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Sony Cineza HS51A - General Performance

Posted on February 22, 2006 by Art Feierman
The Sony HS51A is not one of the brighter projectors around despite a claimed 1200 lumens. Set in its best movie watching mode (low power/Cinema mode), a couple of quick measurements showed that the Sony put out only 21% less light in low power mode than with the lamp on full power.

I measured in Cinema/low power mode, only 221 lumens. Most home theater projectors claim 800 to 1200 lumens, but typically put out from the low 200 lumen range, to the high 300 lumens range, depending on the model, in their best, darkest, and highest contrast modes - which are typically called Cinema. Of course, if you switch the projector to high power lamp, and either the Standard or Dynamic preset modes and you get far, far, more lumens (at the sacrifice of some performance in terms of contrast, black levels and shadow detail).

Remote Control

Click to Enlarge.So close

At first I was unimpressed with Sony's remote control, but that changed after using it quite a bit. My biggest complaint is that the backlit buttons could be brighter. That said, this is a very uncluttered remote compared to most, and within a day or so, I pretty much knew were everything was, without looking.

The Light button is on the top left, and next to it the input. Power is the green one on the right.

After that, are the three regular presets:

Dynamic (for fighting ambient light), Standard, and Cinema) followd by 3 User savable settings.

Below that are the four arrow keys, with Enter in the center. Strangely Sony uses a bar for the left, enter, and right arrows, and it took a little getting used to, but works fine.

On the next row, your most important button is MENU. which provides access to the main menu. From there you use the "arrow keys" and Enter, to navigate. More on the menus later.

Of the other buttons, of note are the Adjust Pic, which, each time you press it, it toggles your through all the picture settings, so you can adjust any of them. They include, Contrast, Brightness, Color, Black Levels, Gamma, etc.

You can hit the Reset button to reset the current item (ie. brightness), to reset it to factory default. Wide mode toggles you through the aspect ratio options (zoom, squeeze...)

There is a button for RCP (Real Color Processing) a feature I didn't work with, and that few (I think) will use.

Below are an up and down for brightness and contrast. Makes you feel like you have a regular TV.

This is a good remote. There are many with far more buttons, but I like the layout, easy to find buttons in the dark. If only they hadn't put the RESET right below the Menu button. That did trip me up a couple of times.

Click Image to Enlarge

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