You can also, if you wish, use a LAN port to add an external 3D transmitter which offers an RF transmission alternative to the IR option built into the projector. Mind you, during our tests the built-in option worked just fine. And you could argue, too, that having a tangle of cables hanging out the side rather than the rear compromises the HW40ESs good looks.One final feature worth mentioning is the retention on the HW40ES of Sonys Dynamic Lamp Control feature for 3D, which syncs the brightness of the projectors lamp with the opening and closing of the shuttering actions of the active 3D glasses as in, the lamp brightens when the shutters are open, and dims when theyre closed. This results in a brighter image without compromising power consumption.
Aside from this, though, the HW40ES provides pretty much every connection youd expect for its money, including two 3D-capable HDMIs, component video ports, a D-Sub PC input, plus a couple of system-integration options: an IR trigger socket and an RS-232 control port. We may be able to find it in our hearts to forgive the HW40ES for this faux pas, though, if it outperforms its sub-2k price by far enough. First its got Sonys Reality Creation system on board, designed to put back into Blu-ray pictures the colours and textures lost in the encoding process. These can be used for, say, firing up a motorised screen when the projector turns on, limiting this projectors potential in more complex installations.
6x quantity of optical zoom, and theres also ample horizontal and vertical image shifting via two simple wheel arrangements on the upper edge.ROUND-UP: Best ProjectorsThe HW40ES retains a couple of interesting processing features despite its relative affordability. Yet it wears its size really well courtesy of its gloss white or gloss black finish wrapped around a seductively curvaceous elliptical design dominated by the large lens that juts out from the centre of the front edge. Were never fans of brands not providing at least one pair of 3D glasses with 3D-capable products, since so far as were concerned this means theyre not actually selling a complete product.
Any remaining 3D fans out there should bear in mind, though, that you dont get any free 3D glasses with the projector. But for most installations the side-mounted connections really shouldnt be a problem at all. We wouldnt generally advocate using such motion processing systems with projectors because of their tendency to both generate distracting image artefacts and make films shot at 24fps look like made-for-TV melodramas. Its lens provides a healthy 1.
The fact that the projector uses three of Sonys latest full HD Sonys SXRD projection chips is also promising given the increase in quality Sony has managed to get from these chips on other projectors this year including its groundbreaking VW500ES 4K model.At 1,900, the HW40ES is the most affordable model in Sonys new home cinema projector range. And its really rather good.Rather more important/disappointing is the absence of any 12v trigger outputs.
Second its got Sonys Motionflow engine for reducing judder when showing action scenes.There are plenty of picture calibration tools available for people not afraid to get involved in the more technical side of AV, including gamma controls and colour management. But there are a couple of at least half-interesting Motionflow settings, including a Film mode which seeks to recreate albeit a little too strongly for our tastes the slightly flickery effect of celluloid projection. We guess this could be a little aggravating if you have to feed your cables in from the opposite side.
Having said this, though, one of the HW40ESs most commendable strengths is that some of its out-of-the-box presets are really very helpful, meaning anyone after an easy life can enjoy something approaching the best the HW40ES has to offer with little to no effort.Sony VPL-HW40ES: Set UpThe HW40ES is very easy to set up in most ways.READ MORE: Projector ReviewsThe size of this lens bodes well for picture quality, especially when backed up by a very respectable 1700 Lumens of claimed brightness. The CM system uses Sonys proprietary Real Colour Processing engine, and so isnt very standard in the way it works.
But its usable enough once youve figured out the basics. There are screw down legs to help you compensate for any wonkiness in your table, too.Sony VPL-HW40ES: Design and FeaturesThe HW40ES is both more attractive and more substantial than might be expected for its money.Connections are ranged down the HW40ESs left side as you look at it rather than on its rear like you would see with most projectors.
Its a full HD model with 3D playback built around Sonys increasingly impressive SXRD projection technology. Its footprint is much bigger than anything youd generally get from the similarly priced BenQs, Viviteks and Optomas of this world.