There’s no local pricing announced yet, but it seems certain that Sony’s native 4K projection is about to become significantly more affordable, with the release of the VPL-VW260E as one of three new models announced at IFA 2017 in Berlin.

The VPL-VW260E has been quoted as having a European price of 4990 euros, and given that’s a fifth of the European price for the VW1000ES, we might just see an Australian price around $7500 for this new ‘entry-level’ (Sony prefers “high value-to-cost”) model. If it can come close to maintaining the performance levels of existing Sony native 4Kers, perhaps for slightly smaller room sizes, it will provide a firm retort to the new wave of 4K projectors using TI’s XPR system which flips micromirrors to create the required number of pixels in two passes using a lower-resolution DMD. The TI method is amazing tech, but the current generation seems to only allow output at 60Hz, creating inevitable pulldown judder for 24Hz and 50Hz material. Sony’s native 4K SXRD panels can deliver all frame rates properly.

The three new models introduced at IFA 2017 are:

– The premium laser light source VPL-VW760ES projector using a laser light source to deliver 2000 lumens; this light source is quoted for 20,000 hours use.

– The VPL-VW360ES, replacing the current VW320ES, with 1500 lumens and adding dynamic contrast control for a 200,000:1 dynamic contrast specification.

– The not dissimilar-looking but presumably lower-spec “affordable” VPL-VW260ES, again 1500 lumens and including “many of the features of the other two projectors, including a native 4K SXRD panel, Reality Creation and TRILUMINOS, so users get precise and clear images at a cost-effective price point”.

All three support High Dynamic Range, which some companies dismiss as irrelevant to current consumer projector technologies. Sony clearly disagrees, including both HDR10 and the broadcast/online standard HLG expected to become a standard for real-time HDR delivery. (Both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, the latter not supported here, require post-production decisions for pre-recorded content.)

More as it happens: www.pro.sony.com.au