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Sony Projector Shootout at CEDIA 2016: Comparing Real 4K vs. Faux K

Leading native-4K projector manufacturer Sony is tired of hearing about the so-called 4K chip from Texas Instruments and other non-native Ultra HD solutions. Compare Sony, JVC and Epson at CEDIA 2016.

Sony Projector Shootout at CEDIA 2016: Comparing Real 4K vs. Faux K
More than 8 megapixels sit on 0.74 inches of silicon that make up Sony's 4K SXRD panel. It's what makes Sony's 4K home-cinema projectors "native."

Visit Sony at booth 2710 at CEDIA 2016.

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Julie Jacobson · September 12, 2016

Sony, the leader in native 4K projectors for the home theater market – by far – is tired of people calling the new Texas Instruments “4K chip” a “4K chip.”

“Full 4K is 8 million pixels,” says Andre Floyd, Sony product marketing manager for home theater projectors. “The TI imager only has 4 million pixels.”

Sony today really is the only manufacturer of consumer-oriented projectors with native 4K resolution because the company owns the 8-megapixel SXRD imaging technology that makes them tick. It’s the same technology that drives Sony projectors in tens of thousands of movie theaters.

On the other hand, the 4-megapixel TI solution can only display half the resolution – for a single color – at any point in time.

“They have to flash that imager on the screen twice for each color channel, including the ‘white’ channel,” Floyd says. “That amounts to eight separate flashes on the screen for each individual frame, which the viewer’s brain must integrate into a single image.”

The new TI solution, announced last year, will be demonstrated this week at CEDIA 2016 in new 4K projectors from Sim2 and Digital Projection.

While they might not meet Sony’s definition of 4K, the new TI-powered projectors will indeed deliver the requisite number of pixels or lines of resolution to fit the generally accepted definition of 4K or UHD.

That’s not the case for 4K-labeled projectors in the home cinema market today, Floyd explains.

The elegant tricks these other projectors play are known by such names (epithets to some) as wobulation or pixel-shifting, with brand names such as e-shift (JVC) and 4K Enhancement (4Ke, Epson).

While the end results of their manipulations may seem impressive, says Floyd, “What they do first and foremost is throw away literally half the pixels."

He explains that JVC’s and Epson’s current line of “4K” projectors can never get to full UHD because they start with an HD imager (1920x1080) that has only 2 million pixels.

“Even when they flash the imager twice per frame,” according to Floyd, “They are only able to put about 4 million pixels on the screen, or about half the requisite resolution for 4K/UHD.”


NEXTThe State of 4K UHD Projectors at CEDIA


Does it really matter? Non-native 4K (or faux K) projectors get some pretty good reviews.

It “absolutely” matters according to Sony.

Floyd likens the faux-nomenon to the early days of high-def: “People they thought they had HD because the TV was 16:9. On the projector side, people are buying products they think are 4K and they’re not.”

Pros can see the difference for themselves at CEDIA 2016, where Sony will provide side-by-side demos of its own native 4K projectors vs. 4K-labeld products from JVC and Epson. (TI-based products are still in prototype mode, so they aren’t part of the shootout this year. Ditto for JVC’s forthcoming BluEscent DLA-Z1 projector and Barco’s Loki, both of which are touted as full 4K.)

Floyd says there will be no video trickery in the shootout: “We always invite others to set up their own projectors. We’re not trying to fool anyone.”

Projector Shootout at CEDIA

The demos are part of two 90-minute Sony training sessions at the show, Sony Electronics: Home Projector Solutions from Full HD to 4K HDR – See the Difference

Experience Sony’s complete home theater projector lineup and learn why Sony projectors are great solutions for your clients. From entry-level HD to state-of-the-art 4K HDR, Sony projectors offer easy installation and easy maintenance with pristine picture quality. We’ll demonstrate how each feature delivers a competitive advantage. Then, see for yourself how Sony’s latest lineup of Projectors compare against key competitors in a live shoot-out.

Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom D

  • Friday, September 16, 11:00 AM - 12:30
  • Friday, September 16, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM 

Visit Sony, booth 2710 at CEDIA 2016.

Check out more CEDIA 2016 coverage on CEPro.com


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Visit Sony at booth 2710 at CEDIA 2016." />
  About the Author

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 julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Home Theater · Projectors & Screens · Events · CEDIA · News · Products · Sony · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by PhiTauBill gmail.com on September 20, 2016

Thanks, Julie.  Is it chiefly a matter of the economics?  Just seems odd to me that 4K displays have been prevalent for several years now (despite the fact that the benefits at small screen sizes are fairly minor) and 4K projectors (where the benefits really merit a premium price) are just getting off of the ground.  I understand that projectors are still a small percentage of overall sales, but it seems like the best opportunity to change that state of affairs is by producing robust and competitive 4K projector market.  With Sony’s virtual monopoly, 2nd movers should still be able to command a premium when they come to market.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 20, 2016

PhiTauBill—Yes, they have patents, but the main thing is that they decided to invest in the home theater market with their 4K technology. It’s a risky and expensive proposition that others are now just following.

Posted by PhiTauBill gmail.com on September 20, 2016

I read this article with interest.  Specifically the statement that “Sony today really is the only manufacturer of consumer-oriented projectors with native 4K resolution because the company owns the 8-megapixel SXRD imaging technology that makes them tick.”

So, does this mean that Sony has patent protection that is preventing meaningful competition?  I’ve wondered quite a bit why 4K projectors are still priced in the stratosphere.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 12, 2016

Fluff piece? Moi?! Actually, I just assumed that we had already covered this issue in the past, and I guess we hadn’t so it came up in a pre-show interview with the Sony folks. Good stuff to announce soon.

Posted by jhamill1 on September 12, 2016

Had the same first thought; but glad to see Sony embracing the CI channel AND challenging other manufacturers on a technical, factual basis!

Posted by BenHobbs on September 12, 2016

At first I thought this was a Sony fluff piece but further investigation shows that the wobulation technology has been touted by others as 4k enhancement, which is one of those things that only goes to confuse consumers. Showing 1080p at any one point in time and then interlacing it with other 1080p frames offset minisculely to fill in additional 4k detail might look good but it’s not 4k and shouldn’t really mention 4k.  Surprised the 3LCD projectors aren’t at 4k (native) yet if the LCOS/SXRD has been for so long.

Posted by BenHobbs on September 12, 2016

At first I thought this was a Sony fluff piece but further investigation shows that the wobulation technology has been touted by others as 4k enhancement, which is one of those things that only goes to confuse consumers. Showing 1080p at any one point in time and then interlacing it with other 1080p frames offset minisculely to fill in additional 4k detail might look good but it’s not 4k and shouldn’t really mention 4k.  Surprised the 3LCD projectors aren’t at 4k (native) yet if the LCOS/SXRD has been for so long.

Posted by jhamill1 on September 12, 2016

Had the same first thought; but glad to see Sony embracing the CI channel AND challenging other manufacturers on a technical, factual basis!

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 12, 2016

Fluff piece? Moi?! Actually, I just assumed that we had already covered this issue in the past, and I guess we hadn’t so it came up in a pre-show interview with the Sony folks. Good stuff to announce soon.

Posted by PhiTauBill gmail.com on September 20, 2016

I read this article with interest.  Specifically the statement that “Sony today really is the only manufacturer of consumer-oriented projectors with native 4K resolution because the company owns the 8-megapixel SXRD imaging technology that makes them tick.”

So, does this mean that Sony has patent protection that is preventing meaningful competition?  I’ve wondered quite a bit why 4K projectors are still priced in the stratosphere.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 20, 2016

PhiTauBill—Yes, they have patents, but the main thing is that they decided to invest in the home theater market with their 4K technology. It’s a risky and expensive proposition that others are now just following.

Posted by PhiTauBill gmail.com on September 20, 2016

Thanks, Julie.  Is it chiefly a matter of the economics?  Just seems odd to me that 4K displays have been prevalent for several years now (despite the fact that the benefits at small screen sizes are fairly minor) and 4K projectors (where the benefits really merit a premium price) are just getting off of the ground.  I understand that projectors are still a small percentage of overall sales, but it seems like the best opportunity to change that state of affairs is by producing robust and competitive 4K projector market.  With Sony’s virtual monopoly, 2nd movers should still be able to command a premium when they come to market.