This article was published on March 15, 2019

We reviewed this $35K Sony projector with old internet videos

Because, remember, you're not my Dad

We reviewed this $35K Sony projector with old internet videos
Callum Booth
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Callum Booth

Managing Editor

Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.

Remember the old days of the internet? When you had to actually load videos? Yes, those times sure were both magnificent and awful times. And this got me thinking – could we combine the worlds? And watch old internet videos on modern new tech?

I mean, yes. Of course you can, that’s a stupid question.

That’s not going to stop me reviewing the $34,999.99 (lol) Sony VPL-VW870ES/VPL-VW995ES 4K projector by watching shitty old internet videos on it though.

Buckle in.

This sounds dumb, but fine. First question: who would buy such an expensive projector?

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Sony’s projector is aimed at small venues – such as event spaces – or the home cinema enthusiast. Yes, $35,000 is a lot of money, but this is a serious bit of kit.

Oh, a quick note – this device is known the VPL-VW870ES in Europe (where we tested it) and the VPL-VW995ES in the US. We’re going to use the latter for the rest of the piece.

Got you. So, go on, what are the specs like?

Threateningly hearty. It weighs 22kg, uses a Z-Phosphor laser light source, and has a brightness of 2,200 lumens. In real world terms, this means it’ll work for a home cinema set-up with some ambient light.

As mentioned, it projects in 4K (which is a resolution of 4096 x 2160) and HDR. On top of that, it also supports 3D – if anyone has any desire for a long dead format.

The VPL-VW995ES should also operate at peak capacity for at least 20,000 hours of continuous video playing. Oh, and it arrived on a crate in a box like this:

Literally can’t tell you how much unwrapping packages of this size excites me.

If you want a more in-depth rundown of features and specs, you can find all that information here. We’ve got other business to attend to, like what it’s actually like.

Fair enough. Then, pray tell, what’s the VPL-VW995ES like?

First things first, it’s big.

Not feeling the 22kg of this one bit.

Which is awesome. I don’t want to pay $35,000 for something that’s light. It just seems plain wrong.

In terms of build-quality, the VPL-VW995ES (yes, I’m going to keep referring to it as that) felt great. It was sturdy, well-manufactured, and just felt like a premium bit of hardware.

The projector had a wide range of connections, that – for better or worse – got me excited. In other words, it should make the VPL-VW995ES suitable for anyone. Well, if you have $35,000 you really want to get rid of.

Check ’em out:

Mmm, love a load of connections.

Very cool.

Damn straight. I was also a big fan of the remote. Mainly because the keys lit up blue when you pressed a button. This is obviously so you can control the projector in dark rooms, but it’s more fun if you think of it as a long-lasting glow stick.

Simple things, right?

Ugh. So, tell me, how good is the picture then.

Oh my, real good.

Taking pictures of projections doesn’t give you a whole load of information (or accuracy), but I did it anyway. What, are you gonna come to my house and stop me?

Just so you know, that’s a huge, roughly painted wall it’s projected onto, not a proper roll down background.

It mirrored a brand new Macbook Air’s retina display flawlessly, in fine detail, and at a huge size. The image really doesn’t do it justice.

Nice. But what about those videos…

Well, moving images on this beast popped more than champagne corks at New Year. Try to ignore the bad grammar (the titles are lifted straight from YouTube) these are videos I tested the VPL-VW870ES with:

We can all agree it’s an endless run of classics. So, let’s see how it got on… WITH A GIF MASTER CUT!



What… was the picture like?

Beautiful. The colors were rich, the movement was smooth, and they almost looked like they weren’t made over a decade ago on shit equipment.

Let’s round this up – who’s the VPL-VW995ES (or VPL-VW870ES) for?

I’ll put it this way: Sony’s projector is one of the most beautiful and badass things I’ve used. It straight-up rocks. The picture quality was insane, the device was easy-to-use, and I couldn’t find any major flaws. Of course, I did this watching old internet videos, so do with that information what you will.

Thing is, few people have $35,000 to spend on a projector. If you do? Great! Then this is the device for you and you should definitely buy it. I loved my (short) time with this monstrosity.

But if you, like me, don’t have anywhere near that sorta cash? There’s not much we can do but admire it from afar. Overall though? Wow.

Oh, and one last thing: I really miss the old internet.

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