Sony VPL-HW10 Review! NEW CORRECTED CONTRAST! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-02-2008, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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INTRO:

Well it is my favorite time of year! No, not Christmas…Cedia! This is when all the new, fun toys are announced from all the big players in the A/V industry. Of course, usually these announcements are followed by months of waiting for product to ship. Nothing like dangling something in our face and making us wait. Ugh. But, sometimes small miracles happen and a company releases product ahead of schedule. Enter the Sony VPL-HW10 projector! This is their newest entry level SXRD 1920x1080 model. It retails for $3495 and is essentially the replacement for the VPL-VW40. They have redesigned the unit in many different ways, all good at that. It also is rated at 30000:1 contrast and 800 lumens. Have I tempted you? Read on.

So I placed the order for these about 2 weeks ago but wasn’t expecting them until mid September per Sony. Much to my surprise they showed up end of last week! Christmas in August! The boxes arrived and are about the same size as the previous Sony SXRD projectors. However, upon opening the unit I found that the packing was a bit different. It functionally works the same, but just an observation I made.




Upon removing the projector from the box, I noticed some nice changes. First off, it is smaller than previous models. To explain, it is a bit shorter, but about the same height and width. The HW10 is also black now (deep gloss black, not the dark gray metallic of the VPL-VW60). The front of the projector is also slightly changed. There is a curved inset where the lens is…functionally doesn’t change the unit, but gives a nice new look to it. The HW10 no longer has motorized lens. All the adjustments are now manual (lens focus, zoom and shift). That was a bit surprising, but not a big deal as the ease of use is fine. One nice add on to this model is that there is more horizontal shift, and the horizontal shift is now on a knob vs. loosening screws and physically moving the lens. This was a big complaint for many on previous models.



The inputs on the unit are basically the same as well…2 HDMI, VGA 15-pin, component, S-video and composite video. There is also RS232 for automation control.



The remote control is very similar to the VW40, but a few buttons have been relabeled and moved.

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post #2 of 6 Old 09-02-2008, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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The HW10 does add some nice features as well in the menu. First off, it has convergence control (10 points per pixel). It is a full panel shift like the VW60, but this is something the VW40 did not have. My unit was very good out of the box though I found I could make it ever so slightly better. A new feature this year is black level and mosquito noise reduction. None of the current Sony’s have this, but this will be an add-on to future models. The basic menu is the same, with all the same adjustments as other models (of course with the addition of the NR). Enough of the boring stuff…let’s get onto the fun part.

I plugged in my unit and fired it up. As usual, first thing I did was send my test patterns into it and start tweaking. The contrast and brightness settings on past Sony's required adjustment. But I found that the default settings (90 contrast, 50 brightness, were spot on! The grayscale tracking was so-so out of the box (see graph below). However, it was easily adjusted in the service menu to near perfection. I did have some roll off in the lower IRE’s, but that is not uncommon with my probe so I didn’t put too much emphasis into it. Virtually all the previous Sony’s needed a lot of color adjustments. But, the HW10 was near perfect out of the box! This is great for those who don’t plan to have it calibrated. I was able to make it even better, but it was only slight. While I was using test patterns I checked out some normal QC checks. The bright corner issues were nearly eliminated (not even enough to really mention). Uniformity was excellent as well, amongst the best of this technology that I have seen. So after tweaking to my heart’s content, it was time to put in some material. More fun!

Color Temp. Before:


Color Temp. After:


Primary/Secondary Colors Before:


Primary/Secondary Colors After:
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-02-2008, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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OBSERVATIONS:

Contrast/Black Levels: As mentioned, the unit is rated at 30000:1 on/off contrast, more than the previous VW40 (with iris). Originally I measured the unit at 16995:1, but then realizing I made an error. After remeasuring it, I got 24353:1 on/off! Kudos to Sony for impressive contrast on a lower cost SXRD. ANSI was quite good as well. I got about 342:1…amongst the best for this generally technology that I have measured. The black levels on the HW10 were quite good, rivaling that of the JVC DLA-RS1X. Plus, with the near elimination of bright corners, the affect is quite impressive.

Light Output: The HW10 is rated at 800 lumens. Now here is something that many manufacturers hype up and don’t deliver. Of course, I always rate them at D65 so rarely do they fully output the rated specs. BUT, the Sony, at D65 still put out a max light output of 616 lumens. This is a definite improvement as well, and allows this to work in rooms with larger screens (or those with some ambient light). Excellent.

Colors: As I mentioned before, this was near perfect out of the box. I was able to get it slightly dialed in better, but even without that adjustment, this is a big benefit to the HW10 vs. some of its competition. Again, kudos.

Sharpness: Is it ever! Seriously, this was an area that stood out for me immediately. It is very sharp and probably the best I have seen as compared to other similar technologies. I have to check my facts, but I am pretty sure it is in part to the new panels which are digitally drive (I will try and confirm). In any event, love this part a lot.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-02-2008, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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SCREENSHOTS:

War (Bluray):





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post #5 of 6 Old 09-02-2008, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Bluray):





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post #6 of 6 Old 09-02-2008, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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CONCLUSION:

Okay so usually newer projectors come down in price, which this actually went up slightly. But, I feel that with all the improvements and add on features, it definitely justifies the slight up charge. Moreover, I feel that in this general price category the Sony VPL-HW10 really has set a high mark for others to have to follow. I'll say it one more timekudos to Sony.

Thanks!
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