Mike's thoughts on the VPL-HW55ES projector:
As was the case with last year’s HW50ES, a number of modes are almost identical when it comes to default grayscale. Reference, Cinema Film 1, TV and User modes all have roughly the same RGB balance that is excellent right out of the box. Red and blue are slightly low, but that’s about it. The RGB balance is also consistent across the entire IRE range. The out-of-the-box grayscale is so good that if you switch back and forth between the calibrated User mode and Reference, they look the same to a naked eye. The User mode calibrated so well that Delta E was 0.5 or less from 30 to 90 IRE, rising only to 1.6 at 20 IRE and 2.0 at 100 IRE. Even before calibration, Delta E was only 2.8 at 100 IRE. These are the best default and calibrated grayscales I’ve seen to date. Uniformity is generally good, with only some red tinting along the sides of an all white screen that’s not noticeable in normal scenes.
As far as picture quality is concerned, the different color spaces used by TV and Cinema Film 1 make for more saturated colors, but are less accurate.
As usual, Sony provides a range of color spaces that tend to make a CMS unnecessary. BT.709 is about as close as you can get pretty close to the Rec. 709 standard. Color Space 1, 2 and 3 expand the gamut to varying degrees, with Wide 3 being the largest gamut of the three.
There’s really not much to say about the picture quality other than it looks great. This is easily the most “plug-and-play” projector I’ve seen. You get almost 1000 lumens calibrated with accurate colors and decent blacks.
I have one thing to add to Mike's dissertation above. The red tinting would be the usual panel mis-convergence. However, Mike did not align the panels, I did that after he returned the projector. With the controls I was truly surprised by how effective it was. The red edge was effectively gone, even viewing the screen from a foot away.