Sony Australia has released the VPL-VZ1000ES native 4K HDR Ultra Short Throw home theatre projector with laser light engine at $30,999. Able to be positioned as little as six inches away from the wall yet deliver a 100-inch image (around 120 inches is its maximum), the VZ1000ES comes in a package approximately 40% smaller than the currently-available previous-gen Sony VPL-GTZ1, though as the team admitted at the Sydney launch, it’s not exactly dinky, at 925 x 494 x 219mm, and weighing about 35kg.
It does, however, deliver the goods in many situations where a ceiling-mounted projector would not be possible, especially given the size of native 4K projectors at this time. The VZ1000ES could easily be incorporated into cabinetry below a screen, it can be ceiling-mounted upsidedown, or it can even be used for back projection.
Given that the resolution of 4K is considered to deliver its full effect at distances a mere 1.5 picture heights away from the screen, that might place seating a mere 125cm from a 100-inch screen (though if you try that, it’s a bit alarming). That makes this system entirely suitable for achieving a large screen size in relatively small viewing rooms with just a few seats, rather than your multi-rowed dedicated home cinema.
You also get longevity into the bargain thanks to the use of a Z-Phosphor laser light engine as the light source, replacing mercury lamps with semiconductor laser diodes. These not only promise around 20,000 hours of usage (that’s a movie a day for 27 years), but also maintain brightness and colour accuracy longer.
Coupled with Sony’s SXRD panels, the Z-Phosphor laser light engine enables the VPL-VZ1000ES to generate 2500 lumens of colour light output, which is 25% brighter than the VPL-GTZ1. Connections are made under a bay to the right of the projector unit, with four HDMI inputs listed in the specifications (we could only see two, but the others may be cunningly hidden), plus USB, and remote operation via a number of methods, including Ethernet.
It features HDR10 and HLG (the broadcast version of HDR), with “Dolby Vision on the roadmap” for Sony products in general. Note that its specifications say HDR compatible; we are checking with Sony if if this is a full 12-bit implemention.
The projector seemed to run impressively quietly during the launch, and remarkably cool too, and Sony’s Michael Bromley pointed to its low latency processing as making the proijector also excellent for gaming applications and virtual simulations.
“You can turn any wall into a life-sized window to another world,” said Sony at the launch. “For modern houses and apartments with large windows and limited wall space, a drop-down screen in front of the window enables great viewing of TV, movies and sports. There are no issues with shadows or obstructions from ceiling lights or fans. And when the show is over, raise the screen, and once again enjoy your view.”
The VPL-VZ1000ES ultra short throw 4K HDR home theatre projector is available now from Authorised Sony Professional Dealers for an SRP of AUD$30,999. In New Zealand it will be NZ$32,999.
For more information: Sony Australia