While 1080p has barely had time to establish itself as the standard for high definition video in the home, its replacement is already making its presence felt. Panasonic provided a glimpse of our ultra high resolution future with its 152-inch 4K resolution plasma TV at CES in 2010, but now Sony has become the first company to release a 4K home cinema projector that offers four times the resolution of existing 1080p displays.
While the merits of packing over eight million pixels into a 20-inch display, or even three million pixels into a 9.7-inch display, may be questionable, pumping up the number of pixels projected onto a home cinema screen a few meters across is a different matter. Throwing out over 8.8 million pixels (4096 x 2160), the 3D-capable VPL-VW1000ES justifiably takes the mantle of Sony’s flagship home projector.
Using a new SXRD 4K panel combined with Sony’s Iris3 technology, the projector produces 2,000 ANSI-lumens of brightness and a dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. It boasts a 2.1 motorized zoom and can produce images from 60- to 300-inches in size (diagonally), with its 330W bulb expected to last from 2,000 to 2,500 hours. Connectivity options include two HDMI ports, component input, mini D-sub port, and an Ethernet port.
With native 4K content just as scarce as devices able to pump out 4K video, the VPL-VW1000ES features Sony’s “Reality Creation” upscaler that can take SD or HD, as well as 2D or 3D, content and upscale it to 4K resolution. The projector supports 2D and 3D anamorphic films and Sony has opted for active shutter technology for the unit’s TDG-PJ1 USB-chargeable 3D glasses.
But being the first on the block to embrace 4K home theater comes at a price. The VPL-VW1000ES retails for £16,799 (approx. US$26,000).