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Sony VPL-VW40

BRAVIA® SXRD™ 1080p high-definition projector

Item # 158VPLVW40

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Our take on the Sony VPL-VW40

Sony has done it again. The VPL-VW40 projector makes their acclaimed SXRD display technology available for a substantially lower price than ever before. Picture resolution is full 1080p, with the rich colors and cinematic smoothness SXRD is known for. For about what you'd expect to pay for a top-notch 50" 1080p flat-panel TV, you can enjoy truly stunning images that are four times that size, or even larger.

Sony has done it again. The VPL-VW40 projector makes their acclaimed SXRD display technology available for a substantially lower price than ever before. Picture resolution is full 1080p, with the rich colors and cinematic smoothness SXRD is known for. For about what you'd expect to pay for a top-notch 50" 1080p flat-panel TV, you can enjoy truly stunning images that are four times that size, or even larger.

Over 2 million pixels, 15,000:1 contrast
Each of the VPL-VW40's three ultra-high-resolution SXRD panels has 1920 x 1080 pixels. That's twice the number of pixels available from 720p projectors — more pixels reveal greater detail, depth and dimensionality. And 1080p is also a pixel-perfect match for 1080i high-definition programs, the most common HD format. All incoming video signals are automatically "scaled" (converted) to precisely match the projector's 1080p native resolution.

Because there are three SXRD image chips — one each for red, green, and blue — colors look extraordinarily rich and solid. 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 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-VW40 makes 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 projector's "lens shift" feature lets you adjust the image vertically, to allow for off-center projector placement. Unlike digital keystone correction, lens shift doesn't degrade image resolution.

The VPL-VW40 has every type of video input you're likely to need. The HDMI inputs accept 1080p video from Blu-ray high-definition disc players.

For optimum performance, a separate projection screen is recommended.

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

Product Highlights:

  • HDTV-ready 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)
  • 2.5-millisecond pixel response time
  • 15,000:1 max. contrast ratio (with dynamic iris)
  • light output: 900 ANSI lumens
  • adjustable/dynamic Advanced Iris 2 for enhanced contrast and black level
  • BRAVIA Engine™ digital video processing
  • Real Color Processing color management system
  • 1.8X motorized zoom/focus lens (standard-throw)
  • vertical lens shift image adjustment
  • 200W UHP lamp (3000-hour max. rated life)
  • ultra-quiet cooling fan (22 dB)
  • illuminated remote control
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 5 video inputs, including:
    • 1 composite video
    • 1 S-video
    • 1 component video (accepts signals up to 1080i)
    • 2 HDMI (accepts signals up to 1080p — 60Hz, 24Hz)
    • 1 HD15 (compatible with HDTV RGB, component or computer signals)
  • 12-volt minijack trigger output (to operate an electric screen)
  • RS-232 port for controls
  • power consumption: 300 watts
  • 15-5/8"W x 6-7/8"H x 18-5/8"D
  • weight: 24.4 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year 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 display signals from an HDTV tuner, satellite receiver, cable box, or a VCR's TV tuner

What's in the Box:

  • Digital video projector
  • RM-PJVW60 wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 7.75' AC power cord
  • ImageDirector Version 3.0 CD-ROM
  • Lens cap (installed)
  • Operating Instructions
  • Limited Warranty sheet

Hands-on research

Product Research

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.

Bravia Engine: With images up to 300", crisp clear images from the BRAVIA Engine Video Processing System and 12-bit panel drive full digital chassis, you'll experience the true color and excitement that Hollywood intended.

Video Signal Compatibility: 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, PAL, SECAM, PAL-M, PAL-N, and PAL60 color formats. The projector has no internal tuner and all video signals are displayed in 1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution.

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.

ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) Lens: The All Range Crisp Focus Lens delivers a crisp focused picture across the screen. The Sony VPL-VW40 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" 3.98 to 6.91 feet 4.90 to 8.49 feet
60" 6.05 to 10.44 feet 7.43 to 12.80 feet
80" 8.11 to 13.97 feet 9.96 to 17.13 feet
100" 10.18 to 17.5 feet 12.49 to 21.45 feet
120" 12.24 to 21.03 feet 15.02 to 25.77 feet
150" 15.35 to 26.32 feet 18.81 to 32.25 feet
180" 18.45 to 31.62 feet 22.60 to 38.73 feet
200" 20.52 to 35.15 feet 25.14 to 43.05 feet
250" 25.68 to 43.97 feet 31.46 to 53.85 feet
300" 30.85 to 52.8 feet 37.78 to 64.66 feet

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

  • Full: a 16:9 squeezed picture is displayed normally, a 4:3 picture is enlarged horizontally to fit the screen
  • Normal: a 4:3 picture is displayed in the center of the screen with its original aspect ratio, it fills a 16:9 screen vertically, but not horizontally
  • Wide Zoom: a 4:3 picture is enlarged with the top and bottom of the picture squeezed to fit the screen
  • Zoom: the picture is enlarged vertically and horizontally in the same ratio to fit the screen
  • Full 1: displays a PC signal in its original aspect ratio
  • Full 2: horizontally stretches a PC signal to fill a 16:9 window

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

  • Noise Reduction:reduces the roughness of the picture (High, Middle, Low or Off)

  • Black Level: adjust to emphasize black depending on the source (High, Low, or Off)

  • Gamma Correction: adjusts the tone response characteristics, use included CD-ROM

  • 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)

  • Advanced Iris: the dynamic iris has four settings - Off (normal contrast), Manual (Manually adjusts Iris), Auto1 (automatically switches to an optimum iris according to a projected scene; the contrast of the scene is emphasized most) and Auto2 (optimum iris becomes smaller than when set to Auto1; the contrast of the scene becomes reduced). You can select the desired response speed of this mode from Recommend, Fast or Slow.

  • Color Space:converts the range of color reproduction from Normal to Wide, which reproduces more natural color tones in a wider color range

  • 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

Real Color Processing: This processing enables the expression of all the colors of life in vivid detail for dark and bright scenes. Details in dark areas of the picture are there, just like they are supposed to be. 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).

Screen Adjustments: The VPL-VW40 offers the following screen area adjustments.

  • 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.
  • Vertical Center: The entire picture is moved up or down when you adjust the V Center.
  • Vertical Size: Change the subtitle area using Vertical Size.

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-VW40 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
  • Lens Control: allows lens focus, zoom, and shift adjustment; Lens Control can be turned off in the menu so it isn't accidentally changed
  • IR Receiver: there are infrared receivers on the front and back of the projector, you can activate either, or both of them
  • Blanking: allows you to adjust the displayable region within the four directions of the screen

Zoom/Focus: The VPL-VW40 features a 1.8x electric zoom lens. Both the picture size (zoom) and focus are adjusted using the controls on the left side of the projector or the remote. A test pattern can be displayed on screen to help you focus.

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.

Supplied Software: The video projector comes supplied with an ImageDirector3 software CD-ROM. By using the ImageDirector3 software, you can make the desired gamma correction from a computer connected to the projector via the unit's RS-232 port.

Ultra Quiet Fan: An exclusive Sony-designed fan efficiently removes heat at a barely noticeable noise spec of 22dB. Obtrusive fan noise is virtually eliminated to allow for flexibility in room placement.

Mounting Options: The VPL-VW40 can be placed on a table top or ceiling mounted using the Sony PSS-H10 Projector Suspension Support (sold separately).

Lamp and Air Filter: This projector has a user-replaceable Sony LMP-H200 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 1.995" wide x 8.655" long x 1.105" deep.

Warranty: The projector is covered by a 1-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, HD-DVD player, or Digital Tuner with HDMI output. Digital video signals are passed through this connection.

Component Video Input: The component video input will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i signals. The projector also features a composite and S-video input.

12-Volt Trigger: A mini-jack trigger output provides a constant 12-Volt DC output while the projector is on. If you connect your motorized projection screen to the trigger output, when you turn on the projector the screen will move down; when you turn the projector off, the screen will return to the storage position.

RS-232:The VPL-VW40 can be controlled by compatible home automation systems using the RS-232 port.

Our Product Research Team

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