Home Theater and Projectors

CEDIA Expo – Part 2 Preview

This blog is a final preview before the start of the CEDIA Expo show that is held next week in Indianapolis (the CEDIA keynote speech and first press conferences are on Wednesday Sept. 5th and the trade show opens Sept. 6th).  My previous blog included several video projector related products rumored to be making their appearance at CEDIA.  For this new blog I will only cover those projectors for which their manufacturer has already released some information.

Although the CEDIA Expo 2012 is still a few days away, the IFA trade show opened in Berlin, Germany on Friday, August 31st and a few manufacturers introduced their new projectors at that trade show.  While the models specifically introduced at that show were European models, the manufacturers have in the past offered equivalent models (but frequently with different model numbers) for the North American market.  The following information is either taken from what was provided at the IFA show or has been already been released by the manufacturer for products being introduced at the CEDIA Expo.

Mitsubishi has already announced that two new DLP projectors are to be introduced at the CEDIA Expo.  It appears the new projectors are derived from the current model HC7800D platform and offer two level of performance.  The HC7900DW is rated by the manufacturer to put out 1600 lumens and have a on/off contrast ratio (with dynamic iris) of 150,000:1.  The HC8000D is rated to have a higher contrast ratio (with dynamic iris) of 333,000:1.  Both projectors use lamps with a rated life of up to 5,000 hours.  Both of these new projectors support 3D and are compatible with both “universal 3D glasses, along with Mitsubishi’s proprietary 3D glasses.”  This may mean the new projectors support both the new generation of RF (i.e., Bluetooth) based 3D glasses (which have been adopted by several 3DTV manufacturers) as well as the IR based 3D glasses Mitsubishi has used in the previous models.  Other details (probably including prices) are expected to be announced at the CEDIA Expo show.  Also there is no information at this point to indicate if the rumors reported in my previous blog were correct, or not, concerning Mitsubishi’s plans to introduce new LCoS based projectors at the CEDIA Expo.

Epson showed a new generation of projectors this week at the IFA show in Germany.  While these were European models, the corresponding models for the North American market are expected to be introduced at the CEDIA Expo.  The top-of-the-line European model EH-TW9100 should correspond to the new Pro Cinema 6020 (i.e., replacement for this year’s North American model Pro Cinema 6010) while the European ES-TW8100 should correspond to the Home Cinema 5020 (replacement for this year’s North American model Home Cinema 5010).  It appears the new models are evolutionary from the current models, which they appear to be based on.  Incremental performance improvements are claimed over the current models.  For example, the EH-TW9100 has a rated on/off contrast ratio of 320,000:1 as compared to the 200,000:1 for the current pro Cinema 6010 model.  In both cases these contrast ratio values are with the maximum use of the projector’s dynamic iris, while it is not yet known if the new projector’s native contrast (i.e., without use of the dynamic iris) is improved over the current models (the manufacturers typically do you specify native contrast when the projector is equipped with a dynamic iris).  The new models are now using RF based 3D glasses, which is perhaps based on the new industry standard that has been adopted by several 3DTV manufacturers.  Also the Epson entry-level Home Cinema 3010 is being replaced by the 3020.  Some of the functions (e.g., dynamic iris and creative frame interpolation) were offered in the current x010 series of projectors only when operating in 2D mode will now also be supported for 3D mode with the new x020 series of 3D projectors.  For more information on the new Epson projectors see Art’s blog posts of August 31st – OVERVIEW3020 -5020 and 6020.

Panasonic introduced a new top-of-the-line 3D home theater projector at IFA.  The European model PT-AE6000E was shown at the IFA show and this will probably correspond to a new North American model PT-AE8000U.  This new European model is specified to have about 20% higher light output (in lumens) than the current model (i.e., PT-AE5000E in Europe and the PT-AE7000U in the USA) that it replaces.  It also appears the new model offers the lens memory feature while in 3D mode (the current model only offers this feature in 2D mode).  While Panasonic does not have an exhibit at the CEDIA Expo, Art should be posting information on the new Panasonic model soon here at Projector Reviews.

Sony introduced the new VPL-HW50ES at the IFA show in Germany.  This new model replaces the current model VPL-HW30ES.  Like so many other projectors now being announced, the new HW50ES appears to be an evolution from the HW30ES with incremental improvements in a number of areas, such as including an advanced version of Sony’s “Reality Creation” video processing and the new model is rated at 1,700 lumens of light output as compared to 1,300 lumens for the current HW30ES.  The new model also has a built-in 3D emitter and offers a wider range lens shift adjustment.

Digital Projection International (DPI) is expected to introduce several new DLP projectors using LED light sources with increased lumens output, as compared to their current LED based projectors.  Information released by DPI indicates their new LED projectors will break the 1,000 lumen threshold for light output.  Prices (MSRP) for the new DPI LED projectors start at $12,995.

The bottom line seems to be, based on what is known so far, the new projectors being introduced this year tend to be an evolution from last year’s models rather than revolutionary new designs with new capabilities.

That’s all for now.

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I had planned to be posting blogs from the CEDIA Expo starting on Sept. 5th.  However, due to a serious illness by a member of my wife’s family I will not be able to attend the show.  Instead, I will be reviewing the press releases as they come out and communicating with Art (who will be at the show).  I do plan to post information on interesting new projectors and related products that are introduced at the CEDIA Expo and I expect Art to be posting to his blog during the show.

 

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