Sony is extending the reach of its prized X1 image processing to video projection with two native 4K SXRD projectors slated for release in early May.
The X1 processor created several years ago for the TV titan’s BRAVIA TVs has been optimized for projectors, starting with the new $40,000 VPL-VW1025ES laser model and $5,500 VPL-VW325ES, which replace the VPL-VW995ES and VPL-VW295ES, Sound&Vision Top Picks in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Like the X1 chip used in BRAVIA LCD TVs, the new projector chip aims to improve image quality by meticulously analyzing each frame and enabling Sony’s proprietary Dynamic HDR Enhancer technology, which analyzes each scene in high dynamic range content to deliver the “best contrast performance,” making bright scenes brighter and dark scenes darker. Sony says the dynamic range of contrast and brightness is further expanded on the high-end VW1025ES model by linking with the projector’s dynamically controlled laser light source and iris.
The X1 processor also enables Sony’s Reality Creation technology, which enhances detail and texture in native and upscaled 4K content, and both projectors include an input lag-reduction mode to improve gaming performance.
The VPL-VW1025ES, which is one step down from Sony’s $60,000 flagship VPL-5000ES projector, has a rated light and color output of 2,200 lumens and incorporates the same ARC-F (All-Range Crisp Focus) used in the flagship. The large-aperture lens is an all-glass design with 18 elements, including six extra ELD (extraordinary low dispersion) elements to ensure optimal convergence of the red, green, and blue primaries, even at the extreme edges of the screen.
The 225-watt lamp used in the VPL-VW325ES has a rated brightness of 1,500 lumens on screens up to 300 inches (diagonal) and provides up 6,000 hours of viewing time in low mode, according to Sony.
The VPL-VW1025ES is available in black and the VPL-VW325ES is offered in black or white. Both models are available for pre-order.