Once again, we would like to thank Sony for allowing Projector Reviews to be one of the first sites to provide an in-depth review of both the VPL-VW715ES and its big brother, the VPL-VW915ES. The two units are very similar in terms of features, except the VW915ES features a Z Phosphor laser light source while the less expensive VW715ES is lamp-based.
The VW715ES is the successor of the highly rated VW695ES we reviewed a few years ago. The VW715ES retails for $9,999.99, and it’s the top end Sony 4K SXRD bulb-based projector. Sony claims the VW715ES can produce 1,800 lumens of brightness and the unit’s lamp has a rated life of 6,000 hours in low power mode.
Sony was the first company to introduce a 4K projector, and they still have the widest model assortment. Like all Sony 4K HDR home theater projectors, the VW715ES utilizes three SXRD panels to deliver true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160).
The most significant VW715ES upgrade is new video processing powered by a version of Sony’s X1 processor that has been optimized specifically for projector applications. This processor is what gives the projector the ability to do frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping. The VW715ES supports both the HDR10 standard as well as HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).
Due to a projector’s limited brightness capabilities, I believe that dynamic tone mapping helps maximize the image quality of HDR10 content on the VW715ES and the VW915ES. A new feature called Dynamic HDR Enhancer, powered by the X1 processor, combines frame-by-frame HDR analysis and tone mapping with the VW7I5ES’s dynamic iris to deliver a big improvement in HDR reproduction.