In keeping with recent trends at the high end of the home theater projector market, Sony has announced three new native 4K SXRD laser models and fully eliminated lamps from its line-up.

Sony VPL XW7000 top angle
Sony VPL-XW7000ES

The new VPL-XW7000ES ($27,999), VPL-XW6000ES ($11,999), and VPL-XW5000ES ($5,999) replace four existing models in the prior line-up. Models being phased out include the VPL-VW1025ES ($39,999) and VPL-VW915ES ($19,999)—both laser projectors—and the VPL-VW715ES ($9,999) and VPL-VW325ES ($5,499) lamp projectors. The VPL-HW65ES ($2,999), Sony's long running 1080p SXRD entry, is also being eliminated. Above the new projectors remain the VPL-VW5000ES ($60,000) and the flagship VPL-GTZ380 reviewed last summer ($80,000).

The revised line-up is therefore all native 4K with laser, and the new models are being offered at prices that will compete more effectively with recent introductions from LCoS rival JVC, whose native 4K laser projectors start at $11,000 with the DLA-NZ7/RS2100, and Epson, which now offers the LS12000 and LS11000 4K 3LCD laser projectors at $5,000 and $4,000, respectively.

The new laser projectors are all considerably brighter as well, with 2,000 ANSI lumens for the XW5000 (up from 1,500 lumens for the 325ES), 2,500 lumens for the XW6000 (up from 1,800 lumens for the VW715), and 3,200 lumens for the X7000 (up from 2,000 lumens for the VW915). This is also in tune with the tendency toward higher lumen output, even in traditional dark-room theater projectors, to better accommodate HDR or viewing in moderate ambient light.

Sony VPL XW6000 front white
The VPL-XW6000ES shares the same chassis as the XW7000 but comes in either black or white.

In common to all the new Sony models is the X1 Ultimate for Projector processor, which was previously reserved only for the top-of-the-line GTZ380. For these step-down models, the processor upgrade is said to allow carryover of the enhanced object-based HDR and object-based database upscaling first promoted in the 380, though some prior models had slightly less precise executions of those technologies. Specifically, the processor enables features that include Dual-Database Processing for object-based noise reduction and upscaling; Object-based HDR Remaster which is said to improve HDR contrast through object recognition; Digital Contrast Optimizer which focuses on deepening blacks in dark areas of the image; and Dynamic HDR Enhancer, which uses a combination of pixel-level processing, laser modulation, and possibly a dynamic iris (depending on the model) to enhance HDR rendering. Digital Focus Optimizer, also carried in from prior models, improves edge and corner focus by anticipating the modest optical distortions inherent in any lens.

Similar to all three models is a trio of smaller, 0.61-inch LCoS-based native SXRD panels, replacing the 0.74-inch chips used in the prior line-up. The new panel is of essentially the same design but stops at 4K UHD resolution (3840x2160) rather than DCI resolution (4096x2160). The change has no real bearing on viewing of home cinema content, but it does contribute to a smaller light engine and significantly reduced chassis size. The XW7000 and XW6000 are 20% smaller than the former VPL-VW915, while the XW5000 is 30% smaller. The XW5000 comes in around 29 pounds, a couple of pounds lighter than the VW325, while the two step-up models come in under 31 pounds, nearly 14 pounds less than the VW915.

Sony VPL XW5000 fronttop black
The VPL-XW5000ES offers a slightly smaller footprint than the XW6000 or XW7000, thanks in part to use of a manual instead of motorized lens. It will be available in either black or white.

Further contributing to the size reduction in the entry-model XW5000 is a new, fully manual 1.6x zoom lens (1.38-2.21:1 throw ratio), which replaces the motorized lens in the earlier VPL-VW325ES. Lens shift is spec'd at ±71% vertical and ±25% horizontal. The VPL-XW7000ES and VPL-XW6000ES both feature a version of Sony's premium ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) lens, marketed here as ACF (Advanced Crisp Focus). Fully motorized, it features a 70mm aspheric front lens for better center-to-edge focus, a floating focus system that moves two lens groups to optimize focus, and extra-low dispersion glass to avoid color deviations across the full zoom range. That lens offers a 2.1x zoom (1.85-2.84:1 throw ratio) and ±85% vertical/±36% horizontal shift. This migration into the step-down models brings the availability of Sony's best lens down from $40K in the VW1025 to $12K in the XW6000.

All three projectors utilize the same blue laser+phosphor light engine with a 20,000-hour lifespan, and new Wide Dynamic Range optics that allow them to achieve 95% DCI-P3 color gamut. They are compatible with both HDR10 and HLG. There is no support for HDR10+ dynamic tone mapping with compatible content, which does appear on the new JVC and Epson models. But Imax Enhanced content is supported in the Sonys, and more critically for some viewers, so is Full HD 3D playback in the XW7000 and XW6000. The XW5000, unfortunately, does not support 3D, which is a lost opportunity considering the lack of 3D support in the Epson laser models. For installers, Control4, Crestron, Savant and AMX control systems are supported, as are the OvrC and Domotz remote monitoring servcies.

Sony VPL XW6000 white lifestyle slider
Brighter lumen output across the new line should help facilitate brighter HDR or viewing in moderate ambient light.

Gamers may be disappointed to hear that the two HDMI ports in the new projectors are version HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.3, so they will not support 4K/120Hz gaming from the latest consoles (which requires HDMI 2.1 with at least 32 Gbps bandwidth). However, the projectors offer a Input Lag Reduction mode that is spec'd to deliver the same 27 milliseconds input lag with 4K/60 Hz signals that was offered in the prior models, along with new capabilities to accept 1080/120 signals with lag as low as 16 ms. Neither VRR, ALLM or G-Sync are supported. Other connections include a 3.5mm 12V trigger, RS-232C, 3.5mm IR input, and RJ45 LAN port for control; a 3D sync output (XW7000 and XW6000 only); and a USB-A for firmware and service.

Both the VPL-XW5000ES and VPL-XW6000ES will be available in either a black or white chassis, while the VPL-XW7000ES will available in black only. Sony has not yet issued release dates.

 
Comments (20) Post a Comment
Tom Posted Apr 26, 2022 4:18 PM PST
It boggles the mind why more manufacturers can't give it all. Of the 20 or so features people look for, you typically have to go $10k or more to get them.

This is a great projector it would seem, but why wouldn't they include 120hz 4k HDMI 2.1?

I know there are other differences of course, but: Epson 12000 = 120 hz 4k but no dynamic tone-mapping Sony 5000 = dynamic tone-mapping but no 120 hz 4k. The $11,000 JVC has it all but that's double the cost.

:(
Tom Posted Apr 26, 2022 4:33 PM PST
So maybe the JVC lamp-based NP5 for $7000 and then you know you'll need $1800 for their insanely high-priced bulbs. That gives 3d, dynamic tone-mapping, 4k 120hz, and of course their crazy contrast and HDR.
Nathan Posted Apr 26, 2022 5:44 PM PST
Does the 5000 support 3d? The manuals aren’t on Sony’s website yet so no way to tell other than it not being mentioned for that model.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 26, 2022 5:55 PM PST
As noted in the report, yes on 3D but only for the XW6000 and XW7000 -- though it is unclear if you'll need to invest in an outboard emitter to use with the 3D Sync port. I am looking into this.
sajid khan Posted Apr 26, 2022 7:03 PM PST
whew...saved by the bell!just when i was about to buy the 325 lamp model...praying that the black levels are as good as the lamp version...cant wait...
Martin Posted Apr 26, 2022 7:34 PM PST
When they will understand we need Dolby vision?
Chet Posted Apr 27, 2022 9:08 AM PST
@Rob, are you sure about the 3D capabilities? Some are saying that the 5000 will not support 3D. Not sure about the 6000. Could you please get confirmation from Sony regarding the 3D capabilities on these projectors and, if so, find out if the outboard emitter is required? Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 27, 2022 11:14 AM PST
Chet, thanks for flagging this. Unfortunately, you are correct that the XW5000 does not support 3D, but the XW6000 and XW7000 do according to Sony's specs. I've edited the article accordingly and my response to the earlier question. I'll clarify if those two models require the outboard emitter.

Ron Borne Posted Apr 27, 2022 5:47 PM PST
What’s the best option. Sony 5000 or Epson12000b? Thanks
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 28, 2022 7:14 AM PST
We expect to look at both projectors side-by-side shortly.
Ren Posted Apr 29, 2022 5:12 AM PST
Its kinda weird that in UK they only have 2 model the 5000 and the 7000. but they price the 7000 in US for 27k and in UK only 14k pound. Thats a huge price difference.
Matthew Posted Apr 29, 2022 3:30 PM PST
Rob The article states a fully manual" lense for the 5000 but your specs page for the unit states motorised lens zoom and focus. Here's hoping it's the latter - otherwise wide screen adjustable options are out. Cheers for all your great work👍👌
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 29, 2022 3:32 PM PST
Absolutely a manual lens on the XW5000; we will fix our specs page. Thanks for flagging.
Adam Posted Apr 30, 2022 10:07 AM PST
Hello, I have Epson EB-1980, I would like to change it to something better, my favorite was 12000 LS, but last week XW-5000 comining .... I have dark room 4x7 m (garage) with Elite Screen 150". Will it be great jump of picture quality, changing to this projector with laser source ? Whitch of them will be better option ? I will use it for playing PS5 games, also stream services as HBO MAX, Netflix, Prime will run from PS5. Thank you for advice.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 30, 2022 10:10 AM PST
Adam, if you play videogames the lower input lag and HDMI 2.1 ports with 4K/120 compliance on the LS12000 should be an attraction, and the Epson also has the motorized lens and considerably brighter output for your big screen. The only possible advantages I can see for the Sony may be somewhat deeper black level and possibly a slightly sharper image -- and I say MAY -- until we look at these two side by side. We will be doing that shortly.
Nick Posted May 1, 2022 3:22 PM PST
HDMI 2.0 in 2022? Bloody hell Sony, mental idiocy on that one. Immediately removed from being considered.
Matthew Wilfong Posted May 2, 2022 7:35 PM PST
I preordered the XW6000es projector and I am SO CONFUSED on the 3D compatibility of this projector. I read the Owners Manual on the Sony website and it says: "To view a 3D image, you need to connect a 3D sync transmitter (commercially available). Connect the 3D SYNC OUT terminal (mini jack) on the projector to the BNC connector on the 3D sync transmitter with a connecting cable (not supplied)." 3D is the most important feature of spending an extra $6000 over the XW5000es. Im coming from a Sony VPL-VW295 where my XPAND 105 glasses just work. Is this not the case with this model. And what the heck does all this mean. I looked online and all i can find is 3D emitters for other projectors that use a 3 pin Din connection and not a mini jack. So what do I need to buy? Please help, Even Sony's dedicated ES customer service phone number is clueless (saying the projector was just announced and I will find out in a month or so). This is crazy that I dropped $12000 on this product and even Sony does not know what I need to get 3D to work. Crazy. I'm thinking of dropping my preorder and going with a JVC NX Series. At least they have their own 3D emitter I can purchase. PLEASE HELP!!!!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 2, 2022 7:45 PM PST
All prior Sony outboard emitters as supplied for their TVs back in the day have used a proprietary connector; this is the first 3D emitter output I've seen that doesn't use a standard 3-pin VESA connector, which would have allowed you to use a JVC or other brand product that meets that standard (as I was able to do with the VPL-GTZ380 when I reviewed it). We'll ask Sony for clarification, but I gather that with these products not yet set to ship, they will hopefully have the accessory available when the projectors start shipping.
John Posted May 14, 2022 2:10 PM PST
John, Any update on the LS12000 vs the xw5000es comparison?
Tairan Posted Jun 1, 2022 10:07 AM PST
I really cant comprehend how they only have HDMI 2.0b on these NEW projectors in 2022. If Sony offered 3D in all there models, motorized lenses, and HDMI 2.1 then this would be a excellent reason to go Sony over JVC or Epson

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