Sony VPL-HS51 Front Projectors


  • Contrast ratio of up to 6000:1
  • Three proprietary 720p LCD panels
  • Lens shift function - allows for easy placement
  • All Range Crisp Focus (ARC-F) lens

User Reviews (1)

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Stri   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2005]

Spectacular image. Super easy set up. 5 minutes and you're watching movies. Best contrast ratio of any chip based projector I've ever seen. Extremely user tweakable. Uncontested price vs. performance. Not bad looking either.


720p blanking issue. But this is nothing close to a severe problem IMHO.

I have been a Home Theater hobbyist since the advent of DVD in the late Ninties. My theater was always based on big screen, CRT rear projection devices and for the most part I was a happy guy. But I always had the dream of going to the next level, to have a 'real' theater in my home based on a front projection system. The problems that prevented me from doing this were typical. What I wanted required a dedicated space which I didn't have. CRT projectors were big, complex beasts that were high maintenance and high cost. Early chip based projectors (DLP or LCD) were also much too expensive for their marginal performance. So I just continued to dream and waited for price and performance to finally reach me. In December of 2004 it finally did. Having recently purchased a new home with a basement space perfect for a theater, I took the plunge and purchased the Sony VPL-HS51 LCD projector. I went with LCD over DLP because I am one of those folks who suffer eye strain and 'rainbows' from color wheel based DLP projectors. Since I was unable to audition the Sony locally, I purchased the unit from an online retailer with a great, no question return policy even though it cost me a few hundred more than other shops. I wanted to be sure that this would be worth the price and I was not going to settle for something just OK. I needn't have worried. The VPL-HS51 is in a word spectacular. It is without doubt the best picture I have EVER seen on any display. Standard 480p DVD is jaw dropping, upscaled to 1080i via my DVP-NA975V player it is even better. HDTV at 100" diagonal from 15 feet is, well, what HDTV was meant to be. The difference between viewing on my 65" rear projection TV was so profound that I sold it less than a week after getting the projector. Just couldn't deal with such a small, non-immersive picture anymore. Just so everyone doesn't think that I am about to found a new religion based on this device, there is one issue. When inputting a 720p signal via component or HDMI, there is a small border of a couple of inches surrounding the entire image. Somewhat like letter boxing but on the sides as well as the top and bottom. This 'blanking' only occurs with a 720p signal over HDMI or component as previously stated. 480i, 480p and 1080i function just as one would expect. Sony is apparently working on a fix and when that happens, my one and only complaint with this device will be gone. By the way, the picture at 720p with the blanking is great. Since this is the projectors native resolution the blanking is just weird. And this weirdness is why I dropped my overall rating to 4 stars. If fixed, we've got a slam dunk 5 star projector.

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