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Ultra HD Projectors Hold Sway At CEDIA Expo

Digital Projection, JVC, Sony All Show Several 4K Models

Ultra HD projectors captured the most attention from installers and dealers at the CEDIA Expo, where models with high dynamic rage (HDR) and near-Rec. 2020 color gamut turned up to help installers differentiate their selection.

Here’s what Digital Projection, JVC and Sony showed.

Digital Projection: The company demonstrated its $120,000 Insight 4K laser projector and $150,000 Insight LED 4K projector. The laser projector shipped in September, and the LED projector shipped this month.

The laser model’s laser light source delivers 12,000 lumens of brightness with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, making it bright enough for use in rooms with high ambient light. A 30 percent brightness setting is available for use in darker rooms. Illumination life is 20,000 hours until half brightness.

The LED projector’s LED light source provides 3,000 lumens of brightness with 2,000:1 contrast ratio. Illumination life exceeds 50,000 hours. It delivers close-to-Rec. 2020 color gamut.

Both projectors use DLP technology, which uses micro mirrors that tilt toward and away from the light source to create a light or dark pixel.

JVC: A trio of fourth-generation LCoS projectors uses updated E-shift technology to deliver near-4K resolution (3,840 by 2,160 compared with 4,096 by 2,160) from 4K sources. The projectors use three 1080p-native panels with “pixel-shifting” technology, which shifts pixels diagonally by 0.5 pixels at a rate up to 120Hz to multiply resolution.

New E-shift4 technology delivers 4K 60 fps output with 4:4:4 color subsampling, up from 4:2:0 and 4:2:2.

All deliver higher light output than their predecessors, with two maintaining their predecessors’ high native contrast ratios, and they accept SMPTE 2084/2086 HDR signals. The products also add HDMI 2.0a connections, and wide DCI-P3 color gamut. Their predecessors came with HDMI 1.4 inputs.

The top two models display SMPTE 2084/2086 HDR content and come with THX 3D certification.

All of the new models are also the company’s first projectors with Control4 integration, joining integration capabilities with Creston and AMX control systems.

The new projectors are the $9,999-suggested RS600, $6,999 RS500, and $3,999 RS 400 in the Reference series and their Procision-series counterparts — the DLAX950R, DLA-X750R and DLA-X550R – at the same respective prices. They ship at the end of November.

New 265-watt lamps combined with a new light engine on the top two models in each series preserve the higher contrast ratios of their predecessors despite the higher lumen outputs, said John Havens, marketing manager of the visual systems division. The third model lacks the new light engine, but its native contrast ratio remains almost the same at 40,000:1.

The $9,999 model delivers 1,900 lumens, up 46 percent from its $11,195 predecessor while maintaining a 150,000:1 native contrast ratio. The $6,999 model boosts brightness by 38 percent to 1,800 lumens compared to its same-price predecessor while preserving a 120,000:1 native contrast ratio. The $3,999 model delivers 1,700 lumens, up 30 percent from its sameprice predecessor, and its native contrast ratio is almost the same as before at 40,000:1.

Sony: Three new long-throw 4K home cinema projectors include the $59,999-suggested VPL-W5000ES, 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 HDR and color gamut approaching 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 available in digital cinemas and is also delivered by a current VW1100 lamp-based home-theater projector. 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 also became 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.

The $59,999 VPL-VW5000 4K laser projector, due in the spring, 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 near-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 inputs accept 4K 60 fps video up to TCbCr 4:4:4 8-bit or YCbCr 4:2:2 12-bit to handle future video formats.

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.

For its part, the $14,999 VPL-VW665ES 4K lamp-based projector ships in October with HDR, 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.

The $9,999 VPL-VW365ES 4K projector, also due in October, features HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2, and 3D transmitter.

At $3,999, the 1080p VPL-HW65ES ships in October with the interface and processing capabilities of the newly launched 4K lamp projectors.