Sony VPL-HW30ES Home Theater Projector Review

This Sony VPL-HW30ES projector shares a physical appearance, and overall exterior design, resembling several older Sony projectors, such as the Pro1, and HW15. Our tour of the VPL-HW30ES hardware begins with a quick overview, then more in-depth

Click to enlarge. SO close

information and images of the lens features, the control panel, inputs, and remote control. We also include the Sony HW30ES’s menus in this section, as they logically “fit” well with the the control panel and this Sony projector’s remote control.

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Sony VPL-HW30ES Projector - Appearance

The VPL-HW30ES is a bit larger than average sized, under $10,000 home theater projector. There are plenty smaller, including some less than 1/4 the size, but, all considered, it’s a manageable size, a good bit smaller than some similarly priced competition, including some larger LCoS projectors which include the 3D capable JVCs, the Mitsubishi HC9000D… The Sony is definitely larger than most of the lower cost LCD projectors and the smaller DLP projectors.

The lens is manual, and center mounted in the front. It’s recessed, in the sense that other parts of the front of the Sony projector extend further out, for protection, but, the full lens is not recessed into the cabinet itself. This isn’t exactly a portable projector, so, don’t worry about it too much. There is also an infra-red sensor for the Sony HW30ES remote control. Two screw thread adjustable feet adorn the bottom front of the projector.

The controls for the VPL-HW30′s lens shift are on the top, right behind the lens.

No control panel on the top, where you would find it located on most projectors. Instead, you will find the control panel on the left side.

In fact, the small control panel is located above the recessed input panel, that runs along the side close to the bottom

vpl-hw30es lens-and-shift

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VPL-HW30ES Control Panel

This is the same small control panel found on previous VW and HW series projectors. It’s located on the left side (if facing the front of the projector). The button closest to the front is your power switch, with the usual press once to turn on, press twice to power down.

The whole affair is very small, and barely noticeable on the side of the projector. There are two buttons moving toward the back: Input selection, and the second one, is the Menu button. All that leaves is a mini-joystick that replaces the usual four arrow keys. Pressing the joystick in, is the Enter function. All considered, it works pretty well. I still prefer control panels on the top, not that anyone tends to use them once a projector is mounted.

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