Rear of my small 12x12 theater, lots of ambient light from the partially open blackout drapes. Blinds open. Some sunlight hitting dark side wall.
One side window's blackout currents also pulled back. Blind fully open.
Consider that this Sony doesn’t have a super bright “ugly mode.” Although we didn’t calibrate this Sony, from our experience, Sony’s Reference is usually the closest mode to matching a calibration (although at least once, calibrating a reference mode even slightly increased brightness). Even Reference, the least bright mode, measured 1439 (mid-point on zoom, so just about 1500 at full wide-angle. I’d expect calibrating it would generate at least 1450 lumens and possibly to break 1500.
As mentioned earlier in this review, when you want really good color, here’s a projector putting out 1500 – 1800 lumens, which is every bit s bright as many of those low-cost 4K UHD DLP projectors that claim 3000 lumens, when they are in their less bright modes that put out really good color.
That’s enough brightness that the VW695ES can be happy (you too), in a well thought out media room – not as crazy dark as a home theater, but well controlled. Remember, you bought this projector for its great picture – so no point putting it in an environment where it can’t deliver. There are a few photos of football games in the Picture Quality page, and also two shots of the room, so you can see how much ambient light.
Let’s talk 4K without HDR relating to Brightness. 4K without HDR doesn’t need more lumens than 1080p etc Watching Blacklist in 4K on your Netflix feed will prove that you to you. In a perfect world, though, for close to max, best HDR, you really need something around 5000 lumens.
As I’ve stated many times in recent reviews, fortunately, most projectors – and LCD TVs have finally figured out the dynamics of HDR. The improvements from one generation to the next, in handling HDR have been downright spectacular with some companies and their projectors. Sony’s history is more tame, probably because they beat everyone to the market. Sony was shipping native 4K projectors before the earliest pixel shifters appeared, which were pre-HDR (so was Sony – we’re talking pre 4K standards).
But, Sony also started out using tone mapping to provide good HDR, something pretty much everyone does now, so even the earliest Sonys supporting HDR did a pretty good job when most could not.