CEDIA 2015 -- Show Round-up
October 20, 2015,
We're back in the office having returned from CEDIA 2015 in Dallas, TX. The show just wrapped up on Saturday. This was an exciting, vibrant show and we've got a lot to talk about. First, there were a variety of new 4K and 1080p projectors released all across the price spectrum, from $200,000 down to under $1000. Second, there were some new screen products introduced. Third, Texas Instruments previewed a prototype of an all-new 4K DLP chip that could rock a lot of worlds starting next summer. Let's first get to the product releases, then talk about that chip.
Sony was once again dominating the show buzz with new steps forward in native 4K products. They introduced the new high performance VPL-VW5000ES, pumping out 5000 lumens of sparkling, extremely high contrast 4K (4096x2160) resolution for $60,000. This model was not only shown in Sony's big demo theater (which again wins the award for the longest lines at CEDIA), but it was also set up in the Stewart Filmscreen booth, where its performance in ambient light on a 110" diagonal Studiotek 130 screen was rather dazzling.
If you don't happen to have $60K lying around and you don't need 5000 lumens, Sony also released two more native 4K models that might better fit your needs. The VPL-VW665ES is rated at 1800 lumens ($14,999), and the VPL-VW365ES is 1500 lumens for $9,999. Both of these models will be shipping by the end of this month.
Finally, for the larger consumer audience that isn't quite ready to step up to 4K, Sony has released an upgraded version of their HW55ES, the new VPL-HW65ES. This is a native full HD 1080p projector featuring reflective SXRD technology, rated at 1800 lumens, and begins shipping this month for a retail of $3,999.
Epson had nothing new in the 4K world, and thus was continuing to promote its popular LS10000, released last year. However, upstairs in the second floor theater of their booth they were showing one of their new high brightness 1920x1200 (WUXGA) models, the Pro Cinema 1985, rated at 4800 lumens. This product looks hot. Traditionally, if you wanted high brightness you sacrificed contrast, but the 1985 goes a long way toward making that trade-off a thing of the past. The projector was being shown on a Vutec Dove Gray 0.8 gain screen, the combination of which delivered an exceptionally bright image that sparkled with plenty of contrast and solid blacks, looking perfectly fine even in low ambient light. Priced at $2,495, the ProCinema 1985 looks like it is destined for sports bars where ambient light is a obvious fact of life. But it also looks like just the ticket for residential big screen installations when you want enough firepower for evening outdoor theaters, or to leave some lights on for football parties and such.
JVC released brighter editions of their 4K-enabled eShift models. The DLA-X950R (1900 lumens, $9995), the DLA-750R (1800 lumens, $6995), and the DLA-550R (1700 lumens, $3995) have all been boosted in brightness from the 1300 lumen ratings of their predecessors. Though other vendors often quote higher lumen ratings, they often reflect non-video optimized modes, which is not helpful when you're looking for home cinema products. JVC has traditionally been more conservative, quoting the lumen spec as the actual amount of light you'd expect to get after the projector is calibrated for optimum video performance. What this means in reality is that, once projectors are tuned up for best video, JVC projectors are often as bright as competing units that tout 3000 lumens of brightness or more. All three of JVC's new models feature dual HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 compatibility and HDR.
Digital Projection was demonstrating two 3-chip DLP projectors in native 4K resolution that were released earlier this year -- the Insight 4K Laser (12,000 lumens, $120,000), and the Insight 4K LED (2000 lumens, $150,000). These models have an estimated 20,000 hours and 50,000 hours on the light engines respectively. They come with an array of lens options, extensive lens shift, and virtually unlimited tilt orientations to accommodate virtually any installation challenge. The Insight 4K LED in particular has an extended color space to meet UHD Rec 2020 standards -- a rarity at the moment. And it was a winner of CEDIA 2015 Best New Product Award.
If the pristine video products from Digital Projection don't quite float your boat and you've got about $200,000 to install a pure commercial digital cinema system in your home, the ultra-high performance rig from Quantum Media Systems may be your ticket to video Nirvana. Their new custom 3-chip DLP, RGB laser projector puts out 5000 lumens and is another one of the rare projectors that currently meets Rec 2020 color space specifications. The QMS projection system was being demo'd on Stewart Filmscreen's new acoustically transparent Tela 80 woven fabric, 0.8 gain screen. Finer video is never seen.
Vivitek introduced a trio of new 1080p models, including two large format installation projectors, the DH6671 (5850 lumens), and the DH6861 (7000 lumens). They also introduced the DH559, a portable home unit rated at 3200 lumens. We do not have price information as of this writing.
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