Skip to main content

Sony ushers in the 4K home theater with VW1000ES projector

sony vw1000es 4k projector cedia 2011
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Don’t get too comfortable with your Blu-ray collection. Not content to let lowly home theater owners wallow in 1080p while digital cinemas deliver full 4K resolution, Sony has hit its commercial projectors with a shrink ray to produce the first 4K projector suitable for the home: The VPL-VW1000ES.

Sony used the opening of the annual CEDIA installers show on Wednesday to showcase its new top-of-the-line consumer projector, which bears its Elevated Standard (ES) branding and throws a full 4K picture: 4096 x 2160 pixels. That’s the same resolution used in high-end digital cinemas, and more than four times the resolution of a 1080p picture.

sony vw1000esOf course, this naturally raises the question: Where exactly will 4K content come from? Sony Pictures has more than 60 theatrical releases shot in native 4K resolution, but the means of actually transferring all that data to consumers simply doesn’t exist yet. Sony reps claim the company is in talks with the Blu-ray Disc Association to iron out a standard compression scheme for squeezing 4K movies onto discs, and has already promised a 4K release of the next Spider-Man movie, but the July 2012 release date for that flick should be telling: Sony won’t yet talk timelimes on when 4K movies could hit shelves.

In the mean time, the VW1000ES does include a 4K upscaler, which Sony claims will boost exist 1080p content to new heights, and plenty of still images exist at 4K (12.7-megapixel) quality. The new projector will boast 2,000 ANSI lumens, which Sony claims is enough to throw a screen up to 200 inches, and offer a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio thanks to the company’s Iris3 technology and latest SXRD panel. Naturally, all the bells and whistles for home integrators like dual triggers, RS232, and control over IP will also make it in as well, and 3D is a given.

sony vw1000esSony will launch the VW1000ES in December at a price it hopes is “under $30,000.” Don’t worry, you’ll make it all up in all the movie tickets you don’t have to buy.

Sony offered a comparison of 2K versus 4K images on a digital cinema projector at its demonstration, but we haven’t actually had a chance to spy images from the VW1000ES in person yet. Stay tuned tomorrow when we’ll have a chance to drop by Sony’s demo theater and check it out in person.

Update: Alternate sources suggest the price point on the VW1000ES could be “under $25,000”)

Editors' Recommendations

Nick Mokey
As Digital Trends’ Managing Editor, Nick Mokey oversees an editorial team delivering definitive reviews, enlightening…
Epson Home Cinema LS11000: $3999 for 4K, HDR projection
Side view of Front view of Epson Home Cinema LS11000 4K HDR laser projector.

After debuting its $4,999 flagship Pro Cinema LS12000 4K HDR laser projector earlier this year, Epson is back with a slightly more affordable way to project 4K HDR images at home with the $3,999 Home Cinema LS11000 4K Pro-UHD laser projector (V11HA48020). It's available starting in late March through the Epson online store and select retailers.

Other than the colors (black for the more expensive model versus white for the Home Cinema) and some performance differences, the LS11000 and LS12000 share a lot of the same features. Both use Epson's multi-array laser diodes as their light source, which is converted into a viewable image through a triple-chip LCD system. The company claims this gives the projectors incredible picture brightness, black contrast, and color accuracy, with 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame. It also avoids problems like rainbowing or uneven color brightness that can affect some other projection technologies.

Read more
LG debuts two new CineBeam 4K HDR projectors
LG CineBeam HU715Q and HU710P 4K HDR projectors.

LG has unveiled its two most advanced projectors to date. The LG CineBeam HU715Q and HU710P both feature 4K resolution and HDR capabilities with 2,000,000:1 contrast ratios. Both models will be available in the first quarter of 2022, and LG released pricing on February 28.

The HU710P will retail at $2,500. It uses a hybrid laser-LED light source, which LG says doesn't require a color wheel, and can generate up to 2,000 lumens of brightness. The HU715Q, which is a larger, ultra short throw model, uses just laser light and produces up to 2,500 lumens. Both projectors will work in most indoor settings, but LG says they can also be enjoyed outside, after sunset.

Read more
What is 4K? Everything you need to know about 4K Ultra HD
Sony 2022 X90K 4K LED TV.

These days, it's hard not to find a 4K TV when shopping for a new set. Now the dominant standard for high-definition viewing, UHD televisions are available in a range of sizes, with a variety of features and other add-ons to enhance the experience. While 8K TVs are gaining ground (with 16K models not too far off), 4K sets are what you'll need to maximize the performance of today's HD components. We're talking about things like game systems, Blu-ray players, and streaming media platforms.

Whether you're buying your first 4K TV or simply want a refresher on the tech, we've got you covered with this detailed breakdown of TV's most sought-after pixel count.

Read more