Sony has improved on the already surprisingly compact VPL-PHZ60 and VPL-PHZ50 with the announcement of what it's calling the world's smallest WUXGA (1920x1200) 3LCD laser projectors, the VPL-PHZ61 and VPL-PHZ51. The new projectors are a bit brighter than their predecessors at 6,400 lumens (7,000 center) and 5,300 lumens (5,800 lumens center), respectively (as opposed to 6,000 and 5,000 of the PHZ60 and PHZ50).
The fixed-lens projectors have a vertical shift of +55% (which Sony says is the widest of fixed-lens projectors), adding flexibility to installation possibilities in all sorts of environments—such as meetings rooms, classrooms, museum installations, and golf simulators. Critically, several advanced features introduced in Sony's VPL-PHZ85 have been moved down into these new models. Among these is the company's venue/application specific Intelligent Settings version 3.0 options, and an ambient light sensor to adjust brightness and color gain based on the characteristics of the room. The ambient sensor also works at night to help with power consumption.
The projectors come with Sony's excellent Reality Creation processing, including Reality Text, which produces clearer lettering in text-based presentation material. Both support 4K/60 signals over their HDMI with HDCP 2.3. Additional features include Auto On when a video signal is sensed and Auto Input Select to switch to the input with the live signal, as well as data cloning to easily copy settings from one projector to another using a USB flash drive.
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The VPL-PHZ61 will be available in North America starting in November while VPL-PHZ51 will ship in December. List prices are $5,500 for the VPL-PHZ61 and $4,500 for the VPL-PHZ51 before the usual street price discounts.