Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector Review
We’ve already reviewed one Sony 4K projector, the VPL-VW600ES and now we bring you yet another one. The Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw is the tech giant’s latest and most unique development of a UHD 4K projector, unique because it’s been designed in such a way that there’s no need to mount it at all. It fits inside an aesthetically minimalist credenza that lets you push it right up against a wall and cast a beautiful ultra-high definition image in native 4K quality to a size of a whopping 147 inches. This projector is nowhere near cheap, but it does offer one hell of a home theater experience for the money it will cost you.
There are plenty of excellent features on the 4K Ultra Short Throw. The most obvious and immediately notable is its projection mechanism, which as we’ve just mentioned above, lets you place it in an unobtrusive floor or low table position and cast video onto any wall directly above it without having to break any drywall or buy any sort of mounting setup.
Moving beyond this, the Short Throw offers you an absolutely enormous and crystal clear image display power that incorporates a range of technologies such as Triluminous display and SXRD laser projection. With the projections these generate, the visual clarity of your content will astonish you. This really is like a true home theater and especially with native 4K content. The quality shines through in details you’d never notice with conventional 1080p HD on a smaller screen.
Bad is hard to find with the Sony Short Throw. It really knocks the ball out of the park in terms of quality at all levels. The main complaint about it might be its price tag, which at $35,000 to $40,000 dollars is well out of range for a lot of more budget minded home theater enthusiasts. It’s also a pretty big projector when the credenza is included.
Additionally, the maximum projection size of 147”, while quite huge, isn’t as big as that offered by Sony’s other 4K projector the VW600ES, which offers a 300 inch maximal diagonal projection size. Finally, as of this writing (early June) the Sony Short Throw isn’t yet available for public retail, though the company plans to release it by mid-summer.
When it finally becomes available on a retail basis, this will make one hell of a projector for any truly serious fan of Ultra HD 4K home theater. However, if you want to save a lot of money and still get almost the same level of quality from the same excellent brand, go for Sony’s VW600ES.
Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Specs
• Weight: unknown
• Projection Size: 66” to 147” inches
• Contrast Ratio: 200,000:1
• 3D: Yes but glasses not included
• Illumination: 2000 lumens
• Video Compatibility: 576/50p, VGA, SVGA, XGA, WXGA(1280X768) Various 1080 formats
• Lamp Life: 2 to 3000 hours
• Resolution: 4096x2160 pixels UHD
• Connectivity Ports: 4 HDMI port, 1 IR IN minijack, 1 USB, speaker terminals, LAN
• Power Zoom/Focus: Yes
• Zoom lens ratio: 1.6:1
• 3D Glasses: No
The foremost feature of the Short Throw is its design and projection method. As a short throw projector, it can be placed right up against any wall or vertical flat surface and cast your content into perfect clarity up to a size of 147 inches. At maxima display size, the unit only needs to be 7 inches away from the wall you want to project onto. A great alternative to typical 4k televisions.
Another excellent highlight of the Short Throw is its laser diode projection illumination. Thanks to this technology, peak illumination is reached in no time and the lifespan of your light source is much longer than that offered by conventional projector lamps.
Other highlights include its full 3D features such as full 3D viewing capacity (with the glasses) and an upconversion engine, which lets you convert conventional content into a 3D experience. In addition to these, the image quality of the Short Throw is augmented greatly by Sony’s MotionFlow technology, which uses a “Motion Enhancer” function that will dramatically reduce the blur of fast action sequences in your favorite movies, shows and sportscasts.
Finally, the fully automatic zoom system lets you calibrate settings into the Short Throw for memorized future viewing of specific content types and display formats. Since this projector is a step up from the already existing VPL-VW600ES, it also has many of the same special features such as the Reality Creation HD content upscaling engine, 4K X-reality PRO features, automatic color calibration and Triluminous Display with SXRD.
The visual specs on the Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw projector are truly stunning, and especially so when it comes to viewing native 4K content on this powerful machine. The 4096x2160 pixels UHD worth of resolution, combined with 2,000 lumens of brightness, a 200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and its laser diode illumination technology combine to create an image quality that’s near perfect, huge and fully alive in just seconds after you turn the projector on.
Another powerful visual feature of the Ultra Short Throw is the built-in Triluminous display technology and its accompanying SXRD panel system. What Triluminous does is create a color palate that’s far broader, more textured and richer than anything you’d find in a less advanced projector. In combination with this, the SXRD involves the use of ultra-small display panels which minimize the space between pixels, thus creating both exceptional image clarity and an extremely fast 2.5 millisecond response rate that guarantees smooth flowing action sequences in your content.
Connectivity on the Ultra Short Throw is fully compatible with numerous digital signal formats such as 576/50p, VGA, SVGA, XGA, WXGA(1280X768) and various 1080p formats. It offers even more compatibility options than this but the list is so large that you’d do better to check it out on the specs page from Sony itself, here. The Short Throw also offer 4 HDMI 2.0 compatible ports, which allow content viewing at 60 frames per second, a USB port, speaker terminals and LAN capacity.
This is not at all a cheap projector. Its price tag of $35 to $40,000 dollars will leave it out of range for everyone except for those with lots of extra cash to spend on home entertainment systems. However, that price tag is sure to drop as competitor products enter the market over the course of 2014 and early 2015.
As we’ve already covered, the less than ideal aspects of the Sony Ultra Short Throw include its hefty price tag, smaller than expected maximum projection diameter and larger than normal size if its credenza is taken into consideration; its full size measures in at 43.3” x 10.4” x 21.1” inches.
Reasons to Buy
• Fantastic 4K/UHD picture quality
• superb rendering of regular HD content
• 4 HDMI ports
• Ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing
• Excellent flexibility for small room spaces
• Fast 2.5 millisecond response time
• Powerful MotionFlow and Triluminous Display technologies
• Motorized zoom and focus
Reasons not to Buy
• It’s very expensive
• Other 4K alternatives are available