updated 02:35 pm EDT, Tue April 22, 2008
Sony E 3LCD Projectors
Sony on Tuesday introduced four E series projectors that it says can alternately suit both home theaters and users presenting from notebooks. The VPL-EW5 (shown) is Sony's first-ever budget projector to support a native widescreen output, letting it natively display 720p HD footage and exactly match the display resolution of most newer portables. It and the rest of the line also use the company's newer BrightEra 3LCD chipsets to produce a relatively bright 2,000 lumens and a 700:1 contrast ratio.
The EW5 is also the only projector in the collection to support HDMI for Blu-ray players and other HD sources; as with the other projectors, support also exists for computers through a VGA connector and analog video through either RCA and S-video.
Other projectors in the lineup produce a more typical 4:3 aspect ratio but offer their own benefits: the EX50 is the most vivid of the new line with 2,500 lumens and a 900:1 contrast ratio at its native 1024x768 resolution. The EX5 steps brightness down to 2,000 lumens while maintaining the contrast and resolution; a budget model, the ES5, is pitched as Sony's most affordable entry projector yet with an 800x600 output reducing costs.
Sony hasn't announced prices or ship dates for the projectors, though they will first launch in Europe and will primarily be available through projector-oriented dealers rather than normal retail channels.