Projector Review: Sony VPL-HS51 Cineza LCD Front Projector

4:07 PM

Sony VPL-HS51 Cineza LCD Front Projector

Sony VPL-HS51 The Sony VPL-HS51 LCD front projector's versatile cabinet, light weight, and easy-to-use features make it ideal for home theater use. The projector employs 3 proprietary 720p LCD panels that together provide 2,764,800 pixels (1,280 x 720 native pixel resolution) optimized for high-definition video inputs such as those from a DTV set-top box. Compatible inputs include standard 480i, progressive-scan 480p, and high-definition 720p and 1080i signals.

Sony's Advanced Iris function enables the projector to dynamically adjust the video image according to the level of the input signal, resulting in a high contrast ratio of up to 6,000:1 and reproduction of even the subtlest details. The projector's 1.6x zoom lens grants the projector a short throw distance, with the option to project on screen sizes of 40 to 200 inches. For placement considerations, you'll need to maintain anywhere from 4 to 6 feet of throw distance for a 40-inch screen to as much as 19 to 30 feet for a 200-inch screen.

You can easily adjust picture position using the lens-shift function, which broadens the projector's placement and installation options without distorting the image. Lens shift permits both horizontal and vertical adjustments, with a total shift of 2 picture heights, maximum up to maximum down and a total shift of 1 picture height, maximum left to maximum right. This allows for off-center positioning. You can mount the projector above the top of the screen or below the bottom of the screen, by up to half the screen's height.

An All Range Crisp-Focus (ARC-F) lens and powerful Real Color Processor (RCP) further enhance colors and images. The ARC-F lens offers an 8 percent focus improvement over standard projectors at screen center and a 20 percent improvement in focus at screen corners. And, with RCP, you can customize your picture by targeting specific items in a picture and fine-adjusting their color and hue without changing the overall picture's color and hue. For instance, you can fine-adjust the color of a strawberry without affecting human skin tones. Or you can alter the blue in a sky without affecting the color of water.

An advanced 12-bit panel driver brings high color graduation. This projector also offers a new HD I/P converter that improves not only NTSC video conversion but high-definition signals, as well. Further, the VPL-HS51's unique fan generates low noise for extremely quiet operation.

Supplied ImageDirector2 Gamma-control software enables Gamma adjustments to the VPL-HS51 via connection to a PC. Adjustments can be seen in real time, and personal preferences can be stored in the PC for future use. ImageDirector2 also works in conjunction with the Real Color Processing (RCP) function for precise picture adjustment.

Inputs and outputs include progressive-scan component-video, 2 composite-video, high-definition HDMI, S-video, USB, and a power on/off trigger. The HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) allows copy-protected, high-definition video content to be delivered from a DVI/HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection)-compatible set-top box. HDMI supports standard-definition (SD), enhanced definition (ED), or high-definition (HD) video, plus multi-channel digital audio--all using a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports up to 8-channel digital audio, with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.

Optional projector accessories include a user-replaceable lamp (LMP-H130), a replacement air filter (PK-HS10FL), and suspension support (PSS-610).

What's in the Box
Projector, a remote control (model RM-PJHS50), 2 AA remote batteries, an air filter (PK-HS10FL), a CD-ROM (ImageDirector2 Gamma-control software), a user's manual, and warranty/registration information.

Customer Review: Best Video Projector Under 10k

The VPL-HS51 is the best video projector on the market for less than 10k. Far better than any DLP projector, since their is NO rainbow effect and once you see the DLP rainbow you will see this in every show.

Back to the HS51, I bought mine from Amazon one year ago and have 1,000 hours on the unit. NO problems, period. I do suggest running the projector in the LOW brightness setting since this will extend the bulb life. Also suggest using a PC UPS so if the power goes off, you can turn off the projector and the fan continues to run.

Since my room can be made 100% dark, I do not use a screen for the 9 foot HD picture. My wall is painted with SW extra white paint.

The HS51 has all the advanced features and inputs. Few projectors on the market have "lens shift" and the HS51 has two.


Joe Score

Customer Review: Amazing TV, trick to help maintain it

We received this TV as a wedding gift for use in our 1 bedroom. After buying the screen (which takes up one whole wall) and a great sound system, we have the PERFECT home theater system for a young couple who entertains and enjoys movies. The picture quality is unbelievable (especially with HDMI) the point where we don't feel that impressed when we go to the theater to see movies. The TV easily adjusts to light differences and doesn't require total darkness to look fabulous: a sunny afternoon with the blinds drawn doesn't hurt the picture much, and that's saying a lot for a projector in this price range. We've now had it for a year and are in love with it.

One HUGE piece of advice with this TV, however, is to replace the filter very promptly every 2 months. We had a large scare 5 months into using it: the picture started dimming to the point of black, something popped loudly inside the projector (clearly the lamp), and it stopped working. Sony's tech support, even under warranty, was awful and had no recommendations (besides sending it in for a $500 repair - no thanks). We opened up the projector and immediately realized the lamp had overheated. We replaced that lamp ($300), and now we replace the air filter ($25 available all over) every 2 months. We haven't had one problem, let alone needing to change that overpriced lamp.

If you're in the market for a quality projector that's priced very well, this is the one. I know others have been released since this one, but do some research on it before writing it off.
Click here for cheapest prices

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