Continuing on from where the hugely popular and successful HW50ES left off, the Sony VPL-HW55ES brings to the FULL HD 1080p party, increased contrast for even greater depth to the picture and richer blacks as well as optional accessories such as a WirelessHD system to free you of trailing hdmi cables between source and projector and optional 3D RF glasses.
The Sony HW55ES retains the generous horizontal and vertical lens shift as well as the 1.6X optical zoom range seen on the HW50ES providing flexible, simple and precise image placement.
We now have our demo unit and have been putting it through its paces. Running out of the box image preset Cinema Film 1 produces deep blacks and vibrant if slightly saturated colours. Image clarity is razor sharp thanks to the SXRD panels.
Whilst Cinema Film1 preset is more than acceptable it really is worth spending some time using a calibration disc such as THX Calibrator or Spears and Munsil to fine tune your display according to your viewing environment by adjusting the brightness, contrast, colour and hue/tint. Our demo room is a fully blacked out environment so starting at standard image preset Cinema Film 1
we then adjusted the mentioned settings plus a few other features to the following:Reality creation : OnLamp power : LowAuto Iris : OffMotionflow : LowContrast : 75Brightness : 49Colour : 51Hue : Unchanged at 50Colour Temp : Custom 3 with Green Bias set to -2Sharpness : 17
If your environment is bat cave like, whilst not a full blown calibration, using the above settings really does produce a vibrant, natural and detailed image with rich deep blacks. Of course image is subjective and the above is tailored to our viewing taste.
For 3D viewing, the Sony VPL-HW55ES uses a 240Hz panel drive system to produce smooth, detailed images with immense depth.Sony have within the 3D settings menu given control over the syncronisation timings with regards to how long the shutters within the lenses of the 3D glasses stay open and closed. By default this is set to 3 which gives the brightest image. For us though dropping the setting to 2 makes for a more comfortable 3D experience when using for prolonged periods of use with overall image brightness reduced but image smoothness noticeably better.