Price (RRP): $2,499
Note: This projector was reviewed in comparison to 4 others as part of the Into the light – 5 projectors reviewed article.
Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
Sony’s Bravia VPL-AW15 projector uses three LCD panels to deliver a 720p picture (that is, its resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels). This is packed into a mid-sized case that has convenient setup features.
These provide a wide zoom range (for a 100 inch screen, the projector can be located between 3.06 and 4.89 metres from the screen), plus both horizontal and vertical lens shift. Since these can shift the direction in which the projector throws the image without significant distortion, installation of this projector is very easy.
The projector will accept every signal your home theatre system can throw at it, from standard definition 576i, all the way up to full 1080p at 24 frames per second from Blu-ray and HD DVD.
I would not recommend using 576i output from your DVD player, though, if it’s available. The progressive scan conversion circuitry in this projector for 576i signals from Australian DVDs is fairly crude and treats all inputs as though they come from video sources rather than (as do the majority) from film. So on certain complex images it produces visible picture distortion. You’d be better to use a DVD player that can deliver a high quality progressive scan image.
But with high definition sources things were completely different. The projector did a brilliant job on displaying 1080i material, with clean pictures and complete elimination of jaggies. With 1080p output from Blu-ray and HD DVD it was even better. It handled the ‘standard’ 1080p60 output from these players well, and also the highest quality standard: 1080p24. Some displays can accept this signal but fail to display it with the smoothness that it permits. There was no such problem here, with exceptionally smooth motion on Blu-ray and HD DVD.
The colour, brightness and black levels of this projector were excellent. The image was smoothly lit across the whole screen, right into the corners, with almost no colour variation.