Sony brings laser power, native 4K to every 2022 projector

Sony has updated its 4K home theater projector lineup for 2022, and in so doing has said goodbye to high-pressure bulbs. The entire range now uses lasers as its light source, including the new entry-level, $ 6,000 VPL-XW5000ES, marking the first time a native 4K laser projector has been sold for so little.

Most of the models have also been redesigned with smaller chassis. Sony has also taken its X1 Ultimate image processing chip for projectors, which it previously reserved for its most expensive flagship, and given it to every model. It has also ditched 1080p resolution, going native 4K and HDR across its collection.

New technologies

Sony VPL-XW7000 4K laser projector seen from the front.
Sony

Laser as a light source is not new to Sony’s home theater projectors, but the company’s Z-phosphor laser technology is now integrated into every model, which means big brightness increases, especially at the more affordable end of the range. Each 2022 projector sports a minimum of 2,000 lumens, and some offer as many as 10,000 lumens. Sony says this laser system ensures 20,000 hours of optimal brightness, thus eliminating the need to change lamps or do any regular maintenance.

Sony has also introduced a new imaging panel, the native 4K SXRD 0.61-inch, which has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. Sony credits the new panel with better clarity, expanded dynamic range for HDR, and an expanded color volume. It’s a smaller panel than previous models possessed, but with the same effective resolution, and it’s one of the reasons Sony has managed to make the footprint of its new projectors smaller than ever. In fact, the company claims that the VPL-XW5000ES is currently the world’s most compact native 4K laser projector.

While the X1 Ultimate for projectors is not a new processor, this year is the first time buyers have been able to access Sony’s top-of-the-line picture processing for less than $ 80,000, making it one of the biggest changes to happen to Sony’s projectors. Its dual database image processing combines upscaling and noise reduction information to create sharper details, while its object-based HDR remastering can evaluate dozens of different on-screen objects to provide a greater sense of depth and more realistic textures.

On a related note, all three of Sony’s new 2022 models get the company’s Triluminos Pro display technology, which provides 95% rendering of the DCI-P3 color space – the same standard used in commercial digital cinemas.

Finally, Sony has developed a new lens system for its middle-tier models, which it calls “advanced crisp focus lens” or ACF lens. It combines a 70mm aspherical front lens – that Sony says improves clarity all the way out to the edges of the image by making the focus area larger – with a floating focus system and a set of four extra low-dispersion elements, which should reduce color deviation.

HDMI 2.0b

Despite being new models for 2022, Sony’s home theater range sticks with the older HDMI 2.0b standard for digital audio and video, versus the newer HDMI 2.1. Sony says this is by design, claiming that most of the gaming technologies that the newer standard supports do not apply to projectors, since they are not able to work with them. these include variable refresh rate (VRR), auto low-latency mode (ALLM), and Nvida G-Sync / AMD FreeSync.

However, Sony claims that the new projectors will still provide lower latency when gaming at 4K / 60Hz (27ms lag) and HD / 120Hz (16ms) than many competitive models that offer 4K / 120Hz, such as the JVC DLA-NX7.

2022 Sony home theater projector lineup

VPL-XW5000ES (new for 2022)

Sony VPL-XW5000 4K laser projector seen from a front angled view.
Sony
  • $ 6,000
  • Available in black and white colors
  • 2,000 lumens
  • Native 4K SXRD 0.61-inch panel
  • 3,840 x 2,160
  • Laser phosphor light source
  • X1 Ultimate for projector
  • 95% DCI-P3 Triluminos Pro
  • Manual “VW” lens
  • Two HDMI 2.0b inputs supporting, 4K @ 60Hz, 27ms lag, and HD @ 120Hz, 16ms lag

VPL-XW6000ES (new for 2022)

Sony VPL-XW6000 4K laser projector in white, seen from the front.
Sony
  • $ 12,000
  • Available in black and white colors
  • 2,500 lumens
  • Native 4K SXRD 0.61-inch panel
  • 3,840 x 2,160
  • Laser phosphor light source
  • X1 Ultimate for projector
  • 95% DCI-P3 Triluminos Pro
  • Motorized ACF lens with picture position memory
  • Two HDMI 2.0b inputs supporting, 4K @ 60Hz, 27ms lag, and HD @ 120Hz, 16ms lag

VPL-XW7000ES (new for 2022)

Sony VPL-XW7000 4K laser projector seen from the front.
Sony
  • $ 28,000
  • 3,200 lumens
  • Native 4K SXRD 0.61-inch panel
  • 3,840 x 2,160
  • Laser phosphor light source
  • X1 Ultimate for projector
  • 95% DCI-P3 Triluminos Pro
  • Motorized ACF lens with picture position memory
  • Two HDMI 2.0b inputs supporting, 4K @ 60Hz, 27ms lag, and HD @ 120Hz, 16ms lag

VW5000 (unchanged from 2021)

Sony VPL-VW5000ES 4K laser projector seen from the front.
Sony
  • Was $ 60,000, but new lower price to be announced soon
  • 5,000 lumens
  • Native 4K SXRD panel
  • 4,096 x 2,160
  • Laser phosphor light source
  • Motorized VPLL-Z7013 lens

VPL-GTZ380 (unchanged from 2021)

Sony VPL-GTX380 4K laser projector seen from the front.
Sony
  • $ 80,000
  • 10,000 lumens
  • Native 4K SXRD panel
  • 4,096 x 2,160
  • Laser phosphor light source
  • X1 Ultimate for projector
  • 100% DCI-P3 Triluminos Pro
  • Motorized ARC-F lens

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