Our take on the Sony VPL-HW55ES
Your own personal screening room
Maybe it's because Sony owns a movie studio, but their home theater projectors are hard to beat if you love watching movies at home. The VPL-HW55ES's exceptional picture quality and setup/adjustment versatility will thrill even the most demanding movie buff. And you don't need to be an expert to appreciate Sony's design and engineering genius. First-time projector owners can get a bright, sharp, natural-looking picture straight out of the box.
Cinematic color and contrast
The VPL-HW55ES uses Sony's best projection technology, known as SXRD. Three SXRD image chips — one each for red, green, and blue — produce extraordinarily rich, solid colors. Color accuracy is impressive, too. Simply choose the "Reference" picture preset to get color and grayscale performance that would require a calibration with many competing projectors.
Sony included a picture setting optimized for watching black-and-white movies. And if you're a gamer, you'll love the Game mode. If you like to tweak picture controls, the Real Color Processing color management system makes it easy to fine-tune specific colors and hues without affecting skin tones.
Picture contrast and deep black levels are probably the two most important factors for projector picture quality, and this model excels at both. The VPL-HW55ES has one of the most flexible and sophisticated dynamic irises we've seen. When operating dynamically it adjusts contrast as each scene changes, frame by frame. But you can also adjust it manually, on a scale from 0-100, so you can use it to precisely lower overall brightness if you're projecting onto a smaller screen. The VPL-HW55ES has higher light output than Sony projectors from a few years ago, so you can use it in rooms with some ambient lights, but it will perform best in light-controlled rooms.
It's probably the smartest of programs designed to increase the perceived details, crispness and pop of the image. Since they all work very different, don't think of all “dynamic detail enhancement” solutions out there as working the same way. - See more at: http://www.projectorreviews.com/sony/sony-vpl-hw55es-projector-special-features/#sthash.CbmgUNNl.dpuf
Flexible setup for a variety of rooms
With its standard-throw lens, the VPL-HW55ES is a smart choice for medium- and larger-sized rooms. You can place it on a table, or ceiling-mount it with an optional bracket. The two "lens shift" dials let you adjust the image either horizontally or vertically, to allow for off-center projector placement. Sony's super-quiet built-in cooling fan is inaudible from more than a few feet away, making this model a smart choice for smaller rooms, too. As a bonus, Sony includes a coupon for a free replacement projection lamp!
For optimum performance, a separate projection screen is recommended.
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- high-definition projector (digital TV reception requires a separate HDTV tuner)
- widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio (can also display 4:3 material)
- 3 SXRD panels (1920 x 1080 pixels each)
- displays 3D images when you wear Sony's active glasses (two pairs of glasses are included)
- 2D-to-3D conversion adds 3D-like depth to non-3D video sources
- 240Hz panel drive with Motionflow technology for improved motion clarity
- dynamic iris for excellent picture contrast and black level
- 120,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
- light output: 1700 ANSI lumens
- panel shift fine convergence adjustment
- Reality Creation super resolution processing
- Real Color Processing color management system
- 1.6X manual zoom/focus lens (standard-throw)
- lens shift image adjustment (manual, horizontal and vertical)
- vertical keystone correction
- 200-watt UHP lamp (lasts up to 5000 hours in Eco mode)
- coupon for extra projection lamp included
- ultra-quiet cooling fan (21 dB)
- illuminated remote control
Connections and Dimensions
- 3 video inputs, including:
- 1 PC input
- RS-232C port for external control of the projector via compatible computer or third-party control device
- detachable power cord
- 16-1/8"W x 7-1/8"H x 18-3/8"D
- weight: 21.1 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years parts & labor carry-in service (90 days on lamp)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- Note: front projectors don't include any type of built-in TV tuner, but they can display signals from an HDTV tuner, satellite receiver or cable box