The Art of Home Theater Projectors

OMG – SONY shows VPL-VW1000ES 4K Home Theater Projector

OK sports fans – and movie fans, HDTV fans, and even Discovery HD fans…

I just left the Sony Press conference, (9/7) the evening before the CEDIA show floor opens for the masses.

The VPL-VW1000ES is the first – and (you know how I love the term) IMPRESSIVE 4K Home theater projector. I saw a clip of the new Spiderman on it… Geez, all I need now is them to ship me one, so I can forget to send it back. I wasn’t paying attention to the details, such as black levels, or even color accuracy. That I got to watch 4K content, on a 4K projector, at a distance/screen size roughly comparable to what I watch everyday Blu-ray and HDTV 1080p (roughly 2K), warmed my heart.

OK, no idea of price, but the also announced VPL-VW95ES (replacement for the VW90ES) is likely right around $10K so the VPL-VW1000ES will certainly be a lot more.

How much more will the VPL-VW1000ES cost you ask? (I write that so I don’t get 168 people emailing and commenting and speculating.) They won’t say, but tomorrow opens the show floor and they will announce it there. $15K (probably low?) $20K – $25K (probably?), or more… Don’t worry about it. I will post the magic number from the show tomorrow or the next day.

I said this should be a great CEDIA for projectors, weeks ago, and now that Im here, it looks even better… Stay tuned!

Did I mention that Sony is also showing a 3D headset display (you know – glasses that you put on that are 3D? Low res versions have been around for years. These Sony’s though are 3D and use their OLED panels (organic LEDs).

Very cool. But don’t ask me any more about them. RonJ will be blogging about them, as we both attended the press conference. So, check out his blog (find the link in the blogs section on the homepage. Ron’s an engineer by trade, and actually cares about why things perform the way they do. I count on him to set me straight on such things. These glasses are right up his alley, although I too, want a pair… With a little luck he’ll be reviewing a pari next month when they become available.

The coolest thing about them: Full HD 1920×1080, not the 320x24o type resolution glasses that have been around for years.

More blogs to come from CEDIA! -art

News And Comments

  • Stephen Chu

    Art.

    From the Japanese spec, HMZ-T1 is 720p, not 1080p:
    http://www.sony.jp/hmd/products/HMZ-T1/spec.html

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Sorry Stephen, you are correct. I blew the call. I hadn’t been paying much attention to it at the press conference, until I tried them on, afterwords. they are 720p, and you can see some pixel structure. My bad. Will update the blog. Thanks for the heads up. -art

  • http://www.squidoo.com/polk-cherry-tsi400 polk tsi400

    I saw a pic of the sony 3d glasses/visor online…I couldn’t help but think of Jordy, from star trek next gen. Hope to hear about what you think about them.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      polk, you are dead on the money. Jordy came to my mind immediately too. Got a second look at them. And they will send me a pair. You can see some pixelization, and I did detect a bit of jerkiness, but in a show environment, that may not have been the glasses/display’s fault. We shall see. -art

  • Jeffrey Hurst

    Hometheater magazine’s new cover story is the Sony VPL-VW1000ES. The coolest part was not the native 4K performance (which was amazing) but the fact that it upscales normal Blu-Ray 1080P to near 4K resolution! That’s 4x the pixels, and yet Sony’s intelligent upscaling looked almost as good as the native 4K material. I for one, would be much more interested in a 4K upscaling projector than 3D. For one thing, it would improve the experience of my whole existing HD collection, whereas a 3D projector only helps on 3D specific content.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Jeff, Sony looked great yesterday. Hey I’m greedy, I want 3d, and 4k. Still as good as up scaling technology is, give me 4k content. Meantime until true 4k projectors are affordable to me, and most of you out there, I’ll continue to enjoy my 3d content and 2d, at 2k

  • Jeffrey Hurst

    You’ll get your greedy wish surprisingly soon I think. New movies are getting shot in 4K 3D and the studios will find a way to sell it to us. I’ve heard there’s a new compression format that would allow a full 4K movie to fit on a normal 2-layer blu-ray disc. Of course, MP4 format would allow an HD movie to fit on a normal DVD, but that’s not what the industry chose. Several beyond-blu formats are brewing and More likely is that you’ll soon see true 1080P streaming from Netflix, satellite, and maybe the cable providers. A huge new realm of competion (and work for reveiwers) will be how well devices (including projectors) clean up and scale streamed video. I’m surprised we’re not already seeing 1080P projectors with ethernet ports and built-in streaming video clients, since that’s already amazingly widespread in flat panel TVs. Pretty soon you won’t be able to buy a flat panel over $300 that doesn’t include 3D and Netflix. I think consumers will insist on those features on $1000-plus projectors, probably via WiFi or some higher bandwide wireless.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Jeffrey, A number of good points, thanks. I’d like to address a couple of things, based on what you said:
      a. “new movies shot in 4K” well, that’s never been a problem since 70mm film is more than up to the task of 4K. So it’s really about the studio’s decision (on film based content), to convert to 1080p or 4K…
      b. While they aren’t often blatant, the compression on DirecTV, etc. is very poor in dark areas, – very blotchy, flat, etc. I sure hope that doesn’t also become the trend for downloads, and “next gen” blu-ray. By the same token, cleaning up such messes at the projector level is a drastically inferior solution to starting with a clean stream, with limited compression…
      c. 1080p on sat, etc. an easy step, these days for Satellite, etc. even with frame packing – either way – barely a doubling of file size…, 2160p (4K) would be a 4x increase over 1080p broadcasts in file size, and more compared to 1080i…
      d. ethernet, etc. – First, the trend should be wifi, such as Epson’s WiHD on the 5010e. Same problem as with hard wiring, the PJ is usually a long way from the other gear. Go WiHD, and you only need to find power for the projector- a much easier task. As to putting the support for netflix, et al. Sure, the projector folks could, and probably will, but is it really important, when every blu-ray player and satellite box, and PS3, and… all offer that. Even without my projector supporting netflix directly, for example, in my theater, I’ve got a PS3, a Panasonic blu-ray player, my satellite box all capable of netflix and many others. And if I upgraded my 7 year old Marantz THX receiver, to a newer model, that too should have those things. While it makes sense to have all that in the projector, I don’t worry too much about it. Also, home theater projectors don’t generate the sales numbers to make a lot of licensing practical. 2011′s estimated home theater projector sales I believe was 120,000. vs. 10′s of millions of LCDTV’s and many millions of every game console. A fully modern home theater, could conceivably have 5-6 devices all capable of doing the same thing you need done only once… (technically a waste of money). Also if you go with whole room or whole house – stuff like Crestron, Savant, Control4, etc. Most of those are offering it as well.
      So, while it would be a nice touch – there’s no hurry. In 2 years, I figure, all such devices will be in harmony, in that you won’t even necessarily need to know if your ps3 or receiver, or TV, or projector, or satellite box, is downloading your netflix movie, or youtube video, or some other download. You’ll simply tell your “gear” to “go get me this” and all those devices will sort it out for themselves and all you’ll see is “ready”. -a