Sony VPL-HW50ES review

Tom Morgan
29 Dec 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Sony’s best home cinema projector yet massively improves 3D playback



1,920x1,080 resolution, 1,700 ANSI lumens, 179x407x464mm, 9.6kg

We're big fans of Sony's Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology, so couldn't wait to get our hands on its high-end 3D projector, the VPL-HW50ES.

Rather than having to shine light through LCD panels inside the projector, SXRD projectors use reflective LCD panels. These are more akin with DLP technology, helping to increase contrast and colour vibrancy. With three SXRD panels (one each for red, green and blue) inside the HW50ES, we were keen to find out what this projector was capable of.

Retaining the same large case of Sony's previous high-end projectors, including a centre-mounted lens and side-facing inputs, the HW50ES is a fantastic looking piece of kit. It’s available in black, but we think the glossy white model Sony sent us for this review looks superb – even if it won’t necessarily fit with a blacked-out cinema room. It’s certainly large and may struggle to fit on the average coffee table, but at the same time isn’t excessively bulky and can still be ceiling mounted with the appropriate bracket.


The HW50ES uses the same case as previous models, with a central lens

All the ports are hidden underneath the outer lip of the projector, it’s fairly easy to keep cables under control; you get two HDMI inputs as well as VGA and component video, plus ports for the optional 3D sync (for the glasses) and Infrared remote control receiver. These are useful additions for serious home cinema setups, where the projector is boxed in blocking the onboard ports, but aren’t needed for most setups.


Ports are all located under the projector's lip

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