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Sony HDR Projection Reimagined Page 2

Posted on December 1, 2020 by Phil Jones

The Pursuit of Color Volume

Just because a projector can reproduce 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut does not mean it can show all the color shades that are found in HDR content. Color volume is the combination of color gamut and brightness range and one of the things that makes HDR look so much better than SDR is its massive amount of color volume. Higher brightness range gives you the ability to reproduce the look of Ferrari red in the shadows and in the sunlight.

Most projectors must sacrifice brightness to deliver a wider color gamut, which reduces the color volume. Many high-end projectors can produce 90% of DCI-P3 without the color filter so why sacrifice over 20% of your brightness to get an extra 10% of coverage? Cinema filters sacrifice brightness in order to produce 100% DCI-P3, which is why Sony 4K SXRD home theater projectors like the VW915ES do not utilize them.

Brighter colors tend to look more vibrant and saturated. This is why HDR imagery often looks better without the projector’s color filter engaged due to the higher brightness.

The light source utilized in a projector has a major impact on its color reproduction. Manufacturers like Sony can deliver a wider color gamut without sacrificing brightness by developing advance laser light engine.

The VPL-GTZ380 is one of the few home theater projectors that can achieve full DCI-P3 coverage without having to resort to a color filter. This is due to a new laser light source, which incorporates a red laser diode along with two different wavelength blue laser diodes.

The VPL-GTZ380 can reproduce 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut without any brightness loss. While the VW5000ES and GTZ280 can deliver a rated brightness of 5000 lumens, you lose a lot of that brightness when their white balance and color gamut are set to D65 and DCI-P3. Therefore, it would take at least three VW5000/ GTZ270 projectors to deliver the same 10,000 lumens of brightness produced with one GTZ-380 when reproducing DCI-P3 color.

The high brightness, combined with the GTZ380 wide color gamut reproduction, results in much higher color volume than other projectors. This should make colors found in HDR content bright and vibrant.

The VPL-GTZ380 combines outstanding contrast, brightness, wide color gamut, and native 4K clarity that Sony is known for to deliver what should be an amazing HDR viewing experience.

“In a few short years, our SXRD lineup of 4K projectors have become the industry standard with installations at influential customer sites across the world,” said Theresa Alesso, pro-division president, Sony Electronics. “The newest addition to the family, the VPL-GTZ380, excels in dark and bright environments and is a direct result of insights we’ve gathered from key clients in training and simulation, as well as at entertainment venues, corporations, museums, and planetariums.  We’re proud to have developed a new solution that not only exceeds their requirements but fosters users’ creativity allowing them to bring their vision to life with unparalleled image expression.”

Its ability to reproduce a wide color gamut at high brightness makes the VPL-GTZ380 a great option for art galleries, museums, and a reference home theater.


As brighter, higher resolution professional and consumer projectors appear, screen sizes continue to get larger and larger. Distortion and lack of detail is far noticeable when sitting close to a massive screen. Great optics ensure that the viewer sees all the detail found in today's 4K content.

High-end projectors like the GTZ380 are utilized on gigantic screens. The GTZ380 is bundled with a Sony’s Premium ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) lens (VPLL-Z8014) which delivers sharp focus that was excellent across the entire screen. The 18 element all-glass large-aperture lens includes six Extra Low-Dispersion (ELD) elements which significantly reduces chromatic aberration (color fringing). If you are projecting on to a massive screen, high-quality optics are worth the premium to be able to extract every ounce of detail from the native 4K SXRD panels.

The GTZ380 is bundled with a motorized zoom lens that has a 2.06x zoom ratio and a +/-80% vertical and +/-31% horizontally optical lens shift range. For enhanced installation flexibility, an optional short-throw lens (VPLL-Z8008) is also available.

Compact Chassis and Quiet Operation Simplifies Installation

While some high-end installers utilize professional cinema projectors in their jobs, the size, weight, connectivity, and special placement needs make most of those projectors completely impractical for all but the most expensive home theater spaces.

Many of these projectors require specialized cooling systems and they need to be placed in a room to isolate the viewers from the huge amount of noise they generate. Even if a client or enthusiast can afford one of these flagship professional projectors, they may not want to deal with the hassles associated with their installation.

Companies like Sony are working to squeeze more and more capabilities into smaller and smaller chassis. For example, the GTZ380 can deliver twice the peak brightness of the GTZ270 but the chassis size is nearly identical, and it only weighs about 24 pounds more. Sony states that the GTZ380 is nearly 20% smaller than the next smallest 10,000 lumen native 4K projector on the market.

The unit’s form factor and four corner mount design make the GTZ380 easily stackable, which is great for multi-projection systems. In addition, precise laser light control and a Constant Brightness Mode ensure seamless, uniform blending.

At only 112 pounds, the VPL-GTZ380 is the lightest, and most compact native 4K projector in its class. This has a lot to do with the SXRD Panels used in GTZ Series projectors. Sony continues to refine and improve SXRD design. The first generation SXRD had a density of 12,000 pixels per square millimeter while the current version, used in the GTZ series projectors, achieves about 61,000 pixels per square millimeter.

A smaller, denser SXRD panel also reduces the size of the optical block and lenses, resulting in a compact projector that can deliver the performance of a larger model.

For cooler operation, the phosphor wheel features a patented spiral fin which provides more efficient heat dissipation. Its liquid SXRD panel cooling system and streamlined airflow design make the VPL-GTZ380 very quiet for such a bright professional projector at just 39dB.

Many competing native 4K professional projectors generate too much heat and are too big and noisy to be placed in the same room as the viewer. This limits their ability to be utilized in most home theaters. The VPL-GTZ380 projector’s compact size and quiet operation dramatically increase placement flexibility.

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