Sony VPL-VW50 “Pearl” 1080p Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Sony VW50 Projector – Remote Control

For a remote control that has a relatively limited number of buttons, Sony has come up with a very good design. Perhaps not the best ever, but a good one. First off, it fits well in you hand, and should work well, in that regard, even for those large handed. I never had the need to use my other hand to select buttons, while holding it in my right.

Click to enlarge. SO close

Starting at the top, there is a green power button in the upper right. (Once to power up, twice to power down.) Immediately to the left is the Input (source) select button, and on the right, the backlight button. The backlight isn’t very bright. I would have liked it a touch brighter, but, in fairness, it was enough to illuminate the buttons (which are all labed so that they are readable when lit), sufficiently, even in a fully darkened room.

Moving to the next two rows of three buttons: These are your presets:Left to right are the normal – Dynamic, Standard, and Cinema, and below them, User 1, 2, and 3.

Below them comes Sony’s somewhat funky arrow key setup. A small up arrow button below it a wide bar for left and right arrows (Enter is in the center), and another small button for down arrow.

Next come six major controls (left to right): Lens (for focus, zoom, and lens shift), AdjustPic, which lets you toggle through most Picture controls including brightness, contrast, gamma, etc., and on the right, Menu. The second row has Wide Mode (aspect ratio functions), RCP (the advanced color processing) and Reset. (I really wish manufacturers would stop putting reset buttons on remotes. A reset button just makes people nervous – especially when it’s close to the Menu button.

Lastly two really large controls, one for Brightness, and the other for Contrast.

Overall, a very good remote – uncluttered, and I found I had learned where everything was in just a couple of days of normal use.

Click Image to Enlarge

Sony VW50 Projector – Lens Throw and Lens Shift

The Sony VW50′s zoom lens has lots of zoom range – 1.8:1 for excellent front to back placement flexibility. Overall the lens throw, would be described as short to medium long throw. For example, despite the excellent range, in my own room, I could just barely be able to place the projector on my back wall shelf (where my BenQ sits), without overshooting my large screen. If your room is fairly long, unless you have a huge screen, you may not be able to shelf mount. Here are the numbers: To fill a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen you can place the projector (measured from the front of the lens) as close as 10 feet 2.25 inches, or as far back as 17 feet 6 inches.

Lens shift on the Sony Pearl, is vertical only (which should not be an issue). The range on the lens shift is just a bit more than necessary to allow the projector to be mounted even with the top of the screen surface, or the bottom or anywhere in between. For example, a 100″ 16:9 screen allows an adjustment (from the center of the screen vertically) up or down 31.875 inches. (A 100″ diagonal screen has a total height of about 49.5 inches – half of which is roughly 25 inches, so the center of the lens could be mounted as high as approximately 7 inches above top of surface, or below bottom of the screen surface. That’s pretty good. Those, howver with very high ceilings, that are ceiling mounting will still need a pole hanging down.

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