Sony VPL-HW45ES HD Projector review

Maybe we don't need 4K after all?


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If you're looking for a dedicated 1080p home cinema projector able to add value to most all types of HD content, the Sony VPL-HW45 comes highly recommended.

Offering a valuable bump in brightness over its predecessor, with excellent detail presentation, it's a solid choice whether you're a movie addict, TV binge-watcher or sports enthusiast.

We liked

The Sony VPL-HW45ES is a top class Full HD projector that looks gloriously cinematic. Images are reassuringly dynamic and finely detailed, boasting gorgeous colour fidelity. It makes everything from Blu-ray and Netflix and Amazon Video look fabulous.

We disliked

Sony isn't taking any design chances here. It seems that this chassis will be the last Full HD UHP lamp model Sony offers, which means it's big and heavy. And while satisfyingly bright, you'll not want to watch it in a room with more than a modicum of ambient light. You'll need a proper cinema space to get the best results.

Final verdict

For serious home cinephiles, the VPL-HW45ES is a belting big-screen option. It's crisp and flattering to a wide variety of HD sources. Once partnered with a big multichannel sound system, you may never feel the need to visit your local multiplex again.

Steve May
Home entertainment AV specialist

Steve has been writing about AV and home cinema since the dawn of time, or more accurately, since the glory days of VHS and Betamax. He has strong opinions on the latest TV technology, Hi-Fi and Blu-ray/media players, and likes nothing better than to crank up his ludicrously powerful home theatre system to binge-watch TV shows.