Sony Outs VPL-VW500ES, World’s First 4K Projector With HDMI 2.0

Vincent Teoh

One of the biggest stories leading on from yesterday’s official announcement of the new HDMI 2.0 came from Sony who unveiled the world’s first 4K projector with support for the new standard.

Sony VPL-VW500ES

The Sony VPL-VW500ES, which will go on sale sometime this October, is said to be a cheaper and more accessible model than the Japanese manufacturer’s previous world-first 4K projector the VPL-VW1000ES. This latest device will sit alongside its larger cousin in Sony’s 4K projector line-up, featuring the same super-high 4096 x 2160 resolution plus HDMI 2.0 connectivity, which means it’ll be capable of outputting Ultra HD video at a frame rate of 60fps.

Presuming we find a way to get more 4K media soon, Sony’s VW500ES could well become the first device capable of screening 4K Blu-rays and other physical media to hit the stores.

Sony’s projector is a nifty little device even without the HDMI 2.0 support though. One of its notable features is the Reality Creation super-resolution 4K upscaler that allows it to enhance and deliver extra detail in standard 1080p Full HD content, creating a finer, sharper image than any other projectors are capable of. This enhanced content won’t be able to compare with the super-fine detail of genuine 4K, but as far as your existing Blu-ray collection goes its going to look a damn sight better than it ever did before.

The VW500 projector also comes with a further upscaling algorithm that was first used with Sony’s “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray collection – movies that do away with the extras in favour of delivering the best quality picture that’s possible to get out of Full HD.

Specs-wise, it’s interesting to see how the VPLVW500ES compares with the top-end VPL-VW1000ES. The newer projector is noticeably smaller than the VW1000, with a smaller chassis size and more compact design, while its quoted contrast is also much lower at 200,000:1 vs. the 1,000,000:1 specs on the VPL-VW1000ES. The VPL-VW500ES also has a narrower range of colours, with no Adobe RGB or DCI support.

Sony didn’t announce a price tag for the VPL-VW500ES yesterday, but our man at IFA 2013 was informed that it’s likely to be in the “affordable” range, priced at something like £8,500 compared to the VPL-VW1000ES’s £17,000 retail price.