Movie Theater Video for the Masses

Sony VPL-HS3: In Use

Setup is easy thanks to the pivoting base. If you can't place your Sony in the perfect spot, the Side Shot 2 function works really well. The adjustment buttons for zoom and focus are on the sides of the unit in the form of jog dials. There are also standard buttons for accessing the menus and selecting video inputs. If you don't want to use the buttons on the projector, Sony provides a remote control with the major functions and access to the preset image modes (dynamic, standard, cinema) plus three memorized settings for personalized adjustments. You also have access to the aspect ratio and Real Color Processing settings. The brightness and contrast adjustment buttons are on the lower part of the backlit remote control, which is very practical for calibration.

Once the VPL-HS3 is connected, the source is automatically detected and the image is displayed in a few seconds. Adjustments are quick thanks to an onscreen menu that's complete and easy to learn. It includes all the usual adjustments for this type of unit, along with the various functions for improving the image, with video modes adapted to the source and digital noise reduction for still or moving images. There are different adjustments of the projector's lamp that affect the speed of the cooling fan. The VPL-HS3 is fairly quiet in cinema mode generally, but it is a little noisier than the competition.