Sony VPL-EX175 XGA LCD Projector Review

Sony VPL-EX175 Projector - Brightness

Lamp Mode
Low Med High
Presentation
Contrast 80 1410 1865 2424
Contrast 90 1744 2318 3013
Contrast 100 2046 2802 3618
Standard 1401
Dynamic 1633 2124
Living 1169
Game 1411
Cinema 1149

The Sony VPL-EX175 is rated at 3600 lumens. We are most pleased to report something not all that common: This EX175 measured brighter than claimed.

In measuring the VPL-EX175, measurements were taken with the contrast at default (80), but also again, at 90 and 100. Those settings developed even more lumens, although at 100, the image is definitely being pushed, with all near whites being crushed. Still, it kept getting brighter. This is a powerful projector that can crank out some extra when you really need it.

Also of note, are three brightness levels, instead of the usual Normal and Eco. The brightest – claims 3600 lumens and 3000 hours of lamp life. Medium increases lamp life to 4500 hours, and Low, all the way to 6000 hours. Essentially, Sony is milking a lot of lumens out of a 210 watt lamp. That should make almost all the DLP projectors jealous.

After measuring Presentation (the brightest mode) at all three lamp levels, we concluded that Low is approximately 42% less bright than High. Medium is 23% less bright than High.

 

Mind you, you’ll find the picture better at 90 contrast than 100, but, keep in mind, most projectors we measure come up short of claim. Generally, the brightest a projector can do, isn’t going to be the most attractive (or close). Any way you slice it, even without cranking it to 100 contrast, this Sony projector has more lumens than most projectors in its class and price.

Sony VPL-EX175 Projector - Audio

The Sony VPL-EX175 relies on a single 10 watt speaker. It should do fine in a classroom or conference room setting. Not exactly first class hi-fi audio, so you’ll want better to play Bach in the classroom, but it will do the job in a pinch. Maximum volume may be slightly limiting in larger rooms, but the sound overall, is respectable and less tinny than several other projectors. It has more of a warm sound, not thin. Again, this Sony shows itself to be very competent.

Sony VPL-EX175 Projector - Audible Noise

Audible noise on the Sony VPL-EX175 is not one of its strengths. It is louder than five of the other six projectors I had here all at one time for the education projector report. In high it is significantly louder than most of the others, although even in a small room you won’t feel like you have to shout over it.

More likely, you’ll feel you need to speak slightly louder than with some others.

Wtih lamp on Medium, the EX175 becomes much quieter. It is fairly typical for most other projector’s high lamp modes, but then, this Sony is brighter than many of them as well. In other words, the 2800 lumens this Sony measured in Medium is more than most of these other projectors. It often makes sense to buy a brighter than you need projector to save on back end costs. Run the Sony in Medium, and the lamp life is extended by 50%.

Both Medium, and the Low setting (which is quieter still) have a slightly buzzy sound to them which sounds like the fan. It’s pretty quiet, but there.

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