Shootout: Three Budget HD Front Projectors Page 5
Sony Bravia VPL-AW15
Sony's 720p LCD front projectors have been strong performers in the past, so it was only natural for us to stand up and take notice when the company announced its Bravia VPL-AW15 720p LCD front projector. Along with a 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution display, this $1,300 projector features a 165-watt UHP lamp and 1.6x zoom lens. Zoom and focus adjustments are manual, and there's also horizontal and vertical lens shift controls to aid during initial setup.
Sony's full-size remote control for the VPL-AW15 features a sparse keypad with a cleanly arranged, backlit buttons. I had no trouble at all using it to operate the projector in a pitch-black room. A set of buttons located on the bottom half enable you to switch directly between the Sony's six picture presets, and there are also dedicated rocker buttons for making on-the-fly brightness and contrast tweaks. Another button labeled ADJ PIC gives you quick and easy access to the picture adjustment submenu. You switch inputs by repeatedly pressing the Input button to toggle through the choices. And pressing the Wide Mode button lets you toggle through the Sony's various display modes: Normal (displays 4:3 pictures with vertical sidebars), Full (for anamorphic widescreen DVDs and HDTV), Zoom, and Wide Zoom (a combined picture stretch and zoom). All display modes can be selected for both standard- and high-definition programs.