Is a Sony SXRD vpl-vw50 a good projector? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Is a Sony SXRD vpl-vw50 a good projector?

Hello,

I would like to get a projector, and I was wondering if a Sony SXRD VPL-VW50 is still considered good quality? I believe it is 12 years old. Has technology changed a lot since then? It is not "4K", whatever that means!

What would a projector like this be worth?

Thank you for any help!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 03:12 PM
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Hi,

it was a much appreciated projector back when it was released, but I don't think it's worth buying now, unless you really can't spend more than some $100. SXRD (and any LCD-based) projectors that old don't age well. Either the SXRD panels or the polarizer filters are likely worn out; not to mention there is an ongoing discussion right on this forum about the longevity of SXRD panels. If you want to buy a very old projector, go with DLP projectors. I mean if you can't spend more than a hundred bucks or so. Also, this projector isn't nearly as bright as newer models, so, even assuming it's still in good working order, it won't be good for a screen larger than 100".

It may be easier to help you if you tell us how much you can spend, what will the projector be used for, what kind of room is it (dedicated dark room, or white living room), screen size, projector throw distance, etc.
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For really good affordable 1080p projectors look for used sony hw50/55s, jvc x30/35 or rs45/46, runco ls3 or ls5 or other 3k+ projectors from 2011 to 2013, should be able to stay under 600-700 with a new bulb. the vw50 and other projectors from before 2010 may not have enough light output, no hdmi1.4, etc.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descalabro View Post
Hi,

it was a much appreciated projector back when it was released, but I don't think it's worth buying now, unless you really can't spend more than some $100. SXRD (and any LCD-based) projectors that old don't age well. Either the SXRD panels or the polarizer filters are likely worn out; not to mention there is an ongoing discussion right on this forum about the longevity of SXRD panels. If you want to buy a very old projector, go with DLP projectors. I mean if you can't spend more than a hundred bucks or so. Also, this projector isn't nearly as bright as newer models, so, even assuming it's still in good working order, it won't be good for a screen larger than 100".

It may be easier to help you if you tell us how much you can spend, what will the projector be used for, what kind of room is it (dedicated dark room, or white living room), screen size, projector throw distance, etc.
Thank you for the quick reply!

We want to get a decent projector for TV/movies. We we in the Elara hotel in Las Vegas, and the room had a projector and a screen that covered an entire wall...was very impressive. All the lights had to be turned off though.

The room we would be putting it in is about 13' x 13'. It's not a "dedicated dark room", it's just a typical room.

We found the used projector (the sony) with a 100" widescreen (rear roll by Stewart Filmscreen) for $385 total.

But if that's not really a good deal or good projector, than we'd rather get something better, of course!

How much does one have to spend to get decent quality? We'd be willing to spend the minimum!
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Originally Posted by bdht View Post
For really good affordable 1080p projectors look for used sony hw50/55s, jvc x30/35 or rs45/46, runco ls3 or ls5 or other 3k+ projectors from 2011 to 2013, should be able to stay under 600-700 with a new bulb. the vw50 and other projectors from before 2010 may not have enough light output, no hdmi1.4, etc.
Thank you!
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmi Limon View Post
Hello,

I would like to get a projector, and I was wondering if a Sony SXRD VPL-VW50 is still considered good quality? I believe it is 12 years old. Has technology changed a lot since then? It is not "4K", whatever that means!

What would a projector like this be worth?

Thank you for any help!
Yeah, it is a good projector if someone is giving it to you. I would pay around $100 for it at most.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 05:40 PM
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I had one of these when they were new and used it for about six years. I still have it sitting in its box. I pulled it out a couple of years ago and fired it up. Compared to a new projector, things that should have been black were sort of a medium dark purple instead. And it made a pretty annoying sound like one of the fan bearings had gone dry and was dying.

For something that old, I think you would want to see it actually running before paying any money to be sure it works and that it gives a picture that you would be happy to watch.

Also, you would want to know the remaining bulb life and figure out if new replacement bulbs are still available. For me, the bulb got unacceptably dim after about 1500 hours and, at the time, new bulbs for this projector were about $350. One of the menus it will display on the screen should tell you hours of bulb usage, assuming it was reset to zero the last time the bulb was replaced.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post
For really good affordable 1080p projectors look for used sony hw50/55s, jvc x30/35 or rs45/46, runco ls3 or ls5 or other 3k+ projectors from 2011 to 2013, should be able to stay under 600-700 with a new bulb. the vw50 and other projectors from before 2010 may not have enough light output, no hdmi1.4, etc.
In 2010, X3, X7 and X9 appeared, and they already have 1.4 hdmi. To date, these models work great. No color degradation, all is well.
I don’t advise taking Sony from those years, until the time when Sony lowered its lamps to 1,500 lumens.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmi Limon View Post
Hello,

I would like to get a projector, and I was wondering if a Sony SXRD VPL-VW50 is still considered good quality? I believe it is 12 years old. Has technology changed a lot since then? It is not "4K", whatever that means!

What would a projector like this be worth?

Thank you for any help!
I agree the vw50 could be an interesting option if the cost was low enough. But tech and performance has moved forward quite a bit.

I owned the Sony vw90 for many years, and it was problem free. The 50 is a slightly newer version although slightly lower overall performance.

In the spring of 2017 I upgraded to the jvc rs520, and then to the x990 in the fall of 2017, and I anticipate the x990 holding me over maybe for as long as I owned that vw90.

Maybe you would be better served to do more research, to find yourself something a little newer at an entry level price.

Also consider, it may not be just the cost of the projector, when you consider accessories like the ceiling mount, which may not carry over when eventually upgrade. Think bigger picture.

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-16-2019, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytehoven View Post
I agree the vw50 could be an interesting option if the cost was low enough. But tech and performance has moved forward quite a bit.

I owned the Sony vw90 for many years, and it was problem free. The 50 is a slightly newer version although slightly lower overall performance.

In the spring of 2017 I upgraded to the jvc rs520, and then to the x990 in the fall of 2017, and I anticipate the x990 holding me over maybe for as long as I owned that vw90.

Maybe you would be better served to do more research, to find yourself something a little newer at an entry level price.

Also consider, it may not be just the cost of the projector, when you consider accessories like the ceiling mount, which may not carry over when eventually upgrade. Think bigger picture.
The hole pattern in the VW50 is the same as the current models, so mount is not a problem, but I do agree about looking for something more modern.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-16-2019, 03:01 PM
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This reply might be a bit controversial considering most people here are into home theater projectors, but if your goal is just to play some movies for hotel guests every day and you want to stay below $400, then a high end conference room projector might be a good option. Sure, all the JVC and Sony recommendations above would be great, but those have higher bulb costs. Very expensive models of conference room projectors are commonly bought at eBay for as little as $150, while very expensive home theater models are very hard to find for twice or thrice that price. Most people in the hotel won't care for contrast or black levels, they will be more impressed with brightness and vivid colors. Motion might not be great on conference room projectors, but that's the only thing some people might notice. I recommend you look for the InFocus IN 5110, same as Hitachi CP-WUX645N, Dukane ImagePro 9137WU-RJ, or Christie LWU420. Canon also made some excellent projectors, which you can look for by "Canon Realis WUX" models. You can also try DLP models such as the Panasonic PT-DZ570U or the Mitsubishi FD630U (which I recently bought for $50), although with DLP models, some people might experience RBE nuisance. Keep in mind I'm looking for cheaper alternatives with good image quality. If you want to pay a little more and follow the advice of other people above, I would suggest you included in your search the Panasonic models PT-AE5000 to 8000, which are great performers and are full of nice features too.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-17-2019, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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What about the 100" widescreen (rear roll by Stewart Filmscreen)?

Would that be worth getting? If so, what would be a good price?

Thank you all very much.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-17-2019, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmi Limon View Post
What about the 100" widescreen (rear roll by Stewart Filmscreen)?
Would that be worth getting? If so, what would be a good price?
Depends on the exact material
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bytehoven View Post
I agree the vw50 could be an interesting option if the cost was low enough. But tech and performance has moved forward quite a bit.

I owned the Sony vw90 for many years, and it was problem free. The 50 is a slightly newer version although slightly lower overall performance.

In the spring of 2017 I upgraded to the jvc rs520, and then to the x990 in the fall of 2017, and I anticipate the x990 holding me over maybe for as long as I owned that vw90.

Maybe you would be better served to do more research, to find yourself something a little newer at an entry level price.

Also consider, it may not be just the cost of the projector, when you consider accessories like the ceiling mount, which may not carry over when eventually upgrade. Think bigger picture.
Just to clarify, I too had a VW90ES that I bought in 2012 and it was solid as a rock for well over 2500 hours before I sold it.
However, the VW50 (that is being asked about here, which is not the HW50ES I think you are referring to) came out in 2006. I had one of those too.
It was an early example of the consumer SXRD 1080p panels and was prone to degradation of the panels/polarizers etc.
However the image was, and still could be if you are not bothered by lack of brightness (900 lumens I recall they were) pretty impressive. It had a dynamic iris and plenty of settings and great colours.

If you can see it in action and are happy with the picture, then at the right price you may as well go for it and use it 'til it dies or something newer catches your eye.
Crucially it comes with a screen (and apparently a Stewart one too) which probably makes up the majority of the price truth be told.

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Last edited by Archibald1; 09-18-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Archibald1 View Post
Just to clarify, I too had a VW90ES that I bought in 2012 and it was solid as a rock for well over 2500 hours before I sold it.
However, the VW50 (that is being asked about here, which is not the HW50ES I think you are referring to) came out in 2006. I had one of those too.
It was an early example of the consumer SXRD 1080p panels and was prone to degradation of the panels/polarizers etc.
However the image was, and still could be if you are not bothered by lack of brightness (900 lumens I recall they were) pretty impressive. It had a dynamic iris and plenty of settings and great colours.
Thanks for the clarification... I was referring to the newer HW50ES rather than the older vw50. My Bad and Sony's bad for not trying to better differentiate model numbers.

2006 - 2008 Sony VPL - VW 50 ... https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-VW50.htm

2010 - 2012 Sony VPL - VW90ES https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-VW90ES.htm

(I'd note, I might have been able to resist upgrading from the VPL-VW95ES a little longer due to it's lens memory functions)

2011 - 2014 Sony VPL-VW95ES https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-VW95ES.htm

2012 - 2014 Sony VPL - HW50es ... https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-HW50ES.htm

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Last edited by Bytehoven; 09-18-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-19-2019, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytehoven View Post
Thanks for the clarification... I was referring to the newer HW50ES rather than the older vw50. My Bad and Sony's bad for not trying to better differentiate model numbers.

2006 - 2008 Sony VPL - VW 50 ... https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-VW50.htm

2010 - 2012 Sony VPL - VW90ES https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-VW90ES.htm

(I'd note, I might have been able to resist upgrading from the VPL-VW95ES a little longer due to it's lens memory functions)

2011 - 2014 Sony VPL-VW95ES https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-VW95ES.htm

2012 - 2014 Sony VPL - HW50es ... https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-HW50ES.htm
It is not obvious and changing from VW to HW for the 1080p models may have made sense to them but many still get VW and HW confused.
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