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CEDIA Expo: Sony Debuts 4K Laser Projector

Three new long-throw 4K home cinema projectors launched by Sony at the CEDIA Expo include the $59,999-suggested VPL-W5000ES laser projector said to deliver multiple industry firsts.

The VPL-W5000ES is promoted as the industry’s first 4K laser projector designed specifically for home theaters to deliver 5,000 lumens of color-light brightness. It’s also the first 4K laser projector delivering high dynamic range (HDR) and ability to emulate the ITU’s BT.2020 color space to take advantage of future home-video sources, Sony said.

The laser projector is the company’s second 4K projector to support DCI-P3 color gamut, which is a performance feature of digital cinemas and is also delivered by a current VW1100 lamp-based home-theater projector at $27,999.

The BT.2020 standard, which delivers an even wider gamut, has also begun to appear in digital cinemas.

The $59,999 laser projector and a new $14,999 lamp-based 4K projector become the company’s first front projectors with HDR. They incorporate CEA’s HDR standard, which is based on the SMPTE 2084/2086 standards.

The lamp-based $14,999 4K projector and a new $9,999 lamp-based 4K projector also extend lamp lives to 6,000 hours, up from other Sony projectors’ 5,000 and 2,000 hours. A new lamp-based 1080p projector also boasts 6,000 hours of lamp life.

The quartet expands Sony’s home cinema projector lineup for custom installers. Sony said it is the only supplier of 4K projectors designed specifically for home theaters.

Also new: Sony’s first AVR with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X firmware upgradability, and HDMI 2.0a, which supports HDR passthrough. The $2,799 ES-series ZA5000E also passes through the BT.2020 wide-color-gamut standard for use with future wide-gamut video sources. The receiver becomes the highest price AVR in the ES series, surpassing the current top-end models, $1,699 price point.

Here are the product details:

$59,999 VPL-VW5000 4K laser projector: Due in the spring, the VPL-VW5000ES is the world’s first 4K projector designed specifically for home theater with a laser light source that delivers 5,000 lumens of color brightness, HDR reproduction and the BT2020 color gamut. It also reproduces the full DCI color space, provides more than 20,000 hours of “virtually maintenance-free operation,” and comes with HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2.

The HDMI input accepts 4K 60 fps video up to TCbCr 4:4:4 8-bit or YCbCr 4:2:2 12-bit to handle future video formats.

The projector can be tilted as much as 30 degrees for flexible installs and take advantage of mirrors to place larger screens in smaller spaces for rear projection, for example. A new low-noise liquid-cooling system enables placement near viewers.

Thanks to its laser-light engine, it delivers fast on/off times so users can turn it back on quickly without having to wait for it to cool down. Laser also delivers a long operating life with a linear decrease in brightness over time, reducing the potential for color shifts accompanying the wear of lamps in lamp-based projectors. If color shifts occur, the projector features a re-calibration function.

It joins the company’s first laser-based 4K home-theater projector, the $50,000 ultra-short-throw VPL-GTZ1.

$14,999 VPL-VW665ES 4K projector:  Shipping this month, the lamp-based VPL-VW665ES features HDR with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, SXRD panels, 6,000-hour lamp life, HDMI 2.0a, and HDCP 2.2. It also features built-in RF 3D transmitter for use with 3D glasses.

$9,999VPL-VW365ES 4K projector: Also due in October, the VPL-VW365ES features SXRD panels, proprietary Triluminos engine for color reproduction, and Motionflow to reduce blur when fast-paced images are reproduced. It features HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2, and 3D transmitter.

$3,999 VPL-HW65ES 1080p projector: Due this month, the 1080p VPL-HW65ES offers the interface and processing capabilities of the newly launched 4K lamp projectors and features built-in RF 3D transmitter, IP control, and a USB update function.  Its compact size and front exhaust deliver flexible installation options, the company said.

$2,799 E- series ZA5000E AVR: The 9×130-watt AVR, due in the spring, supports 11-channel Atmos and DTS:X when a two-channel amp is added to it. It also supports 4K 60 fps (4:4:4) video passthrough and distributes 4K video and multichannel audio simultaneously to two zones.

Other key features include eight-port Ethernet hub, two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports 32-bit floating-point processor to enhance signal processing, and a new speaker-relocation feature that uses DSP to reposition speakers to optimal locations.

A Ping button fires “discovery” protocols to establish connections with home-control systems.