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Sony VPL-VW50 User Reviews

Sony VPL-VW50 Projector

Sony VPL-VW50

HD 1080 (1920x1080), 900 ANSI Lumens,
24.3 lbs, $3,499 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.8 out of 5
21 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.8
Features 4.8
Construction 5.0
Ease of Use 4.5
Reliability 5.0
Value for Money 4.7

User Reviews

Write a Review
Review by Phil Brandt

I'm thrilled with the Sony Pearl (vpl-vw50) projector, used in conjunction with a Stewart Filmscreen custom 88-in screen. After professional calibration, it is incredibly film-like, even on DVDs. Stunning picture quality, and a great deal for the price.

Any Problems: No problems per se. The projector even survived a storm-caused hot shutdown with no ill effects. The bulbs have lasted between 2,500-3,000 hours. Have always used Sony replacement bulbs from AV Science, highly recommended for fair prices & outstanding service.

Review by Brad Perkins

This is my second projector, my 1st being an epson Pro-Cinema 800 (720p). I agree that this projector is somewhat soft when compared to other projectors...not to say it's a fuzzy image, It's just when comparing. My Epson was sharper by comparison. Overall, the Sony's image quality is quite satisfactory. The vertical lens shift is adequate while Horizontal shift is very limited. My Epson was much more flexible when it came to placement. On the other hand, the Sony is much quieter than my Epson. Although my Epson had a much higher brighness rating (1600 lumens vs 900 for the Sony), I think when set to their best viewing mode, they are nearly the same. Of course the Epson could be cranked up for decent viewing in a room with a surprising amount of ambient light. It's not an Issue with me as most of my viewing is in the best mode with complete light control.

Any Problems: But then there's that very annoying "halo" that overshoots my screens frame. You can see that reported in the VPL-VW100 reviews and to quote one of those reviewers, "What's up with that?" Seems like Sony could control spurious light emissions from their $3500 flagship projector

Review by BillFinkNC

Though this is my 3rd projector for viewing movies at home, this is the first "Theater" specific projector that I purchased. The others that I owned were for both PC/Movie Display. (There is just no comparison! For watching movies, purchase a "Theater" projector - don't "settle!") I couldn't be happier. Sony has always been right on the mark with color perfection, this projector is no exception. In the Sony tradition, Reds-Are-RED! Whites-Are-Really-White, and Great Contrast for a nice rich-black. I have 15 feet between the unit and my 10 foot screen, and am un-able to reproduce ANY ILL images Projector central's review reported. Images are sharp, and unlike my DLP, NO RAINBOW! Sharp, bright, true-to-life color, and the HD (Both Blue-Ray and HDDVD) dvds being displayed on my screen and SXRD (Rear Projectiong TV) simultaneously are practically indentical. (Projectors of course, you'll want the room dark enough to compare.) Sony's SXRD (ProjTV) has incredible reviews, so to compare this projector's image with the TV's should speak for itself. I'm even running the video via component (I have three units connected) - and through a video switcher, at that! Prices are NICE now, too. Stop reading any more reviews - it's a GREAT unit.

Any Problems: White colors, viewing during "daylight" is not as nice as I'd like, but again, this is a projector, not CRT.

Review by phoenixdmd

Had this projector installed for 2 months now - HOLY COW! Hooked up to a Denon 757 - 1080P upscaling and a Sony 5200 Receiver - also upscales everything to 1080P - all in HDMI. Images are bright, full with a 3D depth that I have never seen before. I don't have BR, but running a HD PVR from Rogers is incredible. I was just showing Star Wars: ROTS DVD to my friend (a professional home theater installer) and he couldn't believe that it was not a true HD. Can't wait to try BR. Xbox360 looks unreal. I am more than satisfied - I am ecstatic!

Any Problems: None so far - I am not an expert by any means, but I have had many Sony products and this falls right at the top of the quality and experience.

Review by Spilky

Beautiful projector, sturdy, quiet, lifelike images.

Any Problems: lens shift tricky, lenses exspensive if you need to replace

Review by VEMANOEL

I`ve just substituted my HS-50 for this model and the bigger differences were the color and no more chicken wires! I`m only watching regular DVDs through a Denon 5910 scaling to 1080i and letting VW-50 go for 1080p. Depending on the material, there is still plenty of jaggies and some errors regarding 3:2 pull-down from Sony chip. But the powerful HQV and DVDO chips in the 5910 allow me to correct them to some degree. Also, HQV`s enhance control solved any softness. So, with a good deinterlace and scaling DVD player or device, you can make regular DVDs seems almost like Hi Def material.

Any Problems: Black level corrected with adjusts in the DVD. Softness corrected with adjusts in the DVD and keeping sharpness at 50 in the projector Scaling and 3:2 pull down corrected by using a great DVD player.

Review by Jeff Martin

I had a Panasonic PTAE1000 and exchanged it for the Sony. The Panasonic had a high pitched ringing that bothered me. It was not defective. Most people would not hear this. My hearing goes right to the end of the scale of 20,000 hrtz. The Sony's picture is just as clear or as sharp as the Panasonic; this is from watching the same copy of the Blu-ray of Fantastic Four on everything that I have tested from Blu-ray players and from these two projectors. I also found the standard DVD of Fantastic Four looks the same on bothe machines (480p).The Sony does a better job dealing with from jutter. On the 12th seen of Fantastic Four there is a slow pan of an old building with lots of horizontal lines in it. It was panned from top to bottom and the jutter was more apparent from the Panasonic than the Sony. It did not matter if any of the projectors were set at 1080p/24fps or 1080p/60fps. I think it was a flaw in the disc when it was transferred from film to video. The Sony's fan is quieter as well. Although this Panasonics' fan is not noisy I think the fan blade itself was not quite balanced and it added to the noise. The outputs are on the side of the Sony making them easier to get at rather than on the back. Just note that this was all projected on a 100 inch fixed diagonal screen that I made. I wanted to keep it perfectly flat and it is reinforced with alluminum chanel stock on its back. The image it produces, I found was better than in the video stores.

Any Problems: Canadian warranty is only a year as apposed to the two in the US. A little finicky to set zoom and center the picture. The motor that drives this does not stop instantly after you take your finger of the control and it has a tendency to over-shoot. One more nit-pic, the lens cap is a little cheesy and if your not carefull you can push it in too far and it makes it difficult to remove. It takes a light touch.

Review by Meeks

I have researched this projector extensively. I have read all of the other opinions. This projector won me over when I saw several movies in Blu Ray. The imagery made my jaw drop! Don't see how anyone can go wrong with this projector($3500.00). If you are not comvinced, arrange to see at least one blu ray movie with this projector. Let your eyes be the judge.

Any Problems: None

Review by angiodan

Have had this for a month now, replacing my Benq PE8700+. Projecting on a Firehawk 123" screen in a light controlled HT room. Image quality is excellent. BD from a PS3 looks incredible, as well as XBox 360 games. HD broadcasts and regular DVD's from an Oppo player also look excellent. For $3500, this projector is worth every penny.

Any Problems: No problems, but this unit gives off a lot of heat.

Review by The Real, Real Opinion!

The person who posted "Real Opinion" shouldn't try watching movies with his reading glasess. I have had 5 projectors over the last 12 years and this unit throws up one of the best images in HD that I have seen to date, but guess what, next month it will be some one else! This is the nature of the business, Sony still does a great job on video and they have done this unit right. Does need some tweeking, but then again I am a certified ISF tech and just a little tweeking makes this unit really shine. Black levels are great. Can't wait to see the Diamond!!!

Any Problems: Some color uniformity issues, but once tweeked they are gone, most general user would never notice this. A little too much overscan.

Review by Daniel Rapp

After 450 hours of use I can say this is a fine projector and great value. Sharpness is very good although the SXRD does not have the look of DLP. There are no rainbows and colors look excellent, and the dynamic iris does provide very good contrast. The lens shift allows installation flexibility. If setup allows, I highly recommend the use of a Da-Lite High Power screen with this projector installed just immediately above and behind the viewer's position.

Any Problems: There are issues in some Sony's with panel white field uniformity, but these are generally minor and can be adjusted through 3D gamma settings (an elaborate and somewhat tedious procedure but well worth it)in the service menu.

Review by Roger Baker

Sony VPL VW50 vs Optoma HD70. I wrote a previous review on Optoma HD70 a little too early. I could not figure out how to update the review here, but I realized the colors were not correct in the HD70 as well as the blacks. Additionally, there is noise in the background, which I did not see carefully in the beginning. I returned the unit and purchased the Sony VW50. I spent some more time with it to make sure about the quality. I found it to be a true projector like the Infocus 7200 that I owned before. The colors are perfect, the blacks are solid, there is no noise that I can see. The controls are advanced, but you can view right out of the box with position adjustments. It is not trivial, so you will have to read the instructions first. The projector is heavy. I have not yet mounted it on the ceiling. I am using a Denon DVD with 480p progressive scan and Faruojda DCDI built in. I am using a Stewart Firehawk screen in a dark basement. Now I understand why the Optoma is so much cheaper. I think the Optoma is excellent for beginners for its price, but if you are a true conniseur of quality, then you should not set your standards below the Sony VW50 or Infocus 7210 brands for the price range. I purchased the VW50 for $3600 plus $500 for 4 year no-hassle warranty with one free bulb replacement. The projector fan is silent. This is a true professional projector. I am anxious to try it on Blu-Ray, but do not have it yet. This projector has all the component connections you will ever need and a lot of gadgets to keep you busy playing around for a week.

Any Problems: Adjustment of the projection to the screen is a bit difficult since the zoom and shifting of the position is controlled by the remote control and it moves a bit to fast to get it exact, kind of like snapping to a grid rather than pixel by pixel adjustment, although I have not yet read the instructions completely to see if there is a workaround for fine adjustments. The remote works great.

Review by 24 X-Men

For "Real Opinion" and all others who find VW50 soft, perhaps your pj has not been run in yet. For the first two hours out of the box, I and my wife also found the pj a bit soft, especially when viewing standard TV. However, it gradually improved with time, and after about 20-30 hours, its sharpness has surely reached a satisfactory level. It is not DLP-like sharp, but sharp enough to give a film-like look. To me, the best part about VW-50 is its vivid colour. I am seeing shades and layers of colours that I never realised they were there when I was using the Sony HS-50 and other previous Sony pjs. Dark details are also superb, and it makes me want to take out each of my old DVD movies to have a look at what I've been missing. It is also much brighter than previous Sony pjs. Build and look are sturdy as well as sexy. All in all, despite the problems mentioned below, it is well worth the price.

Any Problems: The motorized Vertical Lens Shift and Zoom could be a bit difficult to manipulate precisely.

Review by Real Opinion

I have done a lot of looking for the right projector for four years now. I’ve brought a half dozen or so home for testing and finally convinced my wife to go for the high end projectors for there clarity and quality of picture they claimed to have. Well unknown to me she had secretly ordered in the Sony VPL-VW50. I was soooo excited when she gave it to me, I bought the best HDMI cable out there, Sony’s high end HDMI DVD player and set it up that night. MUCH to my disappointment the projector is Definitely soft. I can’t believe that Sony would charge so much for something so blurry looking. Yes I have done all that I can to adjust the projector and I am awaiting the Sony Tec to come to the house to see if he can do anything more. I am very disappointed with Sony this time. I have had very good success with them in the past but they definitely missed the mark on this one. Of course can’t get my money back or I definitely would. For those who like Good quality stay AWAY from this one.

Any Problems: Soft Soft Soft, Gives me a headache watching it.

Review by TrustMe

With Sony VPL-VW50 projector I can assure you that you will bring the cinema to your home. I have seen many projectors; this one can handle colors better than any. I have Pioneer 50’ plasma TV and HD DVD looks better on Sony VW50 projector. With Sony projector you probably will not need HD DVD. This projector has more tweaking than you need so changing sharpness is at you hand.

Any Problems: Nothing serious except when using HDMI cable there is little screen stretching can be done without cutting part of image. This almost applies to all projectors.

Review by Venkata

I spent almost 2 months in the market looking at Sanyo, Optoma etc. and after careful evaluation, found Sony to be the best. People say that no matter what your experience is in the showroom, it is bound to be different at your place. And they are so right. Once I installed my VW50, I blew me away. Much better than the showroom experience (I have a dedicated media room with complete cotrol pm ambient light. Very easy to use, great picture excellent HD/SD pictures (not soft at all as claimed in the review), veru quiet, and a GREAT finish. I am glad I own it. Best of all, I got an excellent deal (at least I think it is) for 1250 + tax. Great projector at this price

Any Problems: Seen none yet.

Review by braggi

I had Sharp, Sanyo, Optoma, now the Sony vpl vw50 which blows away the others. This is a hi-tek machine. I am in awe every day at the sharp detailed picture and the vivid colors. I am seeing details in dvd movies and dish satellite HD and standard channels that were a blur before. I'll take a three chip over one chip, 1920x1080p over 1280x720 anyday. I do not agree with this interview and cannot beleave anyone claiming this projector is soft. I compared photos taken on other reviews from Mitsubishi's 1080p and the same photo by the Sony vpl vw50. sharper objects were more illuminated and plainly visable with the vpl vw50 this observation made me buy it. I use Better Cables Brand hdmi or component interconnects over other hi-end cables to get the sharpest picture. The sony will deliver sharp detailed pictures from any source. It's a keeper.

Any Problems: none

Review by Bob

Now this is some serious gear. This projector displays everything perfectly. I have been running HD-DVD, SD video (DVD&TV)and PS-2. I read the projectorcentral review and can't agree with their problem of the image being to soft. This is a true HT projector so it really needs to be in a darken room for the best results. I also love that the projector is so quiet.

Any Problems: Don't connect this projector to any type of UPS, it doesn't like it and effects the image.

Review by Prohoc

I have been viewing the VW-50 for about 3 weeks, using a Carada Brilliant White 106" 16/9 screen in a light controlled room. My previous projector was a 7" CRT unit. The Sony produces the most "film-like" and for that matter "CRT-like" image of anything in its price range or double its price. Brightness is more than adequate, even with some ambient light, as long as the projector is mounted at the shorter end of its throw distance. Contrast and shadow detail are outstanding, as is freedom from video noise and the overall smoothness of the image. Motion is rendered better than on DLP, in my opinion. It is very well set up out of the box, but a full calibration is necessary to realize its full potential. If movies are your "thing", I can highly recomment the VW-50. At least from what I have seen, there is nothing that beats it right now in its price range.

Any Problems: None to speak of, but keep in mind that it will dim somewhat as the bulb ages.

Review by cheap guy

today I experienced both the vpl vw50 and 100. I have to say I was more impressed with the 50. I had seen the 100 last week and was less than impressed but I believe it wasnt setup appropriately. I was considering buying a optoma HD72 because it was producing a really solid full picture but after today I am back on the sony bandwagon. The 50 was setup with only component cables and a regular DVD player and it was producing at the same quality(in my opinion) as the 100 which was setup with HDMI through a high end signal optimizing receiver as well as a Blu-ray player. So, in my opinion the VPL VW 50 is a big winner in my book and will most likely be my new projector. I am going to look at runco's new cheapy projector tomorrow but its not a 1080p projector.

Any Problems: I didnt get to see the 50 setup with a blu-ray or any HD for that matter.