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Sony Launches $100K Laser Projector As Custom Install Market Booms

Sony maybe struggling in the TV market but in the custom install market they are booming with the Japanese Company launching three new pro projectors including a new 10,000 lumen peak brightness laser model that will set you back close to $100,000.

Known as the VPL-GTZ380 4K the new small footprint laser projector that will be sold via Melbourne based distributor Audio Active, has been built around Sony’s pro projector design it incorporates the company’s brand new X1 Ultimate picture processor, an optimised-for-projector version of the X1 processor found in Sony Bravia TVs.

In most premium TV’s today the processor is key to both the quality of the picture and the sound, the new Sony processor incorporates an object-based HDR remastering tool that, is designed to enhance details and colours specifically based on the type of object in the frame including hands, objects like flowers and faces.

 

How this works is that the processor has built in two databases can work together in real-time to clean up noise while upscaling content.

It also delivers what’s called ‘Super Resolution’ reality creation processing which is a process that has been significantly upgraded up to improve detail enhancement and the upscaling of lower-than-4K material to a 4096 x 2160 resolution.

The VPL-GTZ380 utilises the three-panel (red, blue, and green) SXRD system.

The panels are paired with an enhanced laser light engine design, comprising a new ‘deep red’ laser, which Sony says requires less colour filtering and therefore minimises losses in brightness. As a result, Sony promises 100 per cent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut.

The VPL-GTZ380 arrives as Sony’s brightest-ever SXRD projector, with a 10,000-lumen peak brightness – quite the eye-dazzler considering a 3000-lumen peak brightness is pretty high for a home cinema model.

The Sony VPL-GTZ380 will be available in January for $100,000 in Australia.

There are also two new native 4K additions come in the form of the VPL-VW590 (lamp) and VPL-VW790 (laser), available.

They replace the VPL-VW570 and VPL-VW760, coming into Sony’s home cinema range above the VPL-HW65ES and the VPL-VW270ES, and below the VPL-VW870ES and VPL-VW5000ES – all four of which are existing models that remain in Sony’s line-up for the foreseeable.

Both debut the X1 for Projector processor – a less advanced version of the X1 Ultimate for Projector chipset found in the VPL-GTZ380 – which power a new Dynamic HDR Enhancer for improved delivery of HDR10 and HLG material, as well as the Super Resolution processing mode.

The VPL-VW590’s lamp can output 1800 lumens, while the VPL-VW790’s laser source can hit 2000 lumens and has the benefit of a 20,000-hour lifespan.

All three new models sport HDMI 2.0b connections for 4K playback at up to 60 frames per second, albeit not the 120fps that some PS5 games will be available in Australia shortly.According to SmartHouse Reviewer John Archer, the most exciting of the features introduced by the X1 For Projector processor is the Dynamic HDR Enhancer.

This analyses each frame of the image down to a remarkably localized level so that it can make bright scenes brighter and dark scenes darker. Even more startling, though, is the way it actually seems to make the brightest parts of HDR pictures that contain a mix of light and dark content brighter, without simultaneously raising black levels. I talk in much more detail about this in this separate ‘first look’ article.

Sony has also added to the VW715ES/VW590ES and VW915ES/VW790ES the Digital Focus Optimizer technology it originally developed for its ultra short throw VPL-VZ1000ES model. This digitally compensates for any potential focus loss in the image’s corners that might be caused by degradation in the lens.

Looking at the differences between the laser and lamp-based models, the laser model delivers a claimed maximum light output of 2000 lumens and 20,000 of claimed life from its laser light source.

The laser lighting system means brightness and colour remain more or less consistent over the projector’s life time, too, and you can turn the projector on and off almost instantly, rather than having to wait for it to warm up/cool down as you have to with lamp projectors.

 

he  VPL-VW590, VPL-VW790 will be arriving  in Australia in September 2020 and the New VPL-GTZ380 with be available in January 2021.

SRP Pricing VPL-VW590   $11999

VPL-VW790   $22999

VPL-GTZ380  TBC

 

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