The bleeding edge: This week, Sony unveiled three new home cinema projectors that each boast a crisp native 4K image but are smaller than their predecessors. The laser projectors occupy three very different pricing tiers, but all of them are several times more expensive than some lamp-based 4K models.
All three of Sony’s new 4K laser projectors support wide dynamic range and dynamic HDR enhancers. These features should offer higher contrast while adjusting HDR quality frame-by-frame.
Although these models restrict 120Hz to 2K resolution and don’t have variable refresh rate (VRR), they do feature reduced input lag for gaming. Sony claims that at 60Hz, the projectors have just 21 milliseconds of lag and only 13ms at 120Hz.
The lowest-tier model is the $6,000 VPL-XW5000ES which offers 2,000 lumens of brightness. The next step up, the $12,000 VPL-XW6000ES, goes up to 2,500lm and includes an Advanced Crisp-Focused lens for a more consistent image across a wider area. The big dog of this lineup is the VPL-XW7000ES, which goes for $28,000 and reaches 3,200lm at 4096 x 2160 resolution.
For comparison, the lamp-based and LED-based gaming projectors Acer launched last year support VRR and up to 240Hz in 1080p (or 4K at 60Hz) for a fraction of the cost of Sony’s new models. Laser projectors offer increased image quality and last longer than lamp bulbs but for their premium price.
Sony plans to launch all three projectors this summer.