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Sony’s New Flagship Projector VPL-GTZ380 4K SXRD Laser Projector - Sony Pro


Will this have HT applications?
Absolutely!

Anyone who had considered stacking VPL-VW5000ES’s now has a solution without the need for regular optical-alignment touch-ups. No more extended warm-up time to stabilize, no more double the physical space requirement, no more elevated black level (two projectors = doubling of the black level).

Ken Whitcomb
 

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Looking at the power and lumens, it might bee too much light and heat for a small home cinema though.

Amazing the acoustic noise levels for it too, for that much light and heat.
 

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I´ve been lucky enough to have had two demos on this one (prototype that is...), and at least for the light output I can attest it delivers. They measured some 800 nits on a 3m wide screen if I recall it correctly... The prototypes were not finished though, and video material was not available to assess overall image parameters, but the fact that it delivers up to 10k lumens at full DCI (no filter needed) makes this a new reference sub 100k in my opinion at least... I do hope they have improved HDR tone mapping though, as it is needed even at these output-levels, but the specs does indicate at least an improvement from the current VW5000.
 

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Looking at the power and lumens, it might bee too much light and heat for a small home cinema though.

Amazing the acoustic noise levels for it too, for that much light and heat.
There will be a bunch of sparingly used VW5000ES available - so that is good for people who are happy with 5000 Lumens.

Heat .... the 5000 runs much cooler with the new firmware - hope Sony has mastered that for this beast
 

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But if it's twice the lumens at the same contrast ratio, wouldn't it still be double the black floor?
Yes it will indeed still be double the black floor.

However, there will be the convenience of achieving similar total light output as compared with two stacked SONY 5000ES, but without any of the hassle involved with respect to setting up, calibrating, maintaining, and the other issues associated with dual stacked projectors :)
 

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Some interesting points of note with respect to this projector, which are advantages as compared with the SONY 5000ES

Firstly, the light engine in the SONY 5000ES is singular blue laser through yellow phosphor. This new projector is using blue laser diodes of two differing wavelengths in addition to red laser diodes. This allows the projector to achieve 100% of DCI-P3 color gamut natively, without the need for a BT.2020 color filter and hence without any of the significant reduction in light output that is caused by such color filters.

Secondly, it is making use of Sony's latest X1 Ultimate video chipset for projectors.

Also worth bearing in mind that there will almost certainly be a rebadged and tweaked variation of this projector which will be launched specifically for the Home Theater market. This is precisely what transpired with the Sony 5000ES, which was/is in fact a rebadged and tweaked Sony VPL-GTZ270. Hence, expect Sony to announce in the not too distant future a VPL-VW10000ES (or whatever model name Sony ends up calling it) model new flagship home theater projector, which will be a rebadged and tweaked iteration of this new projector, the Sony VPL-GTZ380 :)

It's not all roses though... I personally consider a couple of aspects to be quite frankly disappointing.

Firstly, that the light engine is not full RGB laser. If this projector had dropped 2 years ago then I would have been excited. However, as of today you can purchase for the same money as this (and in fact significantly less money) projectors which are full RGB laser. Hence, at this price point and as of today it is disappointing that it is not. Albeit the dual red and blue laser is a welcome step forwards from singular blue laser, so at least that's something.

Secondly, and even more disappointing, there is not a significant improvement regarding contrast (and hence black level) performance as compared with the SONY 5000ES. The native ON/OFF contrast is only crica 16,000:1. Time will tell what is the actual measured contrast performance post-calibration, wherein with the 5000ES it is typical for the contrast post-calibration to be less. Furthermore, this new flagship Sony projector does not have either a manually adjustable iris or a dynamic iris, the both of which would be able to be used to significantly increase contrast performance. And given that the native ON/OFF contrast performance is less than or equal to only 16,000:1 I cannot help but observe that Sony has missed an opportunity here, and as such is repeating the same unfortunate omission in this respect as per the 5000ES. The fabulous Sony 1100ES had such a thing and when new (prior to SXRD panel degradation) it measured circa 300,000:1 peak contrast performance. Wherein, to put things in perspective 16,000:1 is 19 times worse contrast performance as compared with the SONY 1100ES.
 

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Certainly the forum factor has great potential for many since it appears to be not significantly larger than the 5000. For those with screen 14' wide and over looks a great option For me ,depending on the release timing, it could have a place but it just doesn't look like a great step up over my stack save for the maintenance/ baby sitting I do,time will tell...

Art
 

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Peter (Cineramax) states on Facebook that "basically the new vw-10k, has a red laser to achieve dci p3, 39 db or less, new lenses to handle the heat, 16k-1 cr. 80 base price w/o lenses. Sounds promising!"
 

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This is certainly an excellent option for people who might have been considering going the route of dual stacked Sony 5000ES.

However, as a new flagship projector, as of today, and costing circa $90,000 the specification is very disappointing.

You can buy a CHRISTIE projector for essentially the same money that's 30,000 lumens light output (versus 10,000 lumens), 6,000:1 contrast, full RGB laser light engine with laser diodes of multiple different wavelengths for each of the red, green, and blue, yielding >96% coverage of the full BT.2020 color gamut (versus only 100% of DCI-P3), that's 3-chip DLP (so has all the advantages of DLP as compared with LCoS, including better sharpness, higher MTF, superior uniformity etc. etc.), similarly silent operation, and is also all-in-one and similar dimensions as compared with this Sony VPL-GTZ380.

You can also purchase numerous BARCO and CHRISTIE projectors that are full RGB laser light engine for $55,000 - $90,000 and hence several which are significantly less expensive than this.

Hence, all things considered this really should have been full RGB laser. And it's very disappointing that it's not.

Sony has also missed the opportunity to incorporate a manually adjustable iris and/or dynamic iris to increase contrast performance, as per both the SONY 1100ES and JVC projectors.

As compared with the Sony 5000ES specifically, it primarily boils down to higher light output, plus a step forwards with respect to slightly improved color performance; and the X1 Ultimate chipset will see a slight bump with respect to the video processing. And that's pretty much it.

Given we have all been waiting so long for a successor to the Sony 5000ES to manifest, now that it finally has I was quite honestly expecting there to be more of an improvement than there actually is. It's not exactly game-changing is it?
 

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I would agree that one would have hoped for full RGB, and the Christie Griffyn looks great, but it is certainly somewhat larger and probably has (far) higher noise levels... Sony designed the VW10k / GTZ380 to be able to install in smaller auditoriums / studios / home cinemas, and as such imposed some limitations as such. Also, the Christie pricing might not account for the type of channelling Sony does in terms of distribution, often the "pro" projector suppliers leaves basically zero margin for anyone except the manufacturer, while as for Sony - at least in Europe - leaves some margin for the channel (not sky rocket margins by any means, but some...), meaning a 60k Christie "direct" quote would easily be 80-100k if sold through the Sony channel. Added channel margins might not sound good for a consumer / buyer, but for these types of installations, and especially home cinema, the time one spends designing / specifying etc etc really requires some margins if one is to have anything left after the sale is finalised - and also to make sure the installed projector is actually functioning properly in the environment it is installed in... :) In the pro-segment, the margins are normally made up through charging (and often times quite pricey) for hourly time spent, and finally through volume as one would often sell 10 systems to one client.

I for one am impressed with this new Sony, given its size (basically the same chassis as VW5000) and overall specs. What I really would have preferred though, is a higher contrast, but I did find the VW5000 performing very well even in dark scenes when the Envy was applied to it at ISE last time we used it. Sure, it´s nok inky JVC black, far from it, but I was not as bothered with crushed blacks and lacking details as I have been in the past using the VW5000 without any pre-processing applied to it. That said, I would hope the new X1 revision does a whole lot to the processing as Sony really has some serious limitations in their current design. I would also hope they would make these updates available to existing X1 users, i.e. firmware updating (for free) their existing line of projectors to better handle HDR.
 

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Sony has also missed the opportunity to incorporate a manually adjustable iris and/or dynamic iris to increase contrast performance, as per both the SONY 1100ES and JVC projectors.
Perhaps the home model will include this.
 

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I would agree that one would have hoped for full RGB, and the Christie Griffyn looks great but it is certainly somewhat larger and probably has (far) higher noise levels... Sony designed the VW10k / GTZ380 to be able to install in smaller auditoriums / studios / home cinemas, and as such imposed some limitations as such.
Christie have designed the Griffyn to be able to install in smaller auditoriums / studios / home cinemas as well. It has liquid cooling so not entirely dependant on fans and is specced at less than 50 dB operating noise levels at full 30,000 lumens light output, which nobody will be operating the projector at. Brightness matched versus the Sony GTZ380 I would expect the operating noise levels to be essentially identical. It's not massively larger either being only 3" wider, 4" higher and circa 9" longer as compared directly with the Sony GTZ380.

Also worth mentioning that you can buy a SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS for essentially the same money. This has a similar peak light output and it's contrast and black level performance absolutely destroys this new Sony projector. The downside is that it's not 4K resolution, but only HD 1080p, and it's not laser, but on paper it appears to have wider gamut coverage than this new Sony flagship. For those who favour the aspects that most influence good video image quality and performance the SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS will certainly be worth consideration: SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS | Review

Also, the Christie pricing might not account for the type of channelling Sony does in terms of distribution, often the "pro" projector suppliers leaves basically zero margin for anyone except the manufacturer, while as for Sony - at least in Europe - leaves some margin for the channel (not sky rocket margins by any means, but some...), meaning a 60k Christie "direct" quote would easily be 80-100k if sold through the Sony channel. Added channel margins might not sound good for a consumer / buyer, but for these types of installations, and especially home cinema, the time one spends designing / specifying etc etc really requires some margins if one is to have anything left after the sale is finalised - and also to make sure the installed projector is actually functioning properly in the environment it is installed in... :) In the pro-segment, the margins are normally made up through charging (and often times quite pricey) for hourly time spent, and finally through volume as one would often sell 10 systems to one client.
That says more about the importance of choosing the right dealer who isn't going to charge ridiculously inflated installation fees than it does about the actual product. Furthermore, buyers will typically always expect to be paying a price that is discounted below the MSRP with respect to home theater AV projectors. Sony tries to reduce incidence of this happening in the USA via its 'SURE' pricing policy but in reality there is typically always a discount factored in somewhere somehow. Also, in reality it is not uncommon for dealers to charge additional installation fees with respect to high-end home theater equipment as well. The bottom line is what the customer actually pays; and in this regard there are numerous full RGB projectors which cost either the same or in fact significantly less money than this new flagship Sony laser projector.

I for one am impressed with this new Sony, given its size (basically the same chassis as VW5000) and overall specs. What I really would have preferred though, is a higher contrast, but I did find the VW5000 performing very well even in dark scenes when the Envy was applied to it at ISE last time we used it. Sure, it´s nok inky JVC black, far from it, but I was not as bothered with crushed blacks and lacking details as I have been in the past using the VW5000 without any pre-processing applied to it. That said, I would hope the new X1 revision does a whole lot to the processing as Sony really has some serious limitations in their current design. I would also hope they would make these updates available to existing X1 users, i.e. firmware updating (for free) their existing line of projectors to better handle HDR.
However you dress it up 16,000:1 equates to a distinctly gray black floor. Poor contrast performance has been a primary fundamental flaw with respect to native 4K projectors in general for years now. JVC's new range of projectors has addressed this very successfully. It's a great shame that Sony has not followed suit. For example, the JVC RS3000/NX9 measures circa 240,000:1 which is 15 TIMES greater contrast performance as compared with this new Sony flagship projector. Furthermore, Sony's first native 4K flagship projector, the 1100ES, made use of a dynamic iris to boost contrast and thereby achieved circa 300,000:1 contrast performance, which is 19 TIMES greater contrast performance as compared with this new Sony flagship projector. This has been and continues to be a primary flaw of the Sony 5000ES. Sony had opportunity to get it right this time and fix this. In short, they haven't. The technology whereby considerably better contrast performance with native 4K resolution can be achieved exists and it is right there ready and waiting to be used. Sony hasn't bothered to do so. The contrast performance is a compromise. And with a circa $90,000 spend and considering this is to be Sony's new flagship projector people should not have to suffer a compromise in this regard. And then also consider the fact that the light engine is only a half step forwards, and not full RGB. Sorry, but IMO for a circa $90,000 spend and new flagship projector people deserve better than this. Very disappointing.
 

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