Oct 10 2014

Review: Sony's VPL-SW630 Projector Packs a Punch

Sony’s new ultra-short-throw projector is long on functionality.

Sony packs its new VPL-SW630 ultra-short-throw projector with useful features and a variety of input methods that make it suitable for today's classrooms and conference rooms.

The projector boasts crystal-clear image quality and an impressive 80-inch diagonal display that can be viewed from less than two feet away. This feature alone makes it a great choice for classrooms big and small and gives educators the flexibility of presenting course material in nearly any environment.

Lamp brightness is an important consideration in choosing an LCD projector, and the VPL-SW630's 3LCD projection system shines even in well-lit rooms. It works by splitting the lamp's white light into three primary colors — red, green and blue. Because each primary color is processed through its own LCD panel, 3LCD projectors are able to produce brighter colors compared with those that use single-chip DLP technology.

As a rule, the brighter the projector, the more energy is required, which in turn leads to higher energy bills. Therefore, managing power efficiently can save schools a lot of money. In addition to the standard "Mute Screen" button found on most modern projectors, the Sony model offers notable auto power-saving functions. In Auto Mode, the lamp automatically adjusts its brightness depending on picture content. The Lamp Dimming Function also gradually reduces lamp brightness automatically if no input signal is detected, or after a preset time. In Eco-Mode, lamp life is rated up to 8,000 hours — 33 percent more than most conventional models.

Testing the VPL-SW630 has made me painfully aware of the shortcomings of the LCD projector in my classroom. When I return the unit to Sony, I'll miss not having to stare into a blinding light or casting distracting shadows on the screen.

Sony VPL-SW630 

Brightness: 3100 lumens
Resolution: WXGA, 1280x800
Lamp Life: 3,000 hours, low mode; 8,000 hours, high mode
Video Interfaces: Component, composite, HDMI, S-Video, VGA
Speaker: 16 watts


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