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PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 09, 2009 0 comments
Price: $3,500 At A Glance: Price-leading contrast performance • Smooth, film-like images • Limited features

Sony Brings SXRD to the Masses

Sony turned the high-end projector world on its ear with the introduction of the VPL-VW100 SXRD projector. The VPL-VW100 offered resolution and performance far beyond other projectors at or near its price point. Sony has continued to push that envelope with more and more SXRD offerings at lower price points. The latest is the VPL-HW10, which is the lowest-priced SXRD projector yet at $3,500. It brings the high resolution and high contrast of SXRD to the budget market.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 08, 2010 0 comments
Price: $3,000 At A Glance: Deep blacks • Accurate color • Superb image depth

Sony’s new BRAVIA VPL-HW15 is a reworking of last year’s VPL-HW10. At a modest $3,000 (modest as projectors go, that is), the VPL-HW15 offers a useful lineup of features and a picture that I didn’t expect at this price. With exceptional color, barely short of state-of-the-art blacks, and vivid, almost 3-D images on the best program material, it…. OK, I’m in danger of giving away the store up front. Read more to get the details.

Description
The VPL-HW15’s gently curved top echoes the look of Sony’s higher-end VPL-VW85, while the lens that recesses into a sculpted front panel does not. The controls and inputs are located on the side.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 18, 2009 0 comments
Price: $8,000 At A Glance: Superb contrast and black levels • Excellent color • Unique adjustments

It should be obvious that the cost of a great home theater projector keeps coming down. At $8,000, Sony’s new VPL-VW70 includes many features that distinguished its earlier, more expensive designs, improves on them in some important respects (particularly black levels), and brings a few new wrinkles of its own to the party.

Description
The large, relatively heavy Sony is easily the looker of this group. If you replaced its lens with a laser cannon and added a bridge bubble on top, its curvy, sci-fi-inspired shape wouldn’t be out of place swooping overhead at the beginning of Galaxy Quest II: The Wrath of Melmac.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 28, 2009 0 comments
Price: $8,000 At A Glance: Solid blacks • Accurate color • Unique adjustability • Color management system could be more effective • Superb resolution

Big Performance

The June 2009 issue of Home Theater featured a glowing report on Sony’s VPL-VW70 video projector. But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Building on its enviable past record in cutting-edge, high-value video projectors, Sony has just launched the VPL-VW70’s successor, the VPL-VW85.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 12, 2011 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $9,999 At A Glance: Deep, rich blacks • Accurate color • 3D-to-2D conversion • improved brightness and contrast

3D Gets Big

It seems like only yesterday that I reviewed Sony’s VPL-VW85 projector, but it was a year and a half ago (Home Theater, November 2009). Sony launches a new flagship home theater projector every year at the September CEDIA EXPO, and 2010 was no exception.

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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: May 24, 2006 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/506sonyvplhs51a.jpg" WIDTH=450 HEIGHT=315>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 30, 2004 0 comments

When Sony announced the development of a new home video projector last spring, the buzz began. Would it be the fabled Grating Light Valve technology, which the company is known to be working on? Would it be LCD, DLP, or LCoS? Would it be something completely new?

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 30, 2007 0 comments
Out with the Cineza. In with the BRAVIA.

Until recently, Sony's popular LCD video projectors carried the Cineza brand name. Apart from the fact that I always wanted to say, "bless you" whenever someone said Cineza, it was perfectly fine name. But Sony has now extended the "BRAVIA" moniker, once used to designate only its flat panel displays, across its line of displays.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 30, 2005 0 comments

Once upon a time, it was widely accepted that LCD projectors had two major weaknesses. First, in commonly available consumer models, the pixel structure could result in the infamous "screen door effect." That is, because the wiring driving each pixel had to be routed between the pixels, the pixel spacing, or pitch, was wide enough to make the pixel grid visible at close viewing distances.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 18, 2005 0 comments
Now that's a black level.

Take a minute to look at the measurement box. Keep in mind that this is an LCD-based product. At 0.003 foot-lamberts, the VPL-HS51 is only 0.001 ft-L higher than the Yamaha DLP projector that's also in this issue. Not bad for a projector that's less than a third of the Yamaha's price. And did I mention it's an LCD? Impressive.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 02, 2011 4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,700 At A Glance: Deep blacks • Accurate 2D color • Outstanding brightness

Sony’s VPL-HW projectors go back a few years, with steady model-to-model refinements. Last year it was the VPL-HW20; this year it’s the VPL-HW30ES. Note that the HW30 now carries Sony’s premier ES designation. But there’s more than that to account for its price premium over the VLP-HW20. Not only does the new model build on its predecessor’s already excellent 2D performance, but it’s also 3D-ready, using active shutter glasses you can purchase separately along with an external 3D emitter. Or if you prefer your projector to be 3D-capable right out of the box, you can purchase it with two pair of model TDG-PJ1 glasses and the TMR-PJ1 emitter included as the VPL-HW30AES for $4,000.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 04, 2013 5 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $4,000 At A Glance: Superb detail resolution • Superior blacks and shadow detail • Solid color performance • Includes spare lamp

In Sony’s pantheon of projectors, the VPL-HW models are the company’s solid middle-class family. While a product selling for $4,000 or nearly so isn’t likely to be found at Target or Walmart, in the projector world it sits nicely between bargain basement and “if you have to ask” pricing.

Filed under
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 09, 2006 0 comments
Forget these teeny-tiny 1080p TVs. It's time for high rez on a big screen.

I've been saying it since the first 1080p displays hit the market: There's no need for 1080p on a screen smaller than 65 inches. Your eye just can't resolve that kind of detail at the distance just about everyone sits from their TV. Resoundingly, no one cared. Where that level of detail is really useful is with projection. With a screen of 90 or 100 inches, you can use every bit of detail you can get. Texas Instruments was pretty candid about not needing to rush in to a 1080p front projector chip. After all, where was the competition? At CEDIA 2005, Sony forced their hand. OK, I honestly don't know if Sony's announcement had anything to do with TI's timeline, but I found it interesting that, at CEDIA, there were no 1080p DLP front projectors, and, at CES three months later, there were a half dozen. Sony's bombshell was their announcement of the VPL-VW100 LCOS 1080p front projector. At $10,000, it's a full $2,000 to $3,000 less than the 720p DLPs. Projector sales are 90 percent numbers, and 1080p is a big one.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 18, 2005 0 comments

<I>When our Photo Research PR-650 SpectraScan Colorimeter&mdash;the tool we use to calibrate most of the projectors we review&mdash;went into the shop for repair recently, not destined to emerge until mid January, a decision had to be made. The Sony VPL-VW100 is one of the hottest video products to hit the market this year. Do we wait until January to post our full review, or bring you what we have now&mdash;observations based on using the user controls, a test DVD or two, and experience with other well-calibrated displays&mdash;followed up later by additional details, including a full calibration. I decided on the latter, to bring you the information we have just as soon as possible, making this first-ever </I>Ultimate AV<I> two-part review that doesn't involve more than one product. Part two of this review can be found <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/206sony2/">here</A>.&mdash;TJN</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 19, 2006 0 comments

While my <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1205sony/">December 2005 review of this video projector</A> was complete in most respects, the absence of our Photo Research colorimeter (in the shop for repairs) did leave a few holes in the formal measurements. These were promised for this Part II.

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