Sony VPL-HW30ES Home Theater Projector Review

VPL-HW30ES Projector - Input/Output

For the most part, the VPL-HW30′s input panel is similar to previous HW and VW LCoS projectors.

It is located on the side of the projector, below the control panel, and runs from back to front. Furthest to the rear is the power receptacle. Just forward, and above, are two HDMI 1.4a inputs (one circuit, two connectors, as is typical). Next up, is a standard HD15 analog computer input, for hooking up to a traditional PC.

That’s followed by the usual composite video (yellow RCA jack), and then the three (R,G,B) color coded RCA jacks for the component video. Note, should you need two component video connections, the HD15 computer connection should be able to double as your second one.

Click to enlarge. SO close

After the component video, is an ethernet type jack for the 3D emitter that comes with the VPL-HW30AES projector package, or is bundled with 2 pair of glasses as an option for the VPL-HW30ES base projector.

Note, Sony says the 3D emitter works best, when placed in the front of the room, facing back to the audience. I would tend to agree. I had more problems fiinding a good place for it, where it allowed glasses to work from just about any place one could call seating in my theater, Once I figured it out, it worked well. In my case, for my longest temp setup, I had about a 20 foot run of ethernet cable between the transmitter and the projector.

Next (second from the front) is a jack to hardwire the remote control (for long distances, or rear projection, where there’s no line of sight).

Finally, there’s the usual RS-232 serial port for command and control from a room or whole house system

The VPL-VW30ES does not have a 12 volt trigger (for controlling an anamorphic lens, or a motorized screen), found on the $9999, VPL-VW95ES.

Click Image to Enlarge

VPL-HW30ES Menus

The Sony VPL-HW30ES menus have the same look and feel as the VPL-HW30ES’s predecessors. Below, find most of the main menus, several sub-menus, and adjustment controls. Several have specific comments added for clarity. I’ll point out some of the 3D menu features as well.

Sony VPL-HW30ES Remote Control

I like this Sony remote. It’s another long narrow remote. It feels good in your hand, solid! The backlight – is just a tad dim for my taste, but probably not an issue for the majority of folks. You can get to a lot of the main controls without shifting your hand from the middle area, but, power on and off, and that backlight are at the top, where you’ll probably use your other hand to control them.

Not far below those three, is a block of 3 rows by 3 buttons with your picture modes – nine total including the two User modes.

Further down is the navigation area of the Sony remote control. Three large buttons surround the four navigation arrows and center Enter button. Those three are Pattern – for test patterns, and Reset. The third one, at the bottom is the all important Menu button. (I never have understood why anyone would design RESET to be a large button the middle of things. Scary – although you have to confirm.)

The next block of nine buttons give you direct access to most of the major image controls. The first row has their aspect ratio, CFI (MotionFlow), and 3D. The next line offers color space, color temp and their RCP (Real Color Processing) color management. The last three: Gamma control, Black Level and the Iris control (two dynamic modes, and manual).

That only leaves three very more popular controls, and those are +/- controls at the bottom for Sharpness, Brightness, and Contrast.

Overall a very good remote, but move the Reset.

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