Sony’s New 2017 Native 4K HDR Projectors Pack Tremendous Display Punch
Stephan Jukic – October 24, 2017
While the 4K UHD home theater projector market has become much more competitive in the last couple of years, with numerous excellent offerings from brands like Optoma, Epson, JVC and others, the king of the bunch still remains Sony for at least a couple of reasons, the most important of which is arguably the simple fact that it’s still the only brand which delivers true, pure native 4K resolution with its devices. The above brands’ main consumer market offerings all utilize some sort of pixel shifting or 4K upscaling technology to achieve their UHD sharpness and in the case of the cheapest of them, despite their “simulated 4K” labels, they don’t even upscale to this, instead converting native 1080p visuals into a sort of faux 2K resolution.
Not so with Sony. Since its first ever 4K home theater projector models, the company has kept the resolution purely, truly 4K ultra HD at 3840 x 2160 pixels or even DCI cinematic 4K at 4096 x 2160 pixels (500,000 more). Yes, Sony’s models are pricier but they create color and sharpness effects that are damn hard to replace among competitor models. The company is after all a leader in display and projector color reproduction technology.
Now, for 2017, Sony’s newest models keep delivering on the same levels of quality we’ve seen in older models that we’ve reviewed from this brand, but with some additional tweaks to make them even brighter performers, though they’re not without a couple of minor flaws.
Starting things off, we have Sony’s premium 2017 release, the VPL-VW760ES. This is definitively a premium, pricey model and comes with a laser-powered light source which can generate up to 2000 lumens of brightness while reproducing 4K UHD HDR images with what Sony describes as “Long-lasting” brightness. The VW760ES is also highly versatile when it comes to installation, being capable of shelf placement or handing from a ceiling.
Moving along, there’s Sony’s VPL-VW360ES, the successor to last year’s excellent VW350ES model, which we reviewed here. This particular 4K projector offers up 1500 lumens of brightness but also offers full native 4K resolution with HDR capacity and comes with an Advanced Iris that delivers a “dynamic” contrast ratio of 200,000:1. The 360ES model also includes picture positioning memory for adjustment and setting of different content types whenever you want to play them quickly without having to fiddle with lens settings.
Finally, there’s Sony’s VPL-VW260ES, which is the cheapest of the three models but still comes with many of their features, including the same luminosity as the VW360ES, 4K resolution (native) and HDR support. The 260ES comes with a native 4K SXRD panel and Sony’s famous “Reality Creation” technology, which is used to map pixels for high quality upscaling of non-4K content and for effective, razor sharp playback of native ultra HD video sources. Then of course there’s Sony’s even more well-known TRILUMINOS technology, a color enhancement feature present in all three of the above models and common to both Sony’s best HDR 4K TVs and projectors which (at least in our opinion based on numerous Sony display device reviews) genuinely does improve color saturation.
Our one complaint about Sony’s new 2017 European market projectors above is that they’re a bit weak on brightness. Upscaled 4K but honestly generally excellent rival models with ,lower prices from brands like Epson and Optoma can actually pull off even higher levels of luminosity.
Nonetheless, according to Hajime Nakamura, Business Head for Projectors at Sony,
“All of these models are designed with Sony’s commitment in mind to bring the most ‘true to reality’ images to our customers. All three feature-packed 4K HDR projectors, from the cost-effective VPL-VW260ES to the premium VPL-VW760ES, have breathtakingly-real picture quality. So, whether viewers are watching the latest action film or a sporting event they’ll feel truly immersed in the experience.”
Story by 4k.com