Sony VPL-HS3

Sony VPL-HS3
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great brightness for this price

Cons

  • No pitch adjustment, flyscreen effect

Bottom Line

The VPL-HS3 is a very flexible product that works well in a variety of settings and lighting conditions.

Would you buy this?

The style of the Sony VPLHS3 may not appeal to all, but it's hard not to be impressed by its performance.

Sony has put a lot of thought into the design, designing a stand for positioning it on a carpeted floor without blocking the air intake. Our only criticism of this is that it has no pitch adjustment, so the surface needs to be perfectly level if you want to avoid a tilted image (the supplied spacers are a very clumsy solution). The inclusion of horizontal keystone control means you can project from the side--as long as you don't mind the loss of image quality caused by this digital adjustment--and the supplied 5m power and signal cables mean you don't have to move your home theatre equipment closer to the projector.

With an effective peak brightness of 1200 lumens, the VPL-HS3 is a match for most projectors in this range--and it performed extremely well under our ambient lighting. The VPL-HS3 has a reasonable contrast ratio of 800:1 and a minimal operating noise of 28dB, which you're unlikely to hear over the sound from the integrated 2W speaker. What's also impressive is the wide-angle lens, which filled our 72" test screen from a throw as short as 1.7m (though this does restrict the maximum throw to 4.5m).

Ironically, the bright display serves to highlight the low resolution (widescreen 480p) of this product, and it does suffer from the flyscreen effect. The interlacing on our composite and S-Video source material was often visible. Colour was a little flat for an LCD, but this can be tweaked in the menu settings.

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