This week’s CEDIA Expo for custom electronics continued the shift toward 4K Ultra HD video with high dynamic range through the unveiling of new high resolution projectors and content options.

Among one of the more promising announcements at the show was the news that Kaleidescape is advancing its new Blu-ray quality movie and TV show download service to include content supporting 4K Ultra HD resolution and even some forthcoming titles with high dynamic range.

Meanwhile, JVC introduced the fourth generation of its pixel-shifting near-native 4K Ultra HD liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) technology, offering three lower-cost options supporting some of the industry’s best contrast ratios and brightness levels in front projection.

Meanwhile, Sony set the native 4K Ultra HD projection bar a notch higher by announcing its first long-throw native 4K Ultra HD front projector with a laser light engine that is said to make possible support of a color space approaching the SMPTE BT.2020 standard.

As for DLP front projectors, Texas Instruments is revealing here that it has developed a new home-based 4K DLP chip that it plans to make available to front projector manufacturers soon. Manufacturers say they expect the first more affordably priced 4K Ultra HD home projector solutions to be demonstrated around CES time.

Read more on some of the CEDIA highlights after the jump:

Kaleidescape unveiled here its Encore line of video players designed to play its high-quality video download service including its first models designed to play 4K Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR) content.

The advanced flagship player is called the Strato, and it fits in with Kaleidescape’s contributing partnership in the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), which is aiming to provide Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray like quality content from media delivered as downloads to in-home storage systems over broadband connections. Kaleidescape will now use the Strato and other Encore line devices to supply Ultra HD Blu-ray quality content to compatible 4K Ultra HDTVs.

The Encore line also includes an Alto Player, a new movie server named Terra, and a disc server for DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs. The company said the new line has been designed from the ground up to be current or ahead of the industry’s cloud-line of products.

The Strato will accept near Ultra HD Blu-ray quality with 10-bit color depth and bit rates ranging from 50 up to 100Mbps.

The Strato downloads content to a 6TB internal hard drive, in a $4,495 suggested retail verison of the device, or to a Terra Movie Server, which will be available in $5,995 and $7,995 versions. The Terra server connects to a Strato player for playback control. A version of Strato without its own internal hard drive, will carry a $3,495 suggested retail.

The Strato players will play back 4K Ultra HD content at up 60fps. The 6TB HDD will store up to 100 4K Ultra HD movies, 150 Blu-ray quality movies or 900 DVD quality movies, the company said.

The players will include HDMI 2.0a outputs with HDCP 2.2, capable of supporting baseline HDR metadata for supporting 4K UHD TVs. The platform is also be expandable to possibly support other HDR formats including Dolby Vision in the future, the company said.

“Now we have an opportunity with these products, which are very tightly integrated with the Kaleidescape movie store, and the movie store is the only one in the world that actually serves the most pristine quality bit-for-bit movies with electronic delivery,” Cheena Srinivasan, Kaleidescape CEO (pictured at top), told HD Guru.

Srinivasan added that Kaleidescape above all was designed to present users with a simple, fast and intuitive user experience.

The new Alto player, which supports Blu-ray and DVD equivalent-quality content, will also be available in two versions – one including a 6TB hard drive and one without an internal HDD. Both will control content from a connected server.

The Kaleidescape Terra Movie Server is designed to store a library of movies for distribution on a home network and will interface with the new Strato and Alto movie players. It will serve up to 50 players and can simultaneously stream 4K movies to up to seven Strato players, or Blu-ray quality movies to up to 15 players (Strato or Alto), the company said.

Kaleidescape also revealed at CEDIA that it has entered a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to distribute 4K Ultra HD films for download from the Kaleidescape Movie Store service to its video player family.

Kaleidescape will offer five Sony Pictures 4K Ultra HD downloads to purchasers of the Strato Movie Player. Kaleidescape customers will also be able to upgrade previously purchased UltraViolet SD and HD Sony Pictures titles to the 4K Ultra HD format.

Sony Pictures 4K Ultra HD titles will be available in the Kaleidescape Movie Store for customers in the United States, Canada and the U.K. Retail prices will run about $30 per movie.

JVC Unveils New e-Shift 4 Projectors

JVC unveiled three models in its new e-Shift 4 projector line, which is the company’s fourth generation of D-ILA-based (liquid crystal on silicon) projectors that produce images that are processed to 4K Ultra HD-like resolution quality. The latest models are both brighter than JVC’s earlier generation models and provide the industry’s highest native contrast ratio of 150,000:1 (1,500,000:1 dynamic), JVC said.

JVC models DLA-X950R/RS600, DLA-X750R/RS500 and DLA-X550R/RS400, produce light output of 1,900, 1,800 and 1,700 lumens, respectively, over JVC’s previous generation models.

The projectors feature two full-speed 18Gbps HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2, and will accept full 4K Ultra HD source input, which the projectors can scale for presentation through its unusual pixel shifting process. The projectors still don’t present “native” 4K Ultra HD images, but the difference is visually difficult to discern.

The projectors will also accept and present high dynamic range (HDR) metadata and can accept and process up to 4K UHD/60p with up to 4:4:4 color subsampling.

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JVC’s technology has a narrow pixel gap that is both highly light efficient and produces “pixel-free” images at prices that are comparative bargains to competitive native 4K Ultra HD projectors in the market, the company said.

Images sent to the projector from Blu-ray players are upscaled to 4K using a scaler in the projector, said Chris Deutsch, JVCKenwood USA national AV product and training manager. Native 4K sources are split into A frames and B frames. A frame pixels are different than those in the B frame. B frame pixels are shifted down and over half a pixel and the projector runs at double speed, shifting A frames and B frames back and forth so quickly that the brain sees what appears to be a complete 4K image on the screen. The fourth generation of the technology has been improved this year to resolve greater detail, actually presenting visible 4K pixels on the screen, Deutsch said.

He said that as JVC continues to work toward delivery of a native 4K D-ILA solution, the e-Shift 4 system is deliverying “the vast majority of the benefit of 4K at a much more exciting price.”

The projectors offer passive 3D capability, with the X750R and X950R models carrying THX 3D certification. All models are compatible with Control4 Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) for easy integrated into a Control4 home automation system.

The projectors will be available starting in November at prices starting at $4,000 suggested retail for the entry e-Shift4 DLA-X550R/RS400; $7,000 for the DLA-X750R/RS and $10,000 for the DLA-X950R/RS600.

JVC has also increased the warranties on the products, with the X550R at two years, the X750R at three years and the X950R at five years. Bulbs are warrantied for 1 year or 1,000 hours.

Sony Adds Laser-Based Long-Throw Native 4K Projector

Sony used CEDIA to reveal three new SXRD micro-display-based 4K Ultra HD home cinema projectors highlighted by the $60,000-suggested VPL-W5000ES, featuring a laser light engine capable of delivering up to 5,000 lumens of brightness and the ability to reproduce colors approaching the SMPTE BT.2020 color space, Sony said. The BT.2020 space is the widest color gamut specified for display device standards and has not yet been achieved by consumer devices.

The new laser-light engine provides a host of benefits over lamp-based systems, including faster on/off times, long operating life with a linear decrease in brightness over time. The projector is Sony’s second 4K model to employ a laser light engine.

Its VPL-GTZ1 $50,000 ultra-short-throw model was the company’s first 4K SXRD model to use a laser-based engine.

The ES5000 projector comes with HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 inputs that accept up to 4K Ultra HD  60 fps signals with 4:4:4 8-bit or 4:2:2 12-bit chroma subsampling.

The laser projector is the company’s second 4K projector to support a color space up to the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is used for professional digital cinemas. The W5000ES and a new $15,000 lamp-based SXRD front projector are also the company’s first models capable of accepting and displaying high dynamic range (HDR) content, which boosts contrast, brightness and detail in both very white and very dark segments of an image on screen at the same time. The projectors will support baseline SMPTE 2084 and 2086 standards for HDR, as defined by the CEA and Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications for HDR.

The $15,000 lamp-based VPL-VW665ES 4K projector will ship this month and will produce up to a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Its lamp life is rated to 6,000-hours and it will include HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 input and produce 3D using active-shutter glasses.

Sony’s new VPL-VW365ES ($10,000) delivers native 4K resolution, includes Sony’s Triluminos wide color gamut circuitry and is equipped with a new long-lasting lamp rated to 6,000 hours. It will be available in October and features HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2, and a 3D transmitter.

Sony also introduced its new VPL-HW65ES ($3,999) Full HD SXRD projector which uses second-generation Reality Creation upscaling circuitry, Sony’s new 6,000-hour long-lasting lamp, a built-in RF 3D transmitter and a USB update function to keep the device’s firmware up-to-date with the latest software releases. The VPL-HW65ES 1080p projector will be available this month supports RF 3D transmitter, IP control, and a USB update function.

Sony also used CEDIA to introduce the ZA5000ES ($2,799) AV receiver, which is the company’s first to support Dolby Atmos object-based audio. It will have the ability to upgrade to add DTS:X objected-based audio support through a future firmware update. The receiver includes HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 input and HDR passthrough.

By Greg Tarr


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