Sony VPL-HW50ES

The Good The Sony VPL-HW50ES projector produces huge images with excellent black levels, full shadow detail, and reference-quality colors; very good value for this level of image quality; highly accurate picture is available using preset picture modes; lots of setup options; quiet even at full lamp power; extra lamp and two pairs of 3D glasses bundled with projector.

The Bad Somewhat more expensive than the comparably performing JVC DLA-X35; focus, zoom and lens shift aren't remote controlled; won't work with standard-compliant third-party 3D glasses.

The Bottom Line The Sony VPL-HW50ES costs more than most TVs, but for a fantastic big-screen cinema experience in the home it's a very good value.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Performance 9.0
  • Value 7.0
8.1 Overall

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Design
8
9
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Features
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8
6
4
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Performance
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7
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10
Value
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7
...
6
6

Review

Extra features, extraordinary image quality

If you're really into home theater, and you have the dark room for it, you should be considering a projector instead of a television. Based on the performance of two recent examples, the Sony VPL-HW50ES and the JVC DLA-X35, you no longer need to buy an old movie theater to get an amazing projected image.

My colleague David Katzmaier and I spent a lot of time with both of these projectors, and there isn't much to separate them in terms of picture quality. As he is reviewing the JVC and I the Sony, I feel it is my duty to argue the case for the Sony, old-school debate style.

While the image quality of both are virtually identical after calibration, the Sony has three main things in its favor: 1) it offers a better picture out of the box; 2) it has a better selection of included features including two sets of 3D glasses and even a spare lamp; and 3) it makes less noise in its highest lamp mode.

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