Sony VPL-HW15

BRAVIA® SXRD™ 1080p high-definition projector

  • Sony VPL-HW15


  • Sony VPL-HW15

    Advanced Iris 3

  • Sony VPL-HW15

    Front from above, with lens shift dials

  • Sony VPL-HW15


  • Sony VPL-HW15


  • Sony VPL-HW15


  • Sony VPL-HW15


  • Sony VPL-HW15

    Video inputs

  • Sony VPL-HW15

    Video inputs on left side

Item #: 158VPLHW15

Review Summary

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Original price $1,999.99

Our take on the Sony VPL-HW15

by Steve Kindig

With its compelling combination of picture quality, versatility and value, the Sony VPL-HW15 will make every movie night at your house an immersive experience. Videophiles will find plenty of adjustments for fine-tuning the picture, but the VPL-HW15 also performs beautifully straight out of the box.

Full 1080p resolution for super-sharp images
Full 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution allows the VPL-HW15 to be paired with a 100-inch or larger screen and still deliver stunning image detail, depth and dimensionality. 1080p resolution also ensures that you won't miss any details in 1080i material, the most common high-def format for satellite, cable, and over-the-air broadcasts. (HDTV reception requires a separate HDTV tuner.)

Read more

Cinematic color and contrast
The VPL-HW15 uses three SXRD image chips — one each for red, green, and blue — to produce extraordinarily rich, solid colors. The Real Color Processing color management system makes it easy to fine-tune specific colors and hues without affecting skin tones. Sony's Advanced Iris 3 system includes "Auto" modes that monitor the video signal and adjust the projector's light output on the fly, optimizing black level and contrast on a scene-by-scene basis.

Flexible setup and connectivity
With its standard-throw lens, the VPL-HW15 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. And the projector's 200-watt lamp delivers a crisp picture, even in rooms with some ambient light.

The VPL-HW15 has every type of video input you're likely to need, including two advanced HDMI connections. Sony calls these "24p True Cinema" capable — they can accept the 1080p/24 output from a Blu-ray player. Most movies are originally shot at 24p (24 frames per second), so this feature lets you see video in its most flawless form.

For optimum performance, a separate projection screen is recommended.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.


  • 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)
  • 10-bit microdisplay panels for over a billion possible colors
  • panel shift fine convergence adjustment
  • 60,000:1 max. contrast ratio (with dynamic iris)
  • light output: 1000 ANSI lumens
  • adjustable/dynamic Advanced Iris 3 for improved contrast and black level
  • BRAVIA Engine™ 2 digital video processing
  • Real Color Processing color management system
  • Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support
  • 1.6X manual zoom/focus lens (standard-throw)
  • lens shift image adjustment (manual, horizontal and vertical)
  • 200-watt UHP lamp
  • ultra-quiet cooling fan (22 dB)
  • illuminated remote control
  • BRAVIA Theatre Sync™ simplifies remote control for compatible Sony components (HDMI-CEC)
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 6 video inputs, including:
    • 1 composite video
    • 1 S-video
    • 1 component video
    • 2 HDMI v1.3
    • 1 HD15 (compatible with HDTV RGB, component or computer signals)
  • RS-232C port for external control of the projector via compatible computer or third-party control device
  • detachable power cord
  • 16"W x 7"H x 18-3/8"D
  • weight: 22.1 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 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

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
3D-Capable ---
Aspect Ratio 16:9/4:3
Contrast Ratio 60,000:1
Resolution (pixels) 1920 x 1080
Approximate Lamp Life Not given
Bulb Wattage 200 Watts
Brightness (in ANSI Lumens) 1000
Vertical Lens Shift Yes
Horizontal Lens Shift Yes
Vertical Keystone Correction Yes
Horizontal Keystone Correction No
Width (inches) 16
Height (inches) 7
Depth (inches) 18-3/8
Weight 22.0625 lbs
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Type of Warranty Service Carry-in
Total Video Inputs 6
HDMI Inputs 2
Component Video Inputs 1
S-Video Inputs 1
Composite Video Inputs 1
USB Media Port ---
PC Input Yes
RS-232 Port 1
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Black digital video projector
  • Wireless remote control (RM-PJVW70)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 7.75' AC power cord
  • Lens cap (installed)
  • Operating Instructions
  • Limited Warranty sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Input and Output Notes


SXRD 1920 x 1080p Full HD Panels: SXRD is a display technology developed by television engineers at Sony to meet and exceed the demands of a High Definition image at its full 1080 line resolution. It is a 1920 x 1080p panel characterized by several key benefits such as full HD resolution, smooth film-like image with minimal screen door effects, high response times (2.5ms rise and fall), high contrast ratio with wire grid polarizers and high contrast plate and accurate color rendition. The images from the three SXRD 0.61" panels (2,073,600 pixels each) are superimposed over each other, making the projector's native resolution 1920 x 1080, a total of 6,220,800 pixels. The Panel Alignment function enables you to align the pixels to within 1/10th of a pixel for a brighter, more detailed picture.

BRAVIA Engine 2 Video Processing System: The VPL-HW15 BRAVIA Home Cinema Projector uses Sony's BRAVIA Engine 2 full digital video processor for crisp and clear images. The 10-bit BRAVIA Engine 2 processor uses a collection of unique Sony algorithms to significantly reduce noise, enhance overall image detail, and optimize contrast, so every scene produces sharp, vibrant, life-like images. By combining a 10-bit processor with 10-bit SXRD panels, the VPL-HW15 can create and display 64 times the level of color expression of 8-bit projectors, resulting in smoother color gradations, and helping to avoid a "paint-by-numbers" look.

Advanced Iris 3: The Advanced Iris 3 function provides up to a 60,000:1 contrast ratio by optimizing both dark and bright scenes to produce deep black levels with stunning details. You can set the Advanced Iris to Auto 1, Auto 2, Sensitivity, or Manual.

24p True Cinema: The VPL-HW15 features 24p True Cinema technology to provide a direct connection to 24p video sources, so you can avoid conversions and enjoy films at their intended 24 fps (frames per second).

x.v.Color: This technology takes high definition (HD) color expression to new levels. When connected to x.v.Color-capable video sources, the VPL-HW15 can display nearly twice as many viewable colors as the existing RGB color standard, resulting in natural, life-like images.

Video Signal Compatibility: This unit can accept the following video signals:

Composite Video, Y/C Video
480/60i, 480/60p
576/50i, 576/50p
720/60p, 720/50p
1080/60i, 1080/50i
1080/24PsF (48i)
1080/60p (HDMI only)
1080/50p (HDMI only)
1080/24p (HDMI only)
15 kHz RGB/component 50/60 Hz
Progressive component 50/60 Hz

Preset Signal Memory: This projector has 38 types of preset data for input signals. When the preset signal is input, the projector automatically detects the signal type and recalls the data from the signal from the preset memory to adjust it to an optimum picture. The memory number and signal type of  that signal are displayed in the unit's Information Menu. The projector also contains 20 different user memories beside the preset memories used for inputting computer signals. You can save input signals that have not been preset on these user memories.

Adjustable Image Size: The Sony VPL-HW15 video projector can produce an image that is adjustable between 40" and 300" (measured diagonally).

Lens Throw Distance: The projector's adjustable lens provides a wide range of placement possibilities for a given screen size. The throw distance (distance from lens to screen) range for several screen sizes, 16:9 and 4:3, are given below:

Screen Size Throw Distance (16:9) Throw Distance (4:3)
40" 4.54 to 6.61 feet 5.46 to 7.99 feet
60" 6.59 to 9.69 feet 7.96 to 11.77 feet
80" 8.64 to 12.78 feet 10.47 to 15.55 feet
100" 10.68 to 15.87 feet 12.97 to 19.33 feet
120" 12.73 to 18.96 feet 15.47 to 23.11 feet
150" 15.79 to 23.59 feet 19.23 to 28.78 feet
200" 20.91 to 31.31 feet 25.49 to 38.22 feet
250" 26.02 to 39.03 feet 31.75 to 47.67 feet
300" 31.14 to 46.75 feet 38.01 to 57.12 feet

Wide Modes: You can select various wide screen modes, depending on the type of video signal received:

  • Wide Zoom: a 4:3 picture is enlarged naturally to fill the screen. The upper and lower portions of the screen are slightly cut off.
  • Normal: a 4:3 picture is displayed in the center of the screen with its original aspect ratio and enlarged to fill the screen vertically
  • Full: a picture squeezed to 4:3 aspect ratio is displayed in its original aspect ratio. When a 4:3 aspect ratio picture is displayed, the picture is enlarged horizontally to fill the 16:9 screen.
  • Zoom: a 16:9 picture is enlarged vertically and horizontally in the same ratio to fit the screen

Picture Modes: You can select from the following picture modes directly from the remote control:

  • Standard: recommended for normal viewing conditions
  • Dynamic: enhanced picture contrast and sharpness
  • Cinema: provides soft, film-like picture, recommended for a dark setting
  • User 1, 2, and 3: three favorite picture settings stored in memory

Picture Adjustments: In addition to the above picture modes, you can adjust the following and customize your user presets:

  • Contrast: adjusts white level
  • Brightness: adjusts the light output
  • Color: adjusts the intensity of the color density
  • Hue: adjusts the color tone
  • Sharpness: defines the outline of an object
  • Color Temperature: select from High (makes white more blue), Middle (neutral tint), Low (makes white more red), Custom (program your favorite color temperatures and store in three presets)
  • Lamp Control: switches the lamp wattage during projection from Low (enhances the black be reducing the lamp wattage) or High (normal wattage)
  • DDE (Dynamic Detail Enhancer: select from Film Mode or Progressive Mode according to the film source you have selected
  • Expert Settings:
    • Noise Reduction: reduces the roughness of the picture
    • MPEG NR: reduces block noise and mosquito noise
    • Film Mode: set the playback according to the film source selected
    • Black Level: adjust to emphasize black depending on the source
    • Gamma Correction: adjusts the tone response characteristics, use included CD-ROM
    • x.v.Color: set when playing back an x.v.Color video signal
    • Color Space: converts the range of color reproduction from Normal to Wide, which reproduces more natural color tones in a wider color range

Real Color Processing: This feature allows you to adjust the color and hue of a selected on-screen target independently. You can adjust the red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and magenta levels. Once adjusted, you can store the settings in memory (User 1, User 2, or User 3).

Over Scan: Over Scan hides the outline of the input signal, useful when noise appears around the edge.

Screen Area: When the over scan feature is turned on, the displayed picture can be enlarged to fill the screen area.

High Altitude: The Cooling Setting has a high altitude option for use over 1500 meters. The high setting turns the fan faster so it's slightly louder.

Power Saving Mode: When activated, the projector goes into Power Saving mode if no signal is input for 10 minutes. The lamp goes out and the cooling fan continues to run. It is cancelled when a signal is input or any button is pressed.

Background: When no signal is input the background color can be set to blue or black.

Auto Input Search: The VPL-HW15 will automatically find an active input when the input button is pressed. If you prefer to change inputs manually, turn this feature off.

Installation Menu: During the initial setup, or subsequent adjustment, these features help optimize performance and offer placement flexibility:

  • V Keystone: corrects vertical trapezoidal distortion
  • Image Flip: flips the image vertically or horizontally, or both
  • Blanking: allows you to adjust the displayable region within the four directions of the screen
  • Panel Alignment: allows you to adjust the gaps in the color of characters or the picture

Zoom/Focus: The VPL-HW15 features a 1.6x manual zoom lens. The picture size (zoom) can be adjusted using the Zoom Lever around the lens. The focus is adjusted using the focus ring on the lens.

Lens Shift: The lens shift controls allow you to adjust the image either horizontally or vertically, to allow for off-center projector placement.

Test Pattern: You can project a test pattern to help adjust the lens focus, lens zoom, lens shift, and vertical keystone to best fit the screen.

BRAVIA Theatre Sync: The VPL-HW15 is equipped with BRAVIA Theatre Sync, an HDMI Control function that allows communication between this Sony video projector and other Sony equipment when they are connected via HDMI. Once the supported equipment is connected via HDMI your equipment will automatically turn off and on with the VPL-HW15 and begin or stop playback.

Mounting Options: The VPL-HW15 can be placed on a table top or ceiling mounted using the Sony PSS-H10 Projector Suspension Support (sold separately) or other optional projector mounts. The projector has three 5mm threaded screw holes to accommodate the projector mount.

Ultra Low Noise Fan: The built-in fan delivers efficient cooling and whisper-quiet operation. The fan's noise rating is 22dB.

Lamp and Air Filter: This projector has a user-replaceable Sony LMP-H201 ultra high pressure lamp, rated at 200 watts. When the lamp dims, causing the color balance to become strange, or when "Please replace the lamp" appears on the screen, the lamp is exhausted and should be replaced as soon as possible. In addition, the projector is equipped with a removable air filter which should be cleaned after approximately 1500 hours use. A new air filter is also supplied with the replacement lamp and should be installed at the same time.

Note: The Information Menu has a lamp timer to indicate how long the lamp has been in use.

Remote Control: The supplied remote allows you to control all the projector's functions, including focus and zoom. Using the backlight button, you can illuminate for approximately 30 seconds. Infrared receivers are located on the front and the rear of the projector. The remote measures 1.963" wide x 9.955" long x 1.07" deep.

Warranty: The projector is covered by a 2-year parts and labor warranty, while the lamp is covered for 90 days.

Input and Output Notes

Input A (HD15): This input features an HD D-Sub 15 jack that is compatible with HDTV RGB, component, or computer sources.

HDMI Inputs: The two High Definition Multimedia Interface provides input for a DVD player, Blu-ray Disc player, or Digital Tuner with HDMI output. The HDMI input can accept video signals up to 1080p.

Component Video Input: The component video input will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i signals.

Composite/S-Video Input: You can connect a VCR, DVD player/recorder, hard disk video recorder, or laser disk player via the Composite or S-Video inputs. Only one of the connectors can be used at a time.

RS-232: The VPL-HW15 can be controlled by compatible home automation systems using the RS-232 port.

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Sony VPL-HW15 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Great projector

Written By Joe, Dayton, OH on Sunday, June 17, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very impressed with this projector. Significant improvement over my previous unit (Sony VPL-HS51). After calibrating with Digital Video Essentials DVD, I'm amazed at the picture quality at this price point. Excellent color, contrast and clarity, especially with Blu-ray. Performance is just as described in the professional reviews. Projector is paired with a 92" Draper matte white (1.0 gain) screen. Dead quiet in ceiling mount directly overhead. Highly recommended!
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5 out of 5


Written By Frank D, Rochester, Michigan on Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This is an awesome unit!! The HD picture is beautiful and the projector is very quiet.
Mounting and set up were easy. Everytime we watch a movie, even an On Demand
Comcast movie in HD, we are surprised at how awesome the picture is. We were not
expecting a picture this great for $3000. Screen used is 135 inch fixed. From the Comcast
cable box to the Onkyo receiver, I used component video cables because for some reason
an HDMI cable was not supported between the Comcast box and the receiver. From the
receiver to the projector, I used an HDMI cable of about 20 feet. I can't comment on a blue-
ray disc because I have not used a blue-ray disc yet. However, standard DVDs, in a Sony
blue-ray disc player looks awesome as well. If you want an awesome picture and do not
want to spend a fortune, consider this unit.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Looks ARE important!

Written By SSI, Colorado on Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Yes - looks are important! Amazing picture out of the box. Easy set up. Super quiet.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5


Written By Mike, Virginia on Monday, October 25, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
If you are looking for a projector, definitely consider this one. The picture is amazing and it's
incredibly quiet. I expect if you did head-to-head comparisons with a number of other
projectors you would find others that could beat this one in some category, but are you going
to find a perfect projector for anything other than $10,000+? You won't be disappointed, trust
me. I've looked at a number of projectors. This one is perfect for a home theater.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony VPL-HW15

Written By Frank B, Brookeville, mD on Sunday, September 26, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
We are very pleased with the projector and screen as well as the installation crew.

JP, our Crutchfield advisor was a tremendous help in deciding what to purchase and the
cables and brackets needed for the installation.

We have been using the equipment for just 2 days, but we love the picture and clarity of
the projector and screen.

Thank you!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great picture

Written By Anonymous, Atlanta, GA on Friday, March 26, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
We have only had the unit for about 4 weeks now. So far, the picture quality is everything
I read about from the various reviews from both owners and Consumer reviews. It's a
little pricey but it seems to be well worth it.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5


Written By Drumdawg, West Monroe, LA on Sunday, January 03, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I ordered this in time for Christmas. It came in a couple of days before and was rattling. Crutchfield was AWESOME exchanging another unit very quickly. The projector performs WONDERFUL!!! It is the clearesst picture I've ever seen. PS3 and blu-ray look crisp and clean. I'm using a dvr as a channel changer and TV looks great! It is bigger than expected (didn't really comprehend size). Anyway, It's not going back. The wife and daughter love it.. Thanks Crutchfield and Thanks SONY!!!!!!!!!!
9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Absolutely Awesome

Written By Anonymous, Dallas, TX on Monday, November 23, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Leaps and bounds above my last projector, so quiet that standing directly below it you can't tell that its even on it so quiet. The picture Quality is so impressive that my wife thinks the picture looks better than my 52" LCD samsung flat screen. I would with out a doubt recommend this to anyone interested in a projector. I am using it to project a 170" image with absolutely no loss in picture quality.
70 out of 74 people found this helpful
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