Sony reveals midrange VPL-HW30ES 3D projector on the way (Update: US pricing)

We all know you deserve to live the projector lifestyle, but fitting Sony's first home projector with 3D -- the $10k (MSRP) VPL-VW90ES that launched last fall -- into one's budget might be a little tough. Now the company is launching the "affordable" VPL-HW30ES for the rest of us this year, featuring some of the same 240Hz SXRD tech in a cheaper package. There's no word yet on pricing or a ship date here in the US, but Europe and Japan get it next month with a pricetag of 370,000 yen ($4,626 US) in the latter. That lower price nabs specs like a claimed 70,000:1 contrast ratio and 1,300 lumens of brightness and all the picture adjustment settings befitting a product rocking the Elevated Standard tag, along with an upgraded 3D system to reduce crosstalk. 3D compatibility is achieved with Sony's new lighter active shutter 3D glasses and an add-on IR sync device that are both sold separately -- no complex lens switching necessary.

Update: Sony sent over the US press release with pricing ($3,699) and other information, check it out here.

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Sony expands its groundbreaking 3D home projector range with the affordable VPL-HW30ES

9th June 2011

Basingstoke, UK, 9th June 2011: Sony has today announced it has expanded its range of market leading 3D home projectors with the new, more affordable, VPL-HW30ES. Incorporating Sony's latest lamp technology, dynamic lamp control system, movie fans have the opportunity to enjoy an unrivalled 3D cinematic experience, with stunning images that are three times as bright as Sony's first 3D home projector, the VPL-VW90ES.

In order to achieve an optimal movie experience which feels natural on the eye, the VPL-HW30ES is equipped with Sony's High Frame Rate SXRD Panel (1920x1080), which helps to reproduce dramatically sharp and smooth motion and reduces the image motion blur for a crisper image (Motionflow) and deliver a dynamic contrast ratio of 70,000:1 and brightness of 1,300lm. In addition, "3D crosstalk" is significantly reduced thanks to the 240Hz SXRD panel drive system. The VPL-HW30ES is also capable of taking 2D video and simulating 3D images, bringing new life to classic movies from the past and allowing a wide variety of video content, such as live sports, to be enjoyed.

The VPL-HW30ES also enhances the customer viewing experience by enabling them to enjoy 3D and 2D pictures more comfortably. It has independent 2D/3D picture mode, which helps when you watch 2D and move on to watch 3D contents and you can watch the contents optimum picture image setting automatically. And the VPL-HW30ES runs very quietly with an advanced air discharge system by "22 db" which doesn't disturb the overall cinematic experience.

"The launch of the VPL-HW30ES demonstrates Sony's commitment to developing truly innovative products which allow more people than ever to experience 3D in their own living room," said Tak Nakane, product specialist at Sony Professional, Sony Europe. "Built using Sony's extensive 3D expertise, the VPL-HW30ES sets down a new benchmark for demanding movie-goers who want a high-end home cinema system at an affordable price."

The VPL-HW30ES is compatible with Sony's new active shutter glasses, the TDG-PJ1, which are 18 grams lighter than the previous model (59g compared to 77g). The TDG-PJ1 can be charged in 30 minutes to provide 30 hours of continuous watching. In conjunction with the new glasses, Sony has announced a new transmitter, the TMR-PJ1, which synchronises 3D content effortlessly to generate a high-quality natural 3D effect.

The VPL-HW30ES will be available across Europe in July 2011. The TDG-PJ1 and TMR-PJ1 are sold separately.