Sony VPL-HW50ES Home Theater Projector Review

VPL-HW50ES Color and Overall Picture Quality

Beautiful color. Seems especially sharp when you use Reality Creation, their detail enhancement feature judiciously.

For years I have always felt that Sony was still living on the reputation of the Sony Trinitron, which raised the bar on TV picture quality some 40+ years ago.

I’ve been reviewing Sony home theater projectors for 4-5 years now.  For the first several years, no question, Sony produced some very impressive projectors – such as the first of the current series – the VW50 – known as the Pearl back then.

Nice, but I never found Sony’s to be my favorite, my idea of a “best” projector at the price point. My opinion over the last two years has changed.  Sony is now a top tier competitor, with all of their Home Theater models, which now number three:

The VPL-VW1000ES – their $25K true 4K projector which recently won our Outstanding Product (projector) Of the Year.

The VPL-VW95ES:  Now dropped to $5999, it shared our Best In Class award (2nd highest award) for $3500 – $10,000 projector

And now we have the VPL-HW50ES.  It’s early in the review season.  This $3999 projector comes with a spare lamp and glasses, effectively putting it at the top (price wise) of our $2000 – $3500 price range (the sweet spot of the market).

It would certainly seem to be, to be a major contender for the next Best In Class $2K – $3.5K comparison in our next Home Theater report.  We won’t truly know how well it compares until we review 5-6 competitors, but as I like to say:  I am impressed.

I haven’t been able to throw anything at this Sony that it doesn’t make look great on the screen. Not much else you can ask for, except for more price performance.

Well, price performance is not an issue. For less than $1000, are the new Panasonic and one of the Epson’s. Still, this Sony may well be simply delivering $1000 more value for that difference. And even if it’s not brighter overall, it will almost certainly be the brightest projector once caibrated for best picture.

Enjoy these, and the dozens of other images throughout this review.  Just remember, as dazzling as some look, they will always look better “live” projected onto a screen.

The dynamic (or manual) iris, has two auto modes, and manual. In Auto 1, the end result was extremely good black level performance on dark scenes, rivaling the Epson’s who have been the champs in the price range, for years.   I don’t foresee any other forthcoming projector this fall as being able to noticeably beat this projector in terms of blacks, and only one or two that can compete with it. Epson, and maybe the lowest cost JVC, are the only likely possibles.

You May Also Like

News And Comments