Sony cut-price 4K projector brings digital cinema home

posted on Monday, 9th September 2013 by Steve May

home cinema  4K  IFA 


Sony hopes to shake up to 4K video projection market with its new Ultra HD VPL-VW500ES. The projector was unveiled at IFA 2013, and follows last year's ground-breaking VPL-VW1000ES model, which was the world's first 4K home theatre projector. Only this year's iteration is effectively half the price, retailing at just £8,500. 

The VPL-VW500ES once again offers DCI based 4096 x 2160 resolution and uses Sony native 4K SXRD panels. It's also equipped with an HDMI 2.0 input to accommodate 4K/60P high frame rate Ultra HD. The VPL-VW500ES also upscales all incoming sources, through its Super Resolution 4K Reality Creation picture engine. This includes a 4K up-scaling algorithm designed specifically for Sony's Mastered in 4K Blu-ray disc line. The VPL-VW500ES is rated at 1,700 ANSI-lumens with a contrast ratio of 200,000:1. It also offers a Triluminos-branded wide colour gamut display technology. In addition to a suite of auto-calibration features, installers have access to a manual colour correction tool to adjust  hue, saturation and brightness. 

The VPL-VW500ES is smaller than the original VPL-VW1000ES, and uses plastic rather than glass optics, but there appear to be no compromises in picture quality. Demonstrations at IFA were hugely impressive in regard to image clarity and contrast. The VPL-VW500ES delivers a genuine 4K video projection experience at what seems an almost unfeasible price. The model effectively redefines expectations for sub £10,000 home cinema projectors.

To simplify installation, the VPL-VW500ES employs a front air exhaust cooling system and 2.06 zoom powered lens with a wide shift range. The projector is active shutter 3D enabled, and features a built-in RF transmitter.

In addition to the new 4K offering, Sony's display division also unveiled a new Full HD SXRD projector, the 3D-enabled VPL-HW55ES. It offers 1,700 ANSI lumen brightness and Advanced Iris 3 technology, for a dynamic contrast ratio of "more than 120,000:1." Display options include Bright Cinema and Bright TV modes, for use in areas with ambient light.

Both the VPL-VW500ES and the VPL-HW55ES are available in the UK from the end of October.

Also read:
Interview: Why Sony leads with 4K Ultra HD

As HDMI 2.0 arrives, hardware makers confirm upgrades

IFA 2013: Panasonic outs first 4K Ultra HD with HDMI 2.0



Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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