Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-FHZ65 Laser Projector Review – Hardware Tour

SONY VPL-FHZ65 LASER PROJECTOR – HARDWARE TOUR:  Overview, Lens, Control Panel, Inputs and Connectors

Sony VPL-FHZ65 Projector Hardware: Overview

This Sony FHZ65 is a medium sized commercial projector.  It is available in both white and black finishes as you can see in one of the images above.

The standard zoom lens is centered on the front, and slightly recessed.  Some of the other lenses will protrude.  Below the lens, sort of underneath, and slightly to the left (if facing the projector) is the button to release the bayonet mounted lens.  For a demonstration of removing and inserting a lens, see our video of the hardware tour.

There’s an infra-red sensor on the front as well, and below the front are two screw thread adjustable front feet.  By comparison, the Sony has a long rubber rear “foot” running much of the width of the projector, just forward of the back.

If you are facing the front, then you’ll find the long life electrostatic filter, and all the inputs and connectors, on the right side, with the connectors all recessed several inches for neatness.

There’s a rear infra-red sensor for the remote control, as well.

The control panel is a small affair, located on the side opposite the inputs and connectors.


FHZ65 Lenses

In addition to the standard, motorized, 1.6:1 zoom lens, Sony offers four additional lenses.

There is a fixed very short throw lens, a wide angle zoom, a telephoto zoom, and a long telephoto zoom.  That covers an awful lot of range, allowing this Sony projector to fill a 10 foot wide screen from as close as 6.5 feet to as far back as 48 feet and change.  Talk about flexibility.  Each lens has an MSRP of $2250 except for the standard lens.

The bayonet mount works easy enough.  Press the button but your hands around the lens barrel and rotate counter clockwise.  Those of you with large hands might have a problem with this.  To install a different (or the same) lens, just insert it into the bayonet mount and rotate clockwise until it clicks.  Easy.

Filter, and Filter Cleaning

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 3.10.16 PM
If the projector is mounted within the range shown, the filter must be cleaned manually

Sony’s filter should last as long as the laser light engine.  Nice.  Even nicer, it’s self cleaning.  The projector goes through a filter cleaning process normally every hundred hours of use, but does it when the projector is powered down. n a 24/7 installation that will have to be considered.  Or, rather, it is self cleaning, most of the time.  If mounted at certain angles, the filter will not self clean.  Picture the projector sitting up on its side (so that the lens is pointing horizontally.  If mounted like that, or if it is tilted +/- 45 degrees from that, you will have to clean the filter manually per the user manual.  That type of mounting is most associated with vertical digital signage applications.

FHZ65 Control Panel

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 3.13.20 PMSony’s control panel is a straightforward affair with no real frills.  The buttons are small.  As you can see, the power is on the top right – press once for on, press twice to power down.  Then comes the input selection, followed by the Menu button.

Rather than four buttons for navigating, Sony serves up a small rectangular “joystick” for moving through the menus.  Pressing in on the joystick accomplishes the Enter function.  The bottom mode serves up access to the lens controls with Lens Shift, Zoom, and Focus buttons.  There is a separate button for toggling in and out of Eco mode.  Simple enough!


VPL-FHZ65 Inputs and Connectors

They are all on one side.  Note that the labeling of the projectors is right side up in this image.  That’s because I set the projector down, upside-down, for the shot.  Sony figures that most of these laser projectors will be ceiling mounted, which is to say:  “Inverted.”  To make life a little easier for installers, it therefore made sense to label them that way.

Shown with the projector inverted, here are the inputs and other connectors of the FHZ65, as well as the electrostatic filter system


OK, starting at the far left, these are the various connectors and their functions:

From this viewing angle, first is the power receptacle.  To its right is an RS232 serial port for command and control (DB9 connector).  Right next to it are a pair of HD15 connectors, the first is a traditional computer input (that doubles for component video) and next to it, is the computer output (can output component video instead).

Next comes first a DVI-D input (carries HDMI), and right next to it, is a DVI-D output.  The second D stands for Digital, so these DVI’s do not also carry analog computer.

On the second row, left side, is a stereo mini jack that allows hardwiring the remote control where the projector is physically too far away to be reached by the remote control’s range, or for rear screen operation.  Next to it is a standard RJ45 LAN (ethernet) connector for all your networking needs.

Further to the right are another pair of stereo mini jacks, this time for stereo input and output.  Then comes a coaxial Video input (i.e. for a professional video camera).  A single HDMI connector comes next (remember there is a DVI-D input, so that means two HDMI sources can be connected at once.  Finally, far right, is the HDBT (HDBaseT) RJ45 connector for running CAT5e / CAT6 to carry HDMI over long distances.  So, in reality, that allows for 3 different HDMI sources – using three different types of connectors.  OK, that’s versatile!

That pretty much covers the hardware.  The next page will go through the menus, remote control, and lens throw information