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Old 10-22-2017, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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First Look: Sony VPL-VW285ES 4K HDR Projector

Update: A first look that includes some calibration results (SDR for now) can be found here: First Look: Sony VPL-VW285ES 4K HDR Projector

Of all the products to debut at CEDIA 2017, none arrived with a bigger bang that Sony's VPL-VW285ES projector. Finally, there's a true 4K projector that (barely) ducks beneath the symbolic $5000 barrier.

I received a review unit of the 285ES from Sony this past Friday (October 20, 2017) and have just now gotten it up and running in my home theater. I'm beginning the first look immediately, at first it'll just be observations in the comments. This will encompass a quick profiling and calibration with CalMan, as well as some first impressions of watching movies and sports plus playing video games with it.

Notably, I bought an Apple TV 4K on the day the projector arrived explicitly so that I could discuss how it gets along with the 285ES.

Here are a few details that perhaps can get a good discussion going:

- I'm using a 120" (horizontal) 2.40:1 aspect Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 130 non-perf screen to project upon.
- The Oppo UDP-203 serves as the UHD Blu-ray player.
- An Apple TV 4K takes care of 4K/UHD HDR streaming.
- A Roku 4 handles SDR streaming.
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro provides the gaming graphics.
- I'm using a CalMan + Colorimetry Research calibration kit.
- Prior to installing the VPL-VW285ES I was using a VPL-VW365ES.
- I can take high-quality photos of the screen.
- I don't have an anamorphic lens.
- I'm not looking to usurp the other discussions on the 285ES, but rather to add to them.
- I will build this First Look into a full review.
- In the first week of November I'm swapping this projector for a VPL-VW885ES.

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Last edited by imagic; 10-24-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Calibration reports are in the homepage article. Follow the "First Look" link in the OP.

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Last edited by imagic; 11-06-2017 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
and as a bonus it offers HDR compatibility, even at 4K/UHD 60p (with 4:2:0 chroma).
Please check the specifications, yes it can display 4k/60p 4:2:0 but only at 8 bits so with banding on the HDR content.
There are many users complaining about this but it is clearly stated in the specifications of this projector which can only handle IRC about 13Gb/s HDMI data.



https://sony.nl/pro/product/proj...specifications
Quote:
Video signal input
480/60p, 576/50p, 720/60p, 720/50p, 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 1080/60p, 1080/50p, 1080/24p, 3840 x 2160/24p, 3840 x 2160/25p, 3840 x 2160/30p, 3840 x 2160/50p*4, 3840 x 2160/60p*4, 4096 x 2160/24p, 4096 x 2160/25p, 4096 x 2160/30p, 4096 x 2160/50p*4, 4096 x 2160/60p*4
*4: YCbCr 4:2:0 / 8 bit
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kjelt View Post
Please check the specifications, yes it can display 4k/60p 4:2:0 but only at 8 bits so with banding on the HDR content.
There are many users complaining about this but it is clearly stated in the specifications of this projector which can only handle IRC about 13Gb/s HDMI data.

https://sony.nl/pro/product/proj...specifications
I already checked with Sony on this. It does support 4K/60p 4:2:0 10-bit HDR. I don't currently have time to read an entire user thread, but Sony is aware of the comments/reports and I had a dialog on this exact topic.

"60P HDR at 10bit 4:2:0 which has a bitrate of about 11gbps, which the FPJ can easily handle."

Needless to say, I'll be looking at how the VPL-VW285ES handles 60p 4:2:0 10-bit.

But as far as the specs go, I appreciate the link to the VPL260ES specs from the Netherlands, and understand it's effectively the same projector. But in the U.S. specs, the only thing that is clearly stated is that 4096 resolution (true 4K) at 60p is 8-bit. There is no similar clear statement regarding UHD resolution, and again I have a statement directly from Sony on that topic. It'll get sorted out.

U.S. Specs: 3840 x 2160/60p*1, 4096 x 2160/60p*2

*1 - Displayed image may be converted for some input signals.
*2 - YCbCr 4:2:0 / 8 bit

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Old 10-22-2017, 01:38 PM
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Reserved for calibration reports and notes
Please measure the input lag in game mode. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I already checked with Sony on this. It does support 4K/60p 4:2:0 10-bit HDR. I don't currently have time to read an entire user thread, but Sony is aware of the comments/reports and I had a dialog on this exact topic.

"60P HDR at 10bit 4:2:0 which has a bitrate of about 11gbps, which the FPJ can easily handle."

Needless to say, I'll be looking at how the VPL-VW285ES handles 60p 4:2:0 10-bit.

But as far as the specs go, I appreciate the link to the VPL260ES specs from the Netherlands, and understand it's effectively the same projector. But in the U.S. specs, the only thing that is clearly stated is that 4096 resolution (true 4K) at 60p is 8-bit. There is no similar clear statement regarding UHD resolution, and again I have a statement directly from Sony on that topic. It'll get sorted out.
I would love some clarification about this as it has been the basis for a lot on confusion and discussion on the Sony threads. I will say that Sony's own manual contradicts what Sony told you


Page 57:
https://docs.sony.com/release//Manual_4725441011.pdf

"* Available only for the YCbCr 4:2:0 signal. 8-bit video images are displayed. "

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Old 10-22-2017, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post
I would love some clarification about this as it has been the basis for a lot on confusion and discussion on the Sony threads. I will say that Sony's own manual contradicts what Sony told you


Page 57:
https://docs.sony.com/release//Manual_4725441011.pdf

"* Available only for the YCbCr 4:2:0 signal. 8-bit video images are displayed. "
I'll point that out, definitely looking for some clarity on this topic.

I might have a simple solution... which is to drive it with my GTX1080 and see what forced 60p 10-bit 4:2:0 does. In fact I'll make that my first to-do, like right now. Sound good?
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:46 PM
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Please measure the input lag for 4k60p game mode
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:50 PM
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I'll point that out, definitely looking for some clarity on this topic.

I might have a simple solution... which is to drive it with my GTX1080 and see what forced 60p 10-bit 4:2:0 does. In fact I'll make that my first to-do, like right now. Sound good?
The reported banding is introduced when HDR is on at 60HZ (60HZ itself works with no banding). Just to make sure we are saying the same thing

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post
The reported banding is introduced when HDR is on at 60HZ (60HZ itself works with no banding). Just to make sure we are saying the same thing

Yeah I get that. The point is HDR needs to be 10-bit.

Well, as it stands, the GTX1080 does not see 10-bit input as an option in 3840x2160 60p YCBR 4:2:0. OP edited while clarification awaits. We've gotta get to the bottom of it. Thanks for the heads-up, I'll be pursuing this.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:03 PM
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According to this data-rate calculator on Extron's website, 3840x2160, 60 fps, 10-bit, 4:2:0 requires a data rate of 11.14 Gbps, which is less than Sony's stated HDMI data rate for the VPL-VW285ES of 13.5 Gbps. So 10-bit HDR UHD at 60 fps and 4:2:0 should work with no problem. If it doesn't, there's something else going on.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:03 PM
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Indeed, activating HDR makes absolutely no sense if you can't get the color depth up to 10 bit. If it's really reverting to 8bit I'm not surprised whatsoever people are seeing banding. HDR is not meant to run without 10bit color.

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
According to this data-rate calculator on Extron's website, 3840x2160, 60 fps, 10-bit, 4:2:0 requires a data rate of 11.14 Gbps, which is less than Sony's stated HDMI data rate for the VPL-VW285ES of 13 Gbps. So 10-bit HDR UHD at 60 fps should work with no problem. If it doesn't, there's something else going on.
We agree Scott. That is why there is so much confusion and reported banding on these new machines at 4K 60HZ HDR. Trust me, I know, I own the 385 and have been active in the threads. Would love to hear from Sony on this.

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
According to this data-rate calculator on Extron's website, 3840x2160, 60 fps, 10-bit, 4:2:0 requires a data rate of 11.14 Gbps, which is less than Sony's stated HDMI data rate for the VPL-VW285ES of 13 Gbps. So 10-bit HDR UHD at 60 fps and 4:2:0 should work with no problem. If it doesn't, there's something else going on.
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Indeed, activating HDR makes absolutely no sense if you can't get the color depth up to 10 bit. If it's really reverting to 8bit I'm not surprised whatsoever people are seeing banding. HDR is not meant to run without 10bit color.
OK, changing HDMI Signal Format from "Standard Format" to "Enhanced Format" in the PJ's menu allows me send 10-bit video.

Moving on to actual content...
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:14 PM
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Changing HDMI Signal Format from "Standard Format" to "Enhanced Format" has is letting me send 10-bit video to the projector, it's no longer blacked out.

Moving on to actual content...
Good start..though my machine is set to enhanced and I can produce banding by forcing my Oppo into 4k HDR at 60HZ in the movie Transformers. If I turn HDR off then the banding disappears. I can give you time stamps if it helps. Just an FYI.

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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We agree Scott. That is why there is so much confusion and reported banding on these new machines at 4K 60HZ HDR. Trust me, I know, I own the 385 and have been active in the threads. Would love to hear from Sony on this.
Don't worry, that's happening. I've sent an email to begin a dialog. In the meantime I'm going to run upstairs and see what I can see.

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by christoffeldg View Post
Indeed, activating HDR makes absolutely no sense if you can't get the color depth up to 10 bit. If it's really reverting to 8bit I'm not surprised whatsoever people are seeing banding. HDR is not meant to run without 10bit color.
This is it, I have been going crazy testing with different sources, cables, settings and I still get banding with 4K 60Hz HDR content (though I would say I can also see some minimal banding with non-HDR 4K 6-Hz videos). If the projector is capable of accepting 4K 4:2:0 HDR 10-bit content but can only display it at 8-bit, then why sell it as full 4K HDR projector?

My Nvidia Shield is set to 4K 4:2:0 HDR 10-bit, the projector accepts the format, but banding is everywhere.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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We agree Scott. That is why there is so much confusion and reported banding on these new machines at 4K 60HZ HDR. Trust me, I know, I own the 385 and have been active in the threads. Would love to hear from Sony on this.
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Good start..though my machine is set to enhanced and I can produce banding by forcing my Oppo into 4k HDR at 60HZ in the movie Transformers. If I turn HDR off then the banding disappears. I can give you time stamps if it helps. Just an FYI.
All well-documented info is welcome here, or direct links to posts in the other threads.

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:17 PM
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OK, changing HDMI Signal Format from "Standard Format" to "Enhanced Format" in the PJ's menu allows me send 10-bit video.

Moving on to actual content...
Yep, that sounds right. Apparently, all HDR displays have such a switch in the menu system, and it defaults to "standard" (i.e., 10.2 Gbps) in order to maintain maximum compatibility with other devices. I've learned this with the last couple of TVs I've reviewed, so I'm not at all surprised that it's also something to think about in HDR projectors as well.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:21 PM
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All well-documented info is welcome here, or direct links to posts in the other threads.

Transformers UHD in 60hz + HDR (chapter 5 start at 28:15 + chapter 6 start at 33:53). Look at the sky (which as you know is when banding most often occurs or at least is when most easily visible).

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:27 PM
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I'm not the big expert, but I think banding is better checked in games. Colors and gradients are many times dynamically computed on the fly in for example the sky (not always, I think Forza Horizon 3 is one of them), they will take the complete color spectrum possible in 10bit when using HDR.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not the big expert, but I think banding is better checked in games. Colors and gradients are many times dynamically computed on the fly in for example the sky (not always, I think Forza Horizon 3 is one of them), they will take the complete color spectrum possible in 10bit when using HDR.
Don't worry. I've already replicated what's going on, and as it stands 60p 4K on the 285ES is not supporting HDR properly. I used Spider Man: Homecoming, but it would not matter what I used, it's very obvious to me, zero ambiguity. The next step is to figure out why.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:40 PM
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So, how is it with the AppleTV 4K? I don't hear too many good things since the ATV converts everything to HDR (unless I read incorrectly).
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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So, how is it with the AppleTV 4K? I don't hear too many good things since the ATV converts everything to HDR (unless I read incorrectly).
I set the Apple TV 4K to 24p output and it looks phenomenal with HDR UHD streams. But, sadly it looks like manual video mode switching is the only way around auto-convert (for now?).

My solution is going to be to use the Apple TV as my 4K HDR movie streaming platform but keep my Roku 4 around for non-HDR.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:48 PM
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I set the Apple TV 4K to 24p output and it looks phenomenal with HDR UHD streams. But, sadly it looks like manual video mode switching is the only way around auto-convert (for now?).

My solution is going to be to use the Apple TV as my 4K HDR movie streaming platform but keep my Roku 4 around for non-HDR.
Thanks!! Will it stay in 4K24P? Until it's manually switched again by user?
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:48 PM
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Don't worry. I've already replicated what's going on, and as it stands 60p 4K on the 285ES is not supporting HDR properly. I used Spider Man: Homecoming, but it would not matter what I used, it's very obvious to me, zero ambiguity. The next step is to figure out why.
You would be helping a ton of online-shashki Sony owners frustrated by this experience so far. Sure seems like Sony might be doing a little false advertising as this machine is published as supporting HDR. Hopefully you figure out how to resolved it or have contacts at Sony that can help explain what is going on. Outside of this issue, the projector produces a wonderful image (at least in my opinion).
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!! Will it stay in 4K24P? Until it's manually switched again by user?
Yes, Apple TV 4K will stay in that mode until you switch it to something else manually. That's the thing, it does not auto-switch. It's actually VERY handy for this exact troubleshooting purpose.

But, the lack of auto-switching does screw some stuff up. Like when I try to stream Cosmos from Vudu in HDX, I only get SDR resolution. And as a rule, 30p content does not look so hot shown in 24p, given the need to dump every sixth frame to make it work. Hence my "still use Roku for SDR" plan.

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Old 10-22-2017, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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You would be helping a ton of online-shashki Sony owners frustrated by this experience so far. Sure seems like Sony might be doing a little false advertising as this machine is published as supporting HDR. Hopefully you figure out how to resolved it or have contacts at Sony that can help explain what is going on. Outside of this issue, the projector produces a wonderful image (at least in my opinion).
Just to be clear for the sake of narrative flow and other readers, it demonstrably supports HDR in 24p and 30p UHD properly. The question/issue is limited to 60p HDR functionality.

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Old 10-22-2017, 03:04 PM
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Just to be clear for the sake of narrative flow and other readers, it demonstrably supports HDR in 24p and 30p UHD properly. The question/issue is limited to 60p HDR functionality.
Understood, but even you said: "I already checked with Sony on this. It does support 4K/60p 4:2:0 10-bit HDR." They also advertised this when they first released these projectors at CEDIA. So it does support HDR but only supporting it at 24HZ and 30HZ properly contradicts what they said and what you were already told directly by Sony and how some of their customers will use the machine (4K gaming, 4k streaming and some 4K blu rays)
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kjelt View Post
Please check the specifications, yes it can display 4k/60p 4:2:0 but only at 8 bits so with banding on the HDR content.
There are many users complaining about this but it is clearly stated in the specifications of this projector which can only handle IRC about 13Gb/s HDMI data.



https://sony.nl/pro/product/proj...specifications
Then how do you explain why Sony was promoting this projector as having 10-bit HDR 60hz?

https://docs.sony.com/release//specs...285ES_mksp.pdf
Frohlich and Archibald1 like this.

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projector , Sony , vpl-vw285es 4k hdr
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