Among the biggest developments
to come out of the recent CEDIA Expo 2011 was the
introduction of a pair of technologies that set the bar
anew for super-high resolution video presentation.
Both Sony and JVC announced the introduction of
the first so-called “4K” projectors for the home theater
market. Both systems were based on liquid crystal on
silicon (LCoS) imaging chips but that’s where the similarities
Sony introduced its VW1000ES home theater projector
that uses the company’s three-chip SXRD LCoS
technology. Each chip features a 4,069-by-2,160 native
resolution level, similar to 4K projectors the company
has been supplying to commercial movie theaters.
The resolution level is said to be more than four
times that of 2K (Full HD 1920-by-1080p) projectors.
Slated to ship in December at a price to be announced,
the projector will present 4K images in both
3D and 2D.
It produces 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, a
1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and is said to deliver
significantly improved black-level performance
using Sony’s Iris3 technology. It is suitable for up to
200-inch screen sizes, Sony said.
The VW1000ES projector includes an exclusive
4K up-scaler that will convert more conventional SD,
HD and 3D material for 4K playback. Sony executives,
however, said the company is at work on a number of
supporting components that may soon offer native 4K
material for the home.
The company’s motion picture units were said to have
already amassed a sizeable library of native 4K material
for commercial 4K projectors used in movie theaters.
The projector will display Full HD 3D movies, as well
as 2D and 3D anamorphic programs. For Full 4K 3D,
an integrated IR transmitter is included to send signals
to the projector’s TDG-PJ1 active-shutter 3D glasses.
For installation flexibility the projector offers dual
triggers, a 2.1 motorized zoom, expanded throw distances,
an RS232 interface, control over IP and compatibility
with leading home-automation systems.
In explaining Sony’s decision to add a 4K home projector
at this time, Mike Abary, Sony Electronics Home
Division senior VP, said CEDIA dealers and installers
“can’t exist without” innovation in products.
“It’s important that we use innovation to empower,
and, most of all, to excite consumers,” Abary said.
JVC, meanwhile, introduce four 4K projectors based
on its three-chip 2K level D-ILA imaging chips and a
new up-conversion system called e-Shift that boosts 2K
images produced by the D-ILA chips to the 4K level.
The four 4K models are said to produce up to
3,840-by-2,160 pixel resolution and two almost identical
models models are carried in the company’s professional
systems group’s Reference series and mainstream
consumer electronics group’s Procision series.
JVC said the e-Shift system shifts the image vertically
and horizontally by a half-pixel to produce the extra
pixels while removing stair-stepping artifacts and
other imperfections that tend to muddy fine details in
digitally processed images.
Like Sony’s projector, all four JVC models were designed
to present both 2D and 3D video, but the e-
Shift system does not apply to 3D content.
JVC’s four 4K models are all THX 2D and 3D certified
and ship in November.
They include in the Reference series the DLA-RS65
($11,995 suggested retail), which offers a 120,000:1
native contrast ratio and the DLA-RS55 ($7,799), offering
an 80,000:1 native contrast ratio. In the Procision
series there is the DLA-X90R ($11,999), offering
a 120,000:1 native contrast ratio, and the DLA-X70R
($7,995), offering an 80,000:1 native contrast.
JVC is including two pairs of active-shutter 3D
glasses and three-year warranties with the top-of-theline
4K projectors in both lines.
With the two companies’ announcements, the floor
of CEDIA Expo was abuzz with discussion about who
would be next.
On the audio side, Onkyo and its sister Integra
brand have had multiple A/V receivers with built-in 4K
up-conversion circuitry waiting for the first consumer
level displays to appear.
Many other projector companies are use DLP-based
solutions and Texas Instruments, which manufacturers
the industry’s DLP chips, as 4K chips available for
commercial movie theater products, but so far there
are no plans for a residential-based application.
Alberto Fabiano, Sim2 USA executive VP, questioned
the need for a non-native approach.
“We are a DLP company, so if Texas Instruments
isn’t going to give us a 4K chip, we aren’t going to do
it. They would be willing to give us the one that they
are making now for commercial theaters, but it would
take a $2 million investment in a new light engine,” he
noted. “Do you know how many units we are going to
have sell to for that investment?”.
Asked if Sim2 might consider adding an up-converting
system for a 2K DLP chip, similar to JVC’s e-Shift
technology, Fabino said, “We don’t really need it,”
pointing to the high quality of its existing Mico, Nero
and Lumus projectors.
Fabiano said he applauded Sony’s approach to marketing
a 4K model “that is really geared to custom installation
distribution at a higher price.” He pointed out
that the prevailing trend is for big name manufacturers
to cut projector performance, prices and margins to
appeal to wider audiences.
Meanwhile, JVC also introduced at the show four
other D-ILA projectors offering FullHD 1080p resolution.
These included three 3D-capable FullHD 1080p
projectors with pricing ranging from $3,495 to $4,995,
and omitting 3D glasses.
JVC Professional also introduced the DLA-F110
(shipping in September at a $7,495 suggested retail)
custom-specific projector featuring a white cabinet.
All models feature 2D-to-3D up-conversion circuitry.
All eight new JVC projectors also include lens offset
focus and zoom memory features to simplify installation.