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State of 4K UHD Projectors at CEDIA: DP to Launch $20k TI-Powered Unit

The new 4K UHD home cinema chip from Texas Instruments is almost shipping, and Digital Projection plans to rival Sony, Barco Loki, Sim2, JVC, Epson and others with native 4K UHD projectors at CEDIA 2016.

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Demonstrating 4K projector prototypes at CEDIA 2016, Sim2 and Digital Projection are just two of the manufacturers waiting to get their hands on TI’s new 4K UHD chip – 4 million mirrors packed into a 0.7-inch piece of silicon using the company’s TRP (Tip & Roll Pixel) design.

When the chip ships – TI wouldn’t tell CE Pro when that would be, but it is expected to ship this year – DP will be ready with “our cheapest 4K product,” DP marketing VP Michael Bridwell tells CE Pro.

Digital Projection’s entry-level 4K projector, the E-Vision Laser 4K, is a single-chip DLP solution expected to retail for about $20,000.

“We haven't had that price in such a long time,” Bridwell says.

Digital Projection's new 3-Chip DLP Highlite laser 4K prototype will be demonstrated at CEDIA 2016.

DP also will demonstrate a three-chip DLP projector, the Highlite Laser 4K, hitting a still-reasonable price point of around $45,000 for the high-end home theater market.

Both products are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2017.

Sim2 is another TI customer eagerly awaiting the new chips. The company will introduce at CEDIA the NERO 4 with an estimated MSRP of $30,000.

Before DP and Sim2, the only other projector manufacturers that have announced TI-based products are Optoma, BenQ and Acer, none of which (shamefully) have a booth at CEDIA.

Other 4K Consumer-Worthy Projectors

Sony still leads the residential market in native 4K video projectors, by far, from the high end all the way down to the VPL-VW350ES, which now retails for less than $8,000.

Recently, Barco has grabbed much of the 4K projector limelight with its forthcoming Loki, a $60,000 projector using a 0.9-inch DLP chip with proprietary technology that is unique to Barco.

This week, JVC introduced its first “native” 4K projector, the BluEscent DLA-Z1, featuring the “best 4K HDR image” on a projector, according to HDTVTest. The product is will sell for about $40,000.


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JVC, known for D-ILA images with legendary black levels, has over the years produced exceptional “faux-K” images through its eShift “wobulation” technology, but the new BluEscent technology presents “native” 4K resolutions for the first time for JVC.

And then there’s Epson, which has been using a wobulation technique for 4Ke – the “e stands for enhanced — projectors that are reasonably priced, and well reviewed.

Introduced in June, Epson offers the 3LCD 5040UBe that retails for less than $3,000.

“Epson owns the Japanese patents on 3LCD technology so that is what we are using,” Epson sales manager Charlie Boornazian tells CE Pro. “No Texas Instruments DLP chips for us.”

Boornazian says to expect “multiple new 4Ke projector models” at CEDIA next week.

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
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Julie Jacobson:

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

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