Projectors

Sony VPL-HW55ES Three-Chip SXRD (LCoS) Projector

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Conclusions about the Sony VPL-HW55ES Projector

Last year the Sony VPL-HW50ES was my overall favorite projector and the VPL-HW55ES might retain that title. The improvements to lamp life, 3D, and the dynamic iris are impressive. That Sony can also keep it whisper quiet when running in high lamp mode, which many others cannot, makes it a very flexible unit.

The biggest improvement to me is the improved iris and film mode performance. Once I set the iris to Limited On and enabled Film Mode, I never felt the need to disable them. The improved contrast ratio and motion make for a much better image and with no real drawbacks. I can see where some people might be more sensitive to the slight flicker that Film Mode can present but I found it almost invisible.

My only reservation on the VPL-HW55ES is that I received a unit with a bad lens to begin with. Focus was off and it never was able to look sharp. Sony replaced it and the new unit worked perfectly from that point on. They also told me that any consumer that has the same issue can easily get it replaced by their dealer as that flaw would be covered by the warranty. With a proper lens the Sony is very sharp, so you should expect yours to look as good as mine did.

The Sony VPL-HW55ES is one of the best projectors out there today. Highly accurate, very bright, and still my first choice for a do-everything unit under $5,000. Just like before, there are other units that can do individual things better, but nothing with the full package that the VPL-HW55ES offers. It is an all-around winner of a projector.