DENVER – Although there were fewer players at this year’s CEDIA Expo, the front-projector category continued to generate a significant buzz as new technologies like 4K Ultra High-Definition resolution, and advances in brightness and black levels, gave dealers new messages to sell in the year ahead.
Sony showed new 4K Ultra HD projectors, while Epson continued to push the value message with more mainstream pricing and higher brightness levels.
Sony Electronics unveiled two 4K Ultra HD models, in the VPLVW1100ES and VPLVW600ES, and its latest FullHD 1080p model, VPL-HW55ES.
The new 4K SXRD-based 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.
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. Sony’s Iris 3 technology produces a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and the projector features the company’s Reality Creation picture up-conversion engine and new HDMI 2.0 input with 4K/60p support.
The VW1100 includes an exclusive up-scaling algorithm designed for “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs from Sony Pictures Entertainment, to present “more accurate 4K picture quality from HD content delivered on Blu-ray discs,” the company said.
The projector will also display FullHD 3D movies, as well as 2D and 3D anamorphic films.
Owners of Sony’s previous 4K projector will be offered a service package upgrade that includes the 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1).
The VPL-VW600ES (shipping in November at $15,000) 4K home-theater projector offers 1,700 ANSI lumens of brightness, a 200,000:1 contrast ratio, Triluminos Display technology, auto-calibration and manual color correction.
It includes HDMI 2.0 support and up-scales both “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs and high-definition 1080p content, including 3D video.
The projector will work with Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K service, and may be purchased as a package with a Sony FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player and Xperia Z Tablet for $16,000.
The VPL-HW55ES (shipping in October at a $3,000 suggested retail) FullHD 3D home projector offers an improved cooling system, which prolongs bulb longevity (approximately 5,000 hours) and reaches 1,700 ANSI lumens of brightness, a 120,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and includes Reality Creation picture engine.
JVC unveiled a full lineup of native Full HD projectors supporting its latest E-shift3 up-scaling technology that for the first time accept native 4K signals as well.
The projectors include sixth-generation D-ILA imaging devices and an Intelligent Lens Aperture to boost dynamic contrast and black levels.
The 2014 models will all ship to dealers in November and include the Procision-series DLA-X900R ($11,999 suggested retail), DLAX700R ($7,999) and DLA-X500R ($4,999), marketed by JVC’s consumer A/V group, and the Reference-series DLA-RS6710 ($12,499 suggested retail), DLA-RS67 ($11,999), DLA-RS57 ($7,999), DLARS4910 ($5,199) and DLA-RS49 ($4,999), available through JVC’s professional products company division.
All of the new units now accept Ultra HD signal sources (up to 60p) and can process those signals for display by the projector.
The projectors all feature light output of 1,300 lumens; and improved contrast performance, which is also enhanced by a third-generation wire grid optical engine.
Contrast ratios for the new projectors are listed as the following: DLA-X900R/RS67/ RS6710 models (150,000:1, 1,500,000:1 native/ dynamic); DLA-X700R/RS57 models (120,000:1, 1,200,000:1); and models DLA-X500R/ RS49/RS4910 (60,000:1, 600,000:1.
The flagship DLA-X900R and DLA-RS67/6710 offer 3D capability with two pairs of PK-AG3 RF 3D glasses and a PK-EM2 3D signal emitter. The DLA-RS6710 also includes a spare lamp and comes with a five-year warranty vs. a three-year warranty on the DLA-X900R and DLA-RS67.
Epson America unveiled seven FullHD 3LCD projectors, including the G6900WU ($7,499 suggested retail), PowerLite Pro Cinema G6550WU ($5,999), and PowerLite Pro Cinema 4855WU ($3,799), all of which are now available through CEDIA and specialty dealers only.
Ultra-Bright Pro Cinema projectors offer up to 6,000 lumens of color and white brightness (model G6900WU) for locations with high ambient light.
The Pro Cinema G6550WU offers 5,200 lumens of color and white brightness, and 4855WU offers 4,000 lumens of color and white brightness, each.
The Pro Cinema G6900WU and G6550WU are also equipped with frame interpolation and C2Fine Technology for darker black levels, and the Pro Cinema G6900WU adds HDBaseT networking connectivity.
For broader distribution, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030 ($3,499) and Pro Cinema 4030 ($2,499) will be available in late October, and the Home Cinema 5030UB ($2,599) and 5030UBe ($2,899) will be available in October.
Epson’s 6030 and 5030UB/UBe models offer 2D/3D performance with up to 2,400 lumens of color and white brightness.
All models are 1080p FullHD and have activeshutter 3D support. Contrast ratio performance has been boosted to 600,000:1. All four models are equipped with a Fujinon OptiCinema lens (2.1 zoom ratio), 480Hz Drive Technology for brighter 3D images, and a built-in cinema filter for improved color fidelity. Also included is a new black-and-white cinema mode.
The 6030UB and 5030UB and 5030UBe (the latter is wireless) include Epson’s Super Resolution technology and FineFrame technology. The 5030UBe includes a built-in WirelessHD receiver and external transmitter for five HDMI inputs. The 6030UB adds two anamorphic lens modes, one supporting 2.35:1 anamorphic viewing.
The 4030 offers 3D/2D support in FullHD 1080p resolution, 2,000 lumens of color and white brightness, and a dynamic contrast ratio of up to 120,000:1.