Sony Electronics used CEDIA Expo 2019 in Denver Thursday to announce it is bringing its Crystal LED display system to home theater customers for the first time, by leveraging its specially authorized custom installation retail partners.

The massive 4K Ultra HD self-emissive display technology permits wall-sized televisions with advanced picture quality with some of the best picture quality yet produced. It’s also going to cost a bundle. A massive 4K x 2K resolution, 16 feet x 9 feet display in the Sony booth was estimated to have a retail price of $887,000.

In addition to making its Crystal LED announcement, Sony also revealed at CEDIA a pair of its native 4K Ultra HD SXRD projectors soon will receive a firmware update bringing the company’s popular Digital Focus Optimizer and Dual Contrast control features, currently offered in its high-end VPL-VW995ES model. More on that later. The upgrade will deliver more accurate focus and more dynamic realism “to bring every detail to life.”

Crystal LED is Sony’s implementation of wall-sized flat-panel video display screens with high-picture quality produced using self-emissive direct view LED display technology. Sony has made Crystal LED screens available to commercial customers for a few years but the company said the techology has now advanced to the stage where it can be sold for well-to-do residential applications.

In rationalizing some of the cost that warrants such a high price tag, keep in mind that installation and assembly is no simple task. In fact, the process is so specialized that only trained Sony employees will be allowed to perform the installation and setup work in consumer homes. The custom installer that made the sale will have to pay Sony for the service performed.

What’s so special? Crystal LED is Sony’s answer to wall-sized Micro LED displays being sold by Samsung and others. The modular and configurable display technology can reproduce 99% black surface area using 0.003 mm² ultrafine LEDs. Crystal LED displays will present 4K content with HDR, high frame rates and a nearly 180-degree viewing angle.

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Crystal LED panels can be assembled to build several giant screen sizes, starting at 109-inches measured diagonally and ranging up to 65 feet with 16K resolution. Sony is positioning Crystal LED display systems for customers looking to transition from home theater projection systems into very large flat-panel TVs.

The technology offers “the finest image details and most accurate light levels with low heat,” said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics U.S. “It delivers high dynamic range performance in over a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio using diodes 100 times smaller than traditional LEDs and 50 times smaller than any competitive offering.”

Crystal LED technology also has an ultra-wide color range and high refresh rate for top picture performance viewing live video, movies and video games, Fasulo added.

“Sony is harnessing the power of next-generation AV technologies to bring its products closer to consumers and deliver exciting entertainment experiences,” stated Fasulo. “With Sony’s broad portfolio of quality home entertainment products—combined with our industry-renowned tools, training and operational efficiencies—custom installers have the products and support they need to both delight their customers and position their businesses for long-term success.”

Meanwhile, Sony showcased for the largely custom installer attendees its ES line of big screen 4K HDR home cinema projectors .

The VPL-VW995ES projector is one of Sony’s most powerful home cinema projectors, with All Range Crisp Focus (ARC-F) lens and a laser source that provides 2,200 lumens for brightness.

The Sony VPL-VW695ES is described as a versatile 1,800 lumens lamp projector equipped with enhanced features such as high dynamic contrast by Advanced Iris, Picture Position Memory to store key settings and 4K Motionflow for smoother and clearer motion; and the VPL-VW295ES projector includes many of the features of the other two models, such as a native 4K SXRD panel, HDMI 18 Gbps compatibility, 4K Motionflow and HDR capability. Sony said its VPL-VW5000ES and VPL-VW885ES models will demonstrate enhanced focus and contrast using the aforementioned the new software update.

By Greg Tarr

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