Sony 3D Projector
At last week's Sony press event, the company's ES A/V receivers weren't the only things on display. (For more on these feature-packed AVRs, see my report here.) Tucked away at one end of the room was a mysterious shape tightly draped in a black shroud standing several feet from a projection screen. What could it be?
As we all surmised, it was Sony's 3D front projectoractually, a prototype thereof. The Japanese engineers had completely covered it so that only its lens peeked out, which, like a burqa, prevented any of us from seeing what it looks like.
Unfortunately, very few details were revealedno model designation, pricing, or availability other than "some time this year." We did learn that it uses Sony's SXRD imaging technology, which is a variant of LCoS, and it will be 1080p, though this prototype was only 720p. Also, it uses active-shutter glasses in conjunction with an IR emitter mounted above the screen.
The brief demo consisted of various nature clips played from a new BDP-S1700ES Blu-ray player and projected onto a 100-inch Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. As expected, the image looked quite dim, but surprisingly, it was also a bit soft, perhaps because it was 720p on a relatively large screen. (Have we grown so accustomed to 1080p that 720p now looks soft? I remember when 720p projectors looked nice and sharp, but I haven't seen one in quite a while.)
The 3D effect was reasonably good, though most of the motion was relatively slow, and the image was larger than any commercially available 3D flat panel, increasing the immersive quality. With a screen that does not preserve polarization, I was surprised that tilting my head even a little caused crosstalk to appear. I don't know why that is, but I intend to find out.
I have no doubt that Sony will solve most of the problems by the time we see it again, most likely at CEDIA in September. And I'm glad there will be another player in the consumer 3D-projector market.