Sony VPL-HW50ES Home Theater Projector Review

Sony VPL-HW50ES: Bottom Line Sharpness

Bottom line: Convergence of this pre-production unit was so-so, not surprisingly, as it’s “been” doing a lot of traveling, and is not full production.  With the Auto convergence feature though, it comes out looking pretty good.  There is also the likely more precise manual system, but all those zones take some time.  Not for those who bore easily.

Using Reality Creation can take detail and sharpness to essentially new levels for a 2K projector.  Just remember, there are always some trade-offs.  Still, I doubt if even a particularly good under $5K single chip DLP will look sharper, even if one technically is, as DLP’s have an inherent advantage.  RC will let you think you have the sharpest projector out there.

Light Leakage

This Sony projector, like its predecessors (and even more expensive siblings. Likes to leak a very small amount of light through the lens. Some of that lands outside of the image area.

The amount is minimal. If you really want to spot that light leakage, you are probably going to have to pause the image on a black frame. Even so, you aren’t likely to be able to spot it, unless your room has a front wall that’s fairly light, to show off that faint light when the room is fully dark.

There is no leakage out the vents, or, perhaps I should say, absolutely no noticeable amount escapes the vents.

I have no issues with light leakage.  Optics seem particularly clean, halo (white leaking into nearby black) around white text on a black backround (such as film credits), is less noticeable than with most projectors. Very good!

 

Image Noise

I mentioned 3D related noise issues if you set the projector and glasses for the brightest image based on the black frames and glasses opening times. Once again, I recommend the 2 setting, or if you can live with the even lower brightness, the minimum – 1. At the maximum of 4, you get max brightness, but a scene with a distant crowd has that crowd looking sort of over contrasty, not natural.

Note, I’ve watched many hours of 3D pretty much continuously, without any fatigue, although, I have yet to be fatigued by any newer 3D projector.

2D noise issues are what I expect of a modern quality home projector – none worth discussing. The art of image processing took lots of strides over the last 6-8 years. Today, just about every projector is reasonably clean on image noises, except, perhaps some entry level and crossover projectors.

Remember, there’ are many noise controls on this projector, standard, motion noise, and noises relating to Reality Creation…

Audible Noise

Sony claims 22db in eco-mode, and that, folks is very quiet. The quietest home theater projectors seem to get down to about 15 or 16 db, but 22 is lower than the vast majority.

At full power, I don’t believe Sony publishes a spec, but don’t worry about it, this Sony is not only pretty quiet at full power, but the fan pitch is low.

No matter, if I had to guess at a full power audible noise level, I’d probably have to go with 25-27 db, and that’s still quiet compared to most projectors at full power.

The Sony is quiet enough that most noise adverse buyers probably won’t have any problem with full power, and definitely not eco-mode!

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