Best in Class – $2000 - $5000 Best Media Room Projector: Sony VPL-VW295ES

September 4, 2019 / By Project Reviews Staff
Sony

That the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB and Pro Cinema 6050UB beat out this $4,999 true 4K Sony for Best Performance Award in the $2000 – $5000 Class is saying something. Not that it’s saying anything against the VPL-VW295ES – which is a fine projector, indeed – but that Epson made significant improvements over the older models, the 5040UB and 6040UB.

The VPL-VW295ES is, itself, an upgrade from its predecessor, the VPL-VW285ES, which won the award for Best Performance Home Theater Runner-Up in the 2018 Best Home Theater Projectors Report. The VW295ES instead takes home a new award: the Best Media Room Projector in the $2000 – $5000 Class.

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Sony VPL-VW295ES Overview

The Sony VPL-VW295ES is priced at $4,999 making it the lowest priced (and best value) true 4K projector on the market. It is considered to be Sony’s “entry-level” 4K projector, but according to Art, apart from the price, there’s nothing entry-level about it! It has 1,500 lumens, which is great for a home theater/cave environment, but could also be used in a living room or media room where there is a degree of control over ambient light.

It’s got some good looking lumens, but not the black levels, which is why we decided to award it as a media room projector. It’s as natural looking as can be, and as close to on-the-money color, right out of the box, as we ever run into.

2019-2020-Home-Theater-Report_Best-Media-Room-$2000---$5000

The Sony VPL-VW295ES is not only extra sharp, having native true 4K resolution, but has HDR and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), as well as excellent tone mapping for great HDR handling. It supports the expanded BT.2020 color space – the very same you see in your local movie theater – which gives the image those deeper, richer colors for a more immersive experience.

It has a generous amount of zoom – 2.0:1 – and that lens is motorized. That means lens shift! This is a larger unit that is minimalistic, with a dark colored casing that is all around cool-looking. The VPL-VW295ES can be rear-shelf mounted, or ceiling mounted, depending on what you prefer.

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Scene from The Hunger Games, projected by the Sony VPL-VW295ES - Impressive! and this is only 1080p content (Blu-ray)!
Scene from The Hunger Games, projected by the Sony VPL-VW295ES - Impressive! and this is only 1080p content (Blu-ray)!

That motorized zoom lens with lots of lens shift means it will work with widescreens for the 2.35:1 aspect ratio we see in movies. No lens memory, though, so it will take about a minute to change from 16:9 to widescreen sources, by adjusting zoom and shift with the remote, instead of a one-touch Lens Memory. This will work for most folks with widescreens.

The Sony VPL-VW295ES has got game! With a 27ms input lag, all but the most competitive of the hardcore gamers will be pleased with this Sony. Its HDMI has support for the 18 Gbps required to project video games in 4K, at 60 fps. This is something we hope all home theater projectors that tout 4K or 4K UHD will have in the future, but for now, only a handful seem to. Luckily, this Sony is one of them.

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The Bottom Line

Got a “media” type room that’s geared for viewing, but is more of a “common room” than a dedicated home theater/cave? If you’ve got the budget, look no further than the Sony VPL-VW295ES. This is the most “natural” looking native 4K projector around for the price – in fact, it’s the only native 4K projector south of $7,500!

We would consider this to be a great projector for the home theater if it had better black levels. That’s not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t use it in your dedicated home theater, but we decided that, without it having a Dynamic Iris, it’ll make for a great viewing experience in that media room of yours rather than a dedicated home theater. The choice, however, is always yours.

Get the Sony VPL-VW295ES on Amazon!

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Sony VPL-VW295ES Review

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