Sony VPL-XW5000ES

Native 4K SXRD Laser Projector w/ HDR & X1 Ultimate Processor


Sony VPL-XW5000ES

Native 4K SXRD Laser Projector w/ HDR & X1 Ultimate Processor

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Bring true 4K HDR entertainment into your home with the VPL-XW5000ES, a native 4K laser projector with 2,000 lumens of high brightness and a compact, cost-effective design. Sony’s advanced technologies, including the all-new Native 4K SXRD panel, delivers wide dynamic range, high resolution, and vivid color, even in bright viewing spaces.

High Notes

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Powerful Laser Light Engine

We love laser light engines at Audio Advice and were so happy to see Sony adopt this for their new entry-level XW5000. The 2000 lumens it is capable of will light up your big screen!

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The Best Video Processor

We have always felt Sony, with their decades of experience in the film industry, made the best video processors. The XW5000 gets a brand new processor purpose-made for projectors that will give you a picture with so much detail, color, and contrast, you will think you are looking at real life.

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Upgraded Optical System

Sony upgraded the entire optical system in the XW5000 with new 4K chips and an improved layout to deliver even better color and contrast for the demands of HDR content.

Company & Product Overview

At Audio Advice, we have been fans of Sony projectors for decades. Sony, as a company, is so deep in the complete process — from filming making to commercial cinemas — we have always felt they offered incredible projectors for the home theater market. Every year or two, when it's time for new models, we can’t wait to see what they came up with to improve what was already an outstanding product.

For 2022, we were really lucky as Sony chose Audio Advice to get an exclusive look at the new models weeks before they announced them to the public. We all had to sign NDA’s and be sworn to secrecy, as this year, the changes were huge! The new units even came in large custom Pelican cases. While we only had them for a limited time, we did get to put them through their paces in 3 different locations, and everyone who saw one of these could not believe how much they offered for their cost.

This overview is on the VPL-XW5000, which will be the new entry-level Sony front projector.

VPL-VW 5000 Front Angle View

Design & Build Quality

Before we get into all of the great new technology Sony has given us in the XW5000, we want to go over some of the reasons we like Sony projectors so much. As we mentioned in the beginning, Sony has its hands in all aspects of the movie industry. They make the cameras the films are shot on, they make the equipment used in post-production video rooms, and they make a complete line of projectors for large commercial cinemas. Sony literally touches the content every step from creation to delivery. Their engineers know how to make the best picture.

There are a lot of technical details behind the Sony difference, but we think two of the biggest ones are the panels they use in the light engines of all their projectors and their video processors. And guess what? Those are two things that have had big changes in the XW5000 for 2022!

Many years ago, Sony developed their SXRD™ panel. This is short for “Silicon X-tal Reflective Display.” Their projectors use three of these panels, one for green, red, and blue. The pixels are so close together on these panels that you get an incredibly pure image, and to our eyes, deep blacks, rich in colors. But more importantly, the image is just so smooth with a greater sense of depth compared to other projectors.


There is no question in our minds that the Sony video processors are second to none. With all of their work in the film industry, they have a vast library of images that become part of their processor's reference as it goes about making millions of adjustments to the image in real-time for the most natural picture. Their processors have always produced a beautiful picture and they constantly improve them over time as processing speed gets better and they learn more details to include in the algorithms used.

Now that you know a few of the reasons we love Sony projectors at Audio Advice, let's dive into what makes the new VPL XW5000 such an amazing projector for the money. I should also point out that if you purchase your Sony projector from Audio Advice we are here for you with the best tech support in the industry. We can help you get things set up with video chat calls and supply you with the best settings for your projector to help dial it in. And if you live within range of our stores, we have full installation support as well.


Features & Technology

Laser-based light engines have been our preference over the last few years as they have gotten really good, offering much more brightness than lamp-based engines with a far longer life span. We also love the way colors seem to pop more with a laser as well. We are happy to announce the Sony XW5000 will have a laser light engine capable of 2000 lumens! That is a huge jump over the 325 model this is replacing. This unit will give you a great image for up to 20,000 hours of use, which if you do the math is 2 movies every day for the next 14 years!

When Sony introduced their almost $100,000 top-of-the-line front projector in 2021, the GTZ380, it had a brand new processing chip in it called the “X1 Ultimate for Projector.” Now, you get this exact same amazing video processor in the XW5000, and the benefits are not subtle.

The X1 Ultimate for Projector processor gives you improved clarity, expanded dynamic range, and an even larger volume of colors. How they do this is really interesting, and it goes back to the knowledge gained from their involvement in all parts of the video chain.

X1 Ultimate for Projector

Sony has two databases built into the processor chip it looks at for both noise reduction and upscaling. In real-time, it is comparing each frame to these to improve the clarity of the picture. The image you get on the XW5000 is just so clear and smooth that it is hard to believe you are seeing it from a projector in this price range.

At the same time, the processor is detecting dark parts of the image and enhancing them with their Digital Contrast Optimizer tech to give you richer, deeper blacks.

You have probably heard about HDR, which stands for “high dynamic range.” This was introduced a few years back and initially did not work well with projectors as it required more light output than any could provide. Sony came up with some new tech that makes their HDR-capable projectors able to provide the deepest blacks and brightest whites.

Sony has had a great tech suite for handling HDR, and it just runs better on the newest processor. Their Dynamic HDR Enhancer analyzes every frame to provide the best contrast to make the dark scenes darker while maintaining great clarity and detail that gives you bright scenes without any sense of blooming or being washed out. The system also dynamically controls the laser to improve contrast. You can even adjust this laser control setting to best suit your screen size and screen gain. Those of you trying to fill up a large screen will probably want it set to full and smaller screens will want to use the low setting.

While the HDR contrast improvements are going on, Sony uses their Object-based HDR Remaster process to analyze individual objects in a scene and adjust the contrast on a more granular level to reproduce more textures and depth. During our testing process, we found out it is important to change these settings in the menu to optimize the results. Out of the box, we noticed some noise and grain, but once we dialed in the settings, HDR was beautiful. If you are a local customer, we will get all these set right during your installation. If you are an Audio Advice online customer, we will send you a great setup guide that will walk you through how to dial these in just as we did in our testing. When these settings are right, these two processes produce an HDR picture that is just marvelous.


The new processor also adds Sony’s Trilumonus Pro technology to the XW5000. This is something they developed for their flat-panel TVs for a wider and more subtle range of colors. There are an unbelievable 1-billion colors available in Trilumonus Pro. Their projectors have had Trilumonus for a few years, but they first updated them to Trilumonus Pro in the big GTZ380 with a new algorithm for front-projection. It is great to see this show up in their entry-level XW5000.

The SXRD panels used in the XW5000 are all-new for 2022. Sony is using 3x 0.61” native 4K panels. The 4K SXRD panels Sony had been using were engineered a few years ago. In another piece of trickle-down tech from their top-of-the-line GTZ380, when they did the SXRD panels for that model, they decided to improve them for even better contrast. For 2022, they took that tech and went even further. The new panel has a flatter reflective surface and 10% more light reflectance than before. Light resistance was improved by 50% to achieve even higher brightness and contrast.

Not only did Sony upgrade the SXRD panels used, but they also improved the way they interact with the laser light engine. They developed a new design for the optics they call “Wide-Dynamic Range Optics.” The three panels are laid out in the optical block in a new way to have better light control and to maximize the laser light engine. The laser diodes are arranged denser than in the past and have a new cooling system. The result is a higher color volume, which improved the colors at higher brightness levels with contrast enhancements as well.

The lens for the XW5000 is the type Sony has used for years with an aspherical main lens. This shape assures you of a highly focused image on the edges of your screen. In the XW5000, the lens consists of 9 glass elements and the aspherical optical resin main lens.

For those of you into gaming, the gaming mode for these new projectors brings input lag down to about as low as we have seen on a projector. For 4K60P, it is 21milliseconds, and for HD120P, it is a remarkable 13 milliseconds!

VPL-XW5000 Side View


When you couple the laser light engine with these new SXRD panels, sitting in a newly designed layout with the best projection processor they make, you might imagine how good the picture will be. Sony did a demo for our team when we first got our hands on these and everyone who saw the XW5000 thought it had to be the next model up — it just looked so good for its cost.

There are a couple of things Sony did have to give up to hit the price point they wanted for the XW5000. All of the focus, shift, and zoom adjustments are manual. The inner part of the lens has a knob to zoom the image in and out, while the focus is accomplished by using the outer front ring. In some respects, we actually prefer this method for focus. It will take two people, one at the screen, and one at the projector, or a good set of binoculars, but you can really fine-tune it using the manual method. The shift knobs on the top to move the image up and down or side to side felt clunky to us — and for that adjustment — we prefer the electronic lens shift the older model 325 had. However, you only set all of these once and you are done, so it's not a huge deal.

Since there is no motorized zoom, there is also no lens memory to allow you to do a 2.40 widescreen system. You do get all of this and more when you move up to the XW6000, which we cover in another overview.

We saw just the tiniest bit of bowing on the outer edges of the image. We do not recommend a zero-edge screen with this projector — but if you have even a tiny black border on your screen — you will be fine as it was extremely minimal. This is not a big deal, and fairly common on a lot of projectors, but we wanted to point it out.

We took some measurements of the noise level it produced as it seemed really quiet, while testing and the measurements bore this out. With the microphone right at the fan’s output vent, we measured only 50dB, 3 feet away, it dropped to 36dB, and 6’ away it dropped to 34dB. That is super quiet and below the noise thresholds of some rooms.


We also took some lux measurements at the shortest and longest points of its throw-distance range. For those of you new to projectors, you will find out that you have to do a little math to figure out where to place your projector. You take the width of your screen and multiply that by two numbers to get the minimum and maximum points. We usually suggest that you go as close as you possibly can be without being right on the edge as that will usually get you the most light output. Many projectors drop off 40% more from the closest to the furthest point. We found the XW5000 to only drop 23%, which means if you wanted it further back in your room, you will not lose much output.

We also want to point out that when you are comparing projectors you just cannot look at the lumen spec for a true comparison. The spec may say one thing, but it is typically measured in pure torch mode to get the highest number. Once you set everything correctly for the best color and contrast — and then zoom the image to match your throw distance — they can change dramatically. Sony’s stated numbers are much more realistic and closer to what you will get in your home with the XW5000.

We compared the XW5000 to the VPL-VW325 projector which is last year's model. We can say for sure, that the new Ulitmate X1 for Projector processor is a huge upgrade. We obviously saw a big improvement in brightness due to much higher light output, but the way it improved streaming content was stunning. HD movies on Netflix and even 4K scenes looked so much more like an actual Bluray disc than they did on the 325. When we tested very compressed YouTube content, the difference was even bigger.

Motion was also greatly improved. Fast-moving action scenes were much smoother, and scrolling text had a more defined and sharp look. We can tell you with 100% confidence that the new processor alone makes tremendous improvements. Add in the much higher output and the fact you can even watch sports in a dimly-lit room, and it will look as bright as the 325 in a dark room.

Overall Recommendation

Was it as good as our reference GTZ380? Heck no — but, it is extremely impressive for its price point. Sony has really upped their game for their entry-level price point with the VPL-XW5000. You get a very bright laser light engine with the same video processor found in their top-of-the-line GTZ380, and a new panel set designed for better contrast. This one is going to be very hard to beat!

Details & Specs

Up to 2,000-lumen laser light source

Savor the action with up to 2,000 lumens of high brightness, generated by a long-lasting laser light source, for vibrant images even on a large screen.

All-new Native 4K SXRD panel

Immerse yourself in an incredibly lifelike picture with native 4K that offers 8.3 million pixels (3,840 x 2,160). With an all-new 0.61-inch SXRD panel, you'll enjoy high brightness, inky blacks, vibrant colors, rich tones and textures, plus clear cinematic motion, and image smoothness.

X1 Ultimate for projector

X1 Ultimate for projector optimizes our acclaimed BRAVIA TV video processing for projection. The incredible power of this video engine enables advanced data processing, with real-time enhancement of each on-screen object. The result is high dynamic range imagery with texture, color, contrast and realism never before available to home cinema.

Enduring brightness from a laser light source

You'll never have to worry about changing the lamp in your home cinema projector—no lamp replacement and virtually no maintenance are required. The VPL-XW5000ES uses an ultra-pure and reliable laser light source, which lets you enjoy perfectly clear 4K pictures at optimal brightness for up to 20,000 uninterrupted hours.

True-to-life colors with TRILUMINOS PRO™

See over a billion colors come to life with TRILUMINOS PRO. Our unique TRILUMINOS PRO algorithm can detect color from saturation, hue and brightness to reproduce natural shades in every detail. You’ll enjoy colors that are closer to those seen in the real world.

Wide Color Volume

Enjoy spectacular brightness and stunning realism, thanks to new Wide Dynamic Range Optics that achieve a 95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut.

All-new Wide Dynamic Range Optics

Our new Wide Dynamic Range Optics contribute to a compact design with better light control by maximizing the potential of the laser light source. The resulting higher color volume means naturally colorful images, even at high brightness levels, and stunning, immersive contrast.

Incredibly compact native 4K laser projector Sony’s new VPL-XW5000ES was designed to be smaller and lighter than its predecessors by featuring the all-new Native 4K SXRD panel and compact Wide Dynamic Range Optics. This laser projector is about 30% smaller in volume and about 35% lighter than the VPL-VW915ES, delivering the same high brightness.

4K Motionflow™

The powerful video processor in the VPL-XW6000ES offers Motionflow for smooth and clear motion, even when viewing 4K content. Motionflow is ideal for fast-moving sports content, as it adds frames to reduce blur while maintaining brightness. Cinema purists can choose True Theatre mode to retain the original 24 fps.

Input lag reduction 

Enjoy the latest games lag-free on the big screen. All our 4K projectors include input lag reduction that enables the player's input to be reflected on screen without delay. The VPL-XW6000ES supports 4K 60 Hz input with an input lag under 21 ms, and 2K 120 Hz input with an input lag under 13 ms.

Anamorphic lens compatibility for 4K signals (V-stretch for 4K)

Wide lens compatibility means you can use your legacy anamorphic lenses with ease, even with 4K content. Watch your content in your favorite formats with a full-size picture, thanks to the V-stretch function.  

IMAX Enhanced

Sony 4K projectors are compatible with IMAX Enhanced content, making them ready to deliver the bigger, more breathtaking IMAX visuals you love in compatible content. Take advantage of the size of your projector screen with movies that become even more immersive with IMAX Enhanced.

A smart addition to your smart home

Integrate your 4K projector into your home automation and remote monitoring systems. The VPL-XW5000ES supports Control4, Crestron, Savant and AMX, as well as OvrC and Domotz—so you can enjoy a smarter, more convenient entertainment experience.

Designed with the environment in mind To reduce our environmental footprint, we've designed this 4K projector to consume 30% less power per lumen than the VPL-VW915ES. It's also mercury-free, with a laser light source. We reduced the amount of virgin plastic used for the main body by more than 25% and the packaging materials by more than 15% compared to the VPL-VW915ES.

Object-based HDR Remaster 

Object-based HDR Remaster analyses the color of individual objects on screen and adjusts the contrast, resulting in more realistic pictures with greater depth and texture.

Dynamic HDR Enhancer Dynamic HDR Enhancer processes HDR content scene by scene and enhances the contrast in combination with laser output control—bringing you bright 4K HDR images.

Object-based Super Resolution

Object-based Super Resolution technology detects individual objects in a picture and enhances each one for exceptional accuracy and detail.

Dual database processing

Two powerful image improvement databases work together to improve picture quality in real time. One database helps reduce on-screen noise, while the other is used to upscale the resolution.

Digital Focus Optimizer

By analyzing every pixel and detecting possible degradation in advance, the Digital Focus Optimizer corrects the image quality so that the focus is better than ever, even in the corners.


  • Display System: 4K SXRD panel, projection system
  • Display Device
    • Size of effective display area: 0.61” x 3
    • Number of pixels: 24,883,200 (3840 x 2160 x 3) pixels
  • Projection Lens
    • Focus: Manual
    • Zoom: Manual (Approx. x 1.60)
    • Lens shift: Manual, Vertical +/- 71%, Horizontal +/- 25%
    • Throw ratio: 1.38:1 to 2.21:1
  • Light Source: Laser Diode
  • Light Output: 2,000 lm
  • Dynamic Contrast: Infinity:1
  • Accepted Digital Signals
    • 720 x 576/50p, 720 x 480/60p, 1280 x 720/50p, 1280 x 720/60p, 1920 x 1080/50i, 1920 x 1080/60i, 1920 x 1080/24p, 1920 x 1080/50p, 1920 x 1080/60p, 1920 x 1080/120p, 3840 x 2160/24p, 3840 x 2160/25p, 3840 x 2160/30p, 3840 x 2160/50p, 3840 x 2160/60p, 4096 x 2160/24p, 4096 x 2160/25p, 4096 x 2160/30p, 4096 x 2160/50p, 4096 x 2160/60p
  • Input/Output
    • HDMI: x2 (HDCP2.3)
    • Trigger: x1 (Mini jack, DC 12V, Max. 100 mA)
    • RS-232C: x1 (D-sub 9-pin (male))
    • LAN: x1 (RJ-45, 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX)
    • IR In/Out: IN: x1 (Mini jack)
    • 3D Sync out: None
    • USB: x1 (Type A, DC 5V, Max. 500 mA)
  • Picture Processor: X1 Ultimate for projector
  • Object-Based HDR Remaster: Yes
  • Dynamic HDR Enhancer: Yes
  • Object-Based Super Resolution: Yes
  • Dual Database Processing: Yes
  • Digital Contrast Optimizer: Yes
  • Digital Focus Optimizer: Yes
  • Dynamic Contrast Control: Dynamic laser control
  • Motionflow: Yes
  • HDR Format: HDR10/HLG
  • 3D: No
  • Picture Position Memory: None
  • Input Lag Reduction: Yes (4K/2K)
  • Acoustic Noise: 24 dB
  • Power Requirements: AC 100-240V, 50/60 Hz
  • Power Consumption
    • Standby: 0.3W (when “Remote Start” is set to “Off”)
    • Networked Standby
      • 0.5W (LAN)(when “Remote Start” is set to “On”)
      • When a LAN terminal is not connected, it becomes a low power consumption mode (0.5W)
        Dimensions (Without Protrusions): 18 1/8 x 7 7/8 x 18 19/32 (WxHxD)
  • Mass: 28 lbs
  • Supplied Accessories
    • Remote Control (RM-PJ28)
    • Size AA (R6) manganese batteries (2)
    • AC Power Cord
    • Lens Cap
    • Setup Guide
More Information
Projector Brightness 2000 lm
Projector Light Source Laser
Projector Resolution 4K HDR
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