At this week’s IFA trade show in Berlin, Sony showed the latest addition to their 4K home theater projector line up – the VPL-VW500ES. This new projector is the first with HDMI 2.0 compatibility. The VPL-VW500ES employs the original 4K up-scaling algorithm designed for “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs from Sony Picture Entertainment, and will support 4K at 60 frames per second.
The VPL-VW500ES has 4096 x 2160 resolution using native 4K SXRD panels. The projector also features an exclusive Super Resolution 4K upscaler called Reality Creation, TRILUMINOS display technology, an enhanced optical engine design and auto-calibration features. The VPL-VW500ES has 1,700 ANSI-lumen brightness and a 200,000:1 contrast ratio.
The VPL-VW500ES is more compact than its predecessor, the VPL-VW1000ES, and has a front air exhaust cooling system. The projector has a 2.06 zoom powered lens with a wide shift range and a built-in RF transmitter with a strong wireless signal for wider coverage.
The new projector is slated to ship next month, and while no official price has been announced, it is rumored to have an MSRP in the $12,000 to $13,000 range.
Analyst firm PMA Research has been following the projector market since its inception. 4K and Ultra HD have been the big buzz words in 2013, as 3D was several years ago. 3D never realized the expected home adoption rates anticipated, primarily due to lack of content. Sony’s ability to offer “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs is a step in the right direction for 4K adoption. Interestingly, Sony also rolled out their Video Unlimited 4K download service this week. There has been lots of talk about Video Unlimited 4K and “Ultra HD” TV’s. Hopefully the new service and the accompanying FMP-X1 media player will be compatible with this new projector as well.