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Sony VPL-HW15 Projector - Performance

Posted on September 9, 2009 by Art Feierman

Sony VPL-HW15 Brightness

he Sony VPL-HW15 Brightness is better than the older HW10 it replaces, but this Sony still isn't a particularly bright projector. For your consideration, here are a number of measurements from different modes, pre-calibration:

Dynamic 664 @ 9793K
Dynamic w/ color temp on Middle yields 617 lumens @ 7637
Dynamic w/color temp on Custom 4 yields 837 lumens @ 10015
Standard 602 @ 7594K
Cinema 540 @ 6266K
Cinema (Iris on Manual, fully open)= 493
Cinema (Iris on Manual, fully closed)= 231
Cinema (Iris on Manual, 50% open)= 395
Cinema (Iris on Auto 1 or 2)= 536

Lumen Output (Low Lamp, Cinema, Iris open): 340 @ 6171K, which is down over 30%.

Basically, the key numbe for movie viewing is with the Auto Iris on, and that translates to 536 lumens (pre calibration), and is almost identical to the 538 lumens measured post calibration.

Click to Enlarge.So close

When it comes to brighest mode, the Dynamic, combined with Custom 4 gamma gets a still below average 837 lumens, and that's at 10K color temp which is, by any measure way, way, too blue. None of the other combinations we tested enabled the Sony to get over 664 lumens, making it one of the least bright projectors in "brightest mode", and an achilles heel for this projector, for those that are shopping for a projector that is a good mix between watching movies, and watching sports with some lights on.

Pre-calibration we measured these color temperatures (target is 6500K) over the grayscale range, for

Click Image to Enlarge

Color Temp over IRE Range (Pre calibration):

30 IRE 6574
50 IRE 6490
80 IRE 6382
100 IRE 6266

NOTE: Precal color temp numbers aren’t bad, but red is very high throughout the upper half of the IRE range, which among other things, indicates not enough green. (No worries, that's why we calibrate the projectors.)

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode):

Zoom out 721
Mid-zoom 664
Zoom in 542

OK, here's what it looks like, post calibration:

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration)

20 IRE 6426
30 IRE 6521
40 IRE 6548
50 IRE 6571
60 IRE 6525
70 IRE 6464
80 IRE 6534
90 IRE 6502
100 IRE 6444

Average gamma, iris off = 2.1

Note, the default gamma 4, produces a significantly low 1.8 gamma.

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