As of Spring 2022, all Sony 4K SXRD Home Theater projectors are laser-based models. In addition to Sony 4K Home Theater projectors, Z-Phosphor light sources are also utilized in several commercial SXRD and LCD-based models.
The high-quality Z-Phosphor laser light source can deliver up to 20,000 hours of uninterrupted operation, with no lamp replacement and virtually zero maintenance.
The 20,000-hour lamp life ensures several years of maintenance-free viewing. If you watched a Z-Phosphor-equipped projector 8 hours a day, five days a week, the laser light engine would last about a decade which is a great benefit in both consumer and business applications.
Most Z Phosphor laser-equipped projectors utilize a blue laser diode array that provides the blue light and excites a yellow phosphor color wheel. Filters are then used to break up the yellow into red and green elements. The laser light source’s brightness can be adjusted in 1% increments from full power to minimal power.
With a laser light source, the light output power can also be automatically adjusted depending on the brightness of a scene in content for high dynamic contrast. This real-time laser light control allows for nearly infinite dynamic contrast.
Some Sony laser projectors have both dynamic laser functionality and a mechanical dynamic iris. The projector-optimized X1 and X1 Ultimate processors found in the newest Sony 4K SXRD home theater models can control both the projector’s laser light modulation and its dynamic iris (if the feature available). This results in outstanding dynamic contrast and black level.
This means that the full-color spectrum – from deep, inky blacks through to vibrant reds, blues, and greens – is replicated with fine detail and realism, making every scene spring to life for a truly immersive cinematic experience.
An upgraded version of the Z-Phosphor laser light source first introduced in the VPL GTZ380 incorporates a red laser diode along with two different-wavelength blue laser diodes, which gives the projector the ability to reproduce 100% DCI-P3 color gamut without losing any of its brightness.
Most home theater projectors require a color filter to display the DCI-P3 color gamut, but that type of filter can reduce the overall brightness by up to 45%. When viewing HDR content on a projector, I believe brightness is more beneficial than a wider color gamut, so I always recommend disengaging the color filter.
Since the GTZ380 utilizes an RBB laser light source, it can easily reproduce the DCI-P3 color space commonly used in HDR content without a color filter so you don’t have to make a potentially tough choice between wider color gamut reproduction and brightness. You get all the benefits of exceptional color and outstanding brightness.