Sony VPL-VW80 review

This Sony delivers in droves in every aspect we'd demand in a home cinema projector – it's a must view Tested at £4500.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Delivers in droves in every aspect we'd demand in a home cinema projector – a must view, if you're in this market


  • +

    Smart looks and good spec

  • +

    very simple to set-up and use

  • +

    impressive colour palette

  • +

    smooth motion

  • +

    strong black levels


  • -

    Other than being rather big and expensive, nada

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Weighing in at some 12kg – and a wallet-slimming £4500 – the Sony VPL-VW80, part of Sony's Bravia range, is clearly not planning on doing things by halves.

Thanks to a flattering black finish and plenty of curves in the right places, this substantial proposition carries its bulk well, but you'll still need a 47x48cm space on which to plonk it.

You'll find two HDMI inputs – it's a Full HD resolution projector – plus component, S-Video and composite video connections.

Allow the VPL-VW80 to whirr into action and not only will you notice that it's rather quiet (operating at less than 20dB) but also that it's an absolute doddle to set up.

Digs up incredible detail
Using the motorised lens, you can zoom, focus and generally shift the picture around with ease. We had the image fitting our 7ft screen perfectly in moments. Considering some projectors can be only slightly less complex to work than the Large Hadron Collider, this is not to be sniffed at.

Watching Pixar's Ratatouille, we found the Sony successfully uncovers an almost disconcerting amount of detail, and delivers a confident, balanced image with an impressive sense of depth.

The opening scene of The Shining on Blu-ray shows the Sony's super-smooth motion, while black levels, as demonstrated by a DVD of The Dark Knight, have real depth.

Okay, so it's on the large side, but everything else about this Sony is a pure joy, from its ease of operation to its sublime performance. If you're in this market, the VW80 should be a shoo-in for your shortlist.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test