I have spent 420 hours watching various broadcasts DIRECTV, Blu-ray, still photos of family and PS3 video games. The VPL-HW50 is very sensitive to focus. I have concluded this is due to the revealing nature of the projector. Test discs are good starting point but we do not watch test disc in reality. Here are the steps I use:
A. The projector must be as straight to the screen as you can possibly get it. I have found that it never is perfect because even if you measure from the back of projector to rear wall or from front of projector to screen something is slightly off. Your walls and ceiling are never perfectly straight.
B. When I first turn the projector on I wait one hour before I focus. Then I focus using the green screen. I have found the 2 person focus method with one person standing at the screen unreliable because the family member does not have a trained eye. You have to walk back and forth and look yourself. You must also stand at exactly the same spot when you are at the screen. It’s important not to be tired because if you are you will second guess yourself. Your allergies will affect your focus as well. Focus once and leave it alone.
C. The green screen is spotty but it shows pixel structure quite well. When you activate the focus menu make sure it is bright not dim. Sometimes when you activate the focus menu it’s dim on the screen. To ensure its bright turn on a broadcast that is really bright before you activate the focus menu. This will ensure the focus menu is at its brightest light output.
D. Take a break and just casually watch something. Relaxed viewing with no stress on you for perfection focus. What I personally do is I take a break doing something else then come back.
E. Begin focus on focus menu. Focus until you see the shadow area behind the text letters on the focus menu screen then stop and go up to screen. Look at the very center letter charter I think its letter P. Walk back and forth until you can fully see the pixel structure within the letter. As you adjust and walk back and forth the structure of the letter should be defined. Do not worry if the letter is not perfectly focused, just observe the pixel structure. When you adjust the focus ring do it in very small amounts or you over shoot.
F. After you get the center letter character pixel structure as well defined as you can rest your eyes a few minutes.
G. Final focus walk back and forth observing the pixel structure of the entire green screen focus menu text. You will be making small adjustments until the entire text across the screen has the most pixel structure. If you go too far the text will show a halo around all the text letters. Example: you are turning focus lens to right and halo appears turn it back where halo is gone but pixel structure is still clear.
H. Shut off focus menu. Pull up home menu and observe. It should be clear at your normal viewing distance. Now move menu from left side of screen to middle of screen. The menu should be very close in sharpness either in middle of screen or side of screen.
I. This is OCD to the max but it gives me the most uniform focus on all sources.
HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ONNNNNNN I THINK I CAN GET IT SHARPER!