Sony Launches Smaller, Cheap 4K UST Laser Projector

Sony has launched a new ultra-short-throw 4K laser projector called the VPL-VZ1000ES. It will carry a $25K price point, about half the level of the predecessor VPL-GTZ1 model, but with similar features. It is 40% smaller and 25% brighter than the GTZ1. What is not to like about that trend? The VZ1000ES should ship in April.

In terms of size, this is still a big projector at 36 by 20 by 9 inches (91cm x 50.4cm x 18cm). It should be positioned 6″ (15 cm) from the wall to generate a 100” image. Light output is rated at 2500 lumens, but runs about 2200 lumens in a calibrated mode – a much higher ratio than most projectors between the calibrated and uncalibrated modes. We were told that the color gamut is 128% of BT.709, which I think is pretty close to the full DCI-P3 color gamut.

At CES, it was shown with an ambient light rejecting screen in a fairly dark room, so the image quality was quite good. There is HDR support, but Sony did not specify which flavors.

Sony developed a whole new optical core called S-core to reduce the size and cost of this next generation projector. It is still a three-PBS architecture but uses a smaller lens as well. There is also a new sliding cover to protect the optics when not in use.

The projector can be sold as a stand-alone device mounted on your own stand or credenza, or, as was shown at CES, integrated into a piece of furniture. Furniture maker, Salamander, worked with Sony to design the custom Chameleon cabinet. The integrated cabinet and projector is a seamless and stealthy solution that includes cables and all supporting components including a speaker system to provide a turnkey solution. It should be offered this spring along with the standalone projector. – CC