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Sony VPL-HS51 User Reviews

Sony VPL-HS51 Projector

Sony VPL-HS51

HD 720 (1280x720), 1200 ANSI Lumens,
12.6 lbs, $3,499 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.5 out of 5
85 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.6
Features 4.6
Construction 4.6
Ease of Use 4.5
Reliability 4.4
Value for Money 4.2

User Reviews

Write a Review
Review by BIgScreen

simply the best projector and image that I have seen at this price level.Worked straight out of the box on cinema setting.Exceptional black levels and vibrant colors with no screen door effect at 4 metre viewing distace. Just amazing.

Any Problems: None

Review by vic

This was a very good projector. My last projector was struck by lightening so the company I purchased it from worked with my insurance company and I was upgraded to this model. After three years and 3 bulbs, I experienced the blue hue around the bottom portion of the screen. I sent it back to Sony for repair and was quoted $1462.00 and I told Sony I did not want a new projector I wanted them to fix my old one. Needless to say I had Sony ship my old one back and now I'm in the market for another projector. After reading the various post. It will not be another Sony.

Review by Brad

I would buy another Sony product EVER! I see other people have had poor experiences with this Sony model. I to have had the "blue screen of death and just like the first reviewer said Sony wanted over $2000.00 to fix it. However I complained enough and oh lucky me they agreed to half the repair bill. So I choose to spend the grand knowing that it was going to happen again and when it does I will throw it out and buy what I should have purchased in the beginning other than the black and Decker (course even they have a better name these days) of projectors.

Any Problems: After only two thousand hours, not even one bulb I had the screen start to turn blue, this was due to the lamp burning its way through the great Sony thre way lens, or so I was told. Wouldn't purchase this product if you PAID me.... really!

Review by AR

This projector worked great for the first 3 1/2 years of use. It has now developed the common "blue smear" problem, meaning the image now has a blue wash on about half of it due to the blue-panel burning up (not a very technical description, I know). Previous to this, the overall PQ, fan noise, features, and reliability were in my opinion fantastic. Unfortunately, Sony wants over $2000 to repair a 4 year old 720p projector. It's resale value is now completely shot.

Any Problems: Blue panel burn-out after less than 3 years even with normal maintenance.

Review by patric

excellent when using dvdo scaler as reviewed that is why i bought them together with with 25 ft hdmi cable,upgrading to vw50 or pt ae 1000,you can see a big differance when using a sony demo disk 1280 x 720p if only all material could be received this good

Any Problems: 850 hours lcd panel green pix top right corner permanantly on 50- 100 pixels after lightning storm ,taken to sony awaiting repair ,sony warrenty claim or houshloders claim

Review by mheff

This is my first projector and it's great. Purchased Oct. 2005 along with 110" Dalite Cinema screen and Yamaha 7.1 surround sound system. I watch everything from cable, off air, DVD and of course it was football season. The whole system cost less than buying a small plasma screen.

Any Problems: Only problem is that lamp burned out at 400 hrs. Emailed Sony at 11pm on a Saturday night and received within 2 hrs. shipping instructions for repair. Sony was very concerned about this problem and wanted to check out the projector. I shipped it out Monday and it was return within ten days with a new lamp, no charges and emailed an apology for the failure. I am very impressed with Sony's support.

Review by cb

A good projector, with a great picture, however, bulb went very dim after only 650 hours. I was very disappointed to drop another $300 after only 9 months of run time.

Any Problems: Dim Bulb,

Review by hyiu

I have set it up since new yr (2 months). screen size is about 106 inch Da-Lite Gray pull down screen. The picture is good ONLY if you use FULL mode (don't use those scretch mode, widezoon mode,... etc) and HIGH lamp, or you'll see lots of pixels. But as long as there's 1 setting with clear sharp pictures, its fine with me... :) My room has pretty good light control. But I need to set lamp to HIGH and brightness to around 60-70, and then its ALL GOOD. I only watch DVD movies on it, nothing else. I think its a decent machine... paid around $2400.... good luck all.

Any Problems: No problems encountered... but need to set lamp to HIGH, and mode to FULL for good picture.

Review by Asif Zamir

I think it is a good projector, my main objective was to find one that is easy to use, because I'm not up to date on all of these new gadgets. This is for use in a church so ease of use and reliability was most important to me.

Review by merv43

I have had the hs51 since March 2005 so far it has been flawless in its operation. It is projecting on to a 92" Stewart Firehawk screen. Seats are 13' feet away. I am using a Sony 999es dvd play through component out put. The picture is simply stunning! People come over and just go nuts of the quality of the picture. I cant wait for HDDVD or Blue Ray to hit and see real HD movies through this unit. I do have an ota hd reciever for local hd channels and the PBS hd channel is incredible, can't wait for the supper bowl. I paid a little more than current street prices to get it from an authorized Sony dealer. I did my home work on this purchase and it has paid off.

Review by Marcus

The best US$ 2500-3000 range LCD projector in the Market !!! And made by SONY !!! best company in image colors !!! Best image, colors, contrast, sharp, brigth, etc....

Any Problems: Nothing

Review by Bob A

I've had the Sony for 8 months now; Matching it with a Dalite Cinema Vision screen, looks fantastic with HD and DVD(HDMI). I love it, best $2700 I ever spent.

Review by Coax63

Simply Great Out of the Box. Great for DVD and HDTV Broadcast. Why spend $12k or more for a projector vs. the Sony for $3k. Pocket the cash and scoop up the Sony.

Any Problems: Not for use with non HD viewing. That really no problem, 99% of my viewing is via DVD and HDTV anyway.

Review by svendawg

Being a first time projector owner, out of the box, the HS51 was super easy to set up. Not mounting or anything major required. Simply place on a shelf beside the sofa and the V+H lens shifting do the rest. Not to mention the lens zoom, allows me to watch 146" from a 15.5' throw distance. The "dynamic" iris setting produces wonderful color and the clarity from the HS51 is stunning. The fan noise is not as loud as others that I have heard. Everyone's jaw has dropped that has seen the HS51 in action. I am very happy with this projector. I know those that are reading are looking for the BEST projector out there for ~ $2000 (thats what mine cost me refurbished). I can not guarentee you that the HS51 is the best (I would also consider the Sanyo Z4 and Panasonic AE900), but I guarantee that the HS51 is a great decision.

Any Problems: Bulb died early (360 hours), but Sony replaced it under warranty (and my HS51 is B-stock)

Review by Wilford E.

no pixelation detected at all, it resembles the panasonic ae900u but with better contrast. it also isn't as sharp as the critics depicted it would be , sony must of blurred it somehow so that pixels cannot be seen. Anyone posting a review stating that pixels can be seen must of gotten hold of a earlier shipment when this projector first came out, they revised it so that pixels can't be seen and it looks as blurry as the panasonic ae900u but contrast is terrific.

Any Problems: wasn't expecting slightly blurred image, they fixed the pixels alright, now it strongly resembles the pana900

Review by Victor Emanoel

Deep blacks with Cinema mode selected. Easy of installing and using. Nice remote. Use strictly HDMI input with 720p source.

Any Problems: False contouring on black background. Green impossible to adjust. Poor scaler. Visible screen door with brigth white blackground.

Review by EC

The HS51 is a very solid unit, brilliant picture and absolutely no noise from the fan which is a huge plus for me. Pixelation is very noticeable.

Any Problems: The image pixelation is very noticeable if you care about this. If not this is a great unit.

Review by Theater Lover

This projector offers one of the finest pictures available and is an absolute brilliant value. The only caviat is you should use a good line doubler ie: dvdo or in my case the new panasonic S77 with built in hdmi and HD upconverter. Standard TV is horrible without an upconverter but i can't see spending the extra money for HDTV until there are more than a handful of obscure channels. I'm using it with a 92" 1.3 gain fotodiox white screen which cost a mere $100.00 and the picture is stunning. Lots of brightness black blacks, clean bright whites, contract that is simply too unbelivable to describe. All this and wisper quiet to boot. In my opinon, the one feature this projector really stand out is the horizontal and vertical lens shift. This allows you to mount the projector a full screen width to either side of the screen horizontally and 1/2 the screen vertically making it super flexible to mount and avoiding the nasty overhead projector mount in the middle of the ceiling as well as making the routing of power/signal wiring easy since you can run them along the wall. Street prices are around $2500 I paid the extra $150 to make sure i got it from an authorized sony dealer...keep away from unauthorized dealers that offer 3rd party warranties. If you get this projector you won't be dissapointed.

Any Problems: none so far after 5 months

Review by Charlie

This is the best projector that money can buy. I have this in my basement room (pictch black) and it is perfect on my 109' DaLite screen. I would take this over DLP any day. The HDTV picture is like looking through a window and DVD quality is stunning with HDMI output. Very easy to use and great picture after some simple tweaking of brigntness and contrast. You will not be dissapointed!!

Any Problems: None

Review by BCrow

This unit replaced my dead Pany 500. It was never as bright as the Panasonic, but the contrast and lack of vertical banding problems made up for it. Nice features and picture adjustment variables.

Any Problems: Lamp went dim at about 520 hours. Sony only covers the lamp for 90 days so I was out of luck. Hopefully the replacement lamp will last the advertised 2000-3000 hours.