(September 9, 2020) Refinement is a good thing, especially when it comes to native 4K projectors tasked with handling High Dynamic Range (HDR). While the best of flat panel displays can competently handle HDR content without much issue, most consumer-grade projectors lack the needed light output to accommodate 4K HDR media mastered to 1,000 and 4,000 nits. That means high-quality image processing and tone mapping are essential to getting the most from 4K HDR content.
The new lamp-based VPL-VW715ES ($9,999) and laser-based VPL-VW915ES ($19,999) carry Sony’s latest image processor called “X1 for projector.” Those of you familiar with Sony’s TV lineup will likely recognize the “X1” designation. Well, that same technology is now being applied to its projector models for new and crucially important HDR enhancement processes. Sony says its Dynamic HDR Enhancer analyzes incoming 4K HDR media scene-by-scene to reliably reproduce bright and dark scenes to their max potential. The X1 for projector processor also is tasked with upscaling Standard HD content while enhancing 4K media with “real-word detail and texture.”
Sony says both the VPL-VW715ES and VPL-VW915ES benefit from a new Digital Focus Optimizer, which compensates for optical degradation of the lens to deliver better clarity across the entire image.
The new flagship projector in Sony’s lineup is the laser-based VPL-GTZ380. Designed to perform in both home and larger venue environments, the VPK-GTZ380 carries an advanced version of the X1 chip called “X1 Ultimate for projector.” Light output is capable of reaching a blinding 10,000 lumens thanks to a newly developed 4K SXRD panel and a laser light source that uses both red laser and two different-wavelength blue laser diodes. Sony says the VPL-GTZ38 accommodates 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut without any loss of brightness.
If the VPL-GTZ380 sounds like a must-buy, then you might want to consider hitting the gym now. The projector weighs a shoulder-crushing 112-pounds. Hopefully Sony’s claim of “flexible installation possibilities” helps to offset the burden of that weight.
The VPL-VW715ES and VPL-VW915ES are both available for purchase today, while the VPL-GTZ380 is projected to hit the market this coming winter.