Sony VPL-VW790ES 4K Laser Projector Review & Comments

Dave777

Active Member
Now all we need is the laser light source from the Sony fitted into the JVC N7.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Thanks Steve, surprised you say it’s noisy, my 760 is almost silent at 80% laser and hardly audible at 100%.

I think any owner on here will admit that you need some form of external processing to maximise HDR performance, but add in madVR or a lumagen and its a stunning combination.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Thanks Steve, surprised you say it’s noisy, my 760 is almost silent at 80% laser and hardly audible at 100%.

I think any owner on here will admit that you need some form of external processing to maximise HDR performance, but add in madVR or a lumagen and its a stunning combination.
Yep. Owner here. Add a Lumagen and it's basically the same price as the 760 was at launch and the performance is otherworldy. Great review, though, very thorough. And obviously, you're not reviewing the performance of the unit with outboard processing and has to be looked at on the same terms as other projectors, standalone. Agree with @mb3195, though... to anyone who's getting one: Budget for a Lumagen to go with it. They are perfect partners and the results are EYE-MELTING.

Funnily enough, reliability has been the biggest bigbear for me, with my 790 currently out of action thanks to a broken/stuck mechanical iris, which developed after just two months of use. I do think build quality is an issue with these units, and that is born out by my recent experience.
 

jfinnie

Distinguished Member
Thanks Steve, surprised you say it’s noisy, my 760 is almost silent at 80% laser and hardly audible at 100%.

I think any owner on here will admit that you need some form of external processing to maximise HDR performance, but add in madVR or a lumagen and its a stunning combination.
I thought the noise of the 760ES was notable when I saw it in action at @Rickyj at Kalibrate 's forum day; it wasn't too bad, but nothing like silent. And the changing fan speed due to the image brightness did draw attention to it a bit more than the constant drone you tend to get on lamp units.
Perhaps we were sat closer to it than you are.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I thought the noise of the 760ES was notable when I saw it in action at @Rickyj at Kalibrate 's forum day; it wasn't too bad, but nothing like silent. And the changing fan speed due to the image brightness did draw attention to it a bit more than the constant drone you tend to get on lamp units.
Perhaps we were sat closer to it than you are.

probably not mate, mine is pretty close to me. Dropping the laser to 80% (this is all I need now) and it is virtually silent. My AC unit on the lower setting is actually noisier.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
probably not mate, mine is pretty close to me. Dropping the laser to 80% (this is all I need now) and it is virtually silent. My AC unit on the lower setting is actually noisier.
Concur. All the up and down and whooshing and whining that is audible in a dead silent room is extremely quiet on 80% laser, and let's be honest, on 100% laser with content playing you can't hear it at all anyway. Not sure why anyone cares about noise level at all tbh. You couldn't even hear my vacuum cleaner with content playing at reference level. :rotfl:
 

jfinnie

Distinguished Member
probably not mate, mine is pretty close to me. Dropping the laser to 80% (this is all I need now) and it is virtually silent. My AC unit on the lower setting is actually noisier.
If I recall, it was probably a meter back and a bit above head height, but not ceiling mounted. X7900 was next to it.
Daikin AC I've got on the quietest mode is probably slightly quieter that the X7900 on low lamp.
Concur. All the up and down and whooshing and whining that is audible in a dead silent room is extremely quiet on 80% laser, and let's be honest, on 100% laser with content playing you can't hear it at all anyway. Not sure why anyone cares about noise level at all tbh. You couldn't even hear my vacuum cleaner with content playing at reference level. :rotfl:
I disagree a bit. I think some of the benefit of top-notch electronics is lost when your room noise floor is raised, which is what these bits of gear in room do with their various wooshes. It does annoy me a bit when all the crash bang wallop dies down and you can hear the various bits of gear in the room instead of the silence of the content.

When I demo'd the 760ES the X7900 was literally next to it and I thought there was a marked difference in the levels, so when I read what Steve wrote it did ring true. Having said that, if I'd had the budget I'd have probably gone for the 760ES at the time instead, it wouldn't have stopped me buying.

If I ever re-do the room, getting rid of the projection and HVAC noise will be a significant goal. Admittedly when that happens it probably won't matter what the PJ does, as it will be in a box.
 
Last edited:

jfinnie

Distinguished Member
Only HDMI 2.0 (for that money) is unforgivable
None of the high-end PJs have HDMI2.1 yet, from Sony, JVC or Epson, and I'm not aware of any non-short throw DLPs either (I'm sure some exist somewhere though)
Even Sony's $80,000 flagship doesn't. You can read a slightly cringeworthy justification here from a Sony PM:

In some cases the internal processing pipeline is a limitation before you even get to 18G HDMI, which probably only really leaves QMS and VRR as the features of benefit to a typical projector owner.

I don't think I'd let lack of HDMI2.1 get in the way of a PJ purchase.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Only HDMI 2.0 (for that money) is unforgivable
To be fair, I think you're confusing TVs with projectors. It's not 8K, and people don't buy these for 120FPS 4K gaming (and let's be honest, even an RTX 3090 is going to struggle to produce that sort of frame rate). These projectors are for home cinema. So until there is a wealth of 8K content and/or gaming machines that can actually produce 4K/120 reliably, HDMI 2.1 is completely moot.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
I fairly sure I know the difference between a TV and a PJ :rotfl:
You know what I meant. TVs want to push that tech even though it is currently of very limited use. HDMI 2.1 is for the TV market currently. And until there are native 8K projectors, that will remain the case.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
When I demo'd the 760ES the X7900 was literally next to it and I thought there was a marked difference in the levels, so when I read what Steve wrote it did ring true. Having said that, if I'd had the budget I'd have probably gone for the 760ES at the time instead, it wouldn't have stopped me buying.

760 is a LOT quieter than my old 7900 on both medium and high lamp located in exactly the same position.

My noise floor is ridiculously low now.
 

xar

Well-known Member
Owner here with a lumagen (partially calibrated, in that I have same calibration file from my 760 loaded, but haven't had it re-calibrated for the new machine or my slightly bigger 16:9 screen).

Fan noise is no issue for me (I only watch things LOUD to be fair), but I can't say I notice it even when scrolling the menus for my media player/netflix etc where there is no sound.

Agree that colours jump off the screen, there can be some issues with black crush / images being slightly 'digital looking', but it is razor sharp. motion is great, and in general I am amazed at the quality.

I recently watched the recent Hitman reboot in 1080p, wasn't expecting much, and it was outstanding. Same with Terminator Dark Fate in 4k. I find close-ups on faces to be particularly impressive, being totally natural and lifelike. Same with textural details on uniforms/outfits etc. Although bright colours are a treat, I did enjoy the natural colour of the uniforms in 1917. Only 2 different shades of drab green, but they just looked so real and natural it really made you connect to what was happening on screen.

I think its great :thumbsup:
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
Excellent review Steve. I really enjoy the technically thorough long-format reviews :).

The lens memory problem would drive me crazy. Not good on such an expensive projector. Is this a known issue with this model, or could it just be the review unit?

Regards,
James.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The lens memory problem would drive me crazy. Not good on such an expensive projector. Is this a known issue with this model, or could it just be the review unit?
Phil had the same problem on the VW590ES he was reviewing, so it would seem the lens memory issues are more general.
 

JamesBaby

Well-known Member
Nice to see a review on here for the unit. I think the image is just sublime, with amazing contrast and pop.

My memory positions work just fine, so I'm not sure what the issue might be. The manual does say something about improving accuracy by apply a larger 5cm movement first and working back from there. Not sure if that makes any difference?.

Interesting to hear your comment about re-scaling to fit the full panel vs just zooming out to fill your screen. I did wonder if the if the scaling was any good in this scenario, so I will try reverting to zooming then.

No word on intra scene contrast which I was surprised about. The black level of this machine absolutely spellbinding in normal viewing. It's only in the absolute low picture light levels where it isn't as black as the JVC's. I'm talking areas of black starlit space with no moon or planet etc. Kris Deering and other reviewers pitched its contrast performance against the NX9 for example, where the 790ES bested it until 2%, 1% and '1 pixel on' levels.

Setting the Laser/Contrast control to Full from Limited allows you to have absolute fade to black. At first I thought this was not very common and thus more of a gimmick, but now I find it really is awesome when everything disappears in front of you and goes black. Just on the odd occasion with certain types of on/off credits you might catch it in action, but otherwise I don't notice it.

Noise wise at 100% Laser it is louder than my X30 was. You can't hear it in a movie, but in a long quiet passage I might. My unit is about 1.2m above my head when seated. At 80% you can't hear it.

The HDR settings need to be set to taste. Then you can quickly use the one button toggle between low, med, high, off setting in a movie if required. Some here have set up multiple presets for different Nits which is also an idea to help mitigate the lack of Auto DTM.
 
Last edited:

alebonau

Well-known Member
Excellent review and certainly this projector is in top 2 contenders if I were getting a pj today ...

Am so glad review has been straight down the line too, huge respect for avforums reviews !


Any thoughts on what this would be like in comparison to the JVC n7/n9

The review answers that in its concluding paras,


“What are my alternatives?

The obvious alternative is the JVC DLA-N7, which is not only a fantastic projector, but also £3,500 cheaper. Of course you don't get the benefits of a laser light source, and the N7's bulb is only rated at 1,900 lumens, but in all other respects this is a superior beamer. There's a native 4K D-ILA chipset, all-glass lens, and fantastic level of build quality, plus a host of useful features that includes a lens memory that works perfectly every time, and impressively crosstalk-free performance with 3D.

The images are accurate, detailed and wonderfully film-like, and while not quite as sharp as the Sony, they never look processed or digital in appearance. The N7 also benefits from JVC's legendary black levels, which results in impressive contrast ratios. The SDR performance is superb, and the HDR images are the best we've seen from a projector thanks to dynamic tone mapping. Best of all JVC has already released two major firmware updates, ensuring this projector remains up-to-date.“
 

linnasak

Active Member
Would be interesting to see shoot out with JVCs and SONYS if the the processing is replaced in both by LUMAGEN. Basically is it the projector or the processing in the unit that gives this perceived improvement in HDR?
 

DB9S

Member
My memory positions work just fine, so I'm not sure what the issue might be. The manual does say something about improving accuracy by apply a larger 5cm movement first and working back from there. Not sure if that makes any difference?.
Interesting to note there may be two types of shift mechanism doing the rounds in these units.
The older metal type and the newer plastic type.
You can tell by looking inside the front just past the lens (with the unit off!) The older mech will be a silver casting and the new mech is black plastic.
The new mechs are supposed to be quieter and more accurate, but that is by no means certain.
As you don't have issues, what type of mechanism is in yours and what sort is in the review unit?
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Trinnov Room Optimiser: A full explanation of Trinnov and its room optimiser technology
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Netflix adds support for reduced theatrical release window
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Paradigm launches Founder speaker series
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 3rd March 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Music revenue in U.S. sees vinyl sales overtake CD
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Philips TV to offer Mimi Sound Personalisation
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom