Sony continues to grow its home theater lineup with its latest projector, the VPL-VZ1000ES. The HDR-compatible 4K projector is an ultra-short throw model and can produce a 16:9 aspect ratio image to a size of 100 in (254 cm) while positioned a mere 6 in (15 cm) away from a wall, making it a good fit for homes without a dedicated media room.
The VPL-VZ1000ES measures roughly 36 x 20 x 9 in (92.5 x 49.4 x 21.9 cm), and weighs around 77 lb (35 kg), so it isn't tiny but shouldn't unduly dominate a well-proportioned living room.
The appeal of ultra short throw projectors is that unlike traditionally-positioned projectors, like the VPL-VW1000ES, for example, their wall-hugging position makes it a lot easier to produce a large, unobstructed display.
"The VPL-VZ1000ES Ultra-Short Throw projector is a real game changer," says Mike Fasulo, President and COO of Sony Electronics. "Everyone wants a larger screen, but not everyone can find the space for it. Sony enables the best of both worlds with this new generation of ultra-short throw projectors. Now, it's possible to project a 4K HDR quality 100 inch or even 120 inch display in your family room without the need for a dedicated media room."
The projector's light source is a Z-Phosphor laser that generates 2,500 lumens of color light output. Sony says that its proprietary SXRD wizardry, coupled with the laser light source, will serve to enhance highlights and lowlights of HDR content.
The VPL-VZ1000ES is launching at a suggested retail price of US$25,000. Availability is expected for April but pre-orders are open now from authorized Sony retailers.
If Sony's latest offering is a little expensive for your tastes, Optoma also unveiled a similar-spec 4K laser projector at CES. The Optoma 4K Ultra Short Throw promises a 140 in (355 cm) image size from "just inches" away and will cost $19,999, though you'll have to wait until Q3 for it to be released. LG's Minibeam range also offers a short throw but at a much more modest price – however, the specs are similarly modest by comparison.