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SXRD™ 1080p high-definition projector

5 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 158HW55ES

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Our take on the Sony VPL-HW55ES

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.

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. Speaking of light output, here's a cool bonus — Sony includes a coupon for a free replacement projection lamp!

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:

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 projector a smart choice for smaller rooms, too.

For the best picture quality from any projector, we recommend using a projection screen.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.

Product Highlights:

  • high-definition home theater projector
  • widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio (can also display 4:3 material)
  • 3 SXRD panels (1920 x 1080 pixels each)
  • 3D projector with built-in IR emitter (includes 2 pairs of Sony active 3D glasses)
  • 2D-to-3D conversion adds 3D-like depth to non-3D video sources
  • Motionflow™ anti-blur technology for improved motion clarity and reduced 3D crosstalk
  • 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
  • whisper-quiet cooling fan (21 dB)
  • illuminated remote control
  • BRAVIA Theatre Sync™ simplifies remote control for compatible Sony components (HDMI-CEC)
Connections and Dimensions
  • 4 video inputs, including:
    • 2 HDMI
    • 1 component video
  • 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

Excellent projector for a game room/theater coupled with the screen innovations slate 120" screen. Simply cannot be beat for the value and the picture rivals 4K because the color is so good

Rkol297, Pennsylvania

What's in the Box:

  • Video front projector
  • 8' AC power cord
  • Remote control (RM-PJ23)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • Two 3D glasses (TDG-PJ1)
  • Two 48" USB cables (for glasses)
  • 2 Drawstring pouches (for glasses)
  • Lens cap (installed)
  • Operating Instructions
  • 3D Glasses Instructions
  • Limited Warranty Sheet
  • Free Replacement Lamp Coupon

Sony VPL-HW55ES Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

Perfect and the value can't be beat!

Rkol297 from Pennsylvania on 12/6/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent projector for a game room/theater coupled with the screen innovations slate 120" screen. Simply cannot be beat for the value and the picture rivals 4K because the color is so good

Pros: Great value for the price and the picture is great and bright

Cons: None

Excellent Value

Blueleader from Alabama on 10/7/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My setup is this Sony PJ to a EluneVision 4K AudioWeave 2.35:1 ratio 130 inch screen using a Sony BDP3200 player and a Yamaha AVR with a Darbee Darblet in the chain just before the active Monster ISF 2000HD Hyper Speed 35 ft HDMI cable to the PJ. Viewing distance where I like to sit is 14.5 ft and the picture is set up to fill as much of the screen as possible for movies until my Panamorph Anamorphic lens arrives in November. So far I've watched 5 movies, 4 on BD and 1 via VUDU, and the Blacks are amazing with absolutely zero moire making space scenes like in Gravity perfect! Having a dynamic iris giving a contrast ratio of 120,000:1 is a big advantage especially with the current $1k off clearance price. The reality creation is best left at zero from what I've experienced so far to prevent any grainy images. Lumens are very strong and in my dedicated theater with complete light control I had to turn it to low. As for pixel viewing, at 6 feet the image is smooth and clear so with a recommended seating distance for my screen size of at least 12 feet the image is crystal clear. During setup you will be dealing with the control wheels on top of the PJ and they work but could have a smoother action...Overall the setup process is easy and I would buy this PJ again in a heartbeat, especially with the $1k saved! Also, I prefer the Reference picture setting but experiment with them because Cinema Film 2 is good also, will probably depend on screen and ambient light.

Pros: Advanced Dynamic Iris for 120,000:1 contrast ratio. Lighted remote control that bounces the signal off the screen back to the PJ. Full onscreen menus. Comes with a pair of 3D active glasses so you can check out the 3D capabilities. Motionflow 240hz for jitter-free motion. Free Lamp replacement.

Cons: Could use smoother action adjust wheels but a minor issue. Only 1 pair of 3D glasses when the description says it comes with 2 pair. Nothing else to complain about :-)


Les from Indiana on 12/17/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After owning a sony vw-60,,,,,,,,,,, this projector really performs,,,,,,,,,,,,,, no one will be disappointed Les Bales 219 776 2281

Pros: using with a da lite screen 120" Hd w/ 1.8 gain perfection plus

Cons: none

Great projector

Sturdy from Albuquerque, NM on 11/4/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had an Epson 5010e that was beautiful when it worked, but after going through 3 of them in 2 years, my warranty finally expired and I was sick of dealing with Epson. I had owned a Sony projector before, so I decided to upgrade to this one, in hopes of forgetting all about my "dark period" with the Epson. I'm happy to report that this Sony projector is incredible in every measurable way. It's brighter, clearer and more powerful than its Epson counterpart and with a 3 year warranty, I can rest easy that I have a reliable product. I've read reviews that were negative about its 3D capability, but I've had zero problems with the 3D and have found it to be very impressive. I've also found it to be efficient during the day, when the light is coming in through the windows. Overall, this is a nice projector, especially for the price.

Pros: Performance, operating noise, brightness, 3D capability

Cons: I'm not crazy about the 3D glasses

Excellent projector!

BP281 from Houston, TX on 9/30/2014

Excellent projector!

Pros: For the price, this projector is excellent. With the right blu ray player, you will have a flawless picture. Brights and darks are unreal!

Cons: Takes a little to get is adjusted just right, but once it's right, it looks great!


Hands-on research

Product Research


SXRD Technology: 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.

Advanced Dynamic IRIS: The video projector's Advanced Dynamic IRIS provides up to a 120,000:1 contrast ratio by optimizing both dark and bright scenes to produce deep black levels with incredible detail.

1700 ANSI Lumen Brightness: The Sony VPL-HW55ES video projector outputs 1700 lumens (ANSI rating) for a bright and dynamic picture.

Dynamic Lamp Control: Sony's dynamic lamp control technology perfectly establishes vibrant, cinema-quality brightness levels on your favorite 2D or 3D movies and TV shows.

Lens Adjustments: The VPL-HW55ES can be adjusted to fit complex rooms with its 1.6x manual zoom, and horizontal and vertical shift features, plus1/10th pixel step panel alignment. Additional adjustments include:

  • Image Flip: Flips the image vertically or horizontally.
  • Blanking: Allows you to adjust the displayable region within the four directions of the screen.
  • Panel Alignment: This feature allows you to adjust the gaps in the color of characters or the picture.

Adjustable Image Size & Lens Throw Distance: The Sony VPL-HW55ES video projector can produce an image that is adjustable between 40" and 300" (measured diagonally). The projector's adjustable lens provides a wide range of placement possibilities for a given screen size.

Screen Size Throw Distance
80" 7.9' - 12.5'
100" 9.9'- 15.6'
120" 11.8' - 18.8'
150" 14.8' - 23.5'
200" 19.8'- 31.5'

Video Inputs: This unit can accept nearly any video signal available today, including 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p and 1080/24p (1080p and 1080/24p through HDMI input only). It will also accept a wide range of computer video signals, and is compatible with NTSC and PAL color formats. All video signals are displayed in 1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution. The Sony VPL-HW55ES video projector offers three types of video inputs; dual HDMI, one component video, and a single PC input.

  • Dual HDMI Inputs: The dual HDMI video inputs will accept 1080p (60/24Hz), 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i signals. The HDMI video inputs also support 3D, X.V. Color, and Deep Color video.
  • Component Video Input: The component video input will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i signals.
  • PC Input: The PC input consists of a HD D-Sub 15 jack which lets you connect the projector to your laptop or computer.
Note: This projector has no internal ATSC, NTSC, or QAM tuner.

Motionflow 240Hz Technology: Enjoy smooth, sharp motion from sporting events, action movies, and video games with Sony's Motionflow 240Hz technology. Motionflow 240Hz technology also minimizes 3D crosstalks and greatly diminishes the possibility of ghosting when watching 3D. The Motionflow 240Hz feature is adjustable and can be set to High, Low, or Off.

3D Ready w/ 2D-to-3D Conversion: The Sony VPL-HW55ES projector gives you the option to enjoy 3D (three-dimensional) video via its integrated 3D Sync Transmitter and active 3D glasses (two pair included). You can even add 3D to your favorite movies, shows or videos with Sony's unique 2D-to-3D up-conversion algorithm, allowing any standard definition or high definition 2D content connected via HDMI to be viewed in immersive Sony 3D. Additional 3D glasses (158TDGPJ1) can be purchased separately.

Note: Depending on the installation environment of the video projector, the 3D glasses may not receive 3D signals properly from the unit's built-in 3D Sync Transmitter. In this case, connect an optional 3D Sync Transmitter (available from Sony) and place it near your viewing position.

Picture Calibration: Quickly calibrate your picture to the type of content you're enjoying with a variety of adjustments.

  • Aspect Ratio: You can select an aspect ratio best suited for the video signal received. Choose from the following:
    • Wide Zoom: a 4:3 aspect ratio picture is projected naturally to fill the screen; the upper and lower portions of the picture are cropped
    • Zoom: a 4:3 aspect ratio picture is enlarged vertically and horizontally in the same ratio to fill the screen; the upper and lower portions are cropped
    • Normal: displays a picture on the whole of the screen, maintaining the aspect ratio of the input picture; this is suitable for 16:9 or 4:3 pictures.
    • Stretch: a picture squeezed to 4:3 is displayed in 16:9 aspect ratio
    • V Stretch: a 2.35:1 picture is displayed after having been changed to 16:9; this is the most suitable mode when using a commercially available anamorphic lens
    • Squeeze: displays in its original aspect ratio when a 16:9 or 4:3 picture is viewed using a commercially available anamorphic lens.
    • Full: displays an original picture on the whole of the screen; only when a computer signal is input
  • Picture View Mode: You can select the picture viewing mode that best suits the type of video source or room
    conditions. You can save and use different preset modes for 2D/3D respectively.
    • Cinema Film 1: picture quality suited to reproducing the highly dynamic and clear images typical of master positive film
    • Cinema Film 2: picture quality suited to reproducing the rich tone and color typical of a movie theater
    • Reference: picture quality setup suitable for when you want to reproduce faithfully the original image quality, or for enjoying image quality, without any adjustment
    • TV: picture quality suited for watching TV programs, sports, concerts, etc
    • Photo: ideal for projecting still images taken with a digital camera
    • Game: picture quality suited to gaming, with well-modulated colors and fast response
    • Bright Cinema: picture quality suited for watching movies in a bright environment, such
      as a living room
    • Bright TV: picture quality suited for watching TV programs, sports, concerts, and other video images in a bright environment, such as a living room
    • User: adjust the picture quality settings manually to suit your taste then saves the setting; adjust brightness, color, hue, color temperature, sharpness, and noise reduction
  • Picture Quality: You can easily adjust the picture quality that suits your taste by selecting the adjustment.
    items with the remote control. The adjusted data can be stored in each calibrated preset.
    • Reality Creation: adjusts the detail and noise processing of images; the texture and detail of the picture become sharper. while the noise (picture roughness) becomes less prominent
    • Cinema Black Pro: increase the brightness in order to project brighter images or decrease the brightness in order to enhance blacks
    • MPEG Noise Reduction: reduces block noise and mosquito noise, in particular in digital signals
    • Color Space: converts the color space best suited for your video content
    • Contrast Enhancer: corrects the level of bright and dark parts automatically to optimize contrast according to a scene
    • Gamma Correction: adjusts the response characteristics of the tone of the picture
  • Real Color Processing (RCP): The Real Color Processing (RCP) feature allows you to adjust the color, hue, and brightness of each target of the projected picture you specify independently. You can thus obtain a picture more suitable to your taste

Preset Signal Memory: This projector has 31 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.

Remote Control w/ HDMI-CEC: The supplied IR remote allows you to wirelessly control many of the projector's functions. In addition, HDMI Control allows the communication of control information among connected HDMI components in your system.

  • By turning on or playing back the connected equipment, the projector will turn on and the input setting will switch to the terminal of the connected equipment automatically.
  • By turning the power of the projector off, the power of the connected equipment will also turn off automatically.
  • By changing the language setting of the projector, the language setting of the connected equipment will also change to the same language automatically.

Custom Installation Inputs: The Sony VPL-HW55ES features an IR remote input and RS-232 port for custom installations and applications.

  • IR Input: The video projector has a 3.5mm minijack input for use with an external IR receiver (sold separately).
  • RS-232C Port: Seamlessly integrate the VPL-HW55ES into virtually any major automation system via the bi-directional, industry-standard RS-232C connection.

Mounting Options: The VPL-HW55ES can be placed on a table top or ceiling mounted (mounting bracket sold separately). The projector has two adjustable rubber feet to angle the unit when projecting from a table. There are three 5mm threaded inserts that allow you to use a projector ceiling mount (sold separately) to mount the unit from your ceiling.

Power Saving Modes: The VPL-HW55ES offers two power saving modes to save energy and increase lamp life.

  • Lamp Cutoff: The lamp turns off automatically and power consumption is reduced if no signal is input for 10 minutes. If
    signal is resumed, or any button on the control panel or remote control is pressed, the lamp will light again.
  • Auto Standby: The power will be turned off automatically and the projector goes to Standby mode if no signal is input for 10

Whisper-Quiet Fan: Due to the VPL-HW55ES advanced air discharge system, Sony's whisper-quiet fan emits only 21db during show time.

Replaceable Lamp & Filter: The included projector lamp should last between 2,000 to 5,000 hours. When replacing the lamp, use Sony's LMP-H202 Projector Lamp (sold separately). The air filter is supplied with the LMP-H202 Projector Lamp.

Note: Included in the box is coupon for a free replacement lamp.

Warranty: The projector is covered by a 3-year parts and labor warranty, while the lamp is covered for 90 days.

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Because it was the best in the market for a 1080 P Projector.And I always buy Sony. [ SURENDRA  Dec 06, 2015 ]

1 question already asked

I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: The Sony VPL-HW55ES video projector can produce an image that is adjustable between 40" and 300" (measured diagonally). The projector's adjustable lens provides a wide range of placement possibilities for a given screen size. Here is the throw distance guidelines Screen SizeThrow Distance 80"7.9' - 12.5' 100"9.9'- 15.6' 120"11.8' - 18.8' 150"14.8' - 23.5' 200"19.8'- 31.5' If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Dec 01, 2014 ]  Staff