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Sony VPL-HS51A Cineza Projector Review

by February 03, 2005
Sony Cineza VPL-HS51A

Sony Cineza VPL-HS51A

  • Product Name: VPL-HS51A Cineza Projector
  • Manufacturer: Sony Electronics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: February 03, 2005 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 3499
  • Buy Now

Brightness: 1200 ANSI lumens (max)
Contrast: Up to 10,000:1 (stated full on/off)
Resolution: 1280 x 720 native HD resolution (1920 x 1080 maximum)
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen native 16:9 aspect ratio (4:3 compatible)
Supported Screen Size: 40-300 inches diagonal
LCD Panel: D-4; 3 x 0.73” TFT LCD
Lens: All Range Crisp Focus Lens (ARC-F Lens)
Iris: Dynamic Iris optical system constantly adjusts the brightness and gamma characteristics in real time
Accepted Video Formats: 480i/575i/1080i and 480p/720p/1080p(24) (PAL equivalents supported)
Accepted Computer Formats:
RGB: Horizontal 19 to 72kHz, Vertical: 48 to 92Hz; Max input resolution WXGA (1280 x 768, fV:60Hz)
Video Inputs:
HDMI-HDCP, component, composite, S-video, and PC/RGB (HD15)
Color System: NTSC, PAL, SECAM, NTSC 4.43, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL60

Projection Lens: 1.6x optical zoom; f = 21.3 - 34.1 mm/F2.4 - 3.16, manual focus & zoom
Lens Shift: Vertical and horizontal (100% vertical, 50% horizontal)
Keystone Correction: +/- 30 degrees
Lamp: 135 W UHP lamp
Mounting: ceiling, desk, front/rear (menu configurable)
Power Supply: 100-240 volts, 50-60Hz
Power Consumption: 195 watts (maximum), 4.5 W (standby), 0.5 watts (ECO mode with fan stopped)
Operating Temperature: 32 - 95 degrees F (0 - 35 degrees C); 35-85% humidity (no condensation)
Projection Method: Front/rear/ceiling mount/table-top
Remote Control: Backlit, AA x 2 batteries
Standard Accessories
: Power cord, Wireless remote control unit, batteries for remote control, replacement air filter, CD-ROM application software, owner's manual
Operating Noise: 30dB (minimum)
Dimensions: 13 5/8” x 5 7/8” x 14 5/8” in. (348 x 135 x 360 mm)
Weight: 12.4 lbs (5.7 kg)

Pros

  • Excellent black levels
  • 1.55x optical zoom
  • Deep, rich colors
  • Usable picture/color controls for HDMI input
  • 3000 hour lamp life
  • 12VDC trigger output

Cons

  • Requires calibration out of the box
  • IR sensor on front only
  • Large 5% overscan on component (undefeatable)

Introduction

Sony made a splash with its VPL-HS51 Cineza LCD projector at last year's CEDIA. It had a 6000:1 contrast ratio that, for possibly the first time, rivaled DLP, thanks in no small part to a dynamic iris system. While we wanted to get our hands on a review sample, our schedule pushed it off until we now got our hands on the newly improved VPL-HS51A. The 'A' denotes a slightly revised model that now boasts a 10,000:1 stated contrast ratio. With its price point coming in right at the sweet spot of those wanting to get into decent quality 720p projectors - we were anxious to run the Sony through our barrage of tests.
About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

mtrycrafts posts on February 23, 2009 23:50
Driver_King, post: 527150
I know this is a really old thread but I need some opinions here. I can get a Sony HS51A with a new bulb for $800 shipped. Would a Panasonic PT-AX200U be a better choice? What is the best projector I can get in the range do you think? I like what I've seen about the HS51A. I'm actually upgrading from my ISF calibrated Sony VPL-VW10HT projector because of the extreme lack of black detail on it. I moved from CRT blacks to virtually no blacks and am really wanting my black levels back! I have a completely light controlled room by the way if that helps any. Thanks!

I am far from being the expert on this projector or the Panny and tradeoffs.
Don't forget that Sony is only a 720p projector, from briefly reading Clint's post. Not sure if you are going BluRay or not, but today, buying a 720 may be a mistake no matter what. The larger the picture, the more you need the higher resolutions.

You may want to check out some older posts on this projector at AVS
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&f=24

and search for both projectors. Some of those guys live and breath these

That vinyl screen, who make it?
Driver_King posts on February 22, 2009 00:05
I'm also getting a 92" screen to go in my bedroom setup.It is a white vinyl screen and I'm not sure if that has to do with anything.
Driver_King posts on February 22, 2009 00:01
Bump…

I know this is a really old thread but I need some opinions here. I can get a Sony HS51A with a new bulb for $800 shipped. Would a Panasonic PT-AX200U be a better choice? What is the best projector I can get in the range do you think? I like what I've seen about the HS51A. I'm actually upgrading from my ISF calibrated Sony VPL-VW10HT projector because of the extreme lack of black detail on it. I moved from CRT blacks to virtually no blacks and am really wanting my black levels back! I have a completely light controlled room by the way if that helps any. Thanks!
mtrycrafts posts on February 08, 2006 22:44
LEVESQUE
5 clicks and your in the factory mode. Really easy to do. I don't know if I can post factory settings here, but here it goes. But don't try those settings if you don't know what you are doing!
In the factory mode, “Other” directory, change:
#43 to 140
#44 to 700.
Those are controlling the way the iris reacts from both ends of the luminance spectrum.
5 ip/sharp limit. Default at 255. I set it to 0
8 IP-VS 0 is off, default 1 is on I turned this to 0= off.
18 IP-VS LIMIT default 64 I set this to 0
19 IP-VS CORE 4. Set it to 0
No more ringing.


Great. I made notes and attached to my preplanning papers The 8ip, 18ip, 19ip also needs to be adjusted to eliminate the ringing? Gary only mentioned #5.
Did you notice a decrease in lumens from these changes?
Is there are sheet what all those setting are for?
LEVESQUE posts on February 08, 2006 10:32
mtrycrafts
What tweaking did you do in the factory menu? Easy to get into it??

5 clicks and your in the factory mode. Really easy to do. I don't know if I can post factory settings here, but here it goes. But don't try those settings if you don't know what you are doing!

In the factory mode, “Other” directory, change:

#43 to 140
#44 to 700.

Those are controlling the way the iris reacts from both ends of the luminance spectrum.

mtrycrafts
One post by Garry, the WS reviewer, mentioned that the factory sharpness is defaulted to 255, yielding visible ringing issues and resetting to 0 caused it to disappear.?

5 ip/sharp limit. Default at 255. I set it to 0
8 IP-VS 0 is off, default 1 is on I turned this to 0= off.
18 IP-VS LIMIT default 64 I set this to 0
19 IP-VS CORE 4. Set it to 0

No more ringing.
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