Sony taps TV processing tech for latest 4K SXRD projectors
Sony is retiring a couple of projectors from its home-cinema lineup, but has also announced their immediate replacements. There's a laser model and a lamp model, and both feature an image processor based on those used in the company's Bravia televisions, but optimized for projectors.
"Sony's 4K SXRD projectors have led the market for years, and these new models take the viewer's experience to the next level," said the company's Neal Manowitz. "Whether they're for enjoying the latest movies or playing action-packed games, our newest projectors deliver a dynamic, big screen experience that truly immerses viewers in their favorite content."
The projectors share many features, including Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) panel technology that makes delivery of native 4K (4,096 x 2,160) resolution possible, with Sony promising deep blacks, vibrant colors and smooth cinematic motion.
The X1 for projector image processor allows for high-precision frame analysis, enabling features like Dynamic HDR Enhancer – aimed at delivering the best contrast for HDR content on a scene-by-scene basis – and Reality Creation – which analyzes images to the pixel level to "enrich 4K content and real-world detail and texture" and will work for upscaled 2K and Full HD images too.
The home cinema projectors are compatible with IMAX Enhanced content, feature a motorized zoom and wide lens-shift range that caters for flexible projector placement, and come with Motionflow – which adds frames to reduce blur in fast-moving images. And like the models they replace in Sony's home cinema lineup (VPL-VW995ES and VPL-VW295ES), the new projectors come with input lag reduction capabilities. They each sport two HDMI inputs and Ethernet LAN.
The VPL-VW1025ES has a 2,200-lumens Z-Phosphor laser light source that should be good for 20,000 hours of use, and it's home to a large-aperture, all-glass lens comprising 18 elements, including six extra-low-dispersion elements, for "clear and vivid" edge-to-edge image delivery.
Contrast for the iris and the laser can be adjusted independently to "optimize light output for both dark and bright well-lit scenes." The optical focus is complemented by digital technology to keep the images in sharp focus, and will compensate for any potential optical degradation of the lens. The projector will also be able to store focus, zoom, and lens-shift settings for five different screen formats for setup ease.
The smaller VPL-VW325ES model rocks a 1,500-lumens mercury lamp for up to 6,000 hours of viewing time before needing to be replaced, while its 4K aspherical lens should offer corner-to-corner sharpness.
Destined for home theaters, the VPL-VW1025ES is available for pre-order for US$39,999, while the VPL-VW325ES comes in at $5,499.