New Home Theater Projectors – IFA and CEDIA Introductions Posted on September 1, 2015 By Art Feierman The European IFA consumer electronics trade show begins Sept. 4th in Berlin, Germany. JVC has released information on their three new X-series home theater projectors and information on the new Sony models should be coming shortly. This blog provides the info on the new X-series of DILA projectors from JVC and updated Sony 1080p and 4K UHD projectors that are being shown at IFA. This series along with the equivalent RS-series, from JVC’s professional division, are expected to be shown in the USA at the CEDIA Expo that starts on Oct. 14th in Dallas, TX. JVC Projectors JVC as released the overview and specification sheets for their new X-series of home theater projectors. The released information includes the list price for the Euro currency countries. JVC is replacing the now two year old DLA-X500, X700 and X900 series of projectors with new DLA-X5000, X7000 and X9000 models. These will be priced at just under: DLA-X5000 — 4500 euros DLA-X7000 — 6500 euros DLA-X9000 — 10000 euros Prices for the equivalent US models in both the X-series and the RS-series are expected to be announced at CEDIA Expo in mid-October. JVC traditionally begins shipping their new projectors to US dealers and distributions at the very end of November with the first units reaching consumers by early to mid-December. These new JVC models will continue to use pixel shifting (JVC calls this eShift) to produce a pseudo 4K image. Unlike previous JVC eShift models, these new ones will now support the industry standards for Ultra HD and will includes inputs supporting HDMI 2.0a along with HDCP 2.2. The HDMI inputs will support the full 18 Gbps bandwidth allowed by the HDMI 2.0 standard and will be able to also accept the High Dynamic Range (HDR) UHD information added by the ‘a’ version update (i.e., the HDMI 2.0a standard). JVC has also increased the wattage of the UHP lamp being used in the new models and as a results they are now claiming increased light ouput . More specific, the claimed lumens output (in the brightest, uncalibrated mode) is now rated at: DLA-X5000: 1700 lumens DLA-X7000: 1800 lumens DLA-X9000: 1900 lumens This is up from the 1300 lumens that all the three of current models are rated at. How much real increase in brightness is provided will need to be determined once the new projectors can be reviewed while operating in an accurate/calibrated picture mode. However, given the UHP lamp being used has been bumped up from 230 watts in the current models to 265 watts in the new models, some real world brightness increase is to be expected. JVC also says these new projectors will support a wider color gamut, but have not included specifics on this in the material they have released so far. All of these improvements combine to make the new JVC models not only compatible with the soon-to-be-released Ultra HD Blu-ray players and discs, but also optimized to take advantage of other image improvements, such as HDR, that go beyond just the increased resolution of UHD. Below is a copy of the spec. sheets released to the press by JVC at IFA for their new projectors. ____________________________________ SONY Projectors Sony has announced updates to their 1080p and 4K/UHD projectors as summarized below (this information has been derived from product brochures and spec. sheets): The VPL-HW55es is being replaced by the VPL-HW65es. this appears to be a rather modest upgrade from the existing HW55es. It is specified at providing 1800 lumens of brightness (up from 1700 lumens in the HW55) and still uses a 200 watt lamp. The rated dynamic contrast ratio remains the same at 120,000:1 and the HW65es still comes with a 1.6X manual zoom lens. The VPL-VW300es (sold as the VPL-VW350es in the USA) is being replaced with the VPL-VW320es (the equivalent model for the US market is expected to be announced at CEDIA Expo, in October). This appears to be a rather modest upgrade from the existing model. The rated light output has remained unchanged at 1500 lumens while the lamp wattage has decreased slightly from 230w to 225w. Sony says the new model has a Triluminos(TM) display capable of displaying a wider color gamut, but they do not say if it can actually support the DCI-P3 color space expected to be used for some, perhaps most, movies released on Ultra-HD Blu-ray. The brochure for the VW320es says it supports “the latest 4K/60P HDMI standard”, but then only lists 4K (i.e., 2160p) at 60Hz supported with the 8-bit depth and 4:2:0 chroma format. However, this format only requires the limited bandwidth version of HDMI 2.0 while Ultra-HD Blu-ray and other UHD video sources will be using 10-bit depth for their 4K video. See update below. The VPL-VW500es (sold as the VPL-VW600es in the USA) is being replaced with the VPL-VW520es (the equivalent model for the US market is expected to be announced at CEDIA Expo, in October). This appears moderate upgrade from the existing model. The rated light output has increased from 1700 to 1800 lumens while the lamp wattage has increased significantly from 230w to 280w. The new projectors add support for displaying High Dynamic Range (HDR) 4K/UHD video and that probably accounts for the use of higher wattage lamp. Sony says the new model has a Triluminos(TM) display capable of displaying a wider color gamut, but they do not say if it can actually support the DCI-P3 color space expected to be used for some, perhaps most, movies released on Ultra-HD Blu-ray. The brochure for the VW520es says it supports “the latest 4K/60P HDMI standard”, but then only lists 4K (i.e., 2160p) at 60Hz supported with the 8-bit depth and 4:2:0 chroma format. UPDATE – Sony rep. says it was a misprint and 2160p @60Hz with 10-bit depth will be supported. The information released at IFA indicates the current entry-level VPL-HW40es and the Flagship 4K model VPL-VW1100es remain unchanged in Sony’s home theater projector line. However, it is possible that Sony is holding back an announcement for a new flagship model, that will replace the VPL-VW1100es, until CEDIA Expo (October). ____________________________________ Next month I will be blogging from CEDIA Expo.