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Sony VPL-HW40ES: 3D and Conclusions

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR


Our Score:


Sony VPL-HW40ES: 3D Picture Performance

Sony VPL-HW40ESIs it worth coughing up for a few pairs of 3D glasses for the HW40ES? Actually, yes. We weren’t sure we’d be saying this before firing up the HW40ES based on the patchy history of Sony’s 3D projectors. But actually despite being relatively cheap the HW40ES is one of Sony’s more successful 3D efforts, chiefly because it doesn’t suffer as much with crosstalk ghosting noise as some other Sony models. Especially if you shift down the setting of the provided 3D Glasses Brightness from its fairly high default level.

Only having to tolerate relatively minor amounts of crosstalk makes it easier to become immersed in the detailed full HD world that’s active 3D’s raison d’etre, especially when it’s delivered with the sort of colour accuracy and clarity already noted from the HW40ES’s 2D images.

The HW40ES’s good brightness and colour finesse help 3D too, as they make it easier for your eye to pick up on the subtle cues good 3D transfers use to build an authentic sense of space.

Overall, thanks to suffering with less crosstalk, we’d actually say the HW40ES is more engaging to watch in 3D than the step-up HW55ES.

Other things to consider

Considering how bright it is, the HW40ES runs remarkably quietly, especially if you use the Eco/low lamp mode that we’d recommend anyway as the best option for proper dark-room movie viewing. Sony claims just 21dB of noise in its lowest lamp mode, and it’s hard to disagree with this impressively low figure.

Should I buy a Sony VPL-HW40ES?

You should definitely very seriously think about buying an HW40ES. It’s a truly outstanding projector for its money, delivering picture quality that punches well above its sub-£2k pricing weight.

Its only real rival at this price point is the Epson TW7200 – and it has to be said that this, too, is an excellent projector. For us the TW7200 is marginally better when it comes to black level depths, but the HW40ES is brighter and handles colour with more finesse.


Being the cheapest model in Sony’s new SXRD range hasn’t stopped the HW40ES from being another superb projector.

Next, read our review of the Epson TW7200

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Image Quality 9
  • 3D Image Quality 8
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Value 9

socratesatgmail .

May 24, 2014, 7:49 pm

I took the plunge an upgraded my 7 yr old SIM2 Domino35 DLP projector combined with a Darblett unit for this Sony projector. I agree with the review points above and the quietness of this projector even at full power should not be ignored easily. The backlit control unit is a dream to use with all the important choices easily available. Believe it or not adding the Darblet unit between the blu-ray player and the Sony does add a subtle improvement to the already excellent images - especially if the Darblet is set lowish at 20%. This improvement is better than simply increasing the reality creation setting which is best keep low. My screen is 176" and the image remains bright and vibrant.

gar levir

July 4, 2014, 2:06 am

I just got the VPL-HW40ES. I use a playstation 4 to play blu-rays. Can I use the PS4 to watch 3D movies? do I need to buy glasses? which ones? any other equipment? Sorry or all the questions but this seems like a page for people who know their 3d on the 40ES and i'd love to get advice. thanks!

socratesatgmail .

July 28, 2014, 9:33 pm

Sorry for the delay gar. The glasses you need are the Sony TDG-PJ1. However if you wear ordinary glasses you might find the overall combination weight a bit heavy. However the 3D is excellent and when this is the case there is no denying that it is impressive. The glasses are expensive £90 - £100 each. Its possible you could go down the external transmitter route and get cheaper glasses but I don't know how good they would be.

socratesatgmail .

July 28, 2014, 9:44 pm

The other piece of equipment worth thinking about is the Etekcity® 4 Port HDMI Intelligent Switch
Switcher Selector with Audio, IR wireless remote, AC power
Adapter, Supports 3D 1080P, Toslink, Coaxial, 3.5mm AUX

I have a Blu ray
player, XBOX360 and Humax Digital tv HD sat box. I output these to the projector and the audio via toslink(optical) to a yamaha soundbar.
Before I purchased this unit I had to keep changing over the
HDMI and audio out toslink cablse. This unit takes all the HDMI cables and sends just one video output to the projector. It cleverly takes the audio from the individual HDMI cables and outputs it separately in my case throught a toslink (optical) cable to my soundbar. This saves constantly changing cables which damages the ports and leads to loose connections over time. Now depending which source I want to watch I just use the Etekcity remote to chose from one of the 4 HDMI inputs. Happy days.

socratesatgmail .

July 28, 2014, 9:45 pm

check posts gar


May 2, 2015, 9:05 pm

The review is mistaken when it mentions the Sony using an iris, the HW40 has no iris, it achieves everything natively with no help whatsoever from an iris.

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