While this isn’t an official release yet (a US press statement hasn’t made it official), at the IFA expo in Berlin Sony showed off it’s newest 4K Ultra HD home theater projector, the VPL-VW500ES.
The projector is a follow-up to the company’s VPL-VW1000ES, a $25,000 projector, which was essentially the world’s first 4K home theater projector designed specifically up for home use (as opposed to commercial projectors re-engineered for home theaters). There are a couple features that make this model a pretty big deal to 4K and home theater enthusiasts.
Where are the 4K Projectors?
First, it supports HDMI 2.0 natively, right out of the box. Few 4K flat panel TVs even do that because the new HDMI 2.0 spec just came out about a week ago (Sept 4). Being 2.0 compatible means that the projector can display 4K video at 60p. Second is the expected price. Again, while there’s no confirmation, several outlets, based on European listings, are quoting a price of about $14,000 US dollars. That is in no way an inexpensive projector, but it’s groundbreaking for a 4K (4096 x 2160 resolution) model.
So what else is this baby about? Of course it uses Sony’s 3-chip LCoS technology which the company calls SXRD. Sony UK says the VPL-VW500ES produces a contrast ratio of 200,000:1 and 1,700 ANSI lumens of brightness. It does 2D-to-3D conversion as well as upscales 1080p to 4K. It uses a new Motionflow technology to reduce blur. It also uses wireless RF 3D glasses, which allow for full 4K images in each eye when viewing 3D.
The projector includes a 2.06 motorized zoom lens and lens shift range of 85% vertical and 31% horizontal, which means it can work easily in rooms with fairly high ceilings.
Of course the projector is installer-friendly with RS232, RJ45, and IR-IN interfaces.
We’ll share more info when it becomes available and offer a first impressions report from the CEDIA Expo later this month. In the meantime, you can check out these details at Sony’s UK site.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.