Sony VPL-HW20 - Picture Fine-Tuning Tools



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Impressively you can also adjust the iris sensitivity, with Fast, Slow and projector-calculated Recommended iris speeds available.

Finally, you can manually set a fixed position for the iris if the whole idea of dynamic iris use fills you with revulsion, or you can completely deactivate all iris adjustments and just leave it fully open.

Exploring other options within the HW20’s clean, well-organised onscreen menus uncovers plenty more interesting picture quality tweaks. Among the most straightforward are the facility to adjust the lamp between low and high output modes, and colour space adjustments. But you also get Sony’s impressively conceived noise reduction system, which allows you to balance mosquito NR and block NR via a simple but ingenious dual-axis graph system.

You can tweak the projector’s ‘film mode’ too, between an auto mode that smooths the appearance of motion while showing 2-3 or 2-2 pulldown video signals, or plays non-2-3/2-2 pulldown formats in a progressive format. Or you can turn this mode off completely.

There’s a fairly simple black level booster too, and six different gamma correction settings to help you achieve your preferred brightness/contrast balance.

Last but not least is Sony’s Real Colour Processing colour management system. While this system strikes us as too ‘non-standard’ in its approach to really suit professional calibration experts, now that we’ve seen it a number of times, we’re personally warming to it as a tool for amateur calibration.

Its clever trick is that when you choose one of the fundamental video colours, that colour becomes the only one still present in the picture you’re watching, so that you can concentrate on it better. The colour is also presented on a circular ‘pie chart’ colour spectrum representation in the bottom left corner, and you can adjust both the position of the chosen colour within this spectrum circle, and the range of the chosen colour relative to other colours. You can further fine-tune the colour and hue of the selected portions.

As noted earlier, ideally we’d like to see a more standard colour management approach onboard the HW20 as well, as it can be hard to make really precise adjustments using RCP. But it’s certainly an interesting take on making calibration more instantly ‘visual’ to amateur enthusiasts.

One last thing we really need to praise the HW20 for before getting into its picture quality is its extremely friendly approach to physical set up. The combination of a helpful 1.6x optical zoom lens; simple and ‘tight’ horizontal and vertical image shift wheels; and individual leg adjustments for each front corner make it startlingly easy to get your picture positioned perfectly on your screen.