Sony has just announced what they’re terming the world's most advanced home cinema projector, the VPL-VW5000ES.
Sony is even going so far as to describe it as the ‘new reference-quality’ and it’s designed specifically for the 'largest and most lavishly equipped’ home cinema rooms - i.e. it won’t be cheap. Naturally the panel features 4K resolution and, very interestingly, it’s powered by a laser light engine that provides a claimed brightness of 5,000 lumens. The projector is also compatible with High Dynamic Range (HDR), 'emulates' the new BT.2020 colour gamut, and covers the full DCI colour space.
Sony is still the only manufacturer designing projectors specifically for the home theatre market that provide native 4K resolution. The VPL-VW5000ES covers the full DCI-P3 colour gamut and has a suite of professional calibration tools. It also allows a BT.2020 colour space emulation mode, although how useful that is in the short term is open to question and what it actually means remains to be seen.
Along with HDR and DCI capabilities, the VPL-VW5000ES also includes an HDMI input that is HDCP 2.2 compatible – it would have been slightly crazy had it not. That same input has enough bandwidth to accept 4K 60p signals up to YCbCr 4:4:4 8bit or YCbCr 4:2:2 12bit, thus helping to ensure that the VPL-VW5000ES is prepared to handle all types of video content now and in the future.
The VPL-VW5000ES can be tilted as much as 30 degrees, allowing for flexible installations that take advantage of mirrors to place larger screens in smaller spaces, such as rear projection. Thanks to a newly developed liquid cooling system with low noise operation, the projector can also be located near viewers without impacting the enjoyment of a programme's audio. The unit ships with a standard powered lens with a zoom ratio from 1.27 to 2.73:1 and lens shift capability of +/- 80% vertical and +/- 31% horizontal.
One of the benefits of the VPL-VW5000ES's laser light engine is fast on/off times with no waiting for the projector to cool down. Laser also delivers a longer operational life with a linear decrease in brightness, so the colour shifts seen with traditional lamp wear are not expected. But if the colour settings do shift over time, the VPL-VW5000ES includes a built-in re-calibration function that can be used to test how much the projector has drifted from its original factory calibration and reset it.
“The VPL-VW5000ES projector is truly the ultimate home cinema solution, joining an impressive line-up of Sony home theatre projectors specifically designed for the high-end installer market, like the VPL-GTZ1 and Lifespace UX´s LSPX-W1S Ultra Short Throw models,” said Thomas Issa, Product Manager at Sony Professional Europe. “Our new projector combines the best technologies found in our professional cinema projectors to offer spectacular image quality as well as reliability, bringing the home theatre experience to the next level.”
The Sony VPL-VW5000ES will available in the new year for a suggested price of €65,000. However, despite the hefty price tag, colour (space) us as enthusiastic about this one!
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