch are being seriously eroded. The solution is big screen 3D in the shape of Sony’s first ever 3D projector, the high-end VPL-VW90ES. Aimed squarely at the premium end of the home theatre market, it offers an immersive experience that flatscreen can only dream of.

This projector is larger than you might imagine (470mm wide x 485mm deep), but it’s well built and finished to a high standard; we love the slightly pearlescent gloss black finish. Side mounted connections are generous and include two HDMIs, a PC VGA input, component and phono AV, RJ45 port and 12v trigger. The latter is used to integrate the projector with a drop-down motorised screen.

The 3D sync transmitter is ingeniously integrated it into the projector’s lens assembly. It bounces IR codes from the screen to Active Shutter glasses; a very neat solution.

If your viewing room is of such a size that there are syncing issues with the spex, you can supplement the system with an additional transmitter which connects to the PJ via an RJ45 cable. The projector uses the same 3D eyeware as Sony 3D TVs, although an additional (supplied) filter has to be inserted in each lens.

Sony VPL-VW90ES: 3D picture quality

This Sony offers the best in home 3D experience yet, if immersion is your absolute goal. The sense of depth and scale it delivers dwarfs even a 60in jumbo-panel. The key to the projectors’ success is governed by two settings in the 3D menu system which allow you to effectively dial out cross talk effects, which are ruinous on smaller 3D LCD TVs. As you can see from our before and after photos.

These settings allow you to manage the brightness of the glasses and adjust the 3D depth of the image. By making the glasses darker, you effectively reduce the delay time between the left and right eye images, which in turn minimises ghosting. Tweaking the 3D Depth Adjustment tool helps tighten-up double images either in the foreground or background. Finding a happy medium takes a little time, but the reward for your efforts is minimal crosstalk and maximum 3D involvement.

Sony VPL-VW90ES: 2D picture quality

With Full HD 2D sources, this Sony is similarly impressive. Offering a dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1, via Sony’s Advanced Iris 3 technology, it’s capable of deep blacks and revealing mid-grays. Colours ping like pocket-money candy while picture detail is paper-cut sharp.

The projector’s 240Hz SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) image engine is fast and efficient, aided enormously by Sony’s proprietary Motionflow tech. Motion picture resolution is outstanding courtesy of a Dark Frame Film Mode which sequentially inserts black frames for greater clarity. This means crisp, clean hi-def detail.

Overall, this is a sensational home cinema projector. Its 3D performance stomps like a Sturmbeast over rival flatpanels, and it offers a barnstorming 2D performance that film fans will love. It's pricey yes, but for home cinema enthusiasts we think the VPL-VW90ES is quite simply breathtaking.

Sony VPL-WV90ES 3D projector release date: Out now, link Sony

Sony VPL-WV90ES 3D projector price: £5200-£6000 online

Sony VPL-VW90ES 3D projector Specifications:

  • Type: Full HD SXRD
  • Lens: 1.6x times zoom lens (manual)
  • Picture size: 40-300 inches
  • Lamp type: 200 watt
  • Brightness: 1000 ANSI Lumen
  • Contrast: Dynamic 150,000:1
  • Connections: Video in, component, PC, 2x HDMI, mini jack