Sony VPL-VZ1000ES 4K Home Theater Projector - Summary, Pros and Cons

June 27, 2017 / By Art Feierman
I tend to think of the Sony VPL-VZ1000ES as a much lower cost alternative to Sony's flagship VW5000ES.  Considering the VW5000ES is the best home theater projector I've ever had the chance to review, that's saying a lot. Think this way:  First, compared to the "big" Sony, it's $35,000 less at a mere $24,999! Both are laser projectors using a laser - phosphor design.

Sony VPL-VZ1000ES - simply stated, a rather dazzling performer - with true, full 4K support including DCI, BT2020, HDR...

  Next,  while its definitely true that the VZ1000ES isn't as bright - a mere 2500 lumens (which is still impressively bright), makes it exactly half as bright.  Consider though: Thanks to it being an ultra short throw projector, use of high quality light "rejecting" screens (ALR screens) designed for UST projectors, gives the VZ1000ES a big advantage in situations where ambient light is present in more than very low levels. Once you get past those major differences- brightness, UST design, and lower price - the two projectors are pretty much the same.  Of course, you get a zoom lens with a lot of range and lots of lens shift on the big brother, but those aren't features found on UST projectors.
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Both of course handle HDR, BT2020, have DCI resolution (true 4K), 3D and all the trimmings. Both support Hybrid Log-Gamma, a new streaming protocol for 4K, which is likely to take off, and both handle the maximum HDMI bandwidth needed for all established 4K UHD HDMI content (18 Ghz), that allows source material with a maximum bit depth, etc., well beyond what is being served up to us on, for example, current Blu-ray UHD discs. In a dedicated home theater the Sony will perform beautifully up to its maximum 120" diagonal.   (Note, with the VZ1000ES being a UST, there's no practical way to go "widescreen" such as 2.35:1.  The VW5000Es with lens memory, of course, can work with widescreen so there's no letter boxing on typical Cinemascope aspect ratio movies. OK, that's too much technical, let's talk practical.  And do look at these images, enlarge them.  Remember no matter how good they look on your computer or pad or phone, this Sony will look dramatically better placed in your home.  It's sort of a case of - if it's in your budget, what are you waiting for?
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