Sony VPL-VW40 Home Theater Projector Review

Sony VW40 Lens Throw and Lens Shift

Like both the VW50 before it, and the VW60, the VW40 has a 1.8:1 zoom lens, which provides for excellent flexibility. Owners can choose between ceiling mounting or shelf mounting in most rooms. And yes, of course, you can put it on a table.

To fill a 100″ screen (16:9 aspect ratio), the closest the VPL-VW40 can sit to the screen is approximately 10 feet, 2 inches, and the furthest back, 17 feet 6 inches.

If you consider the 19 inch depth of the projector, and leaving some space behind that for ventilation, in conjunction with a 100″ screen, you can shelf mount in a room up to approximately 20 feet deep, with a 2 foot shelf.

This Sony, unlike the VPL-VW60, lacks the necessary vertical stretch aspect ratio needed to support an anamorphic lens. For those of you interested in adding an anamorphic lens, you could always go to an outboard processor, except that it would likely be the same, or cheaper, to just buy the VW60, which does have onboard support.

On the subject of anamorphic lenses, there are several less expensive 1080p projectors that do support one, although the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, easily the toughest competition the Sony has at this price point, also lacks support.

The Sony has motorized vertical lens shift. It will allow the projector (measured at the center of the lens), to be about as high as almost 7 inches above a 100″ screen (surface), or as low as 7 inches below the bottom of the screen. The projector also has a very small amount of horizontal lens shift, which is set manually. This is enough if you have to mount the Sony just slightly off center, or if your measurements were off slightly. This differs from other projectors with horizontal lens shift, most of which have significant range. The adjustment is not handy, rather designed to be accessed by your installer, if needed.

VW40 SDE and Rainbow Effect, Pixel Visibility

As previously noted, the Sony VPL-VW40 is a 3 chip LCoS projector (liquid crystal on silicon), which Sony brands as SXRD. LCos projectors have pixel structures (visibility of the pixels themselves) far less noticeable than standard LCD and DLP projectors. On a 100″ screen, you’ll have to get around 3 feet away before pixels are easily visible. As such, there are no Screen Door Effect issues, or even basic pixel visibility at anything considered normal seating distance.

As with the screen door effect, rainbow effect is also not an issue. Since this is a three chip device, not a single chip, (like competing DLP projectors), there’s no spinning color wheel to create the color strobing effect called the rainbow effect.

Bottom line: Neither of these are issues

The VW40 is rated 2000 hours ( typical for most projectors) for lamp life at high power mode, and 3000 hours (also typical) in low lamp mode.

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