4K at Home for less than $10k? Yes, please!

Coming soon to a home theater near you: true 4K projection! With Sony’s launch of the captivating VPL-VW350ES projector, you can bring vibrant, true-to-life video to your home for less than $10,000 for a limited time.

Our friends at Sony stopped by to give us a demo of this AMAZING projector and we were not disappointed. Check out this video to get the inside scoop from the experts on 4K content, technology and more:

You may already know that 4K projection boasts four times more pixels than 1080p, but have you seen the difference yourself? Check out this video, shot on a Canon 4K camera in both 4K and HD to see the difference the extra pixels can make. Since you’re probably not watching this on a 4K monitor, the video shows a 5x zoom for each shot so you can clearly see the difference in clarity.

(Thanks to Mashable for this enlightening clip!)

2015 to Bring a Feast of 4K Content

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Forget everything you’ve heard about the lack of 4K content. This year, providers are releasing a wealth of new 4K movies and shows. The Sony 4K player already offers access to more than 200 true 4K movies from the Sony online store, plus on-demand streaming services, satellite and cable providers are quickly adding new 4K content to keep up with consumer demand.

Connect your Blu-ray player to the Sony 4K projector for an affordable near-4K experience. “Mastered in 4K” Blu-rays work like a computer ZIP file by compressing the 4K image. When played on the Sony VPL-VW350ES, movies that are mastered in 4K are up-scaled to near-4K quality and boast a richer colorscape and cleaner, more detailed images. Plus, a line of 4K Blu-ray discs are slated to be released by year-end.

While you’re waiting for more true 4K content, enjoy the jaw-dropping quality of HD content, which looks even more colorful and life-like on your 4K projector.

Screen Tips for 4K

To best enjoy the clarity of 4K, we recommend using a screen that is 100”-150”. Use the chart below as a rough guide to choose a screen and viewing distance for your unique home theater needs.


resolution-chart

Standard 4K resolution has a native aspect ratio 1.89:1, slightly wider than the 1.78:1 (or 16:9) aspect ratio of 1080p and 720p. This means true 4K content won’t perfectly fit on your 16:9 screen.

Want to use your 16:9 screen with a 4K projector? Sony integrated two features to the VW350ES to help you deal with this situation. The first is a pair of guidelines in the lens adjustment pattern that indicate the borders of a 1.78:1 image. These lines help you center the 16:9 image on your screen perfectly instead of just eyeballing it. The second is a blanking feature that “blacks out” the remaining pixels, creating a blacker black bar. Once blanking is engaged, the extra pixels are very easy to ignore. Blanking allows for separate adjustments to each edge of the image, so it’s also useful for anamorphic widescreen movies.

Bottom Line: The Sony VPL-VW350ES is an incredible deal for true 4K projection. If you’re looking for a truly immersive, theater-quality experience in your home, this projector is a terrific investment.

Why Price isn’t Everything

You’ve been thinking about getting a projector for a while and have spent time researching the perfect projector to suit your needs. After comparing prices online, you stumble across an amazing price and place your order. Sure, you’re ordering from some company you’ve never heard of, but the price was great… what could go wrong? As it turns out, lots.

We all want the best value for our money, but if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unauthorized resellers sometimes offer deeply discounted prices on equipment, but they aren’t purchasing direct from the manufacturer, so its buyer beware. Here are just a few of the risks associated with buying from unauthorized resellers online:

  • Once your credit card is charged, you may never receive the product (unlikely, but it’s happened).
  • You may receive a refurbished, counterfeit, stolen or international product (with different specs), or a projector that’s missing a lamp or other key components. Always be sure to check the product description to ensure your projector includes a lamp!
  • Manufacturers may not honor warranties for products from unauthorized sellers, so if the equipment is defective, you could be stuck with a broken projector.
  • You probably won’t have access to any tech support, so you’ll be on your own if you have questions not covered in the manual.
  • If you decide you want a different projector, you may not be able to return it or may be charged a large restocking fee once you’ve opened the box.
This could you be you if you buy from the wrong place.

We always recommend spending time researching both the projector and the reseller! Buying a projector (or other big ticket item) from an Authorized Retailer ensures you’ll receive the product you ordered, with the specs, warranty and technical support you expect. Why take the risk when you’re spending so much money?

How can you tell if you’re purchasing from a reputable dealer?

  • Is it easy to get in touch with a real person? You should be able to quickly/easily reach someone via phone in case you have questions/issues after your credit card has been charged.
  • Does the reseller list a physical address? If it seems shady, plug it into Google Maps to see if it’s a real store or someone’s apartment.
  • How long have they been in business? It’s super easy to set up a professional looking online storefront in just a few hours. Don’t be fooled by a slick looking site.
  • Do they claim to be an “Authorized Dealer” for the projector you want to buy? If not, steer clear, as the source of the projector will likely not be the manufacturer. If you aren’t sure, check the manufacturer’s website for a list of Authorized Dealers.
  • What is included in the cancellation/return policy? Are you allowed to return your projector if it’s defective? Will you be charged an extra fee if you’ve opened the box?
  • Is the site selling lots of random/unrelated products? If so, the salespeople are likely not experts in projector technology and probably won’t be able to offer much expert advice or support after the sale.

What should you expect from an Authorized Dealer?

  • Brand new projectors direct from the manufacturer with full specs and warranty. Some dealers (like Projector People) negotiate better-than-standard warranty terms with manufacturers!
  • Customer support and expertise before, during and after the sale. If you have a question about the product, you should be able to easily connect with someone to help you. Being stuck with a projector that doesn’t work and no way to get help is no fun!

So, when buying a projector, be sure to do your research: on both the equipment and the reseller! Don’t make the mistake of trying to save a few bucks and end up with a low quality or broken product. A good reseller will be able to help you with your projector research by providing expert information before, during and after the sale. With just a little extra effort, you’ll be sure to end up with a projector you’ll love for many years. Happy projecting!

Projector People Gives Back

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To honor and support our troops this Veteran’s Day, we pledged to donate $5 to the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) for every online order placed between November 4 and Veteran’s Day (November 11). Thanks to you, we’re pleased to announce that we’re donating more than $800 to WWP.

Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service. WWP takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP hopes to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. WWP programs include a combat stress recovery program to help Veterans learn coping mechanisms for dealing with PTSD, economic empowerment and job training, physical health and wellness classes and more.

We’re proud to be able to support our nation’s heroes through this awesome organization.

Coming Soon: Epson 5030 Firmware Update

Exciting news for Epson projector owners: new firmware updates are coming soon to noticeably improve the image quality and performance capabilities of several of its award-winning home theater solutions! Epson 5030ub If you own the Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030UB, PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB, PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UBe, or PowerLite Pro Cinema 4030, read on to learn about this update. The firmware update, slated to be released in mid-October, expands Super Resolution technology to include the new Epson Detail Enhancement capabilities for sharp, rich images.  Epson’s Detail Enhancement operates in concert with Super Resolution to enhance brightness differences of the texture and surface of images. How does this work? Epson Super Resolution detects the change in color from the edge of an object to the background color and sharpens or defines the image.  Epson Detail Enhancement uses a similar technique, clarifying the texture and surface appearance of the area within the boundaries of an object. As a result of the firmware update, both video processes work together – one on the edges, the other on the surface area of objects, to increase the fine delicate structure in video images. To update your projector’s firmware, you’ll just need a PC with an internet connection, a USB connection cable and less than five minutes. Click here for the new Epson 5030UB firmware update and instructions on how to install.

Projector Bike Shares Stories in Australia

Credit: TheProjects.com.au

Things We Love: Projector Bike

Built in 2010, the Projector Bike is used to tell stories in public spaces, activate unused spaces and provide an accessible platform for artists to show their work in public and show content to an expanded audience, according to the Projector Bike website.

This custom three-wheeled cargo bike includes an Epson 1945W projector, car stereo and speakers, an iPad and a powerful battery.

The mobile nature of the Projector Bike enables engaging images and films to be shown in public places to audiences ranging from a few people at a bus stop to a large crowd at a festival. The team loves to “surprise and delight pedestrians and members of the public” with impromptu screenings. If you’re Melbourne and want to join the fun, check out this list of Projector Bike events.

Learn more about how the Projector Bike is bringing short, independent films, art and culture to public spaces in this video:

Know of a cool, alternative use for a projector? Let us know in the comments!