New Sony Pearl install (VPL-VW50)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by ukaudiophile, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. ukaudiophile

    ukaudiophile
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    Hello,

    Just had to put a few words in about this projector. I recently purchased one of these from a local dealer (Practical Hi-Fi, Blackpool branch selling these for £3,100 with 12 months interest free credit) and have installed this beast over Christmas.

    To give you a little background, I've used a front projector for almost 13 years, starting in '95 with a Vidikron VPF-40SE 3 tube CRT, in 2000 I installe a Sanyo XP21 LCD (1024 X 768), which was replaced 18 months ago by a 7205 I purchased used until I could afford a Sony Ruby. When the Pearl was announced I immediately changed plans, sold the 7205 and purchased the Pearl.

    I have used the Unicol Gyroloc ceiling mount with the Sony adaptor plate, the plate took 10 minutes to fit and the main ceiling mount was bolted to the ceiling in around 45 minutes, using M8 X 50mm self tapping screws. The ceiling is reinforced with 4" X 2" batons bolted between two main joists, so this ensures the mount is going nowhere. I lifted and installed the projector myself (you really should have two people for this job, but the ceiling in my HT is pretty low (7' 6") so I didn't have to climb up too high to reach the mount. Once it was bolted in and aligned (an other 30 minutes) I was ready to go.

    Installation was a dream, the mount allowed me to make very precise yaw adjustments to get the image perfectly centred, I then gave it around 5 degrees of downward tilt and used the powered vertical lens shift to get the image vertically centered. This projector was the quickest and easiest projector I've had to install, and I have installed about 15 projectors for other people in coffee tables, on shelves and from ceilings, and this is by far the easiest and most precise projector to date.

    I am only using this projector with HDMI, and run a pair of 5M runs from the projector to my equipment, which is currently a single HTPC with an ATI Radeon 9600, though this is bein upgraded with an NVidia 7600GS PCI-E in the new year, I am sure the new Nvidia Pure Progressive system will yield far superior performance with the Theatertek player I use. The second run will be for a HDMI switcher, I plan on using both Blu Ray and HD-DVD, and currently it looks like I'll need both players, but if I can bolt HD-DVD and Blu ray drives into my PC, then I'd rather do that.

    To quickly answer the detractors who've criticised the sharpness, let me say this, the VPL-VW50 does not look as ultra sharp as DLP, but this projector does look far more like celluloid than digital video, and for me this projector brings me far closer to watching a movie in a first rate movie theater rather than watching on a high end piece of video equipment. I cannot complement this projector any more than that.

    Every single person who has seen this projector has been totally blown away by it's quality, everyone wants one, everyone is shocked at how economic it is, and I have never seen my DVD's look so good, X-Men III is breathtaking, skin tones are superb and look realistic, computer animation such as 'Cars' or 'Over the Hedge' is devastating, and even older films such as 'Close Encounters' isn't ripped to pieces, it simply looks like a great film print which is in pristine condition. The key to this projectors performance is it's ability to remove the feeling of watching a digital image and make it look more analogue and natural, images seem tactile and very 3D, whilst black level is outstanding.

    Obviously I'm not yet finished, with the new video card for the PC, some calibration courtesy of Avia, and finally a new mains filter on the projector.

    Finally, I have tried some .ts files off the net, 'Fifth Element' and 'Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within'. Truly stunning are the only words I can use, if this is a sign of things to come, I will be buying a lot of HD movies in the near future, there is simply so many more layers of detail and depth to the picture, you really do believe that you're watching a film print.

    If you are considering this projector, then believe me, you will not be dissappointed, it's easy to install, deathly quiet and delivers a stunning picture.

    I hope this helps anyone considering this projector, if I can be of any further help then please let me know.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  2. Lennyz

    Lennyz
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    Superb post analogueaddict,

    I love reading posts from people who are pleased with their gear. It sounds like you will be a happy bunny for a long time. I will have to get to see one of these Sony projectors, it makes me feel like holding on a while longer and stretching my budget.

    It added weight to a your post when I read that you have moved from CRT through DLP machines, as well as the length of time you have been into front projection...

    Thanks for the review but it now makes my decision harder :rolleyes:
     
  3. Jules

    Jules
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    Thanks for the review Dave. :)

    I'm in the process of selling my HS50 with the intention of buying a Pearl in the next few weeks.

    The thing I'd really like to know is how the black level fairs against
    the blackest LCD units like the HS60.
    Does it deliver even better blacks, or is about the same but with more punch?

    I'm convinced that the 1080p resolution will pretty much erradicate SDE, but although everyone praises the black level on the Pearl, I can't help wonder if they are getting caried away with it amongst the rest of its impressive specs.

    I am going for a demo (and likely purchase) at RoyJowetts soon so I guess I'll see for myself eventually, but it would be helpful to get your views in advance.

    Does it still have that slightly murky LCD look about it in dark films?
     
  4. mjw1999

    mjw1999
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    Just gone from a HS50 to Pearl myself and i love it.
    Blacks are very good on the pearl and i've never seen the DI in operation:clap: .
    If benji has the room blacked out for your demo you will be blown away by the pearl.

    Another Happy Pearl owner.
    :arty: :arty:
     
  5. Tondene

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    HI Dave,
    Im so SAD sitting hear on New years day 00.40 am but have been searching for somebody who has a Pearl or Ruby as I am thinking of changing my seleco 420ht for a Ruby if it stands up to the demo, I have looked at many LCD & DLP pjs. but could not stand the jaggies or the pixels. This PJ. sounds so much better. Did you demo the Ruby as well, do you think that they can match crt quality? also can you point me to a dealer the one you mentioned sounds good however im from the Wirral North west and wondered if you have a dealer list ? Any advise would be a great help:thumbsup:
    Oh All the best for the new year,
    Regards Tony
     
  6. Ballistix999

    Ballistix999
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    I can vouch for this. It's an amazing machine. The pixel density makes it perfect for 1080p. I'm running Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra to it atm and it's stunning.

    I've only got 40 hours or so on mine so far so I still see that as bedding in, simply the most amazing projector for it's price right now. Hats off to Sony..

    TT
     
  7. ukaudiophile

    ukaudiophile
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    Hi,

    Jules: I have to say I've only seen the HS60 briefly at shows, so I cannot comment with any authority on the black level from the Pearl in comparison with that projector, but I can say that the shadow detail I'm seeing uncalibrated from the Pearl is very close to the 7205 calibrated, I suspect once I've calibrated this unit then it will better the 7205, I certainly didn't think I'd be saying that about a none DLP projector for a long time in comparison with the 7205, which was light years ahead of the XP21 I previously owned.

    Tony: Don't worry about jaggies or pixelation, the individual elements at this resolution are so small as to be almost impossible to discern even whe n you take the picture out to 8ft wide. I agree that CRT has a natural presentation which is very hard to beat, but the Pearl has left me delighted, giving me a massive increase in resolution, ease of use and more compact with none of the downsides of either traditional LCD or DLP, both of which always had a somewhat artifical quality to their presentation that no amount of calibration and fine tunint could erradicate. The closest I've seen to this projector was a Screenplay 777 3 chip DLP which looked fabulous, but at the time cost £20,000 (though you can now pick one up for £8K). Ultimately, however, the 777 is still only a 720p projector, and for me I still prefer the Pearl over the 777 even though it's under half the price. If anything can beat the Pearl, it's going to have to be something like a 3 chip 1080p DLP or maybe the new 1080p DILA machine from JVC which may be able to go head to head with the Pearl, but right now, if you have £3K or more to spend on a projector, the Pearl is incredibly difficult to beat.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  8. andyacdclive

    andyacdclive
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    Greetings all, I've been interested in purchasing my first projector for a dedicated home cinema room for some time now, and this only contributes to the frustration, especially after a number of forum members have announced their intentions of purchasing the new 'JVC HD1', it would be interesting to find out 'how many 'Pearl' owners are considering in opting for the new JVC model?', this maybe too soon to ask this question however, it would still be interesting to know the outcome.

    Thanks in advance,
    Andy :cool:
     

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