Whenever Sony announces a new home video product, the custom electronics industry takes notice. Certainly, when the company intros a trio of laser-based projectors Joel Silver, CEO and lead developer, Imaging Science Foundation (ISF); Jason Dustal of Murideo; and Robert Zohn, president and founder of Value Electronics, take notice.
Indeed, our resident “Video Guys” are welcomed back to the CE Pro Podcast to discuss the latest VPL-XW5000ES, VPL-XW6000ES and VPL-XW7000ES 4K laser projectors from Sony. In addition, they offer tips on how to optimize home environments for better AV experiences in this week’s episode.
The latter two projectors offer Sony’s new ACF lens, and all three products incorporate its new 0.61-inch SXRD chip, along with its X1 Ultimate for Projector Processing and multiple HDMI 2.0b inputs.
Zohn opened the discussion by going into greater detail about the products, including the ACF lens systems, providing some first-hand insights.
“I had the great honor and pleasure of being at Sony’s headquarters in San Diego to view these projectors with the engineers, as well as their press conference just less than three weeks ago [the podcast was recorded on May 2] in New York City where they showcased these three new projectors. They are fantastic,” says Zohn.
“It’s beautiful to see an image with that video processing, so you can enlarge the image and still control all of the anomalies that you would normally expect from blowing up low-resolution content. … The blacks are very deep and rich, with wonderful contrast control from the minimum luminance all the way up the line to the highest peak lumens. You’ll see very [good] detail in every level.”
“We tried in lab-based products with little lenses that had apertures open and close, which made noise that drove us crazy, and it was slow enough to aggravate you because when the scene got darker the modulation just had to be faster than me. If I don’t see it working, it’s fine. I never saw it function properly in lamp-based products, so it’s a big shift that Robert [Zohn] is talking about,” Silver explains.
“It started with LEDs way back when and it puzzled us because we looked at the actual wavelengths coming out of the LEDs, which were pretty feeble in light output, but they looked brighter. It took a lot of research to realize it was the spectral power distribution of wavelengths there are in green and the answer would be very few compared to lamp-based products. Instead of a broad number of wavelengths hitting our eye, it was a spiky few. Laser and quantum dots takes it to another level.”
As the trio of experts transitioned onto the topic of tips and tricks for choosing the right projector and screen combinations, Dustal notes that one of the biggest upgrades he made to his AV system was a modest investment in Duvatyne black cloth.
“Robert [Zohn], I am glad you are saying that [referring to Zohn’s comments made about the benefits of Duvatyne], because I tell people all the time the most impactful upgrade I’ve made to my system in the last several years has been making the wall behind the TV black,” he admits.
“It’s not hard to do and you just get so much more contrast. It’s so much less distracting on top of that. Throw bias lights behind it. I was worried that it was going to take away from the floating TV effect, but it actually made it better and easier on my eyes. My girlfriend and I watch a lot of movies and if I forget to turn the lights on, she’s like ‘Where’s the light?’ It’s become part of the system at this point. Regardless of sources, regardless of the quality of the disc, the best upgrade I’ve made in my system in the last five years is making the wall black.”
To hear much more from Silver, Zohn and Dustal in the hourlong conversation, download or watch the podcast episode above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.