Sony’s new laser highs
In our last edition, we were praising the Sony VW760ES laser projector as their best residential unit yet. It seems that we spoke too soon – as the new VPL-VW870ES has since hit our shores.
The new model uses the same advanced SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) panel technology as previous models and continues to deliver native 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution images. But the big changes come with the physical elements of the projection system.
The VW870ES boosts brightness by 10 percent to 2200 lumens, and uses a new dual dynamic contrast system to balance this extra brightness against black levels. In conjunction with internal processing and HDR information, it is able to maintain deep blacks while still providing extra light when called upon. Technology has also trickled down from Sony’s super-expensive VW5000ES 4K laser projector with the use of the same All Range Crisp Focus (ARC-F) lens. The all-glass design of this large-aperture lens ensures the convergence of red, green and blue primary images. Add in the Digital Focus Optimizer which compensates for optical degradation using digital processing, and you experience the vividness of the laser projection and the clarity of the UHD image to the edges of the screen.
As with all laser projectors, you can get up to 20,000 hours of uninterrupted operation with little or no degradation of the light source so, unlike a standard bulb, there is no need for lamp replacement, and virtually zero maintenance.
And as the availability of more detailed source material expands into the realm of 4K HDR 60p content, the VPL-VW870ES is now HDMI 18Gbps-compatible, ensuring you can use every skerrick of information to ensure smoother gradations.
Gaming also gets attention at the topend this time around. Producing such a projection image takes time, which you can afford when watching movies, but when using a gaming console, those precious milliseconds can make a big difference. All of Sony’s latest projectors have an input lag reduction mode which dramatically improves the performance of the display reaction speed. So now you can exploit the superior video processing of the newer UHD consoles with “breathtakingly detailed image quality” but still have control of the finite movements and timing of gameplay.
At $35,999 the Sony VPL-VW870ES is an investment in a superior image that has the technology to last for years of enjoyment, no matter what you throw at it.