Brightness was something Bridwell talked about frequently with dealers on the show floor during what he called “our most important CEDIA in three years.”
With the home theater projection game turning to 4K, DP previewed two models it is prepping for release in 2017: the E-Vision and HIGHlite Laser 4K UHD (8.3 million pixels, not quite 'native' 4K 4096 x 2160 8.8 million pixels ) projectors.
“This has all my dealers and reps beside themselves with excitement. I've been talking myself hoarse this week, and they've been saying we've needed something like this for years,” Bridwell says. “This is going to re-energize our entire mid-level, so we wanted it priced aggressively.”
While “aggressive” pricing on Digital Projection's end of the market is still markedly in the luxury performance spectrum of five figures, in the case being able to offer 4K versions of the E-Vision and HIGHlite drop the cost of entry significantly.
Both employing laser phosphor technology DLP for operation rated to last 20,000 hours, the single-chip E-Vision is expected out in April 2017 at roughly $19,995 while the three-chip HIGHlite is anticipated in January 2017 at approximately $45,000. “That's huge for us. Our native 4K projectors were starting at $90,000 to $150,000,” Bridwell says.
DP set up the projectors to show content from a Kaleidescape Strato player onto 16-foot Stewart Filmscreen screens (the flower image below does not do justice to the detail and depth).
Beyond the 4K resolution and lack of lamps needing maintenance and replacement, the brightness of both projectors adds to a compelling theater option, Bridwell notes. The E-Vision model is rated at 8,000 lumens, while the HIGHlite will beam up to 12,000 lumens. And even at 20,000 hours, he says, the projector is rated down to only half brightness at that point.
“You can literally have this [HIGHlite] in sports mode with the lights completely on, so you can have all your buddies over watching games and not awkwardly be in the dark,” Bridwell says. “Then, instead of burning the screen when you put the lights down, you can go to about 3,500 lumens for movie night.”
He adds that there's some installation flexibility in the lack of lamps, providing more head room to deal with and less need to access the projector for maintenance.
Look for more details on the new 4K laser projectors as their release nears, though you can check with DP for more as the company is now accepting pre-orders.