Shootout: Three Budget HD Front Projectors Page 6
Sony gives you plenty of options for tweaking black levels on the VPL-AW15 - a good thing, particularly for LCD, which traditionally suffers in that characteristic relative to other projection technologies. During setup, I ended up switching both the Black Level Adjustment and Gamma Correction menu items to Off and set Noise Reduction to either Middle or High depending on what source I was watching (both settings eliminated noise without obscuring picture detail). My use of the Sony's Auto Iris feature was also strongly program-dependent: Movies with a deep range of shadows benefited from having it turned on, while it didn't make much of a difference with regular TV.
PICTURE QUALITY Having reviewed numerous 1080p front projectors over the past year, including a few LCD models, I was surprised at how much of an issue the LCD "screen door" effect was with this Sony. (I guess I got spoiled in the interim.) From my usual seat 11 feet away from the screen, the texture of the LCD display panels - something that I didn't see at all from the same distance on the 1080p LCD models I tested - was not only visible, it was distracting. But shifting my seat back to 13 feet or more away reduced the effect to where I could barely notice it.