Sony VPL-FH30 WUXGA 3LCD Projector Review

Sony VPL-FH30 Projector - Brightness

The VPL-FH30 is rated at 4300 lumens.  While we could get pretty close to the output, it did require certain positioning of the projector, as well as using a different gamma setting than the default.  By having no lens shift from the center lens position, zooming out to the widest image size and setting Gamma to Text in the menu, we were able to achieve 4030 lumens in Presentation mode.  For the rest of our testing, the lens was at mid-zoom (which has the biggest effect on the output), where the output dropped to 3583 lumens.  Shifting the lens upward to properly fit the screen dropped the output to 3509 lumens and putting gamma back on its default setting of “Graphics 1” further lowered to output to 3110.  This is still very bright and provides a better balanced image for presentations that aren’t mostly text-based.  In Dynamic mode (the second brightest), we measured 2771 lumens.  Using Standard mode, the output dropped slightly to 2626 lumens.  This is the mode that will most often be used for presentation that demand the best color balance, while still delivering good brightness.

Dropping the lamp into the Standard brightness mode resulted in a 23% drop in lumen output.  With Presentation mode, this still gives you 2384 lumens which should be sufficient as long as there is some ambient light control.

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Sony VPL-FH30 Projector - Wired and Wireless Networking

The FH30, with a wired network connection, offers the standard control and notification options.  You get the usual remote monitoring (including email notification) and admin features, as well as control features pretty much equal to those from the remote control.  The FH30 also supports a variety of network monitoring and control protocol, including Advertisement, PJ Talk, PJ Link, SNMP,

Sony VPL-FH30 Projector - Audible Noise

Sony does not provide decibel levels for the VPL-FH30, but subjectively I found it to be quieter than most projectors of this size and brightness.  If I were to guess, I would say that it is in the low to mid 30s in High lamp mode and less than 30 dB in Standard lamp mode.  Whatever the actual level is, suffice it to say that its quiet enough that it’s unlikely to be an issue in almost any presenting environment you’d find the FH30, especially when presenting in the larger rooms that the FH30′s 4300 lumens allows.

If the aforementioned 23% drop in lumen output is acceptable, the FH30 would easily be quiet enough in Standard mode for comfortable video or movie viewing in a smaller venue.  Basically, for a projector this bright that is intended to be permanently installed away from viewers, the noise level is not an issue.

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