By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Denver – Having made a lot of noise about its line of 4K Ultra High-Definition LCD TVs in the past year, Sony Electronics (booth 1100) used CEDIA Expo 2013 here Thursday to unveil the next chapter in its 4K Ultra HD consumer home-theater projector offerings.
The company unveiled three home-theater front projectors for custom-installation distribution, including the newest 4K Ultra HD offerings in the VPL-VW1100ES and VPL-VW600ES models, and its latest FullHD 1080p model, VPL-HW55ES.
The new projectors both offer Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI)-based 4,096 by 2,160 “4K” resolution and are based on Sony’s three-chip SXRD micro-display technology.
“Each year, we come to CEDIA to deliver innovative, high-performance products for the custom-install channel,” said Mike Lucas, Sony Electronics home entertainment and sound division senior VP. “Our ES lineup continues to raise the bar on what the most discerning home entertainment enthusiast expects from Sony, whether they want to enjoy the best picture quality or unmatched sound, we have the right solution for every environment.”
The VPL-VW1100ES ($28,000 suggested retail) was said to have been designed to support evolving 4K Ultra HD standards, and will be sold as a stand-alone or as part of a bundle with Sony’s new 4K Ultra HD Media Player (model FMP-X1), which accesses downloaded native 4K movies through the Video Unlimited 4K service.
The VPL-VW1100ES offers 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness and is suitable for screen sizes up to 200 inches diagonally. Sony employs its Iris 3 technology to boost black-level performance and offers a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, Sony said.
Installation options include dual triggers, a 2.1x motorized zoom, expanded lens shift, an RS232 interface, control over IP and compatibility with leading home-automation systems.
The projector also includes Sony’s Reality Creation picture engine to enhance content of all resolution levels to meet the native display requirements of the projector and integrates the latest HDMI 2.0 standard to support 4K/60p playback for smoother images when watching fast moving action content, Sony said.
Sony said the projector also uses an exclusive up-scaling algorithm designed for “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs from Sony Pictures Entertainment, which enable the viewer to view “more accurate 4K picture quality from HD content delivered on Blu-ray discs.”
The projector will also display FullHD 3D movies, as well as 2D and 3D anamorphic films.
Owners of Sony’s previous 4K projector models VPL-VW1000ES will be offered a service package which includes the 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1) and new components for the VW1000ES to ensure compatibility with Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K download service, and prospective 4K/60p content from future broadcast or home video sources, Sony said.
The package also includes a replacement lamp, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and an in-home visit from a Sony-authorized technician to conduct the Premium Service Activation.
Sony will begin to book appointments for the upgrade in October, with installations and upgrade parts started at a $2,500 fee. Installations will begin in November.
Sony’s new VPL-VW600ES 4K home-theater projector offers 1,700 ANSI lumens of brightness and a 200,000:1 contrast ratio. The projector is said to offer rich color reproduction using Sony’s Triluminos Display technology, an enhanced optical engine design, and auto-calibration and manual color correction features.
Installers will be able to adjust hue, saturation and brightness to optimal customized picture quality.
Like the VW1100ES, the VW600ES (shipping in November at a $15,000 suggested retail price) will include the new HDMI 2.0 standard 4K native resolution with support for up to 60 frames per second rates.
The projector also includes the Reality Creation engine for 4K up-scaling to enhance both the “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs and high-definition 1080p content, including 3D video.
The VPL-VW600ES features a compact design with greater placement flexibility, and adds front-exhaust, a 2.06x powered zoom lens and a wide lens-shift range.
For 3D viewing, the VW600 includes a built-in RF transmitter that conforms to the “Full HD 3D Initiative” industry standard and uses the same active-shutter glasses as other Sony Bravia active-shutter 3D televisions.
Sony said the projector will ship in the U.S. “optimized to work with Video Unlimited 4K, which is only available in the U.S.,” but may also be purchased as a package that includes a Sony FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player and a Sony Xperia Z Tablet for $16,000.
“Sony knows from our experience in the custom-install channel that not every screening room will be part of a new construction, but we also know that home projector enthusiasts are eager to bring 4K entertainment home,” said Andre Floyd, Sony Electronics’ home front projector group manager. “The innovative design and proven technology in the VPL-VW600ES allows us, with our custom-install solutions channel partners, to deliver the cinema experience to more homes than ever before.”
The VPL-HW55ES (shipping in October at a $3,000 suggested retail) HD 3D home projector was designed for “smaller screening environments,” and is the successor to the VPL-HW50ES from 2012.
The unit feature enhanced optical efficiency and an improved cooling system, which prolongs bulb longevity (approximately 5,000 hours) and reaches 1,700 ANSI lumens of brightness.
It features a proven optical engine and Sony’s Advanced Iris 3 technology.
The Dynamic contrast ratio is measured at 120,000:1, and black levels were improved “without diminishing peak brightness to maximize detail during darker scenes,” Sony said.
It also features Sony’s Reality Creation picture engine.
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