Author Topic: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector  (Read 7715 times)

Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2020, 16:14 »
Review on Sony VPL-VW870ES - PART 1

I have completed all my calibrations for my Sony VPL-VW870ES. I will focus on what I have discovered so far. But here's some background. I bought this Display set from Sound Decisions just before CNY period. OOTB impression was the colors are definitely off (not accurate) as it exhibited a strong "red push" when set at Reference mode. It is a "must" to do calibrations to get the best out of this beast and do not be fooled that this is a "flagship" projector and Sony have calibrated from the factory floor.



Initial Impression - Before Calibration
Take note that the lamp hours for my unit is around 540hrs when I started the calibration process, hence it will have a “different” reading compared to say a relatively new unit with less than 10hrs or so.  Before any calibration, I will need to find a another Preset that allows a more “manageable range” to work on. I have selected Custom 3 which is pretty close to D65 but with much less Red in it. While OOTB colors are off, it is relatively easy to correct it. With a little tweaking to the White Balance (RGB) points, I am able to get the Primary Colors (Red/Green/Red) within the Delta E of below 3.0. As a general rule of thumb, any Delta E that hovers in the range of 3.0 and 4.0 is considered fine and virtually imperceptible by human visions. The average Delta E was about 4.28. Average grayscale reading is about 4.2 (not too bad). The Color Temp is around 6,785 Kelvin (D65). I am using the Reference Preset where D65 colors is the default setting.

For Gamma, the OOTB readings is on the low side of 1.65. This greatly reduce the perceived Contrast, making it less “pop-up”. The colorspace is BT709. You can see that the White point (representing D65), Blue and Cyan (Secondary Color) are spot-on even without any calibration. Yellow and Green falls short a bit with Yellow leaning abit towards the Green hue while Green did not hit the Reference level (but not too far). Red is fine. Overall, I have to say that the OOTB PQ is quite good and I do not see any large deviation from the Chromacity Chart (CIE1931).



After Calibration
After calibration, I have managed to get the White Balance points to below 3.0 for Delta E but this ultimately have an effect on the overall Gamma readings. If you are a calibrator, you will know Colors (R/G/B/C/M/Y), White Balance (R/G/B), Grayscale (a subset of Colors and White Balance) affects the Gamma readings. It is somewhat frustrating to learn that while I get a good balance for both White Balance and the Grayscale, it was a at the expense of the accuracy of the Chromacity (Colors) and Gamma. As Gamma ulitmately affects Contrast Ratio and hence our perception of OLED-like Picture Quality that most of us yearned for, I have no choice but to sacrifice some of the White Balance and Grayscale tracking in favor for a more accurate color (hues and saturation) and a higher Gamma reading. Eventually I am able to get the Gamma to increase to around 1.95 from the average of 1.64, though still not ideal, I am able to trick the Projector to read close to 2.2 by using a combination of both the laser dimming module and the built-in Iris setting (Full/Limited/Off) alongside with the Contrast Enhancer feature. Together they formed what Sony termed as Dual Contrast Control. The predecessor (VW760ES) lacks the Dynamic Iris and rely chiefly on the laser dimming to achieve a higher Contrast level. With the new Dynamic Iris and the Contrast Enhancer feature, VW870ES can achieve “deeper” blacks compared to VW760ES.

Trade-offs/Compromises
As I have mentioned earlier, there are some compromises to be made here, By setting the Laser output to 70 instead of the default 80, Dynamic Iris set to “Full” and Contrast Enhancer set to “Low”, I am able to get a reasonable good Gamma tracking of around 2.1 which is very close to the ideal 2.2. The downside of using this Dual Contrast Control settings comes at a price where there will be a significant push in Blue. The Red also took a corresponding hit in the IRE40 to IRE90 region. Only Green is near perfect. End result is the Color Temp increased to 6,832 (making it “cooler” than the D65). Because of the compromises made to the White Balance, the Grayscale tracking overshot the Delta E value of less than 3.0 and this ulitmately overshot the Delta E by 0.6 making it to 3.6 though still within the 4.0. Unfortunately, there is an inherent limitations for this Projector to achieve near-perfect Delta Es for White Balance, Grayscale, Colormetry (Chormacity) and Gamma. I read that Sony has a calibration of its own that can make finer adjustments to make the calibration to near-perfect but this calibration software is not made available for the general public as far as I know.

Verdict on the BT709 using Reference Preset (After Calibration)
Charts and statistics only formed part of the “picture” (pun intended). Real-time assessment of the picture quality still matters the most. Although there is some imperfection in the areas I had described above. The image quality is majestic and stunningly “realistic” especially when you watched 4K content with HDR. I have never seen such a pin-sharp image quality from a Projector before. The constant light output from the laser diode really helps in providing a very consistent image without a hint of flickering. Normal bluray imagery is near-4K quality and screams quality.  Sony’s triluminous color spectrum provides around 91.3% of the P3-DCI color spectrum within a BT2020 colorspace while BT709 scores a gorgeous 102% of the P3-DCI spectrum. This is very impressive in my opinion.

How is the Black Levels?
I guess many members are yearning to know how the Black levels performs for the Sony flagship projector. My verdict on this is – not as good as the JVC N7 which I have owned last year. In terms of black levels, JVC still reigns in this area but that is not to say that Sony VW870ES is far behind. On the contrary, the lower lumens (2,200) actually allows us to have better black level control as opposed to a super bright lumen projector like the uber-expesnive VW5000ES which literally can make you squint your eyes in a very dark viewing room. And because of this lower lumen (same as most normal JVC based DiLA projectors), black levels and shadow details can be more precise in its measurements with consumer-grade colorimeter like the X-Rite iDisplay 3 Pro that I am using for the calibration.

Cinema Mode 1 – Optimized for HDR viewing
I have decided to calibrate for a custom P3-DCI mode just for 4K rips with SDR BT2020 (downconverted from HDR) at 8-bit. For those struggling with sufficient light output for your lamp-based projector, you can try this method. To retain richer color palettes which is greater than the normal BT709, P3-DCI mode is one way to make your 4K HDR content brighter without sacrificing on 4K sharpness in image details and richer colors.

No Auto-Tone mapping
Sadly Sony did not implement JVC style of Dynamic-Tone Mapping (DTM) styled, “Frame-by-Frame Adpative HDR”. JVC is the ONLY manufacturer in the Projector community that came up with this brilliant feature which really makes 4K HDR content shine in every respect! I am hoping Sony can up the game by introducing their own version of the DTM feature. If so, it will be perfect! Let’s not forget that the Sony VW870ES cost more than 3 times of JVC N7. The value proposition for JVC is simply amazing! The only drawback is that JVC N7 still a lamp-based projector which has a higher maintenance cost and susceptible to color and gamma shift over time as the lamp dims.

Part 2 coming soon...Watch for it.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 22:49 by desray »

Offline MatJenin

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2020, 21:56 »
Congratulations on your purchase!
Looking forward to your sharing on the results of your calibration journey! I am sure I could benefit tremendously from your sharing. Got mine from SD when the PJ first reached our shore... :)
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Offline Amon86

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2020, 14:17 »
Wa...my dream projector if only i could strike toto which is lol.... 37k for a projector is alot of sparechange could use it to upgrade my fronts to a Kef blade 2 or Focal Scala Utopia Evo hope that few years later will come to a price of 20k i willingly to pay maxed for a laser projector

Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2020, 06:41 »
Wa...my dream projector if only i could strike toto which is lol.... 37k for a projector is alot of sparechange could use it to upgrade my fronts to a Kef blade 2 or Focal Scala Utopia Evo hope that few years later will come to a price of 20k i willingly to pay maxed for a laser projector

I will come to say that this is the PERFECT projector as HDR calibration is a challenge up to this point, particularly in the Colorspace and the gamma. HDR requires proper tone mapping to look its best, unfortunately SONY does not have the JVC kind of auto tone mapping which makes HDR a hit or miss. When it comes to SDR at 8-bit, Sony literally wins at every aspect albeit the black levels not nearly as good as the renowned Blacks of JVC.



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Offline Amon86

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2020, 11:46 »
I will come to say that this is the PERFECT projector as HDR calibration is a challenge up to this point, particularly in the Colorspace and the gamma. HDR requires proper tone mapping to look its best, unfortunately SONY does not have the JVC kind of auto tone mapping which makes HDR a hit or miss. When it comes to SDR at 8-bit, Sony literally wins at every aspect albeit the black levels not nearly as good as the renowned Blacks of JVC.

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Can the black level be improve as getting those stewart projector screen that cost as much as 10k? or those ambient light rejection screen? I heard from avs forums that the colour base can be custom and upload it to your projector via using a computer to copy the existing one before overwritting with a custom made by users

Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2020, 12:08 »
Can the black level be improve as getting those stewart projector screen that cost as much as 10k? or those ambient light rejection screen? I heard from avs forums that the colour base can be custom and upload it to your projector via using a computer to copy the existing one before overwritting with a custom made by users

Not sure about uploading of custom settings. But if it’s possible like JVC, then we will need SONY proprietary calibration software to do it.

Black levels no matter how you tweaked will not get as good as JVC blacks. But I will say it’s quite near. Using a ALR screen rejects ambient lights but does not necessarily improve the black levels.



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Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2020, 12:13 »
Have you experimented with the Vertex2 to spoof HDMI HDCP handshaking to get Dolby Vision LLDV
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Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2020, 19:22 »
Have you experimented with the Vertex2 to spoof HDMI HDCP handshaking to get Dolby Vision LLDV

What for???


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Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2020, 23:10 »
That gives u dynamic HDR - for some reason they say it gives improved contrast

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Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2020, 07:31 »
That gives u dynamic HDR - for some reason they say it gives improved contrast



Did a cursory reading of the postings in the link you provided...It seems to be a pet project more than anything else. Nothing concrete and I can foresee a slew of problems/issues/variables that need to take note of. Not a simple one-off solution based on my limited knowledge of how Vertex works. But thanks for sharing :)

Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2020, 19:59 »
Re-watched X-Men Apocalypse this afternoon and I was blown away by the details. I couldn't help it and took some snapshots using my iPhone Xs Max. Simply put, the screencaps posted here did not do justice to the picture quality.



Here are some side-by-side comparisons of scenes in SDR and HDR mode. Look at the color gamut and the amount of details of the characters. The color palettes and skin tones for this disc can be a bit strong here...but this Sony handles with aplomb.

SDR - Magneto Scene


HDR - Magneto Scene


SDR - Magneto and Apocalypse Scene


HDR - Magneto and Apocalypse Scene


SDR - Professor X Scene


HDR - Professor X Scene



 ;)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 20:04 by desray »

Offline DJQ

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2020, 22:04 »
superb PQ. :o
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Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2020, 21:01 »
Review on Sony VPL-VW870ES - PART 2

I did another round of calibration after stabilizing the laser for a full week. I have managed to get excellent colors and black levels this time around. Here are my revised calibration settings for both SDR and HDR. For SDR setting, I chose Reference as the Calibration Preset and Cinema 1 for HDR. Take note, this is for my projector and those who owned this model should refrain using my settings on yours lest it screwed up your PQ. Instead use it as a form of reference to see how much correction has been done to achieve the best PQ after proper calibration.



SDR Calibration Settings
Calibration Preset: Reference
Reality Creation:
Resolution: 20
Noise Filtering: 10

Cinema Black Pro:
Advanced Iris and Laser Setting:
Dynamic Control: Full
Laser Light Output: 70
Contrast Enhancer: Middle

Motion Flow: True Cinema
Contrast: Max
Brightness: 53
Color: 50
Hue: 50

Color Temp: Custom 3
Gain:
Red 20
Green: 0
Blue: -13

Bias:
Red: -1
Green: 0
Blue: 0

Sharpness: 50

Expert Setting:
NR: Off
MPEG NR: Off
Smooth Gradation: Low
Gamma Correction: 2.6

Color Correction: On
Color Select: Red
Hue: -8
Saturation: 5
Brightness: -7

Color Select: Yellow
Hue: -4
Saturation: 12
Brightness: -4

Color Select: Green
Hue: 4
Saturation: 18
Brightness: -5

Color Select: Cyan
Hue: 2
Saturation: 21
Brightness: -3

Color Select: Blue
Hue: -3
Saturation: 3
Brightness: -10

Color Select: Magenta
Hue: -11
Saturation: 5
Brightness: -4

Clear White: High
x.v.Color: Off
HDR: Auto
Color Space: BT.709
Input Lag Reduction: Off

Click here to see the (SDR) Calibration Report (PDF format)


HDR Calibration Settings
Calibration Preset: Cinema 1
Reality Creation:
Resolution: 40
Noise Filtering: 10

Cinema Black Pro:
Advanced Iris and Laser Setting:
Dynamic Control: Full
Laser Light Output: 30
Contrast Enhancer: Off

Motion Flow: True Cinema
Contrast (HDR): 80 (default is 60)
Brightness: 53
Color: 50
Hue: 50

Color Temp: D65
Gain:
Red 20
Green: 0
Blue: -20

Bias:
Red: -1
Green: 0
Blue: 3

Sharpness: 50

Expert Setting:
NR: Off
MPEG NR: Off
Smooth Gradation: Low

Color Correction: On
Color Select: Red
Hue: -5
Saturation: 2
Brightness: -7

Color Select: Yellow
Hue: -3
Saturation: 15
Brightness: -10

Color Select: Green
Hue: 0
Saturation: 34
Brightness: -12

Color Select: Cyan
Hue: 3
Saturation: 30
Brightness: -6

Color Select: Blue
Hue: -25
Saturation: 18
Brightness: -10

Color Select: Magenta
Hue: 5
Saturation: 0
Brightness: 1

Clear White: High
HDR: HDR10
Color Space: Color Space 1
Input Lag Reduction: Off

Click here to see the (HDR) Calibration Report (in PDF format)


More elaboration tmr...Stay tuned! ;)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 16:41 by desray »

Offline desray

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Re: Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K Laser Projector
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2020, 10:11 »
Here are a couple more screenshots that really accentuate the exceptional clarity and sharpness of the picture using ARC-F lens. Some key differences from the previous screencaps I took is the change in source. This time round, I'm using MadVR on HTPC as opposed to Zidoo Z9S. MadVR dynamic tone mapping is pretty darn good imo.

Look at this shot from The Gemini Man. The details of Will Smith's skin pores, debris that stuck to his face and neck area etc...of course, more importantly, is the clean DI transfer of this movie to 4K that truly brings out the best in your display's capability. Again this is shot using an iPhone XS Max camera (Not 11 Pro).


Click here to zoom

A clip from Shazam featuring Mark Strong, the baddie. The source was Panny's DMP-UB420 featuring Panasonic's proprietary HDR Optimizer algorithm.

SDR image


HDR image


Some interesting take on the SDR and HDR comparisons. In HDR, the skin tones took on more strong hues (thanks to the DCI-P3 color gamut which gets around 87% of BT2020 and what's more impressive is the fact that Sony didn't use any color filter to achieve that that P3 color range when compared to JVC N7 which requires a color filter). In terms of color fidelity and brilliance, as long as it is properly calibrated, both JVC N7 and Sony VW870ES come pretty close. JVC N7 inevitably will take a hit in light output (lumens) after using the DCI-P3 color filter...but with JVC proprietary frame-by-frame HDR optimizer algorithm, it can hold its candle against the more expensive Sony. I have to say that Sony's black levels have improved leaps and bounds over the years, especially in this new VW870ES using Dual Contrast Control - i.e. the addition of using a DI to further increase the perceived Contrast Ratio (CR). And still, JVC wins hands-down when it comes to black levels but Sony (after calibration) is definitely not too far behind...Well done Sony.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 10:45 by desray »

 

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