Sony's VPLVW500ES projector brings 4K within reach of rich cinephiles

Sony has just announced the VPL-VW500ES 4K projector at IFA 2013 in Berlin, and though it didn't name a price, said it'll be much cheaper than its first 4K projector. Before you start re-arranging your theater room, though, the original VPL-VW1000ES cost a cool $25,000, so "cheaper" might be a relative term. If you're undeterred, though, you'll get full 4,096 x 2,160 4K resolution thanks to native 4K SXRD panels -- technology that Sony lifted from its commercial cinema projectors. Other perks include 1,700 ANSI-lumen brightness (compared to 2,000 for the VW1000ES), a 200,000:1 contrast ratio, "Super Resolution" Blu-ray to 4K upscaling, Motionflow tech for less blur, and support for HDMI 2.0 -- which permits 60fps 4K. Again, Sony hasn't mentioned a price yet, but we did see it at a French retailer for 10,000 euros, meaning a $10,000 price seems feasible.

Sony also dropped a Full HD 3D model, the VPL-HW55ES projector, which replaces the VPL-HW50ES as its top 1080p dog while using the same SXRD tech. It boasts 1,700 ANSI-lumens, a 120,000:1 contrast ratio, a 5,000 hour lamp, an optical engine upgrade and Reality Creation technology. Both projectors offer wireless HDMI compatibility, and will arrive at some point next month. For more minutiae, check the PR after the break.

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Sony delivers a fully immersive home cinema experience with new 4K and Full HD 3D home

Sony announced two market-leading home cinema projectors, the 4K VPL-VW500ES and a Full HD 3D home projector, the VPL-HW55ES.

Both projectors are designed to bring the high quality images of a big screen cinema experience into the home via the power of Sony's cutting edge technology.

4K VPL-VW500ES home cinema projector
The VPL-VW500ES home cinema projector has been introduced to expand Sony's 4K home cinema range. It will sit alongside the VPL-VW1000ES, the world's first 4K native home cinema projector, launched in January 2012.

The VPL-VW500ES offers DCI based 4096 x 2160 resolution, delivering the very highest quality 4K content. The 4K experience is created using native 4K SXRD panels that utilise Sony's 4K expertise from the professional digital cinema market. In addition, the projector has the latest HDMI standard, HDMI 2.0, to accommodate 4K/60P* content, which allows action to appear smoother, without the need for the electronic enhancement of pixels. Supporting 4K native resolution, the VPL-VW500ES also features an exclusive Super Resolution 4K upscaler called Reality Creation. This dramatically enhances high definition 1080p content, allowing viewers to enjoy 4K images with their existing Blu-ray Discs, even in 3D. Furthermore, the VPL-VW500ES has an original 4K up-scaling algorithm designed for "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray Discs from Sony Picture Entertainment, which enable the viewer to enjoy more accurate 4K native picture quality.

The VPL-VW500ES has 1,700 ANSI-lumen brightness and a 200,000:1 contrast ratio which delivers a sharper picture quality. The projector has rich colour reproduction thanks to TRILUMINOS display technology, an enhanced optical engine design and auto-calibration features. Its manual colour correction tool allows users to adjust the hue, saturation and brightness to obtain a picture quality customised to their tastes. Motionflow picture technology also works to deliver clearer, less blurry images when watching fast-paced, cinematic action.

The VPL-VW500ES is compact and has a front air exhaust cooling system. Its flexibility means it is cable of projecting large distances without having to alter the projector's position in the room. The projector uses a 2.06 zoom powered lens with a wide shift range which removes the requirement for additional platform extensions in ceiling mounts. A built-in RF transmitter provides further installation flexibility with a strong wireless signal for wider coverage.

Full HD 3D VPL-HW55ES projector
The Full HD 3D VPL-HW55ES projector is the next generation of Sony's industry-acclaimed and multiple-award winning VPL-HW50ES, announced at IFA in 2012.

Enhanced light efficiency and an optimised optical block, enables the VPL-HW55ES projector to reach 1,700 ANSI lumen brightness, delivering clearer images in well-lit environments. The VPL-HW55ES also has an approximately 5,000 hour long lasting lamp due to its improved lamp cooling system.

An optical engine upgrade, contrast enhancer technology and Advanced Iris3 technology enable a dynamic contrast ratio of more than 120,000:1. This increases black and white levels without diminishing peak brightness to maximise detail during darker scenes. Additional features such as Sony's Bright Cinema and Bright TV mode, with SXRD panels, enhances the 3D image even further. The projector also has Sony's Reality Creation technology.

The VPL-HW55ES has a built-in 3D IR transmitter. It is also compatible with an external 3D RF transmitter which provides further 3D synchronisation stability and coverage.

Both projectors have wireless HDMI compatibility as optional accessories. This enables them to receive a video signal from Blu-ray players and game consoles, allowing the AV environment to remain clutter free.

Commenting on the 4K VPL-VW500ES home cinema projector and the Full HD 3D VPL-HW55ES, Tak Nakane, Product Manager at Sony Europe said: "The VPL-VW500ES brings the cinema experience into the home like never before and reinforces Sony's commitment to lead in 4K innovation from lens to living room. Innovations such as Sony's 4K SXRD panels provide unrivalled picture quality at high resolution to make the 4K dream a more affordable reality. The addition of the VPL-HW55ES provides a premium 3D home cinema experience and expands the product range our customers can choose from."

Both the VPL-VW500ES and the VPL-HW55ES are available from the end of October. For further information about these projectors, please visit Hall 4.2 at the IFA event in Berlin or visit www.sony.co.uk/pro/products/fpjhomecinema.