In a detailed press event prior to the start of CEDIA Expo 2018, Sony explained the five points of emphasis it employs to outline the performance of its projectors. The results can be found in the new Sony 4K UHD projectors, which were just introduced during the annual trade event.
The newly launched VW295ES, VW695ES, and VW995ES 4K UltraHD projectors come into the market at three respective price levels to meet specific performance requirements.
All three products incorporate proprietary Motionflow processing, and they offer high dynamic range (HDR) compatibility and 18Gbps signal compatibility.
“We know what the requirements are to make ideal picture quality in the movie and production studio,” says Andre Floyd, product marketing manager, projectors, Sony Electronics, North America.
During the presentation, Sony said it has been designing, engineering and building projectors since 1972, and unlike some of its competitors, every aspect of its projectors are built in-house to control every level of quality.
“We develop core parts and do the assembly as well,” states Naoya Matsuda, deputy senior general manager, Sony imaging products and solutions.
“By assembling and inspecting through a strict process, we maintain a high quality.”
5 Points Guide Sony 4K UHD Projector Development
To best illustrate the key performance attributes it wants from its projectors, during its presentation Sony employs a star-shaped diagram showing the five points of performance.
Sony explains each point:
- Resolution (4K SXRD),
- Frame rate (4K Motionflow)
- Dynamic range (Reflective Display SXRD Z-phosphor HDR contrast/HDR Reference)
- Color space (3 chip SXRD with color bit mapping to mirror X300 post-production monitor)
- Color gradation (12-bit driving SXRD correct tone mapping with X300)
Elaborating on color gradation in specific, Floyd says that it’s a difficult challenge for manufacturers to match the brightness levels of displays. Because of this challenge, he says tone mapping becomes an important component to projector performance.
Drawing from its professional background, the company references the Sony BVM-X300 post-production monitor to establish accurate color and HDR levels.
“We are striving to maintain this, the director’s intent, and the X300 represents that as closely as possible, and it’s nothing to do with metadata,” notes Floyd.
“In projectors, there aren’t as much brightness as a display and that is why tone mapping is important … Sony projectors can faithfully reproduce color tones … it’s not magic, we are not trying to cheat or anything.”
A Closer Look at the 2018 Sony 4K UHD Projectors
Here's a quick rundown of the three latest projectors Sony has on offer:
- VPL-VW295ES: Sony states this $5,000 lamp-based projector produces up to 1,500 lumens, and like all Sony projectors it delivers a true 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution.
- VPL-VW695ES: Positioned as a mid-level projector, the $10,000 VW695ES is rated to deliver up to 1,800 lumens, as well as the Motionflow, HDR compatibility and the 18Gbps signal compatibility the VW295ES delivers.
- VPL-VW995ES: Using a laser light engine, the $35,000 VPL-VW995ES produces up to 2,200 lumens, and incorporates Sony’s dual-contrast control engine, advanced iris technologies, and the features found in the other new products.
The VPL-VW295ES and VPL-VW695ES will be available in mid-October 2018, and the VPL-VW995ES will be available in November 2018.