Wolf Cinema BPP Laser-Illuminated Projector at CES 2015 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Wolf Cinema BPP Laser-Illuminated Projector at CES 2015



Wolf surprised me with a laser-illuminated, blue-pumped phosphor, e-Shift D-ILA projector among all the audio at the Venetian.

One of the few video-centric demos at the Venetian was presented by Wolf Cinema. I went in expecting the usual variety of DLP and D-ILA projectors that Wolf rebrands with its own tweaks and upgrades, and it did have a single-chip DLP and a "conventional" D-ILA projector with e-Shift (aka "faux-K") showing content. But I was surprised to find that a prototype of a D-ILA e-Shift model with laser illumination was also being demonstrated. It turns out that JVC sells this type of projector into the professional-simulator market, but it has authorized Wolf to bring it to consumers.

Like all current consumer-oriented laser-illuminated projectors, this one uses blue lasers to excite a phosphor coating on a spinning wheel to emit yellow light, which is then split into red and green components. The red and green light from the phosphor and the blue light from the lasers illuminate their respective D-ILA imaging chips, and the three images are then combined to form a full-color picture. This technology is generically known as blue-pumped phosphor (BPP).

The prototype being demonstrated was engineering sample number 5—in other words, an early prototype—operating in high-fan mode to keep things cool, so it was pretty noisy. According to Wolf, the final product will operate just fine in low-lamp mode. The peak brightness had not been measured, but the rep said it looked to be around 1500 lumens to his eye; I had no way to determine the accuracy of that.

The projector had been calibrated to BT.709, which is great, but the demo clip I saw was from the movie Speed Racer, which has such exaggerated colors that it was hard to tell. Still, the image looked quite good with excellent skin tones, and I didn't see any speckle on Screen Innovations' new Slate screen material (which I wrote about here); the screen was 2.35:1 and 133 inches wide.

According to Wolf, the target price for this projector is $30,000 to $40,000. No release date was discussed, but I presume we will see a much-closer-to-production version at CEDIA.

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post #2 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 04:58 PM
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nice to see these demos of technology, can't wait till more R&D is done to bring the price down to the wider consumer market, aka below $10k
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post
nice to see these demos of technology, can't wait till more R&D is done to bring the price down to the wider consumer market, aka below $10k
Epson has two projectors out that are well under $10000.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 07:44 AM
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Pity they didn't go all out and went for the 'faux 8K' instead. Like Boeing, though as far as I know that is a conventional lamp based projector, but JVC is actually shipping those.

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post #5 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
Epson has two projectors out that are well under $10000.
Have they actually started shipping those? Schedule was for US availability last December, Euro availability April.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 07:55 AM
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Scott first time I come across the term Blue-pumped Phosphor, are these Hybrid LASER/Phosphor, the term I come across more generally, besides the less accurate LASER projector, projectors generally using pumped lasers? They use Diode LASERs, so these would be diode-pumped solid-state LASERs. A diode that pumps light to a crystal.

I keep coming back to my point, pity Wolf limited the engine to 709, instead of adressing its full native gamut. we need better and bigger colour. 709 doesn't look exciting, it didn't on the 709 accurate DPI hybrids.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 08:17 AM
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To use a car analogy, seems to me Sim2 and Wolf are Lamborghini and Ferrari while Epson is the Chevy Corvette...competes in every category, just slightly less sexy, but way less money. I am by no means an authority on the parts, but is Wolf really spending 20Kish more than Epson on parts to build their laser projector?

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post #8 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 08:27 AM
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Wolf is buying a commercial JVC projector, so starting point is much higher for Wolf. Frontprojection is a niche, and Epson is the largest volume shipper in that niche, JVC professional is small numbers, Wolf's volume is miniscule.

Epson's main investment has been the development cost of those Reflective LCDs, that is carried by the LCD panel division, they couldn't bring those to market three years ago, as announced. The e-shift type technology is NHK licensed.

I hope JVC is using bigger LASER units as the Epson output in pre-production reviews has varied considerably, and output was somewhat disappointing, given LASERs steep drop-off compared to LED.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 12:55 PM
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One of the best things I saw at the whole show this year.

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post #10 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 05:51 PM
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Corvettes aren't sexy?

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post #11 of 15 Old 01-16-2015, 05:19 AM
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Corvettes aren't sexy?

I

Depends on the age. Somewhere I have a picture of a guy who looks like Scott driving a red corvette. I don't see what the domestication by Wolf of this JVC presentation projector brings to the market at $40K. NEC already produces a similar BBP machine which does a DCI color space and with certain professional modifications has good contrast levels.

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post #12 of 15 Old 01-16-2015, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
Depends on the age. Somewhere I have a picture of a guy who looks like Scott driving a red corvette. I don't see what the domestication by Wolf of this JVC presentation projector brings to the market at $40K. NEC already produces a similar BBP machine which does a DCI color space and with certain professional modifications has good contrast levels.
Mark, sometimes one can't escape me too's, but IF Wolf could get that 8K e-shift in at launch...
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-17-2015, 06:14 PM
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Really cool to see laser technology emerging in the HT market already. Nice write-up too!

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post #14 of 15 Old 01-17-2015, 08:40 PM
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It sounds like I may have seen some different demo material at CES with this, but the screen speckle on a place I was looking on a vertical pan looked fairly bad to me. Not like the speckle I got with a small pure laser projector I had, but still not what I would consider good. More like what I've seen with one of more of the black screens with a DiLA projector before. This was from standing back around where the projector was, but I'm also sensitive to speckle, so others might not be bothered by it in cases where I am.

I was told $30k for this one shipping February or March, but I'll be surprised if it is that soon.

I was also told that the lamp version was I think $13k and that the lamps last 2000 or 3000 hours with 18% loss.

I asked why somebody would pay $17k extra for the laser version if the lamps last that well and was told that some people would rather not have the dealer come back to calibrate and would pay to not have to worry about it (like they do with lamps).

For simulation it sounds like the laser system should last 20k to 40k hours depending on mode before the laser unit/block needs to be replaced.

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This looked very good at CES. Color depth and density was terrific. Fleshtones had a slight greenish cast, and the overall presentation was too cool (I believe the Wolf exec said color temp was at 5900K), but Wolf is aware of these issues and honing tech. Very impressive, but whether worth the $$$ is another story.
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