Sony Bravia VPL-HW10 SXRD Projector - Sony Bravia VPL-HW10

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Sony Bravia VPL-HW10 SXRD Projector


Our Score:


Yet more good news concerns the HW10's colour handling. Tones across the colour spectrum are impressively believable - especially when considered against the rather pallid efforts of the VPL-VW40 model that marks Sony's previous entry-level SXRD option.

It doesn't harm the colour situation, either, that the HW10's extremely fine pixel density allows colour blends to appear with the sort of satisfying subtlety that helps objects in pictures look more three-dimensional and solid.

The single biggest surprise with the HW10's pictures, though, is how good its black levels are. This has tended to be a weakness with previous value-oriented SXRD projectors, but the HW10 presents a really natural contrast range ranging from vivid peak whites down to more than decent blacks. What's more, those blacks look stable despite the machinations of the dynamic iris, and even manage to retain solid amounts of shadow detail for the majority of the time.

It's worth noting that the best black level results are achieved with the Auto iris system set to level 2 and the lamp output set to low. But at the same time my personal feeling is that the best iris settings for the picture overall are to have the lamp set to high and the iris set to level 1, since this puts a bit more ‘punch' into proceedings.

More good news about the HW10 concerns its running noise. For even with the lamp output set to high we hardly ever noticed the sound of its cooling fans. And even when we did pick the sound up, it is so low-level as to be almost soothing.

There are, inevitably, reasons why the HW10 costs less than a third as much as the VPL-VW80 . For instance, the cheaper model's pictures aren't as bright, its black levels aren't as deep, and its colours are slightly less vibrant. But with regard to the VW80's MotionFlow functionality, we really didn't find ourselves missing it all that much, to be honest. And for me, even the differences in brightness, contrast and colours aren't as acute as the £3,500 price difference might imply.

More tellingly, perhaps, the HW10's colours also aren't as richly saturated as those of one or two similarly priced DLP projectors. DLP projectors can also deliver slightly deeper black levels, especially when an image contains a combination of dark and bright content (a scenario which causes noticeable crushing in the HW10's black level range). But the HW10 has the edge over DLP when it comes to clarity and running noise, and most tellingly of all it doesn't suffer with DLP's rainbow effect noise.


With JVC currently refusing to move significantly under £2,700 with its outstanding D-ILA technology, we've long felt that there's a real chance for Sony's rival SXRD system to make inroads at the budget end of the market. And happily, with the HW10 Sony has finally delivered an affordable budget SXRD option that has enough quality to grab that budget market chance with both hands.


October 22, 2008, 11:30 am

thanks for the review


May 26, 2009, 6:54 pm

Having recently purchased this SONY VPL HW10 projector on the strength of this review I thought I should comment. I'm only projecting onto a wall at the moment but the picture quality is perfect, just as sharp as my 1080p TV. Any sort of daylight certainly reduces the image quality though so until I have blackout blinds I am restricting viewing until sundown.

Two minor issues I have are no.1: Dark scenes, my HD TV produces better contrast but I expect the projector to perform better with a screen or goo systems painted wall. No.2: Fast moving objects, the frame rate doesn't match the 200 Hertz Motionflow or the 100 Hertz Samsungs but for the price (£1700) I'm more than pleased with it.

Other points: At a 13 foot seeting distance to the wall an 8 foot wide screen is comfortable (the image will go to 9 foot wide). The manual focus is easy to adjust with the thumb wheel but you'll need to tweak this each time if you replace the lens cap. It's a small issue but doesn't bother me.

The XBOX 360 via the component input is a little dissapointing but the PS3 via HDMI is Amazing. I can highly recommend this projector. Thanks TR for the review, in my opinion 9/10 is a fair scroe.

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