Sony VPL-HW30ES - Review Summary-3

October 11, 2011

As I started this review by saying, "When it comes to thinking about the Sony's value proposition, perhaps most impressive is that the Sony VPL-HW30ES offers overall performance reasonably close to the $9999 VPL-VW90ES projector, and with more brightness, but less frills."

This is a projector that works best in a home theater environment, but can double in a light controlled family room as well. It's definitely more value than last year's VPL-VWPro1, and can easily take on the likes of the Sharp XV-Z17000, and Optoma HD8300. It's early in this home theater season, so there are more new competitors yet to review, still, the Sony VPL-HW30ES is definitely a projector worth considering. Tastefully done.

Sony VPL-HW30ES Projector: Pros and Cons

Click to enlarge. SO close

Click Image to Enlarge

Sony VPL-HW30ES Projector: Pros

Click to enlarge. SO close

  • One of the brighest 3D capable projectors so far, in the over $3500 price class
  • 800+ measured lumens in "best" mode, no problem, even with large screens (ie: 10 feet wide)
  • Excellent overall color, and skin tones
  • Lots of preset image modes
  • Calibrates nicely for really good color handling, natural look
  • Respectable shadow detail
  • Very good placement flexibility
  • HDMI 1.4a inputs (2) allows for support for Blu-ray 3D content
  • 3D glasses (optional on base model, included on HW30AES for $3999), are relatively light weight, reasonably comfortable for glasses wearers
  • Very good CFI (motion smoothing) MotionFlow
  • Does motion smoothing, even in 3D (which is not common)
  • Get extra brightness in 3D with glasses control (but more image noise)
  • Excellent warranty
  • Fairly quiet, even at full power
  • Very good remote control
  • Near black finish works well in dedicated theaters
  • Very good menu layout
Click Image to Enlarge

Sony VPL-HW30ES Projector: Cons

Click to enlarge. SO close

  • Black levels, while very good, not best in class
  • Emitter seems to work best in front of room (long ethernet cable from projector)
  • CFI (like all but a few projectors) is a little much for movie viewing (changes the director's intent)
  • Though brighter than most competitors, more subtle - less "wow" factor
  • 3D glasses are optional (just a reminder)
  • Overall price: While reasonable, it prices slightly higher than several new direct competitors although well below some others, like the Optoma HD8300 and Mitsubishi HC9000D, and Sony's own VPL-VW95ES
  • Like most 3D capable projectors, a bit underpowered at 3D for medium and larger screen sizes
  • Cost of operation (lamp life on the low side of the range)
Click Image to Enlarge

Sony VPL-HW30ES Projector: Typical Capabilities

Click to enlarge. SO close

  • Black Level performance
  • Lens features (lens shift, medium zoom range)
  • Cost of operation
  • Overall value
  • Documentation (very good at some things, but still could use a bit more in explanations)

Ready to go? Want a very nice projector under $4000 for your home theater, that can do some very natural 2D picture quality, and 3D with a bit more brightness than most? If this projector works in your room, it is definitely one to be considered!

Click Image to Enlarge

Latest Reviews

March 27, 2023

Review by Guest Contributor: Augustine Bettencourt Bullet Train 20-meter Premium Active Optical Cable (AC-BTSSF-10KUHD-20)   In many projection applications, the ...

March 26, 2023

A 4K Tri-Laser projector featuring an innovative gimbal-like design. The N1 Ultra is the newest 4K, 4,000 ANSI lumen, Triple ...

March 9, 2023

Our very own Philip Jones recently ordered a 165-inch Stewart Filmscreen Balón Edge screen with StudioTek 130 G4 MicroPerf X², ...

February 27, 2023

  Nebula Capsule 3 Laser by Anker.   The Nebula Capsule 3 Laser is a portable compact projector with an ...

February 25, 2023

The Formovie P1 compact Digital Light Processing (DLP) pocket projector features ALPD laser technology in an ultra-portable chassis.

© 2023 Projector Reviews

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram