Sony VPL-HW10: Bottom Line Sharpness
The great thing about "average sharpness" 1080p projectors is that they really look very sharp. There's not one current 1080p projector that I would reject, based on the softness of it's image.
When you are watching movies, comparing the Sony, to one of the sharpest 1080p projectors, like the IN83, the differences are definitely subtle, in part do to the "artifacts" in the movies, most significantly the film grain.
You are more likely to appreciate a sharper image when watching 1080i HDTV, especially travelogue type programming, as well as the usual content on stations like Discovery HD. You'll also be able to discern the difference when watching the sport of your choice. With good 1080i content, and a razor sharp projector, your screen really does start looking like looking through a window.
That said, I have no problem at all with the Sony. I've logged dozens of hours so far, and, like my own similarly sharp JVC RS1, I most certainly can live happily with this level of sharpness.
The HW10 leaks light through the lens. In my testing room, I can spot a small amount of light hitting my wall, outside of the projected image area. To do so, though I need an almost perfectly dark scene, and then I have to go looking for it. Thanks to great black levels, etc., this is not a real issue. I believe the Sony projector has less stray light hitting the front wall, than my JVC RS1 does, and in over 1500 hours of watching the JVC, it has never marred a viewing experience. (Of course for some folks, just knowing it's there, may annoy them, even if they don't notice while enjoying content.
No complaints with the processing. No jaggie issues, 3:2 pull-down is good when used (most of my movie content is from Blu-ray at 24fps, which doesn't need 3:2 pull-down). Mesquito noise is very reasonable, again, cleaner than many projectors, including just about all the DLP models we've reviewed. Worry not!
Wow, this Sony got quiet. The older Sony's were reasonable in audible noise levels, but this HW10 is one of the quiest projectors around in low power, and is still very good at full power. When I say very good, it's quieter than virtually all of the DLP contestants out there, as well as some LCD projectors like the Epsons. In fact it's quieter in full power mode, than many are in their low power (eco) modes.