Sony VPL-HW45ES Review

The VPL-HW45ES is a full HD projector. Sony took the time to make changes to this projector to make it even better than its predecessor. This projector is perfect for individuals looking to create a reasonably priced and attractive home theater. Since the projector benefits from low input lag, it is great for individuals looking for a projector to game on. 

Quick Takeaway - The Sony VPL-HW45ES (what a long name) is a great choice for gaming at home and also for home theaters. It's a good mid range option for those who don't want too spend too much but still want great quality. 


  • Beautiful design
  • Superb picture quality
  • Low input lag, great for gaming


  • You have to buy 3D glasses
  • 3D images are dark


Design Features

When you look at the VPL-HW45ES, at first glance you could mistake it for its predecessor. It has a lot of the same design features. It is available in black or white. The design makes use of nice angles and attractive curves. It’s unique design means that the lens does not protrude outside of the rest of the body of the projector.

Sony VPL-HW45ES projector

Temperature Control

The VPL-HW45ES controls its temperature by venting hot air from the vents that are on the front edge. This is a unique feature because it allows you to mount the projector against a wall. This leads to an improved viewing experience for users, and it provides you with more flexibility when it comes to the positioning projector.


Connectors are mounted under the lip on the side of the projector. Connectors include two HDMIs, a USB input, as well as a few others.

Sony VPL-HW45ES projector backview

Projection Technology

The heart of the VPL-HW45ES is the Sony proprietary SXRD technology. This technology makes it possible for the projector to deliver full HD resolution. This is as opposed to true 4K projection. But this is what you would expect from a projector in this price range.


This projector offers 1800 lm. This is a step up from the 1700 lm that was offered by its predecessor.

Sony VPL-HW45ES projector white color

Image Quality

When you look at the exterior of the projector, it seems similar to projectors that Sony has produced in the past. However, they have included their new Sony SXRD chipset that improves the contrast level and the black depth with this model. As a result, the image that is produced has improved contrast while retaining beautiful light focus.

Sony VPL-HW45ES actual viewing

You are going to appreciate the fact that the lamp life has been extended to 6,000 hours. In order to enjoy this benefit, you will need to use a low intensity lamp mode. This projector has been designed so that even at a mid range lamp mode, you will be able to enjoy brilliant colors, especially if you are using the projector in a dark room.

What is so surprising about this projector is that in an environment where companies are just making slight changes to their previous models, Sony is promising to completely revamp their product, offering something new for their clients. We are pleased to say that Sony did a great job at offering new features that actually add value to what their clients see.

Take a look at this little clip and it will give you a better idea of this guy in action.  


Gamers are going to be very happy with the low latency feature that this projector offers. It is designed to minimize the amount of time the projector needs to render images based on the data that it receives from the gaming console. For individuals who play games competitively, a minor change in latency can mean the difference of successfully completing their game and dying. See related - best gaming projectors

sony vpl-hw45es gaming

3D Video (with glasses)

3D video is supported using RF glasses. The projector has a built in RF emitter. We are surprised at how well it was able to handle 3D specific issues. We did not see a lot of cross talk, nor were there 3D motion related artifacts that detracted from the picture. As with any projector, you’re going to see a loss of light when in 3D mode, but we did not feel that this loss was so drastic that it detracted from the quality of the image. See related - best 3d projectors

Additional Features 

We were pleased with how easy it was to set up the VPL-HW45ES. It is a user-friendly unit.

Some of the features that we enjoyed were the 1.6 X optical zoom as well as the horizontal and vertical image shift the wheels. These made it easy to get the projector in the right place on the wall, regardless of how the wall was shaped.

Sony VPL-HW model comparison

The projector offers a number of intuitive on-screen menus that give you greater control over how the images look. It may take you a little bit of time to become familiar with some of the adjustments that the projector offers, but familiarizing yourself with them is the best way to get a high quality image.

Some other projectors rely on advanced settings to give you a clear and crisp HD image. We did not notice this with the VPL-HW45ES. In fact, we were surprised at how well it was able to take a naked source and produce a quality image. For this reason, we advise you turn off any noise reduction or motion processing systems.


This projector weighs 20 pounds. Its dimensions are 7.1 x 16.1 x 18.4. Its large size means that it is designed for permanent installation. Thanks to horizontal and vertical lens shift, you are able to mount it on the ceiling, on a shelf, on a wall, on a table, or on any other area. We feel that this is a good buy for the money, and it offers enhancements to both a home theater system and gaming that make it worth it.

If you're looking for something specific to home cinemas please read our guide to the best home theater projectors or if you aren't working with a lot of space - best short throw projectors.

Thanks for stopping by guys.

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

3.5/5 (2 Reviews)