Sony is taking the lead in the rapidly emerging digital cinema market with the introduction of two new “4K” projectors that offer unprecedented features such as a 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution and a high contrast ratio.
One is a 10,000 ANSI lumen model (SRX-R110); the other is a 5,000 ANSI lumen model (SRX-R105). Both use a Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) imaging device that enables them to achieve nearly four times the pixel count of current HD displays.
Price announced : 67’000 euros (102’000 CHF)Complementing the projectors’ outstanding pixel resolution is a high contrast ratio, allowing the new models to achieve high-quality images with rich and precise color tonal reproduction.
Sony first introduced SXRD technology in its QUALIAÃ´ 004 projector, a “2K” design targeted toward the higher-end consumer residential and custom installation markets. Now, the professional introduction of an SXRD-based design offers the digital cinema industry a clear alternative to existing projection technologies.
“A 4K projector has long been considered the holy grail of digital cinema,” said John Scarcella, president of Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division. “This is what the industry has been waiting for, and that desire will soon be satisfied.”
With SXRD technology, pixels are set at a pitch of 8.5 micrometers, from the center of one SXRD pixel to the center of the next, with an inter-pixel gap of 0.35 micrometers.
“A narrower pitch and thinner gap translate into a quicker refresh rate to produce much smoother moving images,” said Tom Mykietyn, director of content creation for Sony Electronics. “When an image is projected onto a large screen from a 4K projector, the typical `cross-hatch’ pattern just about disappears. For example, on a 27-foot wide, 16:9 screen, each pixel is only about the size of the letter `e’ in Liberty on a quarter.”
The 5,000-lumen model is recommended for screen widths of up to 25 feet, while the 10,000-lumen model is recommended for screens of up to 40 feet. Sony is also planning to introduce a higher brightness model for larger screens.
“4K is important in order to display as much of the content that was originally captured,” said Andrew Stucker, general manager of digital production systems for Sony Electronics. “It becomes even more important with larger capture formats, such as 65mm, since there is more information to be displayed. Another way to think of the differences between 2K and 4K is to realize that a 2K device is equivalent to one full high definition image. Our 4K device can literally hold four 2K images.”
Stucker added that Sony incorporated the specifications and guidelines established by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) into the design of the new projectors to “fully support” DCI’s efforts and provide an enabling technology that will allow theâ€ industry to move to a digital environment.
In addition to digital cinema, the projectors are also suitable for an array of large-venue applications, such as live events, staging, auditoriums or command-and-control, since they are capable of simultaneously displaying multiple high-definition images.
In single-screen mode, the full 4096 x 2160 pixel image is projected. In dual-screen mode, two 1920 x 1080 images are projected and in quad-screen mode, four 1920 x 1080 images are projected. This multi-image capability makes the projectors ideal for applications where multiple, simultaneous high-definition views are required.
The ability to achieve high-quality image flexibility with one projector allows facilities to increase their cost-effectiveness by reducing equipment costs and power consumption by running fewer pieces of gear.
In addition to their high performance, the new projectors are designed for ease of installation. Option cards enable an array of connectivity including analog RGB, SMPTE292M and SMPTE 372M Dual Link input formats. Optional lenses allow the new projectors to fill screens up to 70 feet wide or as small as 15 feet.