Sony used CEDIA Expo Thursday to introduce three new native 4K/60p SXRD projectors capable of supporting HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma high dynamic range (HDR), and carrying the newly announced “IMAX Enhanced” Certification status.

The trio is highlighted by the VW995ES, which is the company’s fourth projector driven by a Z-Phosphor, long-life, laser light engine.

The Sony VW995ES will fit in just below the company’s flagship VW5000ES 4K projector and will carry a $34,999.99 suggested retail price when it ships in November. The other two new 4K projectors models include the mid-range 4K VW695ES (shipping at the beginning of October at $9,999.99) and the company’s new entry 4K model VW250ES (shipping at the beginning of October at $4,999.99).

All three models have native DCI 4K 4096×2160 resolution, with clear visual superiority over cheaper competitive “pixel-shifted” approaches, Sony said, and feature the company’s Reality Creation 4K/2K video processing technology driven by a new generation 4K processor.  Also included in all three units is Sony’s latest Triluminus Display technology that yields a wide color space covering 127% of the BT. 709 color gamut.

New for all 2018 4K models, Sony has expanded the use of its new generation 4K processing board including the X1 processor from Bravia flat-panel TVs. Compared to previous 4K lamp-based models, this is said to improve super resolution processing of 4K native content such as 4K UHD and 4K streaming.

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Sony said the board will drive its Reality Creation and Digital Focus Optimizer technologies for clearer images with improved dynamic contrast. It will also support the on-board 4K Motionflow system and 4K 60P input lag reduction to produce blazing video game response for a native 4K projector. It also supports 18 Gbps HDMI color input and 4K 60p, 10-bit signal processing.

For HDR support, all three new 4K projectors will support HDR Contrast, HDR Reference modes to optimize tone mapping for the form of HDR be displayed.

Sony also announced here that the full 2018 4K projector lineup will be exclusively certified for IMAX Enhanced Video Content. IMAX and DTS revealed the program Wednesday as a partnership in a new certification and licensing standard that will allow users to play the highest quality 4K images and most powerful audio at home.

So far, Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sound United have signed on with products and/or content featuring an “IMAX Mode” that is said to optimize whatever is being watched to the standards that the filmmaker originally intended. At the same time, IMAX and DTS said they are working with studios and content partners to digitally remaster popular movies and other content for the IMAX Mode.

Qualifying products must pass the approval of a certification committee of IMAX and DTS engineers and Hollywood technical specialists.

In related news: Sony said select 4K LED-LCD and 4K OLED flat-panel televisions will also carry IMAX Enhanced certification. Models qualifying include: the new Master Series A9F and Z9F; the A8F and A1E 4K OLED series; and the Z900F 4K LED-LCD TV series.

Sony is also showing as a technology statement at CEDIA Expo a “dual 4K projector” setup producing “greater than 4K” images using a server and 8K content source. The stacked projectors combine for six SXRD microdisplay chips, with what Sony called “Hyper Resolution: sharp focus and perfect calibration for 8K input.” The solution is said to have deeper  black levels using optimized black level upon an optical mechanism and smooth gradation.

Meanwhile, the new Sony high-end VW995ES is listed with a contrast ratio of “infinity:1”, as the result of the combination of having a laser light engine with Dynamic Laser Control, which produces a listed 2,200 lumens of peak brightness, an ARC-F lens and an Advanced Iris system. The latter produces inky black levels in controlled lighting conditions.

Sony calls this projector, “the best product for aficionados who want the highest resolution and the highest contrast in their theater.”

The All Range Crisp Focus (ARC-F) lens allows a compact lens design and a Digital Focus Optimizer function. It also supports dual contrast adjustment using both the laser light source and dynamic iris.

The Z-Phosphor Laser engine will enable long-lasting brightness without the need to change the lamp and adjust related calibrations every 4,000-6,000 hours.

The VW995ES will also have the ability to add on an optional short-throw lens (Z7008) to reduce the necessary distance between the projector and the screen in smaller home theater environments.

Model VW695ES is a lamp-based unit that will output 1,800 lumens of peak brightness, features a 350,000:1 contrast ratio, includes a built-in Advanced Iris for inky blacks, and like the VW995ES, includes Picture Position Memory.

The new entry 4K projector, model VW295ES, is also lamp-based with peak brightness of 1,500 lumens. Contrast performance specifications were unavailable.


By Greg Tarr


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