Sony VPL-HW40ES: 3D Picture Performance
Is 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
Score in detail
2D Image Quality 9
3D Image Quality 8