Sony VPL-HW50ES Projector


Design and Setup of the Sony VPL-HW50ES Projector

The Sony VPL-HW50ES falls in between the VPL-HW30ES and the VPL-VW95ES models in the Sony projector lineup. Compared to the 30ES the 50ES adds a CMS with the Sony's Real Color Processing, 400 more lumens, more placement flexibility and anamorphic lens support, as well as their Reality Creation engine. It doesn't have the motorized lens memory of the 95ES, but it does have the 144-point convergence to help correct for any alignment issues in the panels or chromatic fringing from those using an anamorphic lens. Using this will correct some alignment issues but at the expense of 1:1 pixel mapping, much like keystone correction. What it does have on both of these projectors is lumens: 1700 of them according to the specifications and my measurements.

With a similar design to the other Sony projectors, the 50ES has a rounded top with manual lens shift controls on it, and zoom and focus controls around the lens. The power button, along with controls and inputs are all located on the right side of the projector. One thing that Sony could improve on the outside of their projectors would be larger adjustable feet to get it perfectly level, as the feet on the 50ES are tiny and impossible to adjust without lifting the whole projector up. Aside from that little issue, the 50ES has a very nice design.

Compared to other LCOS systems, the SXRD panels in the Sony operate at 240 Hz, which does allow for better motion than those the run at 120 Hz. The Sony also allows for dark frame insertion, which provides a more theatrical look and also increases motion resolution at the same time. Finally the 50ES has a fully automated iris system that allows you to adjust how dynamic it is, or use it manually to control the amount of light coming from the 50ES.

Once positioned and hooked up, I started measured the different preset modes that the 50ES includes. There are many, but the Reference mode lived up to the name and provided me with the best results overall. Even in this well calibrated mode, I was still getting over 700 lumens with the lamp in low power mode and the iris half closed, showing the Sony has plenty of lamp power for almost anyone.