In September 2021, Sony released the VPL-GTZ380 4K Laser projector with advanced features and 10,000 lumens of peak brightness — at a price of $80,000.
Of course, not too many consumers can afford it, but Sony has announced three more projectors for 2022, the VPL-XW5000ES, VPL-XW6000ES, and VPL-XW7000ES. These projectors don’t push out as much light as the GTZ380 but offer some similar high-performance features in a “lower” priced package. Let’s check out what they offer before we tell you the price of each one.
Features All Three Projectors Share
3-Chip SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display): SXRD technology employs LCD chips that are placed on top of a reflective surface instead of a light pass-through surface. There are separate LCD chips for red, green, and blue primary colors.
Note: SXRD is Sony’s trademark for LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) technology. For example, JVC uses D-ILA (Direct-Drive Image Light Amplification) as their trademark for the same technology in their projectors.
Native 4K Resolution: All three projectors project 8.3 million discreet pixels (3840 x 2160) onto the screen. Sony doesn’t use pixel-shifting that you find with most other branded video projectors. With the XW series, you get a full native 4K UHD resolution image.
Laser Light Source: Instead of a lamp, a blue laser diode is combined with a yellow phosphor wheel. A portion of the blue laser light passes through, while another portion hits a yellow phosphor wheel which creates red and green light. This technology provides up to 20,000 use hours of life (no lamp means no periodic lamp replacement). In addition, the Laser/Phosphor combination does not contain any mercury, which is common with most projector lamps.
X1 Ultimate Video Processor for Projectors: These projectors use a variation of the X1 processor used in select high-end Sony TVs. This enables the projector to provide precise video upscaling, detail enhancement, and video noise reduction when needed. The X1 processor also performs Dynamic HDR enhancement (Tone Mapping). This process fine-tunes the contrast and brightness of HDR content in accordance with the projector’s light output capabilities.
Wide Dynamic Range Optics: The SRXD panel in combination with the laser/phosphor light engine and lens assembly provide precise light control for shadows and blacks.
Color Range: All three projectors can display 95% of the DCI-P3 color range via Sony’s Triluminos Pro technology.
IMAX Enhanced: All three projectors are compatible with IMAX Enhanced video standards.
HDMI: Two HDMI 2.0b inputs are provided with 4K resolution, 18Gps transfer rate, and HDR10/HLG support.
Tip: Sony VPL-series projectors have a tendency to be large and heavy. For 2022, Sony has reduced the size and weight of the XW series as much as 30% over some previous models.
In addition to the above features, the Sony VPL-XW5000ES provides 2,000 lumens of maximum light output and features a manually operated lens (focus, zoom, lens shift). Sony also claims that the XW5000ES is the world’s smallest native 4K projector (at least until Sony or someone else comes out with a smaller one).
The Sony VPL-XW5000ES provides the next step with 2,500 lumens of maximum light output and features a motorized ACF lens with picture position memory.
The Sony VPL-XW7000ES provides another performance jump with the following:
Light Output: 3,200 lumens of max light output.
Advanced Crisp Focus (ACF) lens: The lens assembly on the XW7000ES provides precise clarity across the entire screen with the following:
- 70mm aspherical front lens provides a wider 4K-level focus area.
- Floating focus system that delivers more stable image performance from corner to corner without distortion from short to long throw distance.
- Extra-low dispersion glass to reproduce the crisp image without color deviation.
Live Color Enhancer: This feature provides more vivid and vibrant images without compromising on color saturation where needed (high color volume).
Availability & Pricing
All three projectors are available for pre-order with expected release dates in June 2022.
- VPL-XW5000ES: $5,998 at Amazon, Sony, Best Buy, and other Authorized Dealers. Available in black or white on June 10, 2022.
- VPL-XW6000ES: $11,998 at Amazon, Sony, Best Buy, and other Authorized Dealers. Available in black or white on June 17, 2022.
- VPL-XW7000ES: $27,998 at Amazon, Sony, Best Buy, and other Authorized Dealers. Available only in black on on June 17, 2022.
Tip: No matter which of these projectors you decide to purchase, it is a good idea to have it professionally installed and calibrated.
Related reading: Best 4K Projectors