SXRD™ 1080p home theater projector (2016 model)
Our take on the Sony VPL-HW45ES by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Just add popcorn
The closest thing to the movie theater experience at home.
Sony's VPL-HW45ES home theater projector offers amazing picture quality at an amazing price. It will make every movie and TV show you watch a memorable experience. One of this newbie-friendly projector's best features is that it produces a crisp, bright, natural-looking picture straight out of the box.
Several years ago, when I moved up to a projector in my home theater, the model I chose was a Sony that's very similar to the VPL-HW45ES. I still have it and use it for all my movie and concert viewing. It's one of the best A/V equipment purchases I've ever made.
Cinematic color and contrast
The VPL-HW45ES uses three SXRD image chips — one each for red, green, and blue — for extraordinarily rich, solid colors. SXRD produces an ultra-smooth picture by minimizing the spaces between pixels. It's Sony's best projection technology, and the VPL-HW45ES is their lowest-priced model to include it.
With a total of 9 picture presets, you can get a beautifully accurate image in a variety of rooms and lighting conditions. For viewing in a darkened room, simply choose the Reference mode for spot-on color and grayscale performance. When you want to watch in a brighter environment, Sony's Bright Cinema and Bright TV modes bump up the brightness while retaining true color and contrast. Some conventional projectors will skew the color balance by increasing greens to provide a brighter picture.
There's also a picture setting optimized for watching black-and-white movies. And if you're a gamer, you'll love the Game mode. It boosts the brightness and drastically reduces input lag time, so you won't get bogged down in the action due to slow video processing. 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.
Flexible setup for a variety of rooms
With its standard-throw lens, the VPL-HW45ES 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. The super-quiet cooling fan is inaudible from more than a few feet away, making this projector a smart choice for smaller rooms, too.
- widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio (can also display 4:3 material)
- 3 SXRD panels (1920 x 1080 pixels each)
- 3D-ready with built-in RF emitter (Sony active 3D glasses sold separately)
- light output: 1800 ANSI lumens
- Motionflow anti-blur technology for improved motion clarity and reduced 3D crosstalk
- 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
- panel shift fine convergence adjustment
- 2 HDMI
- USB input for firmware updates
- RS-232C port for external control of the projector via compatible computer or third-party control device
- detachable power cord
- 215-watt UHP lamp (lasts up to 6000 hours in Eco mode)
- whisper-quiet cooling fan (22 dB)
- illuminated remote control
- can be placed on a tabletop or ceiling-mounted (mounting bracket sold separately)
- 16-1/8"W x 7-1/8"H x 18-3/8"D
- weight: 20 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years parts & labor carry-in service (90 days on lamp)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- Note: projectors don't include any type of built-in TV tuner, but you can connect a high-def over-the-air tuner, satellite receiver or cable box
What's in the Box:
- Video front projector
- 8' AC power cord
- Remote control (RM-PJ28)
- 2 "AA" batteries
- Lens cap (installed)
- Operating Instructions on CD-ROM
- Quick Reference Manual
- Limited Warranty Sheet
I've had this running for 18 months now. This projector is fantastic! The picture is great! It works perfectly every time.
Mike, Franklin, MA
Sony VPL-HW45ES Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Resolution (pixels)||1920 x 1080|
|Contrast Ratio||Not given|
|Approximate Lamp Life||2000-6000|
|Bulb Wattage||215 Watts|
|Brightness (in ANSI Lumens)||1800white/1800color|
|Vertical Lens Shift||Yes|
|Horizontal Lens Shift||Yes|
|Vertical Keystone Correction||Yes|
|Horizontal Keystone Correction||No|
|Parts Warranty||3 Yrs|
|Labor Warranty||3 Yrs|
|Type of Warranty Service||Carry-in|
|Total Video Inputs||2|
|Wireless HDMI Input||No|
|Component Video Inputs||None|
|Composite Video Inputs||None|
|USB Media Port||No|
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.
High Brightness & Vivid Picture: The Sony VPL-HW40ES video projector outputs 1800 lumens (ANSI rating) for a bright, dynamic, and vivid picture.
215W High Pressure Lamp w/ Dynamic Lamp Control: The Sony VPL-HW45ES employs a 215W high pressure. Enjoy up to 6000 hours of watch time (in low mode) from this long-lasting mercury lamp. This means fewer lamp swaps, simpler maintenance, and lower running costs. Sony's dynamic lamp control technology perfectly establishes vibrant, cinema-quality brightness levels on your favorite 2D or 3D movies and TV shows.
Note: When replacing the lamp, use Sony's LMP-H210 Projector Lamp (sold separately). The air filter is supplied with the LMP-H210 Projector Lamp.
Adjustable Lens The Sony VPL-HW45ES features a F2.52-F3.02 lens with a focal length of 18.7mm to 29.7mm. The VPL-HW45ES can be adjusted to fit complex rooms with its 1.6x manual zoom, horizontal (+/-25%) and vertical (+/-71%) lens shift features, plus1/10th pixel step panel alignment.
Adjustable Image Size & Lens Throw Distance: The Sony VPL-HW45ES 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"||95" - 150"|
|100"||119" - 188"|
|120"||142" - 226"|
|150"||178" - 283"|
|200"||238" - 378"|
Note: Check out Sony's Projection Simulator App (for Apple iOS 6.0+ and Android OS 4.0+) to help you choose the right screen size for your preferred viewing distance and projector location, plus get other helpful installation tips.
Dual HDMI Inputs: The VPL-HW45ES is fitted with two HDMI (1.4) inputs for connection of your home theater gear, like your Blu-ray player, game console, cable box, or satellite receiver. The two HDMI inputs also allow you to connect your desktop computer or laptop. The HDMI inputs will accept 480/60p, 576/50p, 720/60p, 720/50p, 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 1080/60p, 1080/50p, and 1080/24p video signals.
Motionflow 120Hz & True Cinema 24p: Whatever you're watching, you'll enjoy a silk-smooth on-screen look in fast-moving action sequences with Motionflow 120Hz. This innovative technology creates and inserts extra frames between the original frames by first comparing key visual factors on successive frames, then calculating the split second of missing action in the sequences. True Cinema 24p mode mimics true movie projection for cinema purists
3D Ready w/ 2D-to-3D Conversion: The Sony VPL-HW45ES projector gives you the option to enjoy 3D (three-dimensional) video via its integrated 3D-Sync RF Transmitter and Sony's active 3D glasses (158G500A, sold separately). 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.
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:
- Normal: Input video is displayed in its original aspect ratio, enlarged to fill the screen. This mode is suitable for viewing 1.78:(16:9) and 1.33:1 (4:3) video.
- V Stretch: This is the most suitable mode for using a 2.35:1 screen to view 2.35:1 video with a commercially available anamorphic lens.
- Squeeze: With this setting, 1.78:1 (16:9) and 1.33:1 (4:3) video will be displayed in their correct aspect ratios when you use a commercially available anamorphic lens.
- Stretch: Displays video that has been squeezed to 1.33:1 (4:3) as 1.78:1 (16:9) aspect ratio.
- Picture View Mode: You can select the picture viewing
mode that best suits the type of video source or room conditions.
- 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.
- 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
- Clear White: emphasizes vivid whites
- Color Space: converts the color space best suited for your video content
- Color Correction: Adjusts Hue, Saturation or Brightness of the selected color - Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta
- Contrast Enhancer: corrects the level of bright and dark parts automatically to optimize contrast according to a scene
- Smooth Gradation: smoothes the gradation of the flat parts of images
- Gamma Correction: adjusts the response characteristics of the tone of the picture
- MPEG Noise Reduction: reduces block noise and mosquito noise, in particular in digital signals
- Input Lag Reduction: reduces the delay of the display for a video
Remote Control: The supplied IR remote allows you to wirelessly control many of the projector's functions. The Sony VPL-HW45ES also features an IR remote input and RS-232 port for custom remote 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-HW45ES into virtually any major automation system via the bi-directional, industry-standard RS-232C connection.
Mounting Options: The VPL-HW45ES 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: If no signal is input for 10 minutes, power is turned off automatically and the projector goes into standby mode.
Whisper-Quiet Fan: Due to the VPL-HW45ES advanced air discharge system, Sony's whisper-quiet fan emits only 22db during show time.
Updates Via USB: Software & Firmware updates will need to downloaded from the Sony website onto a USB thumbdrive. The USB thumbdrive will then need to be inserted into the projector's USB port to complete the update. Click here to find the latest updates.
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
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Why did you buy this?
Excellent price and excellent quality. [ Richard Jul 23, 2018 ]
Value & picture!!! [ T Mar 20, 2018 ]
Big Sony fan. Did sooo much online research. Features and price made it the right choice. [ SATVINDER S. Nov 28, 2017 ]
Reviews [ JASON Oct 21, 2017 ]
After my research I'm hoping that the Sony will provide a better value than the more expensive Epson 4000 that I was considering. [ TIM Sep 18, 2017 ]
reviews [ Eric Jul 06, 2017 ]
Great 1080p projector! [ Francis Jun 11, 2017 ]
good reviews [ scoop Apr 25, 2017 ]
Best one out there for the money [ JOHN Jan 05, 2017 ]
good reviews and picture quality [ Lina Dec 17, 2016 ]
It has the best quality of image and very low noise comparing with other projectors in this price range. It has very long lamp life as well. 4K projector is not matured yet and this project is the best candidate who is looking for great projector until the price of 4K projector will be affordable. [ Eunyong Aug 23, 2016 ]
5 questions already asked
I have Hi-SHOCK Black Diamond glasses that work well. But I think any active type 3D glasses will work [ Leonard Jul 12, 2018 ]
I didn't purchase this for 3d capability and didn't buy any glasses, but if you search online you can find forums like AVForums that have people asking the same question and getting some answers. [ Steven Jul 12, 2018 ]
Active 3d, not passive [ Gerald Jul 12, 2018 ]
These work great! Sony TDG-BT500A Active 3D Glasses [ Mike Jul 11, 2018 ]
Absolutely! I have this hooked up to my PS4. The kids are playing on a 120" screen. So cool! [ Mike Jul 11, 2018 ]
Yes, as a matter of fact, my projector is the display monitor for my PS4 Pro. Great performance for games and videos. I recommend it, Have not had any issues with it. I project the output into a screen that is 100" diagonally. Of course it would be better to have the 4k resolution, but that in the future for me. [ Fernando Feb 03, 2018 ]
Yes it will work with a PS4 [ Eldridge Feb 03, 2018 ]
I don't own a ps4 but I do have an Xbox One and it looks awesome! There are 9 different picture settings, the "Game" setting works good out of the box. you can use others, but to use them for gaming you will have to go into the projector settings and turn on "input reduction lag". I paired this projector with a 100 inch Silver Ticket screen and had this almost a year now and I'm never going back to a regular TV. Hope this helps, good luck! [ adam Feb 03, 2018 ]
I use the hw45es with my PS4 - works great for video games, movies and 3D content! [ MATTHEW Feb 02, 2018 ]
Yes, up to 1080p resolution. Can play 4k...but it displays as 1080p. [ bradley Feb 02, 2018 ]
I am really not sure. However I am using it since past almost a year. On an average we use 2 hours per day. It going great and hope to last for another couple of years or so. [ Ashok Jul 10, 2017 ]
3. Licks. So says the wise owl testing lollipops. The net says 2000 hours average. [ Randall Jul 10, 2017 ]
I ve had it for one year, it's working well so far [ NARESH Jul 09, 2017 ]
Thanks for your question. This unit comes with a lens cap pre-installed. Hope this helps. [ Kenny Jun 20, 2017 ] Staff
I usually use SnapAV SM-PROJ-L-BLK mount [ Eldridge Apr 04, 2017 ]
Afraid i'm not much help - i built my own suspended shelf that the projector sits on. [ Randall Mar 31, 2017 ]
I had an existing SANUS ceiling mount that I bought years earlier for a Mitsubishi projector. I verified that the weight limit covered the sony (much larger than my old projector) and it did. I mounted the projector and worked well. I would recommend a current model like VMPR1 that looks similar to mine. It allows for easy adjustment of the projector and locking into place. [ Steven Mar 31, 2017 ]
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