SONY VPL-VW325ES 4K SXRD PROJECTOR REVIEW - HARDWARE

June 6, 2021 / By Phil Jones

The VW325ES looks nearly identical to its predecessor as well as the similar build VW715ES. The chassis measures approximately 18 ¼" wide, 8" high x 19 ½" deep, and weighs about 31 pounds. The unit is larger than most DLP-based home theater projectors. Still, you might be willing to trade a slightly larger chassis for the benefit of better black levels, a motorized lens with horizontal/vertical shift, and quieter operation.

Whether in a dedicated home theater, or a media room, it is very unlikely you will notice the nicely low-pitched background fan noise. Sony claims a very quiet 26 dB which is significantly quieter than most projectors that I have reviewed. The unit's exhaust vents are on the front flanking the lens, and the unit's main intake vents are located along the rear.

VW325ES Inputs and Connections

When looking at the projector from the front, the inputs are on the lower left side while the small control panel is on the right side of the chassis. The VW325ES also has dual 18Gbps HDMI inputs, which is more than enough bandwidth to support 4K@60P HDR with 10bit color. The power connection is located on the back of the projector on the lower right side. 

The VW325ES includes Sony's standard backlit projector remote control that is included with all their consumer 4K projectors. Since it is bigger than many projector remotes, the buttons are large and well-spaced. You can use dedicated buttons to quickly switch between the Picture Presets. To make quick, fine adjustments to the image, there are buttons to directly access many of the picture quality settings including MotionFlow, Color Temp, and Gamma Correction. 

Having direct access to the HDR Contrast Enhancer via a dedicated button is especially useful when viewing HDR materials. It's quick and easy to switch between the High, Mid, and Low settings to adjust the look of HDR content.

The 2.06:1 motorized zoom lens is center-mounted and recessed by several inches. The lens is the same 2.06:1 motorized zoom lens that is also used in the laser-based VW915ES and step-up, lamp-based VW715ES. 

When it comes to placement flexibility, the VW325ES offers 2.06:1 which is a lot of zoom range compared to most home theater projectors whose zoom lenses usually range between 1.1:1 to 1.6:1, depending on the brand and model.

VW325ES motorized lens has a 2.06:1 zoom range with a throw ratio of 1.38:1 to 2.83:1

The VW325ES offers motorized focus and zoom as well as plenty of horizontal and vertical lens shift. Horizontal and vertical lens shift further increases the model’s installation flexibility.

Lens Shift Range: +85/-80% Vertical and +/-33% Horizontal

When projecting a 100″ diagonal 16:9 image, 80% of the image height is approximately 39 inches while 85% of its width is about 41 ½ inches. This means the bottom of the projected image can be shifted down 39” or you can shift the top of image up 41 ½ inches.

While +/- 33% horizontal shift means you can shift 100” image to the left or right about 28 inches. Just remember, like most projectors, the more horizontal shift you use, the less vertical adjustment you will have available.

Having a large amount of zoom and shift capability make installation a breeze, especially when you are trying to replace an older unit that was previously fixed mounted.

Throw Distance for a 16:9 (1.78:1) Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Min Screen Distance (in)Max Screen Distance (in)
80”96 (2440 mm)197 (5010 mm)
100”121 (3050 mm)247 (6280 mm)
120145 (3670 mm)297 (7550 mm)
150181 (4600 mm)371 (9440 mm)

Throw Distance for a 2.35:1 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Min Screen Distance (in)Max Screen Distance (in)
80”95 (2410 mm)195 (4960 mm)
100”119 (3020 mm)244 (6220 mm)
120”143 (3640 mm)294 (7470 mm)
150”180 (4550 mm)368 (9350 mm)

Sony uses a common menu system across its full lineup of home theater projectors. While Sony has not changed the look and feel of their menus in years, they add extra menu items to control any new features and capabilities as needed.

All Sony 4K Home Theater projectors including the VW325ES utilize the same well laid out menu system

Of course, the higher-end model projectors have more menus because of more features. For example, the step-up VW715ES offers menus for Picture Position (lens memories) which it supports, while the VW325ES does not. The type is slightly on the smaller side, but you will still be able to easily read them from a normal seating distance. Overall, the menus are well-thought-out and organized.

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