Native 4K Resolution
The VPL-VW1100ES uses three true 4K panels, of LCoS type (liquid crystal on silicon). Sony designs and makes their own LCoS panels (or chips). At this time, Sony is the only game in town. So far I do not believe Texas Instruments has released any 4K chips below the level of cinema projector (physically large chips that require huge projectors). And when it comes to 3LCD manufacturers, nothing from Epson, the largest panel manufacturer, nor Sony, nor the smaller players.
While Epson and JVC are combining pixel shifting with 4K processing to enhance the performance of 1080p panels, it's just not the same thing!
Fancy processing and pixel shifting can produce an image that comes fairly close to seeming as sharp as this 4K projector when handling 1080p content, but not quite. But with true 4K content, the difference is very real, and folks, very "next gen."
1080p gave us reasonable sharpness at a reasonable difference but hardly "razor sharp," not even sitting 12-15 feet back from a 100" screen. With true 4K, sitting 8-10 feet away provides a significantly sharper experience and immersion.
It also changes the game in terms of planning your room in of where to place seating. It gives you a bigger theater feel with the same sized, or even smaller screen, because of the closer seating resulting in being more immersed in the content.
Most of us will have to wait another year, or three for far more affordable true 4K projectors, but for those with car like budgets, here you go - real 4K.
Now we know there are projectors being offered using pixel shifting - Epson has one model, and JVC 3. Of those two brands that can also accept 4K content, and using pixel shifting to improve the results of 1080p panels, Epson (LS10000), like Sony, offers support for both standards. By comparison, the three JVC models (up to $11,999) are not fully compatible.
It would seem that to take full advantage of true 4K Blu-ray content, JVC owners may be in trouble. We shall see, but if you are serious about being able to display true 4K content, even if the projector is only 1080p native, I'd certainly recommend asking hard questions, and get a commitment from JVC or your dealer that they will assure you that their current models will be properly compatible.
I've played with, and discussed Sony's Reality creation in five Sony projectors before this one. Reality Creation is Sony's name for their algorithms for taking an image, processing it, and having the result seem sharper and more detailed. In the case of the VPL-VW1100ES you can use Reality Creation as you do on Sony's lower cost HW series projectors - to upscale 1080p and other non-4K content to 4K, and project it. Reality Creation offers a number of controls so the owner has a lot of say on "how much is enough."
But with the VPL-VW1100ES (and the lower cost VW600ES - also true 4K), you can also use Reality Creation to enhance true 4K content, much as their 1080p projectors enhance 1080p content (2K).
Some have said, with this type of image processing, 1080p starts getting close to 4K (well, sort of), so why do we need a true 4K projector. I would answer that by saying with a 4K projector it can do to true 4K content, the same thing, so you still have a one magnitude improvement. There's nothing to stop Sony from having Reality Creation on the VW1100ES upscale to 8K, and then "mix down" to 4K, in the same way that their HW55ES upscales to 4K, and back down to 1080p. Got it? That Epson has just offered owners of their UB projectors a similar type of firmware upgrade that owners can easily perform, should "encourage" other manufacturers like Sony to do the same. Hey, Sony understands - there probably hasn't been a more upgraded piece of electronics in the last decade than the Sony PS3 game console/Blue-ray player.
Check out the assorted images showing Reality Creation at different levels.
Reality Creation off (0)
Without processing, this is what this 1080p image from Skyfall looks like
Reality Creation 20
20 is the default setting It adds a modest, but visible amount of sharpening and detail enhancement
Reality Creation 50
50 out of a max of 100. 50 significantly further sharpens the image, and is about as high as I like, depending on the content.
Reality Creation 0
Reality Creation 20
You can see the difference in the letters and numbers on the Scrabble coffee mug