Sony VPL-260ES

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

Re­al­is­tic, re­fined colour pal­ette; sharp and con­cise


Fauxk or 4K? Though it’s not a ques­tion you’d want to ask your­self out loud too many times, it is a con­sid­er­a­tion for any­one in the mar­ket for an Ul­tra HD pro­jec­tor. True (or na­tive) 4K pro­jec­tors – that is, those with 4K-res­o­lu­tion chips – are hard to come by at this price point so, ul­ti­mately, the an­swer will largely be de­ter­mined by your bud­get.


Na­tive 4K pro­jec­tors have pre­vi­ously started at around the £6000 mark, thanks to Sony’s now-dis­con­tin­ued VPLŽVW300ES – and we’ve seen greater choice at dou­ble the price. How­ever, more af­ford­able 4K mod­els tend to use al­ter­na­tive meth­ods, such as pixel shift­ing, to reach the res­o­lu­tion.

A range of ‘pseudo-4k’ pro­jec­tors have filled the gap be­tween the hum­ble Full HD and pricey 4K mod­els, but Sony’s lat­est and most af­ford­able pro­jec­tor aims to de­liver true 4K at the same price.

Like many Sony 4K pro­jec­tors be­fore it, the VPLŽVW260ES uses the brand’s pro­pri­etary 4K SXRD pan­els to achieve its true 4K 4096 x 2160 res­o­lu­tion. It goes a long way to ex­plain why the com­pany has been a lead­ing light in the 4K pro­jec­tor mar­ket – a po­si­tion it seems de­ter­mined to keep, go­ing by the all-round stan­dard of the VPLŽVW260ES.

Class leader

A quick run-through of its spec­i­fi­ca­tions puts it in good stead for class-lead­ing sta­tus. HDR sup­port goes as far as HDR10 and HLG, and the sec­ond of the Sony’s two HDMI in­puts al­lows 4K and HDR, thanks to its HDCP 2.2 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. There’s 3D sup­port too.

Sony claims a 6000-hour life­span (on low-lamp mode) from the VPLVW260ES’ lamp. That’s not a patch on the 20,000-plus hours promised by laser pro­jec­tors, but then a shorter bulb life is one draw­back of lamp mod­els.

The mighty, shelf-hog­ging 14kg stature and at­trac­tively speck­led-fin­ish of the


this price Noth­ing re­ally, at Sony’s shell is rem­i­nis­cent of the brand’s more ex­pen­sive mod­els. The fin­ish doesn’t have to be spoiled by your grubby mitts dur­ing set-up ei­ther, as the pow­ered fo­cus, zoom and lens shift con­trols are eas­ily ad­justable via the re­mote con­trol hand­set.

Fiery per­for­mance

We delve into the menu to ex­per­i­ment with and tweak the Sony’s full range of set­tings, which in­clude ‘Mo­tion­flow’, ‘Re­al­ity Cre­ation’ and ‘Con­trast En­hancer’. As we find black lev­els the poor­est of the Sony’s im­me­di­ately no­tice­able tal­ents out of the box, the last of these proves a wor­thy en­hance­ment on low or medium level.

The VPLŽVW260ES’S stark in­sight and faith­ful de­liv­ery of colours raises its cal­i­bre above the Op­toma’s. So, what bet­ter movie to con­vey that than Thor: Rag­narok, one of Marvel’s most colour­ful films. As the film opens with Thor and a fire de­mon, the Sony beams the bright­ness of the blaze to our pro­jec­tor screen, while main­tain­ing the de­tail in his rock for­ma­tion.

Pro­fes­sional hues

The next two hours are a rain­bow as­sault on the senses – there are eclec­tic aliens, pink and green lasers from Thor and Loki’s guns and the glint off the gold in the mu­rals. The Sony serves up the well-con­sid­ered bal­ance of rich­ness and ac­cu­racy that has you con­fi­dent you’re see­ing the movie colourists’ true work.

The mo­tion han­dling, while not com­pletely free from jud­der dur­ing cam­era pans, is more than smooth and sta­ble enough to en­joy. Its mo­tion per­for­mance looks more nat­u­ral with­out the Mo­tion­flow set­ting ac­ti­vated, too.


“The VPL-VW260ES’S stark in­sight and faith­ful de­liv­ery of colours raises its cal­i­bre above the Op­toma’s”

As sharp as the movie’s class-a wit, the Sony is more stu­dious than the Op­toma: crisper, more re­fined and ca­pa­ble of carv­ing out the finer de­tails that make all the dif­fer­ence in a film that re­lies on vis­ual nar­ra­tive as much as, say, The Revenant. The Sony’s pen­chant for the nitty-gritty means it can un­earth more tex­tures and lay­ers of depth in that film’s sprawl­ing, bar­ren land­scapes, and dis­tin­guish its dis­creet dis­crep­an­cies.

Who knows when – or if – the prices of na­tive 4K pro­jec­tors will be cheaper, but for now the £5200 Sony VPLŽVW260ES rep­re­sents the most af­ford­able end of the spec­trum, and makes a strong ar­gu­ment for true (over faux) 4K in­deed.

At 14kg, the VPL-VW260ES isn’t a lightweight... in size func­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.