4K video and its accompanying technologies are certainly red-hot at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that an old standby – Full HD – can’t still dazzle the eyes with insanely good image quality. Pair that fact with the cost savings of an older tech, and it's easy to see why 1080p projector and television models will continue to hit the market for the foreseeable future.
Recently, Sony officially introduced its new 1080p projector, the VPL-HW45ES. This new model replaces the older HW40ES (released during 2014). Keeping inline with the HW40ES, the new HW45ES straddles the “great performer/better than budget” category that allows buyers to access great picture quality at a reasonable price. In Sony’s case, the HW45ES is the next logical step-down from its more expensive VPL-HW65ES.
"Sony is committed to creating the highest quality projectors," said Sunil Nayyar, Director of Product Marketing, TV and Projectors, North America. "Sony's VPL-HW45ES Full HD 3D home theater projector delivers crisp images and a stunning display with the advanced SXRD panels and acclaimed Reality Creation technology."
The HW45ES tops-out with 1080p resolution and carries 3D capability with a built-in RF 3D transmitter. Conveniently, the projector automatically recognizes 2D and 3D content and gives users a choice of picture modes to suit specific content. Picture quality is largely driven by Sony’s use of three LCoS Panels, which Sony calls SXRD imagers, paired with “Reality Creation” technology. Reality Creation is an upscaling feature that Sony says was developed for its 4K projector models. Gamers will be happy to know that Sony has included a low latency mode to ensure ultra fast response times for a lag-less gaming experience.
Sony say’s the HW45ES has a dynamic contrast of 120,000:1. While contrast numbers are always a point of contention, Sony’s older HW40ES reviewed well in this category so there’s no reason to suspect the newer HW45ES won’t perform the same or better. The quoted lumens brightness (1,800) is a slight bump up in performance from the HW40ES and is more than adequate for large image sizes. The HW45ES’s lamp is rated at 6,000 hours.
The HW45ES’s onboard color management system allows for calibration of primary and secondary colors, with relatively limited grey-scale options. The good news is that its predecessor had great “out of the box” performance in these departments. Once again, custom gamma controls are not present (only preset gamma options).
The HW45ES carries quite a few convenience features that makes it room friendly. Its exterior shell is available in two colors, black and white, and houses a front facing fan exhaust (22dB) that allows for tricky installation situations. It also can accommodate an HDMI emitter/receiver kit to allow for wireless connectivity, in addition to offering USB ports for instant firmware updates.
The VPL-HW45ES retails for $1,999 and is available now.
Image Credits: Sony