The Home Theater Projector News from IFA
The IFA show is underway in Berlin, and that means new home theater projectors are being announced. Sprechen sie Deutsch?
I don’t, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of news from IFA. For JVC and Sony showed off a number of new projectors, mostly 4K capable, most with the ability to support Blu-ray UHD.
I’m not attending, I will have to wait to see those same new projectors at the CEDIA show, mid-October in Dallas, TX. Usually there’s only a week or so between shows, so details can wait. But with 6 weeks between shows, I know you hard core enthusiasts can’t wait to hear about, and discuss the new projectors.
Well, this year, Ron, who publishes our Home Theater and Projectors: The Technical Side, is already posting info from IFA, so I’m going to defer to him for now.
Ron’s latest piece went live yesterday (September 1). He talks pretty extensively about JVC’s new offerings. Also Sony’s. I’ll give you the short version, and then a link to his detailed info, which includes some more technical comments, including about HDR and DCI and how those relate.
Short version: Three new JVC projectors coming. JVC typically sells 3 versions of each in the US, all the same performance, sold through three different distribution channels For example, in the current series that will be replaced, there’s the RS49, the RS4910, and the X500R. The X500R will be replaced by the X5000. The new RS versions will get appropriate name changes as well, but I don’t think JVC uses the RS designations in the EU.
So, there’s to be an X5000, X7000, and X9000 replacing the older ones.
There are two major differences, Ron reports: First, the new ones have HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compatibility which will make them compatible with the imminent Blu-ray UHD standard. That’s important, because the lack of that support I’ve considered a major detriment to the older series, since it meant that if you buy an X500R, etc., no ability to play 4K Blu-ray. Sure, everything gets dated after a while, but who wants to drop $5K plus on a projector and discover that for the sharpest, highest resolution content, it won’t work.
JVC typically ships their new models around January February timeframe, so don’t get too excited, too soon. Just know that you new models with real 4K commercial support coming.
Important: These new models are still, ultimately 1080p projectors. They will use pixel shifting to project content, but ultimately it’s still not true 4K, what hits your screen. It’s just going to look better, sharper, more detailed than the best their older models are capable of. The only other 1080p projector that can handle the forthcoming Blu-ray UHD is the already shipping Epson LS10000 laser projector, everything else has been Sony’s true 4K projectors.
The other key difference is brightness. This should be interesting. instead of 1300 lumens, these models claim 1700, 1800, and 1900 lumens (X5000, X7000, X9000). That’s interesting because JVC, as Ron points out has only upped the lamp brightness by 15%. Well, when we review them, we’ll measure them. Obviously they will have to find extra lumens somewhere else, other than the lamp.
For Ron’s full article just click: New HT Projectors – IFA and CEDIA Introductions
Enough on the JVC’s (Ron even has the EU pricing, but not US.)
Sony was equally busy with announcements.
The relatively recent VPL-VW350ES, Sony’s least expensive true 4K projector, is getting an upgrade. In the EU that would be the VW300ES being replaced by the VW320ES. US version numbers were not released. But since the current model here is the VPL-VW350ES, I’m figuring perhaps VPL-VW370ES – we shall see. Ron has more info on the other differences between last year’s and these new Sonys.
The VW600ES (called the VW500ES in the EU), Sony’s middle of the 4K line-up, also gets a replacement, which will be the VW520ES in Europe, and as Ron points out, it will be supporting HDR. Very interesting! I presume that Sony will appropriately name the US version VPL-VW620ES, but that’s not confirmed. No word on a VW1100ES replacement – the Sony 4K flagship, but there have been rumors of a VW1200ES, maybe they are saving it for CEDIA. Or maybe it’s “smoke and mirrors.”
Also of note, the VPL-HW55ES is getting replaced by the VPL-HW65ES. The VW55ES is their best affordable Sony 1080p projector, and has picked up our Best In Class award two years in a row, in the $2000-$3500 price class. They’ve shared that award with the Epson UB projectors, but the point is, great projector in that price range. The newer model is slightly brighter, and no doubt has some other enhancements.
More info on the Sony projectors is in Ron’s same blog linked to above.
I’m looking forward to reviewing all of these new ones that I can lay my hands on – JVC and Sony. So, stay tuned. -art