updated 08:55 am EDT, Thu September 14, 2006
Sony VW50 SXRD Projector
The option of full 1080p projection for home theater has been available for awhile, but virtually all of these systems have been priced well above the level of already-expensive 1080p televisions without necessarily adding any extra features. Sony hopes to change this state of affairs with the announcement today of its new VPL-VW50 front projector. The new system has many of the features common to high-end units beyond the full HDTV resolution: the SXRD (liquid crystal on silicon) design and automatically irising lens provide an exceptionally high contrast ratio of 15,000:1. A full range of connection options exists, ranging from RCA and VGA to two 1080p-capable HDMI inputs. All these features, however, are only made relevant by the price. When the VW50 ships for $4,999 in October, it will undercut the prices of even some new 720p projectors, such as the Epson PowerLite Pro 810 HQV. Also announced today was Stewart Filmscreen's special Firehawk SST projection screen designed specifically to complement the new Sony projector. It ships this month for an unspecified price.