Sony’s Show-Stopping $10k Native 4K Projector on Sale for $8k
Debuting at CES 2015, Sony's VPL-VW350ES uses the same native 4K processing as Sony's cinema-grade projectors. Only $8,000 for a very limited time.
Julie Jacobson · January 12, 2015
Sony had much to show at CES 2015: super-flat 4K displays, an elegant $50,000 short-throw projector, a Pono-busting high-res audio player under the Walkman brand, affordable 4K action cameras and a concept Life Space UX home.
But we’ll get to those later this week.
For custom integrators, the Sony product that stole the show was the new VPL-VW350ES Ultra HD projector ($9,999 MSRP), the only native 4K projector for the home … except for Sony’s other models.
Sony owns the SXRD chipset that drives its 4K solutions – including projectors used in commercial cinemas. Upscaling to 4K works the exact same way in the residential units as in the commercial versions found in some 15,000 theaters worldwide.
In fact, at CES Sony’s new projector sat right next to the company’s cinema-grade unit.
“If we can do it in here,” says Sony spokesman Philip Jones, pointing to the pro projector and then the resi unit, “we can do in there.”
Jones says Sony’s 10 years of 4K experience allows the company to bring native Ultra HD projectors to consumer-friendly form factors and prices like no one else can.
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“No one else is doing this at this price,” he says. “Everyone else’s is in the $50s, $60s and $70s.”
Plus, he says, “Owning a movie studio helps us make the best 4K.”
Sony introduced its first consumer-oriented 4K projector, the VPL-VW1100ES, at CEDIA 2011. The 2,000-lumen projector, featuring a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, retails for $28,000.
Then came the 1,700-lumen VW600ES in 2013 (200,000:1 contrast ratio) for $15,000.
And now the 1,500-lumen VW350ES comes in at the low low price of $9,999 – lower, still if you order early. For a limited time (through February), Sony is offering a $2,000 rebate, making the promotional price only $7,999. The product is expected to ship this month.
The 600 and 350 both provide RS-232, IP and IR control. Both can work with Sony’s Projector Calibration Pro software but only the 600 has an Auto Calibration function.
- 4K resolution - 4096x2160
- HD to 4K upscaling
- HDMI 2.0 compatible
- Deep Color support
- 1,500 ANSI lumens
- Auto calibration
- Flexible installation - 2.1x motorized zoom, 85%(v)/31%(h) motorized shift and 1.38-2.83 throw ratio
- Built-in RF emitter for 3D viewing
- 2D to 3D conversion
- Recommended screen size: 60 to 150 inches
- Sony’s proprietary “Mastered in 4K” algorithm faithfully reproduces specially prepared movies to match the original 4K images
- Front air intake and exhaust for positioning near a wall without cooling issues
- Access to lamp through panel on top of projector
- RS-232 and IR control
- 3-year limited warranty
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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