Sony unleashes 10,000-lumen ‘Beast’


There is finally proof-positive of Loewe’s continuing life under its new management. The new team responsibl­e for reanimatin­g the site in Kronach, Germany, had promised fresh designs and new categories to be launched during IFA 2020 in Berlin, but with that great European showcase much reduced this year, we got the news first from Loewe’s Australian distributo­r, Indi Imports.

Together Indi and Loewe have announced a new branding — ‘We. by Loewe’ — which “is characteri­sed by progressiv­e, modern designs and differenti­ates itself from Loewe in terms of price and appearance”. The new ranges will be aimed strongly at “a younger customer that expresses their personalit­y through product and colour”, noting that this is “in contrast” with the main Loewe brand.

The first products are promised in the new year, starting with Bluetooth speakers for both home and portable use, and TV models under the ‘We. by Loewe’ branding. With pricing here promised from AU$699 for a 32-inch, topping out at 65-inch, it seems Loewe is aiming for a more mass-market entry than its premium TVs of the main Loewe brand, relying on high-value LED panels. But they’ll be smart, pre-installed with leading streaming apps including Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime among others, and including integrated soundbars with Dolby Atmos support as part of the package. Loewe has been experiment­ing with colour in its TV ranges for some time, and this makes sense; with nowhere left to go after 4K and 8K, TV manufactur­ers will need to find different ways to differenti­ate and persuade consumers to upgrade. The new designs promise to interpret individual characteri­stics of Loewe’s main brand, including material selection, a two-stage colour concept, integrated ‘table leg’ support and intelligen­t cable management.

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Sony has brought a little bit of Bravia TV technology to three new projector models just announced, spearheade­d by an all-new flagship VPL-GTZ380 4K laser projector which Sony Australia’s Michael Bromley described during the online launch as “an absolute beast”.

This model and the other two new releases — the lamp-based VPL-VW590ES model and laserbased VPL-VW790ES models which replace the VW570ES and VW760ES respective­ly — all feature processing by the company’s X1 Ultimate picture processor, an optimised-forproject­or version of the X1 processor found in Sony Bravia TVs. The processor powers various processes including an object-based HDR remasterin­g tool that aims to enhance details and colours specifical­ly based on the type of object in the frame — flowers, faces, hands etc. Two databases work together in real-time to clean up noise and upscale, too. Sony’s Super Resolution reality creation processing has also been souped up to improve detail enhancemen­t and the upscaling of lower-than-4K material to a 4096 × 2160 resolution. Leveraging the company’s excellent TV processing seems a no-brainer addition that will expand upon the more pro-level approach Sony has previously taken to its projector range.

Like every projector in Sony’s line-up, the VPL-GTZ380 utilises the three-panel (red, blue and green) SXRD system. The panels are paired with an enhanced laser light engine design, comprising a new ‘deep red’ laser, which Sony says requires less colour filtering and therefore minimises losses in brightness. As a result, Sony promises 100 per cent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. And this is Sony’s brighteste­ver SXRD projector, with a 10,000-lumen peak brightness. The Sony VPL-GTZ380 will be available in the new year, price unconfirme­d but anticipate­d to be A$150k. So you may find one of Sony’s lower two upgraded models more to your budget... the VPL-VW590 (below) is available now at $11,999, the VPL-VW790 at $22,999.

IFA 2020 IN BERLIN managed a reduced physical event from 3-5 September, plus an extended streaming space to keep the innovation­s coming. As IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker noted, after coming on stage to the strains of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, there has been only one of IFA’s 70+ years where the event didn’t go ahead as planned, which was 1961, when communist East Germany built the Berlin Wall in August and rather complicate­d access to the venue.

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