New Sony VPL-HW50ES Projector is 4K($)

Almost lost between the 4K TV hoopla and the Control4 partnership, Sony announced a new 3D SXRD projector, the VPL-HW50ES.

There’s not a ton different than the slightly less expensive Sony VPL-HW30ES projector we reviewed, but probably enough to justify the higher price for some.

All the info we’ve got, after you clicky clicky…

Sony is claiming a 1,700 lumen light output, a 30% increase over previous models. Increasing contrast ratio to a claimed 100,000:1 is an “Optimized Advanced Iris 3 algorithm” and a new “contrast enhancer technology.” Sony’s SXRD projectors have always used irises to improve their contrast; this latter “feature,” however, is potentially cool, or perhaps not. Here’s what Sony has to say:

“The contrast enhancer works by analyzing each scene and then automatically optimizing contrast in real-time by compensating for dark and bright parts of the image.”

Hmmm, “parts” of the image? This could just be a software manipulation of the video signal, adjusting the brightness down for dark parts of the image and blowing out the whites for the bright parts of the image. Many LCDs have this “feature” and we usually turn it off. If there’s something else going on, something on the chip level that is actually increasing the native contrast ratio, it would be really cool.

There are a few custom install-friendly features, like 2-way RS-232, IR input, integrated 3D sync transmitter, extended vertical lens shift, and a 144-zone panel alignment feature. Price is $3,999.99 (get it, “4K?” sorry, I couldn’t resist). There’s a 3-year warranty, an extra lamp, and two 3D glasses included.

We’ve got a review sample on the way already, so we’ll have more info soon.

Or you can buy one next month.