Review Contents
Introduction and Specs
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Sony VPL-VW50 Projector Sony VPL-VW50
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15000:1 Contrast Ratio
900 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$3,499 MSRP

Sony VPL-VW50
Home Theater Projector

Evan Powell, November 10, 2006

Sony made a big splash at the CEDIA trade show in September with the announcement of the Sony VPL-VW50. This is Sony's newest 1080p resolution projector featuring their proprietary SXRD technology. The biggest draw was the price tag--a mere $4,999, which makes it one of the two 1080p projectors to come to market this fall below the $5,000 price point. Reactions to the CEDIA demonstrations were mixed, and we were anxious to get our hands on it to see what it was really capable of. To sum it up in one sentence: the VW50 has outstanding black levels, color saturation and contrast, but the image is softer than we'd like to see from a 1080p resolution projector. Whether this projector is right for you will depend on your willingness to give up some image sharpness for increased black level and contrast. For us, 1080p resolution is all about maximum sharpness and detail, so this is not a trade-off we'd want to settle for. But if deep blacks and maximum color saturation are performance factors you value most, then the VW50 is a projector you will not want to miss.

Specifications

ANSI lumens: 900

Contrast (full on/off): 15,000:1

Light Engine: 1920x1080, native 16:9, 0.6" three-chip SXRD, with a 200W UHP lamp.

Video Compatibility: 1080p/60/50/24, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i. NTSC/PAL/SECAM.

Connection Panel: Two HDMI, one 15-pin VGA, one 3-RCA component input, one s-video, one composite, one 12V trigger, one wired remote port.

Lens and Throw Distance: 1.72:1 power zoom/focus lens with vertical powered lens shift. Throws a 100" diagonal 16:9 image from 10.1' to 17.5'

Lamp Life: Unpublished.

Warranty: Two years.

Review Contents: Introduction and Specs General Impressions Performance Conclusion
 

Reader Comments(39 comments)

Posted Sep 7, 2012 2:20:41 AM

By Vedat

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Does anybody know that Field Of View (FOV) for Sony vpl-vw50, thanks Vedat

Posted May 23, 2009 1:30:26 PM

By Lisa

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The VW50 (is poor) (edited) Its a clone of the HS20 minus the screen door effect and the black level is horrible and way on the muddy side. I have only read lies on this thing! I got one and messed with every adjustment but no matter what I did it was unwatchable. everyone that likes em is saying that to con you so they can sell there unit to you - I should too being after one night I re boxed it up to sale and they are not cheap just junk, Get the Mitsu and save money.

Posted Dec 28, 2008 3:28:27 PM

By Lee

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Thanks in advance if anyone is able to reply. I have had the projector for about 18 months. Suddenly, the projector has stopped showing the color red ad red. It appears "brownish".

Also, sometimes, the projector will "shut off" within a few minutes of starting to run. This has happenened several times and on few occassions, it will shut off multiple times before finally "staying on" for good.

Any thoughts/feedback? Thanks

Posted Dec 9, 2008 6:26:59 AM

By michael

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I have 1600 hours on my vplvw50 lamp.I have a VUtec silverstar screen,I am not that happy with the pic.Any suggestions??????

Posted Nov 11, 2007 10:59:39 AM

By Rock

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I purchased the VPL-VW50 a few months ago. It's a great picture, but the brightness is a bit lacking. Now that the VPL-VW60 is coming out, it appears that they may have made improvements. To accomplish the increased brightness, is it the lamp, processing chipset, optics or all of the above? I'm now wondering, can I increase the brightness of the VW50 with an upgraded lamp replacement?

Posted Aug 20, 2007 8:04:29 AM

By dukedallas

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Hey D-Man, do you have any experience with the DVDO VP50?

Posted Jul 25, 2007 12:00:34 AM

By OzHDHT

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"Does anyone know if and when sony will release a follow-up to the vw50 or vw100?"

Yes indeed. You should read AVSforums if you want to stay up to date on the new model and pre-release info for new A/V gear especially projectors.

The new Sony models will be the VW60 and VW200 respectively. I am hoping to see them tomorrow at a Sony product expo. I own the VW100, also a VW50 and a current gen 70" rear pro. I've found with pure 1080p video, which is primarly what I view, the VW50 does a better job in some respects then the older, yet dearer VW100. But out of both of those the 70" rear pro is the best PQ. It seems to have superior picture processing not available on either projector which allows definite picture detail enhancement without any negative side effects. My thoughts are that along with HDMI 1.3 and 120Hz display mode, the new projectors will feature similar picture enhancement features to the rear pros. I'm fairly certainly I'll replace the VW-50 with the new 60.

Posted Jul 14, 2007 1:44:11 PM

By Henrik

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Does anyone know if and when sony will release a follow-up to the vw50 or vw100?

Posted Jul 10, 2007 7:52:47 AM

By Victor

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I have installed my VW-50 this weekend to substitute my old HS-51 and the increase in the details is amazing. No more black crush, no more chicken wire and the color seems very accurate. I have found the article posted in "www.cine4home.de" more detailed and more helpfull with this projector. Regarding the softness, as I use a Denon-5910 with the Theranex chip, I have increased the detail control to +3 and have redialed the sharpness on the Sony to 0. My actual concern is about the black level of this projector. I am trying hard to get the same black level I used to get with the HS-51 despite the black crush it used to give me. My room is completely black with no ambient light. So, can anyone using this projector help me achieveing a good start regarding the picture control and color control to achieve a good image? I have left the contrast to 80 but increased the contrast in the 5910 to +1, dynamic iris set to Auto1, Color temp set to Custom1 leaving everything in 0. Anyone is using the Image Director software to obtain a better gamma curve? I need help from someone trying to squeeze everything from this projector.

Posted Jun 8, 2007 6:45:34 PM

By D-Man

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A minor correction to make on my previous comments on the SDI cable in use. I actually use a combination of Belden 1694A and 1695A for video signals. Both types are meant for SDI and are rated to 4.5GHz.

The particular one in use currently, which connects DVD player SDI-mod to Crystalio-II is the 1695A.

The differences between the two cables are mainly on the dielectric/jacket materials:

1694A (Dielectric: Gas-injected FHDPE - Foam HighDensity Polyethylene; Outer jacket: PVC; Nominal Attenuation of 3GHz at 100ft is 10.67db)

1695A (Dielectric: FFEP - Foam Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene / Teflon; Outer jacket: Flamarrest; Nominal Attenuation of 3GHz at 100ft is 13.7db)

Although Teflon is a good choice as a dielectric material due to its inertness and low-capacitance, note the slightly higher attenuation on the high-frequency range when comparing to FHDPE.

However, for the particular application in concern, the digital video signal is mainly SDTV (480i/525i), and the cable run length is very short (1m). So I preferred deploying the 1695A instead, as it is slightly stiffer and more resilent than the 1694A, and the cable's inner Teflon core couples better to the non-soldering BNC plugs in use.

For longer runs of video cable, I use the 1694A instead. I use this mainly for analogue video signal, which is progressively becoming a dying breed of application in my setup :P

Either way, both 1694A and 1695A are excellent choices for SDI application.

Posted Jun 8, 2007 3:46:28 AM

By D-Man

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Chans, if you have decent soldering skills, and have done so to a PCB that is based on surface mount technology (SMT), then the estimated effort will be approx 2 hours all up. It is way more economical to do the SDI-mod yourself :)

Actually the prep-work takes the longest, around 1.5 hrs. This covers preparing the drill out for the BNC plug, stripping and pre-conditioning the leads with TEFLON wrap, regrouping the data wire leads into 2 flat and sequenced groups (taking into consideration how they can best approach the soldering points sideways, with least strain imposed on the soldering joints), have the clock leads rearranged in twisted-wire pair...etc. If u plan the approach really well, it will make the actual soldering job a lot easier. U can probably complete the actual soldering in 30 mins. Do take into consideration the thermal expansion effect after the soldering job is done (esp if u have took some measure to secure the ribbon cable down at certain points) and perform break-in run for a couple of hours (with cover on)...sometimes the solder joints may break loose after the cable has been expanded. Best to be sure.

The SDI-mod PCB has onboard LED and will lit up when +5V power is good and it manages to lock on to the external 27MHz clock signal feed, so this makes diagnostic way easier. And for the data lines, although having access to an oscilloscope will be nice, but this is not really necessary. I simply use a "Logic Probe" which can be easily attached to my multi-meter. The logic probe provides me with a good feedback (via a LED) when it detect a digital signal (rising/falling edge) on the line. U can quickly perform a sanity check on your soldering job via the ribbon cable prior to connecting it to the SDI board. Just use the logic probe on the ribbon cable (the crimped end of the cable toward the plug) as u operate the DVD player.

The main challenge is to find out where exactly to tap into the following signal/feed, on the PCB for your DVD player: 1. 27MHz clock signal / Gnd 2. +5V / Gnd 3. 8-bit raw digital video signal feed

If you use a popular DVD player, more than likely u will find this either from the Crystalio SDI Forum or on the net.

I used the same type of Serial-Digital Video cable the Broadcast company uses - Belden 1694A with Teflon dielectric, double-shield with outer braided shield. It works perfectly. Unfortunately for SDI u just can use any coaxial cable because of the special high-bandwidth requirements...u may get away with digital audio, but not for video. Other than the cable, another critical aspect is on the BNC plug. Do ensure that u get a very best quality BNC plugs (try to find ones which does not require any soldering), as the data bandwidth requirement for SDI is very high. With SDI cable, the most vital aspects are to choose the right cable with proper impedence, low capacitence (ensure the rising/falling edge does not get blurred) and excellent shielding. Just use what the pros use and u won't go wrong.

Good luck with your SDI mod :)

Posted Jun 7, 2007 4:38:34 PM

By chans

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D-man, this is good info.

how difficult is it to make the modification to the DVD player?

so what kind of BNC cable did you use between the DVD player and the Crystalio? or does that matter?

Posted Jun 7, 2007 6:28:52 AM

By D-Man

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Hi DukeDallas,

I Agree. The PEARL rock! Even in its plain-vanilla, out-of-the-box form. One big plus with PEARL is that because the SXRD is based on inorganic material it would have an outstanding durability. And unlike DLP, which consists of moving parts, SXRD wouldn't suffer from imminent mechanical failure due to wear-n-tear. So u can keep using PEARL and make incremental upgrades slowly down the line, instead of constantly swapping for a new unit (without making signifant improvements). It is very reassuring to know that the "potential" is there to develop the performance of PEARL (when you so desire to do so), to rival the impact provided from a 4K Commercial Cinema projection system (actually PEARL setup might be slightly better here, considering its 1:15,000 contrast ratio and the distance you'll be viewing the unit. I typically sit 1H-1.5H from screen).

The short answer your question is NO, I don't have any affiliation with any of those companies mentioned. However, I do work in an industry which offers excellent tax incentives for acquiring ALL those mentioned items. This also includes the PEARL unit. It is somewhat unfortunate that in our industry that we have to spend before we can make any savings...does this make sense!?

Regarding the Crystalio unit, I first came across this unit at the BARCO agent. They were using the highly priced Faroudja Line scaler for demo for years. And due to BARCO's quality, they won't settle for anything but the best so I know that whatever they are using must be cutting-edge stuff...until one day, they introduced the Crystalio in their demo setup. With one view of the Crystalio-II picture, I am completely hooked...there is no turning back. The SDI mod which the BARCO agent was using together with the Crystalio unit probably also contributed greatly to its stella performance. It is indeed "Out Of The World"!

With regards to the Optical HDMI. This was an outcome from my relentless research made, out of sheer frustation I had with copper-based HDMI cable. At one stage, I was offered an option to go with a optical fibre DVI cable (another brand). However, this design is not self-powered and does not support HDMI 1.3...so after doing more research into what many Broadcast comapanies uses, I found this manufacturer. Pricing is certainly not cheap because they normally do commercial setup, yet when compared to other more exotic high-end cable, it is actually very reasonable. The reassuring fact is that it is currently best technology money can buy...this is why so many telecommunication and Broadcast companies are relying on their technology.

I trust that you will fully enjoy your investment in the PEARL unit for year to come, because I know I am (and will be). Hopefully as HID and UHP technology matures over time, we get even better and more reliable light sources for our PEARL units. Another interesting technology front is the rapid development of the high-intensity LEDs (Philps LUXEON). It would be interesting to see how soon they can bring out the 1,000lumen LED! Because with this brightness, one can easy build a small (3*3 or 4*4) array to replace the UHP light source, whilst saving on energy and achieving even better colour saturation (not that I am complaining about PEARL's performance) :)

Happy viewing!

Posted Jun 5, 2007 4:47:10 AM

By dukedallas

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Hey D-Man...Wow $3800 I was way off looks like over, $5000 for this upgrade, just the wire is $349 for 10ft...sorry man definately out of reach, I spent $350 on professional calibration and my pic looks fabulous, no way can I, or 90% of the people justify $5000 more of an investment...I'd rather save that $5000 for my kids college. If I were independently wealthy I definately would invest in your setup. Soon as the DVDO price comes down I may invest $1000 in that bad boy. Currently I can grab a DVDO VP50 on eBay for $1800. Thanks for all the info though, do you work for any of these compaines whose technologies you are mentioning? The Vpl-vw50 does really rock!!!

Posted Jun 5, 2007 4:33:06 AM

By D-Man

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Hi DukeDallas,

In regards to sourcing the upgrade components, here are the relevant links to:

The Crystalio-II. Product Info : http://www.crystalio.com/spec.html Online shop: http://store.pixelmagicsystems.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=4

SDI mod: http://store.pixelmagicsystems.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=5

Purelink HDC-series Fibre Optics HDMI Product Info: http://www.purelinkav.com/hdc_fiber.htm Here is one of the many stores that sells this product : http://www.digitalconnection.com/products/cables/hdc.asp

You will likely to enjoy the upgrade process more if you perform the upgrade progressively, allowing time for yourself to experience the improvement each upgrade delivers.

If you approach your local PixelMagic dealer/showroom for a Crystalio-II demo, then more than likely that they already have a DVD player that has been modified with the SDI output. There is also a high probability that they will have one of the SONY SXRD projectors (Pearl, Ruby or Qualia004) for demo. The only missing item may be the HDC-series Fibre Optics HDMI cable (depending on how serious they really are in video quality). But you will get a general feeling of how good the Pearl (or any SXRD based projector) can be, after having experienced the demo.

Another point worth mentioning, if u decide to go with the Crystalio-II VPS3800Pro and use the internal 200GB HDD with its built-in media player, the result is almost identical to using a DVD player with SDI-mod. So maybe this can be an alternative approach to enjoying great looking video (assuming that most people will have access to PC with networking abilities). The sound from this unit is also excellent, as it utilizes a temperature compensated crystal oscillator and if your are using its analogue output, the Burr-brown Op amps and Analog Devices auto-upsample 24-bit/192kHz DACs.

Final point worth considering is comparing the acquisition cost of a good DLP projector, only just a year or two ago (or even now), such as the Marantz VP12S4, it will easily set you back US$11k. Having experience both, if you ask me now, this same amount would have achieve far more remarkable outcome if it was spent using the SXRD-based upgrade approach...but only if your ultimate objective is to bring "close-to" (because this is limited by the source material unless all of them are HD) movie-theatre video quality into your home theatre :) Another benefit with this combo is that you can now easily see the quality and limitations of the source material.

Posted Jun 4, 2007 11:07:59 AM

By dukedallas

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ok d-man...so exactly how much is this gonna set me back? Sounds like about $3800 to me, kind of steep when I realize i paid $3200 for the vpl-vw50 in the first place. $3800 is a big chunk of cash.

Posted Jun 4, 2007 3:16:13 AM

By D-Man

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Just wanted to share some tuning experience I had with PEARL over the past couple weeks. This is an upgrade journey, which has transformed a decent and well performing PEARL into cinema-quality performance, rivalling the best consumer market projection system regardless of price.

Right out of the box, PEARL is an impressive performer. Colours are saturated and vivid. Shades and dark levels are impressive…still a bit short of the CRT performance I am accustomed to. The 2ms refresh of the SXRD looks really great with fast-motion action materials. The PEARL does shows great potentials!

The built-in scaler (DRC2) in PEARL does a reasonably decent job with film-material; however the same cannot be said on video-material...it is generally quite fuzzy. The internal scaler performance appears to be very sensitive to the video quality of the feed. I would say that the video performance of the PEARL, right out of the box, as impressive, acceptable for most (small sized screen projection) set-up and excellent value…but not quite high-end.

However, for large sized screen, a general sense of lack of sharpness appears. I am projecting on a 138” (1:1.85 aspect ratio) Stewart Ultramatte 150 THX-certified micro-perforated screen. Upon closer inspection (which is further confirmed by the subsequent upgrade exercise), it has indicated that this is neither attributed to the SXRD technology itself, nor the lens quality, but to do with the internal video signal processing and its transmission method deployed. At this point, it is vital for me to quantify that the general “lack of sharpness” occurred when PEARL was feed with video signals via the analogue component-video signal (at 480i/525i) AND when the internal scaler must be engaged to upscale the input signal to 1080p.

In summary, here are the critical upgrades applied: (1) To augment the video processing requirements, I have introduced the PixelMagic Crystalio-II (VPS-3800Pro) scaler. The main improvement here is the Gennum VXP broadcast grade video scaling performance.

(2) To preserve signal integrity and retain absolute control over all the 1920*1080 pixels on the SXRD panel, HDMI connection is used to avoid unnecessary D-to-A and A-to-D conversions (when coupled between the external scaler and PEARL). HDMI transmission is fine using copper conductors up to a few meters, but for any further distances, significant problem arises as the falling/rising edges of the signal is blurred. This is where optical fibre technology comes in. For this application a 100ft PureLink HDC series Fibre Optic HDMI cable is deployed to preserve the utmost signal integrity.

(3) To provide the Crystalio-II with the purist digital video feed, the DVD player has been modified with a PixelMagic SDI BT656ProKit. Comparisons between the SDI and HDMI feed between the DVD player and Crystalio-II has demonstrated the superior quality of the SDI. When SDI is deployed, significant improvement on the dark levels has enabled the deployment of 1.5 gain screen (as opposed to the 1.3 in StudioTek); colour purity and rendition has also been improved vastly.

With upgrade (1) to (3), the PEARL’s video performance is completely transformed. Any attempt to describe the improvements will be futile…as it will not do full justice to the actual projected image seen. Once has to experience this for oneself. Suffice to say, it is the MOST movie like experience, I have ever seen from a consumer video setup. In fact, the performance is so good that it has convinced me that it can finally replace the BARCO projector (with this, I have lived thru the evolution of 7", 8" and 9" CRT, with upgraded NORITAR full optical glass lens) I have been using over the decades.

In retrospect, another interesting point is to evaluate how critical each of the upgrade from (1) to (3) really are, in an attempt to see if the whole exercise can be ecnomized. Further experimentation to remove any item from (1) to (3) shows that all of them are on the critical path. Remove one, and you won’t get the same performance, which has complete swept me off my feet.

If one view the procurement cost of PEARL as purely for its light engine and SXRD panel, it is actually quite a bargain, considering how much the RUBY and Qualia004 are selling for. Technically, having the highest potentials in achieving the ultimate consumer video setup, the SXRD panels are certainly not to be missed, given that they have become so much more affordable over the years to most video fans.

Posted Apr 18, 2007 11:19:31 AM

By braggi

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custom color settings on the pearl. click on color then custon settings 1. set gain RED to 1...BLUE to 2...GREEN to 2..........bias..RED to 1..GREEN to 2...BLUE to 2

Posted Apr 18, 2007 11:00:21 AM

By braggi

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"Sony Pearl owners!!!!! Are you tired of reading the Pearl looks soft next to other 1080p projectors? I found a inexpencive solution. The Belkin AV62300-08 8FT RAZORVISION HDMI/HDMI AUDIO VIDEO CABLE FOR HDTV. IT HAS 24K GOLD CONNECTORS AND A SPLIT SCREEN SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON FEATURE. IT SELLS FOR $118.00 AND IT WORKED GREAT FOR ME. WE KNOW THE POTENTIAL THE PEARL HAS BUT THIS WILL MAKE IT RIVAL ANY PROJECTOR OUT THERE AT ANY PRICE. JUST PATCH IT INTO YOUR HDMI CABLE TO THE SONY. I SAW A MORE DETAILED, SHARPER PICTURE WITH DEEPER BLACKS WITH THIS PRODUCT. IT WAS VERY IMPRESSIVE WITH HD DVD AND BLURAY DVDS AND DISH SATELLITE HD SOURCES. ONE PROBLEM I FOUND I COULD NOT GET A PICTURE ON THE SONY FROM A BLURAY DVD PLAYER IN 1080P@ 60FPS. ALSO 1080p@24FPS had a picture but it flickered. THE RAZORVISION DOES GREAT WITH 480p/720p & 1080I. USE BETTERCABLES HDMI PRODUCTS YOU WON'T BE SORRY! GO TO www.directtron.com. type in razorvision in the search bar."

Posted Mar 22, 2007 11:20:16 PM

By junior1954

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Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology-the lense shift moves the picture up and down on the screen. By manually adjusting the projector up and down, you can vary the trapezoid and minimize or eliminate having to use the Keytone adjustment. According to other posts, the closer to zero the Keytone adjustment, the higher the resolution. How far off center your projector can be and still get an acceptable picture is beyond my expertise, but the closer to center the better. Think of shining a flashlight on a wall at an angle-one side of the beam will be brighter and smaller than the other. Side to side adjustments of the projector are totally manual, done by pivoting the projector on its' mount. My projector is mounted on the ceiling and the center of the lense is approx. 18" above the center of the screen; it looks spectacular, so there must be some leeway on a horizontal plane as well. In my opinion, naturally centering a lense on a screen will eliminate the need to electronically compensate for trapezoid and maximize the quality of the picture, regardless of the projector. Some projectors may be able to compensate for off-center mounting electronically better than others, but I couldn't tell you which ones.

Posted Mar 13, 2007 6:20:28 PM

By dukedallas

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There is no horizontal shift I know of. Only up and down.

Posted Mar 9, 2007 12:17:21 PM

By Reidrock

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I'm really confused now. The review says "there is no horizontal lens shift movement" but on the Sony site it says it has. Can anyone with the Sony please tell me who is correct. I need to mount it slightly off-centre because of the position of a door so I don't want to order it until I know. If I can mount off-centre can anyone tell me how far. Thanks.

Posted Feb 1, 2007 7:42:41 PM

By junior1954

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I read one of the posts that talked about how adjusting V Keystone may correct trapezoid, but decreases resolution. I found that by playing with lense shift and manually tilting the projector, I could dial in the picture so that it was perfectly square, eliminating the need to adjust V Keystone (it would be nice if Sony told us that in the instructions). In my opinion, this projector was designed to be ceiling mounted, as the best "tilt" position for me was no tilt at all, but level.

Posted Jan 31, 2007 5:35:04 AM

By braggi

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"Yes, I bought a $6000 projector and am displaying it on my newly painted wall with RCA cables! No really, for the others that think I am stupid, I am running Monster 400 hdmi cables with a Monster power filter bar and on a $2000 Grandview screen. The Tec came and did agree with me in the softness but he said that there is nothing he could do for me "Sorry". That's it. I guess we all can't be as smart as "braggi". Plasma looking, NO WAY! Still VERY disappointed in Sony."

Confucious say...You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!! You have the best pj. Monster was big in the 70's & 80's new manufacturers have gone way beyond them. Trying to help not to be a wise guy but listen...try risk free 30 day money back if not happy www.bettercables.com...buy their hdmi cable to what ever length you need remove all Monster products except the audio interconnects. Click on user 2 setting in the settings menu turn off cinema black pro.. set contrast to max... brightness to 62.. color 55...hue 50..color temp middle for close to 6500 degrees kelven. nr -off...dde.. film for dvds prog for sat or cable....black level adj..high...gamma off or try 1 or 3....also set rcp- off....color space wide...overscan off wide screen full..lens on. just try it. Honest HD DVDS 1080I ARE AWSOME,HD DISH 1080I AWSOME.

Posted Jan 31, 2007 5:21:12 AM

By braggi

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Hey thats great! Enjoy guys! .. More info the vpl-vw50 was set up to display 1080p @ 60 frames per second and 24 frames per second. The 24fps is how the movies are shown in theaters! I have the Toshiba A-1 HD player which does 60fps only. The Sony bdp-s1 Blu-ray player displays 60fps and direct 24fps also. Not many projectors can display 24fps but the vpl-vw50 can they are a matched pair Sony thought this all out. Now the Sony Blu-ray player just had a firmware upgrade to 1.50 to enhance various disc's, java,....and NOW older dvds are so sharp they look like HD in the direct 480i/24fps setting. Honest the eye candy is incredible! I like both HD DVD formats because once you are hooked on hi-definition you can't get enough! One thing i recommend to you.... try the Bettercables hdmi or component cables for the absolute sharpist picture it really makes a difference. I just bought three of their 3 meter Hdmi Reference Cables to hook up two HD dvd players and a Dish 411 satellite receiver into their 5 in 1 out hdmi switcher. A 8 meter for the output to the sony vpl vw50. The switcher enhances the digital signal from all it's inputs to your projector & their is no signal loss. Let me know how it's going this projector is exciting!!!!!!

Posted Jan 29, 2007 8:20:49 PM

By dukedallas

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Incredible projector, I too am using a 110 inch screen. I just purchased it, and I found the post by braggi really helpful with fine tuning the color settings. When you watch HD broadcast it looks almost 3D!!!! Thanks for the help braggi!!!

Posted Jan 28, 2007 11:46:33 AM

By junior1954

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Hi All

I just bought the Pearl and couldn't be happier with it. I've had a 73" Mitsubishi rear projection 1080i for about 4 years and love it, but the Pearl blows it away. I use a 110" diagonal Stewart Filmscreens Firehawk SST, which was designed in collaboration with Sony specifically for the Pearl and use a Sunfire TGR-3 receiver hooked up with a high quality HDMI cable. With a little "tweaking", the Pearl produced superb black levels, color saturation and accuracy, contrast and sharpness. The picture just looks real, like a window to the world-I forget I'm watching a reproduciton of the actual image and get drawn into the picture, which almost seems 3 dimensional.

In my opinion,for the money, nothing comes close to it, the closest being the Ruby, the Sony VPL-VW100, which costs twice as much (I paid $3200. for the Pearl), has slightly more light output and slightly better color accuracy. The Ruby's lamp also costs three times that of the Pearl (about $250. street for the Pearl's) and both need to be replaced every 1000-1500 hours.

For me, the Pearl represents front projection finally becoming affordable; it has exceeded my expectations.

Posted Jan 8, 2007 10:09:10 AM

By real opinion

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"most people love the sony vpl vw50. i sure do. it gives plasma a run for the money. then along comes mr. "real opinion" who runs it into the mud. what are you using for a screen a shower curtain, a $2.89 generic hdmi cable. did you have the focus on blur? even the blind guy up the corner said hd dvds and standard dvds look awesome on this projector also hd sat channels. i hope the sony tech takes good care of you."

Yes, I bought a $6000 projector and am displaying it on my newly painted wall with RCA cables! No really, for the others that think I am stupid, I am running Monster 400 hdmi cables with a Monster power filter bar and on a $2000 Grandview screen. The Tec came and did agree with me in the softness but he said that there is nothing he could do for me "Sorry". That's it. I guess we all can't be as smart as "braggi". Plasma looking, NO WAY! Still VERY disappointed in Sony.

Posted Dec 31, 2006 9:05:00 PM

By sean2112

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Another point that the UltimateAVMag article made was that the Sony can look significantly softer than the competition if its Overscan function is set to "On", which is apparently the default. Can the reviewer comment on which setting the Overscan function was set to during the review?

Posted Dec 19, 2006 5:13:17 AM

By braggi

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quote from...Shane C. Butler's review www.ultimateavmag.com...sony's pearl hasen't simply demonstrared that it's the best projector i've ever seen for five grand, it's definitly the best projector i've seen for less than ten grand and maybe more. blacks and contrast on this pj simply can't be trumped by anything currently out there at any price. read it at their website.

Posted Dec 15, 2006 4:13:45 AM

By braggi

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with 115 posts you must be a real authority! if you read my review you would not have asked me these questions. point you missed is the right screen and bettercables reference hdmi can overcome any soft looking picture on any type projector. again this combination has showen me a plasma looking picture from any source. pc states give the pj some time before posting a review and start smearing!

Posted Dec 13, 2006 9:51:26 AM

By Atropos

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"most people love the sony vpl vw50. i sure do. it gives plasma a run for the money. then along comes mr. "real opinion" who runs it into the mud. what are you using for a screen a shower curtain, a $2.89 generic hdmi cable. did you have the focus on blur? even the blind guy up the corner said hd dvds and standard dvds look awesome on this projector also hd sat channels. i hope the sony tech takes good care of you."

Well, sounds like someone's not happy.

The PC.com guys said the projector was soft IN COMPARISON TO OTHER 1080P PROJECTORS. Did you miss that? Have you seen other 1080P projectors? Or are you just angry that they have an opinion?

It's generally accepted that LCoS (or in this case SXRD) is a bit softer than LCD. Get over it.

Posted Dec 12, 2006 10:55:24 AM

By braggi

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most people love the sony vpl vw50. i sure do. it gives plasma a run for the money. then along comes mr. "real opinion" who runs it into the mud. what are you using for a screen a shower curtain, a $2.89 generic hdmi cable. did you have the focus on blur? even the blind guy up the corner said hd dvds and standard dvds look awesome on this projector also hd sat channels. i hope the sony tech takes good care of you.

Posted Dec 4, 2006 5:36:17 AM

By nman

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I could not pinpoint the image softness issue as indicated in the review.

Did turn on the noice reduction to low to smoothen out low light scenes. Overall the images looked more "cinema" like without any of the harshness expected in a digitized video source.

Had never seen so much details with any other display. This projector seems to get the best out of my faroudja DCDi equipped DVD player.

Posted Nov 27, 2006 6:16:30 PM

By chans

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"more 2 cents worth! my experiance with the vpl vw50. the advanced iris seems to make the picture a little soft in mode 1 and mode 2. this may be the reason it looked soft compared to other 1080p projectors. to make the picture as sharp as possible....go to the cinema black pro setting for any picture preset... ( standard, cinema, dynamic, etc) ... click to the manual setting ...then slide the adjuster to "max". then adjust the sharpness,contrast, brightness controls to your liking. i found this procedure will sharpen the picture quality from any source. i don't know why sony didn't explain this in the manual."

this is interesting. can Projectorcentral try this and see? i would imagine that it could change the review all together.

Posted Nov 18, 2006 9:49:13 AM

By braggi

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more 2 cents worth! my experiance with the vpl vw50. the advanced iris seems to make the picture a little soft in mode 1 and mode 2. this may be the reason it looked soft compared to other 1080p projectors. to make the picture as sharp as possible....go to the cinema black pro setting for any picture preset... ( standard, cinema, dynamic, etc) ... click to the manual setting ...then slide the adjuster to "max". then adjust the sharpness,contrast, brightness controls to your liking. i found this procedure will sharpen the picture quality from any source. i don't know why sony didn't explain this in the manual.

Posted Nov 16, 2006 9:55:37 AM

By braggi

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"Disapointed about the reported lack of sharpness on this model. The Mitsu sounds like a better 1080p PJ."

don't you beleave it. i am 64 wear glasses to see things sharp. the sony vpl vw50 looks very sharp without glasses.great detail and colors galore. hd dvd's, hd and standard satellite viewing is supurb. when watching dvds i have seen many times their are details on this projector that were never noticeable before. this is a hi-tek projector.

Posted Nov 13, 2006 10:35:35 PM

By kabalah70

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Get with the program Projector Central. You mention nothing about whether it is HDMI 1.3 or not. I mean come on. I know so many people, including myself that are waiting for 1.3.

Posted Nov 11, 2006 6:30:30 AM

By borromini

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Disapointed about the reported lack of sharpness on this model. The Mitsu sounds like a better 1080p PJ.

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