Tag Archive


Pro Cinema 4030 First Look Review is posted

Pro Cinema 4030 First Look Review is posted

The Pro Cinema 4030 offers 2000 lumens and a three year warranty

Greetings!  I just posted a “first look” review on the Epson Pro Cinema 4030 home theater projector, but due to getting close to our switchover to our new site, it made sense to put it on the full site.  Here’s the link: Pro Cinema 4030.   I’ve already logged a couple dozen hours viewing with this Epson projector.

I have dropped in a few photos including black level comparisons (the Bond train scene).  There are comparisons with the Epson 5020UB, Panasonic PT-AE8000U, etc.  Thanks!

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



Where Have All The NEW Home Theater Projectors Gone – Long Time Passing?

Where Have All The NEW Home Theater Projectors Gone – Long Time Passing?

The Pro Cinema 4030 offers 2000 lumens and a three year warranty, it was the one of the few under $3000 projectors announced.

CEDIA news of new home theater projectors this year must be a major disappointment to most home theater enthusiasts.  I personally can’t recall a previous CEDIA in the last decade or so, with as few new projectors announced.  I’m definitely bummed!  It’s a good thing I wanted to learn a lot about smart Home Automation at CEDIA, so we can start covering it.  If I only had meetings this year with projector manufacturers, I could have been out of Denver in an afternoon!

What is stunning, is the lack of newly announced lower cost home projectors.  I’m talking under $2000, and it’s almost as bad in what I call the sweet spot of the market – projectors from $2000 to $3500 (in US prices).

Unless you are looking at $20,000+ projectors, the announcements of new home theater projectors were pretty much limited to three companies:  Epson, JVC, and Sony.

Where have all the other major projectors gone?  Major no shows at CEDIA this year:  Optoma, BenQ, Vivitek, Acer, Viewsonic – none exhibiting, although most had a few people taking meetings.  Business must go on (of course).  Those five names are five of the biggest when it comes to under $2000 projectors.  Optoma and BenQ in particular dominate the DLP market in lower cost projectors with the others hot on their heels.  Optoma in particular has probably more sub $1000 projectors than everyone else, yet not a new one this show!

Where on earth was Panasonic?  Sorry, no replacement for the PT-AR100U, nor the PT-AE8000U, so I guess we’ll have to wait another year.

Sanyo?   There’s a good old name we could always count on for a couple new projectors every year, but no, Matshushita (Panasonic’s parent) bought them a few years ago, resulting in the disappearance of the Sanyo projector brand.  (Sanyo batteries and solar are still out there I believe).

So what’s left?   Runco had a couple of new offerings including their LS12, a 3 chip DLP based on the LS10 that I previously reviewed, but with 3D added and other refinements, but then that’s $20,000+, so not too many will get excited about that one, except out of curiousity.

JVC – usually we can count on JVC replacing all their home theater models every year, but not this time.  This time around they left their bottom of the line models (still $3499), the DLA-X35 and DLA-RS46 in their lineup.  That makes their least expensive new models priced right at $5000.  That’s not going to help those of us without some decently deep pockets.  JVC did launch new higher end models, the $7999 and $11,999 respectively DLA-X700R / DLA-RS57U and the DLA-X900R / DLA-RS67U projectors.  (There are also two minor variations such as the DLA-RS6710U which has a few extras and is sold only through one distributor and their dealer channel.

Sony, did better at serving “the poor” home theater shoppers.  At least they have upgraded to the VPL-HW50ES to the new VPL-HW55ES projector.  That VPL-HW55ES is officially a $3999 projector but comes with spare lamp, and two pair of 3D glasses, so we figure that makes it a just under $3500 projector.  And of course Sony announced the VW600ES, their most affordable true 4K projector ($14999!)  Pricey, but consider the picture quality and resolution:

This heavily cropped close-up gives you an idea of what 4K can bring to your party! Projector: Sony VPL-VW600ES.

And so finally, that leaves us with only one major player out there with new offerings for those with budgets under $3499, and that, as those of you following my blog are aware of, is Epson.

Epson rolled out projectors in virtually every price range.  A couple of weeks before CEDIA they announced the Home Cinema 2000 and Home Cinema 2030 which we already reviewed.  That’ this fall’s only major brand new projectors under $1000 ($899 and $999 respectively).

Full Frame of Billy Joel concert with Tony Bennett. Projector: Sony VPL-VW600ES

They are similar but only the Home Cinema 2000 is available online.  But Epson wasn’t done.  They left the online Home Cinema 8350 in the lineup, but for the Pro side, sold through authorized local dealers they came up with a brand new projector, the Pro Cinema 4030 at $2499 with glasses, spare lamp, ceiling mount and 3 year warranty…   Around the same price but without the extras (except the 3D glasses) is the 5020UB replacement, the Home Cinema 5030UB, at $2699, and the Pro version the Pro Cinema 6030UB, under $4000 with all the extras.  Finally, They introduced three “family room” super bright home projectors, the Pro Cinema 4855WU, 6550WU and Pro Cinema 6900WU, with 4000, 5200, and 6000 lumens respectively.  That’s almost a new class of projectors for media rooms and for dealing with ambient light, with emphasis on 2D, and bright, rather than 2D/3D and home theater oriented.

But still, Even with Epson’s official 7 projectors, only one sells for under $2000!

Mind you this isn’t 2010, where we saw some drop off due to the global recession.  The world economy is moving along modestly, so what’s the excuse?

I’m not sure.  Are the low end folks afraid of 71 inch and 80 inch LCDTVs?  Shouldn’t be, projectors have always been a niche market.  Last year in the US, I believe the rough numbers were a little under 125,000 home projectors (pico projectors would not be included in that), compared to more than 2,000,000 business/education projectors, and 20 million LCDTVs and Plasmas.  So, it’s not like the home market is some huge untapped market, that no one wants to “own” (other than Epson apparently).

With home projectors moving out of the dedicated theater/cave, one would think there would be a surge in new projectors to fill the identified need for brighter, more general viewing projectors than dedicated movie projectors.  Sadly in the lower price ranges all we have a a few new “cross-over” projectors that have started shipping over the last few months.

Perhaps the problem is the manufacturers themselves.  For the decade or so that home theater projectors have been around (in under stratospheric price ranges), mostly the players have battled amongst themselves.  Texas Instruments’ DLP folks have been doing battle against the 3LCD projectors dominated by Epson, and vice versa.

Perhaps the players in the industry should launch a Home Projector Alliance, where instead of battling among each other as to which technology is better, they invest some money in educating the consumers to the advantages of projectors over LCD and Plasma TVs!

Consider three reasons why projectors should “rule”:

3D on a 42, or 65 inch LCDTV or Plasma TV is pretty pathetic.  It’s 3D, but the sense of immersion you get when you visit your IMAX or other 3D theater is  gone.  Folks, it’s the greater immersion that makes 3D potentially wonderful.  Why aren’t the projector companies screaming:  “You will have an even better 3D experience in your home, than even in the theaters. 3D on small screens just doesn’t cut it, as many LCDTV owners have learned.  Time to step up to the real world!”

Sony's VPL-VW600ES – Lowest cost true 4K projector, 1700 lumens and amazing!

True 4K resolution:  What’s with 4K?  Like anyone needs 4K on a 40 or 55″ LCD TV (seriously!) Ok 4K might be useful if you plan to sit 3 feet away from a 55″.  Projector owners are the ones who will appreciate and revel over 4K when the prices reach most of us.  Perhaps next CEDIA we’ll see 4K not only under $10,000 but perhaps in the $5000 – $8000 range?  We can only hope.  Meantime, only Sony is making 4K panels.  Tsk Tsk!

Beyond the “Cave” and Theater:  The other thing these manufacturers have to share with the population of LCDTV buyers is that you no longer need a near perfect room to enjoy it all! A few years ago, few projectors measured over 1200 lumens in any mode.  Today, projectors with 1500, 2000, 3000 and even more brightness are being designed for your bonus room and family room, your media center…  Today there are bright projectors and new screens that make watching a projector even in some pretty scarily bright rooms a reality!

Finally, many of us with projectors are enthusiasts.  We mostly try to convince our friends that they should buy a projector, but we try to make them enthusiasts too.  As a result we talk performance, not experience.  We make home projectors sound complicated while Best Buy and Costco make LCDTV’s easy.   So we too are in part to blame.

Projector Reviews:  This will be an interesting 5 months in terms of reviewing.  Normally from CEDIA until end of February, I only review home projectors.  My other guys tackle business and education projectors but I normally have 20 or more projectors to review in that time period, and then do our annual report.   This year, the count is low.  So as not doing any duplicates, all I’ve got on my agenda, is 6 Epsons, 3 JVCs, 3 Sonys and a Runco so far.  Folks that’s a half load.  I imagine I’ll bring in a couple we haven’t gotten to, including BenQ’s W1500, and perhaps a couple of low cost Optoma projectors we haven’t gotten around to (mostly 720p gaming projectors).  Even so, that’s a “light load”.  I’ll mostly be waiting for projectors to arrive, than having them stacked up waiting their turn.

Well, if you think you are frustrated by the lack of choices this fall, I’d be downright depressed, if it weren’t that there are those of $3500 and up projectors, and those tend to usually be the most enjoyable.  Thankfully, I’m sitting here with the Sony VW600ES 4K projector running in the background, which goes a long way to keeping my faith in front projection.  Well, hang in there. I’ve already posted a “First Look” Review of the Sony VW600ES, and I’m told the first of the Epson projectors will arrive in the next 4-5 days.  I’m going to have to wait patiently though for the JVC’s which aren’t due for at least another month, and ditto for the Sony VPL-VW1100ES.

Well, hang in there.  And there is some hope.  The Taiwanese companies – Optoma, BenQ, etc. often put out new projectors on what seems to be a random basis, perhaps they’ll surprise us with a couple of entries before we finish our holiday shopping. -art

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



New: JVC DLA-X700R Home Theater Projector

New: JVC DLA-X700R Home Theater Projector

Shown at CEDIA, the JVC DLA-X700R projector (and it’s twin from the “Pro” division, the DLA-RS57U) clock in at $7999.

JVC's DLA-X700R offers superb black levels, 3D capability and 1300 lumens for $7999. Shipping in November?

These models will replace last year’s JVC’s come the November timeframe (give or take).   What’s big and new for 2013-14 is the addition of a dynamic iris!   That’s right, the company with the best native black levels has added a dynamic iris (in the lens area), to further enhance black level performance, (and probably so they can have some ridiculous contrast numbers like everyone else.

In the demos at CEDIA which were showing the essentially identical, but built with “hand picked” components, higher end DLA-X900R (and RS6710), blacks were extraordinary!

E-shift3 replaces e-shift2, and JVC still calls it “4K”.  We consider it to be a dynamic detail enhancement solution – a novel one, but as long as the size of the pixels are that of 1080p, we can’t buy into calling it 4K.   Still, it works.  It just isn’t in the league of a true 4K projector such as the two new Sonys but the less expensive of those two is almost double this JVC’s price.

Brightness gets a slight bump of 100 lumens, although that is attributed to the new LCoS panels which have thinner wireframes to allow a slight improvement in the amount of light that passes through.  Contrast numbers are in the twilight zone – over 1,000,000:1.   Whether this JVC projector, the DLA-X700R really needs a dynamic iris is questionable, but I’ll say yep, makes it better.  It’s going to be a slight improvement, and that assumes JVC manages to engineer their iris to operate smoothly.   There are still sloppy irises out there, and some very smooth ones.  Do keep in mind that this will be JVC’s first go round with dynamic irises, but the good news is, even if less than perfect, this projector will still do the best blacks available at the price, even if you turn the dynamic iris off.  Contrast, btw, is claimed at 120,000:1 native (iris off) and 1,200,000:1 with the iris on.  (The “hand selected” DLA-X900R claims 150,000:1 and 1,500,000:1 respectively.

We can’t wait to get in this DLA-X700R or the X900R for review, and expect that to happen right after first shipments.  Warranty, I should note, is two years parts and labor.

Pending the full review, here’s how I would position the DLA-X700R projector:  It’s likely the best projector under $10,000 for serious overall 2D viewing, (movies primarily).  If you are big on 3D, you’ll probably find it a bit thin on 3D brightness (something true of may 3D capable projectors).  So, this will likely be a better choice for the person who doesn’t care about 3D, or just wants to fiddle with it, but aren’t overly concerned.  This is a home theater projector.  It’s not as bright, as some competition, so perhaps not as good a choice for those more into sports and TV, where you don’t want to be in pitch blackness.

I still own my 4 year old RS20, which can hold it’s own with the black levels of just about any projector except for the newest JVC’s and not far behind those.  JVC projectors like the DLA-X700R and RS57, will have serious appeal to hard core enthusiasts.

Stay tuned for the review… -art

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



New: JVC DLA-X700R Home Theater Projector

New: JVC DLA-X700R Home Theater Projector

Shown at CEDIA, the JVC DLA-X700R projector (and it’s twin from the “Pro” division, the DLA-RS57U) clock in at $7999.

JVC's DLA-X700R offers superb black levels, 3D capability and 1300 lumens for $7999. Shipping in November?

These models will replace last year’s JVC’s come the November timeframe (give or take).   What’s big and new for 2013-14 is the addition of a dynamic iris!   That’s right, the company with the best native black levels has added a dynamic iris (in the lens area), to further enhance black level performance, (and probably so they can have some ridiculous contrast numbers like everyone else.

In the demos at CEDIA which were showing the essentially identical, but built with “hand picked” components, higher end DLA-X900R (and RS6710), blacks were extraordinary!

E-shift3 replaces e-shift2, and JVC still calls it “4K”.  We consider it to be a dynamic detail enhancement solution – a novel one, but as long as the size of the pixels are that of 1080p, we can’t buy into calling it 4K.   Still, it works.  It just isn’t in the league of a true 4K projector such as the two new Sonys but the less expensive of those two is almost double this JVC’s price.

Brightness gets a slight bump of 100 lumens, although that is attributed to the new LCoS panels which have thinner wireframes to allow a slight improvement in the amount of light that passes through.  Contrast numbers are in the twilight zone – over 1,000,000:1.   Whether this JVC projector, the DLA-X700R really needs a dynamic iris is questionable, but I’ll say yep, makes it better.  It’s going to be a slight improvement, and that assumes JVC manages to engineer their iris to operate smoothly.   There are still sloppy irises out there, and some very smooth ones.  Do keep in mind that this will be JVC’s first go round with dynamic irises, but the good news is, even if less than perfect, this projector will still do the best blacks available at the price, even if you turn the dynamic iris off.  Contrast, btw, is claimed at 120,000:1 native (iris off) and 1,200,000:1 with the iris on.  (The “hand selected” DLA-X900R claims 150,000:1 and 1,500,000:1 respectively.

We can’t wait to get in this DLA-X700R or the X900R for review, and expect that to happen right after first shipments.  Warranty, I should note, is two years parts and labor.

Pending the full review, here’s how I would position the DLA-X700R projector:  It’s likely the best projector under $10,000 for serious overall 2D viewing, (movies primarily).  If you are big on 3D, you’ll probably find it a bit thin on 3D brightness (something true of may 3D capable projectors).  So, this will likely be a better choice for the person who doesn’t care about 3D, or just wants to fiddle with it, but aren’t overly concerned.  This is a home theater projector.  It’s not as bright, as some competition, so perhaps not as good a choice for those more into sports and TV, where you don’t want to be in pitch blackness.

I still own my 4 year old RS20, which can hold it’s own with the black levels of just about any projector except for the newest JVC’s and not far behind those.  JVC projectors like the DLA-X700R and RS57, will have serious appeal to hard core enthusiasts.

Stay tuned for the review… -art

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



Sony VPL-VW1100ES 4K and 3D Projector!

Sony VPL-VW1100ES 4K and 3D Projector!

Let’s chat a minute about Sony’s VPL-VW1100ES Projector.  If you are one of my regular readers, you should know two things:  First, I’m a black level fanatic, not a lunatic, but unless black level performance is already approaching the best, I’ll opt for better blacks over fancy features.   Don’t worry, I’ll get back to Sony’s VPL-VW1100ES in a moment.

Less obvious, but just as true, is that I am way sold on 4K, I’m sold on 8K too, but that’s probably 8 or 9 years out per most industry experts.  Why so important, because the great movie experience is about being immersed.  42″ LCDTVs are too small to really be immersed theater style. So are 65″ unless you are sitting awfully close.  Anyway, short of buying a genuine Cinema projector (of which Sony is one of the three major players in Digital Cinema projectors), the VPL-VW1100ES is the best 4K home theater projector in the world best I can tell!   And with that, the finest pixel structure and the maximum sharpness which allows more detail while also increasing immersion.  I’m moving my seat closer when this one arrives.

True, it’s due to a lack of competition, Sony now offers the only two projectors designed for home theater use with true 4K native resolution.

This VPL-VW1100ES replaces the VW1000ES that I raved about last year.  And with 4K content, and HDMI 2.0 almost upon us, this is going to be awesome, but I was really also impressed last year with how good the projector looked with upscaled 2K content.  The VW1100ES is $3000 more than the VW1000ES it replaces.

Sony it should be noted is delivering on last year’s promise to keep the VW1000ES future proof, for 4K…  They now offer a $2500 upgrade path for the VW1000ES, so as it turns out, those who bought early – the VW1000ES actually save about $500 (That’s only 2% – the rich won’t really notice).  Sony also serves up a 4K server, and a Sony tablet for controlling the projector and content, for an additional $1000, bringing the grand total (before sales tax, of course) of $28,999.  For those with a sense of humor, let’s just say that if you can afford this, you probably won’t be getting subsidies from Obamacare.

Sony now has lighter weight RF glasses for the VPL-VW1100ES Home Theater Projector.  That’s a very good thing.  Although last year’s glasses were respectable, I found them getting uncomfortable (by the end of any long movie).  In fairness I wear them over glasses, and my head is super-sized.

Moving on to important things, let’s talk about the server, and Sony’s FMP-X1.  This server will work with their announced Video 4K Unlimited service.  Yep, they are going to get VW1000 owners, some serious 4K content.  In fact Sony’s working several fronts.  While 4K Blu-ray doesn’t exist yet, Sony is now also doing special encoding of 2K (1080p) discs from Sony Pictures, so that the VW1100Es can essentially restore the picture almost to the native 4K master.  Those Blu-ray discs will be marked “Mastered in 4K”.  It’s not pure, but should be very close.   Also big news, the Sony VPL-VW1100ES is able to support not just 4K /24fps, but can handle up to 4K/60fps.  What does that mean?  Well for starters – The Hobbit as intended (60fps).  I’m not sure of the 4K/60 applies to 3D as well.  I will eventually know for sure.

Contrast I should note is again, 1,000,000:1.  That, however is no longer the highest contrast claimed.  JVC’s pseudo-4K top of the line DLA-X900R claims 1.5M:1.   Ultimately, I raved about black levels last year when reviewing the older VW1000ES, so no point in discussing further until I have them both for review.

Nice and bright as well, the Sony VPL-VW1100ES claims 2000 lumens, which means there’s plenty “under the hood” for handling very large home theaters and screening rooms.  Calibrated we’ll expect the same roughly 1200 lumens that the older projector measured.  That’s easily enough for a 150″ diagonal screen.

Let’s save the rest for the review.  With the almost complete lack of new projectors under $2000 this year at CEDIA, I’ll have plenty of time to review higher end projectors.  I’ve already got the VW600ES here to review so from there, it’s a question of what Sony has for me next, the new VPL-HW55ES or this VW1100ES.

Bottom Line, the VW1100ES is an updated VW1000ES.  That’s given Sony time to get their act together for new standards, which I should note Sony is pushing for harder than anyone, since they’ve got the product to watch it on.  This is going to be an amazing projector that will immerse you, and should dazzle with great color.   I truly loved having the older one for an extended period (let’s call that “round 1″).  The VW1100ES is more about having updated inputs than anything else, but new glasses and other small improvements are there too, plus their 4K content service.   Can’t wait for round two.  Bring it on!

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



JVC DLA-X900R Home Theater Projector – New Flagship Wows at CEDIA 2013

JVC DLA-X900R Home Theater Projector – New Flagship Wows at CEDIA 2013

Every year both JVC divisions – Consumer and Pro, offer a new flagship projector, in this case, the Consumer division’s is the DLA-X900R.  The JVC DLA-X900R like its predecessors, is $11,999, and like them, is the “best of the best” in terms of build quality.  JVC literally makes both the X900R with “hand picked components”, and the less expensive (a still hefty $7999) DLA-X700R.

A couple of years back we reviewed both a predecessor, and the non-hand picked component predecessor.  There really is a difference.  Is it worth $4,000 extra?  If you want the ultimate in black level performance, and a slightly “clearer” image thanks ot the best of the lenses, you bet.  But, of course $11,999 isn’t for the average wallet.  Naturally most will settle for the lower cost JVC.  BTW the equivalent in the Pro series is the DLA-RS67, it sells for the same price, and only differs, to my knowledge, in the slight difference in the trim.

There’s big news on these projectors.  JVC has long been the black level champ.  Their older versions of these projectors lacked a dynamic iris yet still offered the best black levels in the industry, despite everyone elses use of dynamic irises.   Well, not only has JVC dropped in new LCoS panels with thinner wire frames for a native contrast increase, but they have added a dynamic iris. Naturally they don’t call it a dynamic iris, that would be too easy.  So, let me introduce you to JVC’s “Intelligent Lens Aperture”.  One can argue that because it’s up front by the lens, rather than further back int he light path it deserves a different name, but, there are trade offs no matter where you put your dynamic iris.  It’s the bottom line that matters.

Without engaging the dynamic iris the DLA-X700R projector now claims a native contrast of 150,000:1  (note that most other projectors under about $15K stopped publishing native contrast several years ago, so as not to be embarrassed.  Turn on the Dynamic iris and JVC jumps their claim to 1,500,000:1.  That’s a record.  Epson showed a prototype projector a couple years back claiming 1,000,000:1, but the next highest number I’ve seen is on Epson’s new (and far less expensive) Pro Cinema 6030UB and Home Cinema 5030UB projectors, also launched at CEDIA.   Trust me, those Epson’s have phenomenal black level performance for the price, but this new top of the line JVC will leave the Epsons in the proverbial dust.

The X700R, I should note claims 120,000:1 and 1,200,000:1 contrast.  That’s not a really great difference, really having 20% less contrast is a very slight difference, but if you seek perfection, the X900R is 20% closer…

The X900R is also just a little brighter than last year’s, and is now claiming 1300 lumens (they attribute that to the new panels).

The other major change for 2013-2014 with the JVC DLA-X900R is the lastest for JVC’s “4K-e-shift3″   (last year was e-shift2″.  I’m sure there are subtle improvements, and I’ll still argue that this isn’t real 4K, just a fancy upscaling, or detail enhancement (the panels are still only 1080p, so you just can’t do a thinner line).

But the real difference is that this new JVC projector can at least accept a 4K source, something only Sony has offered before.  If you start with a 4K source, obviously you have more data, so when you process the data you will get a more precise data set to throw at e-shift3 to simulate real 4K.   Those really seeking the best will have to ultimately consider the DLA-X900′s no doubt awesome black levels and their e-shift, against the slightly more expensive ($14999) Sony VPL-VW600ES – a true 4K projector, that has excellent blacks but still not in the league of the X900R.  Of course well discuss this in-depth in our full reviews.

So when can you lay your hands on one of these?  I actually got mixed signals at the show, depending on which JVC person I spoke to.  Consensus is this year. November or December.  That said, JVC is usually the last to ship in recent years.  Often in January.   Of course they want to have these out for your holiday shopping so my money says they ship this year.

Other items of note.   There’s now smartphone apps for controlling these new JVC projectors.  (Always a nice touch).  From a performance standpoint, JVC is now on the bandwagon with RF glasses instead of IR.  BTW your $14999 will include 2 pair of the new 3D glasses and the external RF emitter.  And “of course” the X900R is THX and ISF certified.

Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!  -art

?

?

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



Sony VPL-VW600ES Projector – CEDIA 2013

Sony VPL-VW600ES Projector – CEDIA 2013

Greetings projector fans, it’s time to talk about the two new Sony projectors.  This blog will cover the more “affordable” Sony VPL-VW600ES, priced at a mere $14999.

Sony's VPL-VW600ES – Lowest cost true 4K projector, 1700 lumens and amazing!

The VPL-VW600ES is also available bundled with Sony’s round 4K server and a Sony tablet for an additional $1000!

Before I discuss the VW600ES in more depth, I’ll just briefly mention that the other new 4K projector is the VPL-VW1100Es which replaces the VW1000ES.   That one is $27,999 and an extra $1000 for the 4K server and tablet, if desired.

Let me start by saying that  I had one of the pre-production VW600ES projectors here (in my home) to play with for about 6 hours, a couple weeks before the show, but coudn’t say a word, due to the usual non-disclosure agreements.

If you are one of the lucky, that can seriously consider a $15,000 projector, the Sony VPL-VW600ES is dazzling.

The primary differences between the VW600ES and it’s more expensive sibling lie in two areas:  The optics are, per Sony, superior on the more expensive Sony, and the black levels are better.   If you recall, I had said about the VW1000ES that it had the best dynamic iris enhanced black levels I have encountered.  The VW600ES isn’t that good, but my take from playing with it, is that the projector’s blacks are superior to the Sony VW50ES and comparable or better than the VW95ES or Epson Home Cinema 5020UB/Pro Cinema 6020UB projectors.

That is to say, not the best black levels in the world but pretty impressive none-the-less, and as good as pretty much anything except JVC’s higher end 2K projectors (I still won’t consider their 4K e-Shift to be true 4K).  So that’s pretty spectacular blacks.

Unlike a review, the VPL-VW600ES came to me all configured, calibrated, etc.  And again, it was an engineering sample – definitely pre-production, so the settings likely would be different from what we get when we get one in for review and Mike calibrates it.

Whether at CEDIA or in my theater, the Sony’s skin tones looked really great, and that’s one of the most important things to consider.  At both CEDIA, and in my theater I got to see true 4K content, as well as upscaled 2K (1080p) content.

As with the older VW1000ES 4K content was truly astonishing. Upscaling of course can be impressive, but it’s true 4K that blows me away.  There was a whole lot of footage from Carnival in Rio.  Mind boggling comes to mind.

The VW600ES has lens memory, so if 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 Cinemascope / anamorphic shaped screens are where you want to be, no problem.  This Sony allows multiple lens memory positions to be saved so that you can go back between true “wide-screen” and HDTV content effortlessly from the remote control.

I’ll run through a few features now, but the picture is really the main thing.  I just love the idea of having a very sharp image (with true 4K content, while sitting only 7-8 feet from my 124″ diagonal screen.   I live for the immersion – especially if the content is 3D.

Speaking of 3D, which I got to view at my house, nothing to complain about there.  There’s a healthy number of lumens under the hood (rated 1700 lumens), to do a respectable job on my sized screen!  Note that the VW600ES also does 2D to 3D conversion on the fly!

One feature which really caught my attention, but no way to “demo” it, is Sony’s built in “auto calibration”.  Sony says it knows what output to the screen looks like, so that if things change (such as adding light colored furniture) might affect the picture, it remembers and adjusts.  Does that work for aging lamps?  I would hope so, but never got to ask, or at least not get a precise answer.  I’ll let you know.

Sony is sticking with a motorized 1.6:1 zoom lens (although a less expensive lens than the one on the VW1100ES or VW1000ES). There’s tons of vertical and horizontal lens shift…I think only the Epson projectors offer slightly more.  No matter – there’s still tons of lens shift, or for those of you in some other parts of the world… Tonnes.

Is Sony’s VPL-VW600ES worth $15K?   You all know the drill, it’s time vs. money.   10 years ago most 720p projectors sold for at least $4000.   Today, Optoma has half a dozen under $600.   So, sure, if you are in no hurry, or the money is tight, wait.  Certainly in 3 years there will be 4K projectors for well under $5000, or at least one would expect…  (The world seems to think 8K will be the standard by 2020, in fact, in one discussion I had at the show, it was suggested that Broadcast TV (and maybe satellite/cable) will skip true 4K and go right to 8K content, but out 6-7 years.  The technology will be there by then, in terms of downloading speeds, storage…

But if you have the money, from what little I’ve seen, there’s nothing I’d rather have that costs less.  Ok, those higher end JVC projectors at $8,000 and $12,000 will easily beat this Sony at black levels, but I’d certainly rather give up the difference in black levels (since the Sony’s damn good at them anyway) in exchange for 4K.  I have no doubts, I’d definitely spring the extra for the Sony were I able.

I don’t recall seeing 3D being demo’d on the Sony at the show, but I definitely did get a good look at 3D at my house, weeks ago.  Got to watch a chunk of Ultimate Wave Tahiti.  Think good 3D looks great now?  Can’t wait until I’m watching 3D in true 4K.

Enough gushing already.   I really have only one complaint about the VPL-VW600ES, and that is the price.  I’m not saying that it’s not a fair price, but I sure wish they had achieved $9999, as that probably would find a whole lot more folks in the world watching this projector.

I can’t wait to get this one in to review.  Good luck to Sony prying this one out of my hands.  Nothing short of nukes, or a VW1100ES is likely to convince me to return this one when it arrives in a month or so for review.

Awesome!  -art

?

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



CEDIA Show – 7 new Epson Home Projectors – Summary

CEDIA Show – 7 new Epson Home Projectors – Summary

Greetings Home Theater Projector folks!

Over the last two days I’ve published blogs on all the new Epson projectors officially being announced this week at the CEDIA 2013 show in Denver.  This short blog serves as an overview, with links to each, for your convenience, and as a way to get them listed up on our homepage.  Pro Cinema series projectors are sold through authorized local dealers.  Home Cinema series projectors are sold through both authorized online, and local dealers.

Epson launches new G Series of Pro Cinema Projectors

Wow:  Three projectors:  Very Bright, Even Brighter, and Blindingly Bright.  These three are all 2D only.

Epson Pro Cinema G6900WU:  Epson’s new flagship, with 6000 lumens, great for media rooms, sports bars, family room, with tons of color and white lumens to cut through ambient light.  2D only, interchangeable lens options, lens shift, Creative Frame Interpolation, Crestron Room View, HDBaseT etc.  Split Screen supporting two HD inputs, Black finish, 3 year warranty with 3 year replacement program:  $7499

Epson Pro Cinema G6550WU:  Extremely similar to the G6900WU except:  52000 lumens, white case, lacks the HDBaseT but still has Crestron networking support.  Same 3 year warranty and replacement program:  $5999

Epson Pro Cinema G4885WU:  4000 Color and White Lumens – Uses different 3LCD panels than the two projectors above, with lower contrast performance, black finish, lacks CFI, HDBaseT, still has Crestron networking support and same 3 year warranty programs.  $3799!

New Epson 2D and 3D Home Theater Projectors “Replacing” last year’s projectors:

Pro Cinema 6030UB: Replaces the Pro Cinema 6020UB.  Very similar to its predecessor, but with even higher contrast, due, I believe to new LCD panels.  Pricing not yet set, but under $4000 with extra lamp, ceiling mount, and same warranty as other Pro Cinema series projectors (3 years, etc.)

Pro Cinema 4030:  This one isn’t a straight replacement, as Epson didn’t have a Pro Cinema projector below the 6020UB last year, other than the old Pro Cinema 9350, (3 years on the market), in a much older designed case, etc.  This new projector ends up in the same case with lens shift as the Pro Cinema 6030UB.  Different panels though, and lower contrast, but still a big boost in contrast (and black levels) compared to that old PC9350 or for that matter the newer Home Cinema 3020 launched last year.  2D and 3D, with two pair of 3D glasses:  Price to be “Under $3000″  we’ll find out exactly, at CEDIA on Thursday.

Home Cinema 5030UB and 5030UBe Projectors:  These are straight replacements, for last year’s best “available online), with enhanced contrast, improved 2D-3D conversion, White finished cabinet with black trim.  The UBe version offers Wireless HDMI, also improved over last year.  Prices not set, but since they say both are “under $3000, expect $2699 and $2999 respectively, basically newer, improved projectors for the same price as last year.  These come with 2 years parts and labor, with 2 year replacement programs.

As of now, it looks like the Home Cinema 3020 and 3020e will remain in the lineup for another year, while Epson has already added the new Home Cinema 2030 which we’ve reviewed and posted a video on already.

That’s it for Epson.  Nice of them to give me a look at these projectors in advance of the show.  Too bad most others make me wait until I get to CEDIA.

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



Epson Pro Cinema 6030UB Projector – Showing at CEDIA 2013

Epson Pro Cinema 6030UB Projector – Showing at CEDIA 2013

Epson’s new Pro Cinema 6030UB replaces the 6020UB we reviewed last year.  Consider the Pro Cinema 6030UB to be a straight replacement for last year’s top Epson projector.

This new Epson 6030UB replaces last year's model with performance enhancements

As part of their Pro Cinema series, this projector will be sold by Epson’s authorized local dealer network, not online.  It is very similar to Epson’s online sold Home Cinema 5030UB, but finished in a black case not the Home Cinema’s usual white with black trim.  Look for increased contrast, and improved blacks over last years model.

The Pro Cinema 6030UB will have the usual 3 year warranty and replacement program.  It will also support two anamorphic lens modes (something the Home Cinema 5030UB can’t do).

There’s no boost in brightness, the PC6030UB claims the same 2400 lumens as the previous model.  Last year 2400 lumens was as bright as the Epsons got, but this year, that just puts it in the middle of Epson’s expanded Pro Cinema line which now also offers three brighter projectors with 4000, 5200 and 6000 lumens respectively.

Rear panel inputs of the Epson Pro Cinema 6030UB

Other features of the Pro Cinema 6030UB include THX modes (2D and 3D), ISF certification, Super-Resolution which is Epson’s “dynamic detail enhancement”, picture in picture, an a new black and white mode optimized for black and white movies.

Plenty of lumens for 3D performance, and apparently new improved 2D to 3D conversion.

This Pro Cinema 6030 is  perhaps Epson’s classic projector for a home theater environment. You just don’t need the power of the three brighter Epsons unless you have a huge screen (think 150 – 200″ diagonal) or a room with lots of lighting issues.   Like its predecessor, it should prove a great projector for your dedicated theater, with performance mostly rivaling much more expensive projectors.   Pricing should be under $4000 with all those extras – ceiling mount, 2 pair of 3D glasses, and a spare lamp, oh yes, also a cable cover!

?

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit



Hot New Projectors Coming From Epson at CEDIA

Hot New Projectors Coming From Epson at CEDIA

Greetings everyone, I’ve got some good info about Epson’s new home theater projectors. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow though (actually late tonight), when I’ll post some tasty details.
This is just a quick note from your fav projector blogger (I hope) from the Grand Canyon. I will post info on all the new Epson projectors when we get home, probably about 2am west coast time.

This Grand Canyon  stop is a brief one (for someone who has camped the canyon many, many times).  I was in Sedona where I had set up a meeting with our new Web designer firm. (They are Arizona based). How could I get within two hours or so of the Canyon and not spend some time, take a brief hike or two, before heading home.

Let me just leave you one tidbit that may surprise you, but no details till later. Epson is launching a new series, expanding their lineup significantly. And these new ones make the good old Home Cinema 5020UB look like a relatively “dim bulb” thanks to a huge boost in lumens.

So, lots of projectors to talk about, not the usual 2-3. Stay tuned. Last word for now, I did get to see Epson’s new projectors in action a few weeks ago (all engineering samples). Looking good! Real good.
OK, back to admiring the Grand Canyon from the South Rim – Bright Angel. BTW gorgeous last night – with a full moon the canyon lights up at night. It’s a don’t miss. In this case, even the best blu-ray disk on the grand canyon, on the finest Epson or any other home projector, of course, cannot begin do do the Canyon justice!
PS… will be blogging, and tweeting, and whatever else from CEDIA next week. CEDIA is in Denver this year, always a good place for the show. Stay tuned… -art

Share and Enjoy:

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google Bookmarks
email
Digg
Reddit