The respective electronics giant and media server companies showed a little lovefest for the video buffs during CEDIA 2017 in San Diego, which certainly ought to delight both custom integrators and their discerning home theater customers.
Trio of Native 4K Projectors Unveiled
For starters, Sony added three new “true 4K” projectors to its lineup. Not only will customers be happy about the quality, but integrators will be able to pitch them on affordability too, particularly relative to the 4K projector market (including the processing-generated 4K enhancement offerings) in general.
Company president/COO Mike Fasulo introduced its entry-level VPL-VW285ES projector, which features HDR, 10-bit depth and Sony’s Triluminous color processing, at $4,999 MSRP, available now.
A step above that, the new VPL-VW385ES runs $7,999 and adds installer-friendly features like picture position memories for storing format-specific settings, advanced iris control, built-in auto calibration and customized lens functions. It’s also now shipping.
At the higher end, but still an attractive price for what it offers, the new VPL-VW885ES bumps the technology up to three-chip laser light source; adds Sony’s Reality Creation and Motionflow processing for sharp, smooth images; and has two 18Gbps HDCP 2.2 HDMI ports for future-proof content delivery. MSRP is $24,999 and it’s due out in late November.
Of course, one of Sony’s advantages in the 4K video game is its ability to serve the entire chain, from movie production to post-production to software and hardware. So it makes sense that at CEDIA 2017 the company also announced a best-of-breed-type partnership in the videophile world with Kaleidescape, the high-performance media server company that also works with the studios to procure content for its 4K digital download store.
Kaleidescape to Feed Sony Projector Owners 4K HDR Content
Kaleidescape founder and CEO Cheena Srinivasan joined Fasulo and Frank Sterns, Sony’s VP, AV Specialty Custom Integration, onstage for the unveiling of the partnership and unveiling of a bundle for owners of the companies’ products.
Specifically, between now and the end of March 2018 the Sony/Kaleidescape 4K Movie Bundle gives 10 4K HDR movies (up to $350 value) free from the Kaleidescape Movie Store to purchasers of certain Sony 4K projectors at no additional charge; to current owners of qualifying Sony projectors; and to current owners of such projectors who then purchase a Kaleidescape Strato system during the timeframe.
“We can’t drive the 4K High Dynamic Range experience alone, so we decided to partner with Sony to work together to cross-promote it,” explains Srinivasan, whose company nearly shuttered last year but continues its comeback and evangelism of delivering the highest quality 4K viewing.
“It’s a no-brainer,” he says. “When someone is purchasing a projector either for a dedicated home theater room or media room, the weakest link is the source device. A major brand like Sony saying content matters, if content is no good … I think they’re deeply committed to it. No other manufacturer is singing the same song as us on picture quality as Sony.”
Plenty of CEDIA attendees got to see the partnership in action. Lines snaked around the corner of the booth while dealers waited for a seat to one of the show’s most impressive demos, which included an incredible nature clip (see the Tiger) sourced by Sony followed by a Spider-Man: Homecoming scene from a Strato, thrown onto a massive Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek screen by the VPL-VW885ES.
From Sony’s perspective, its 4K flag is being carried on the shoulders of the industry’s top dealers, too, as Fasulo touted its leadership position in several home theater categories among the 2017 CE Pro 100 Brand Leaders, including projectors and TVs.