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

sony4k

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.

Panasonic AE8000 projector review. Three reasons why we’re excited about this projector.

Panasonic recently announced details of their new Panasonic AE8000 projector, the highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s AE7000.

We saw this bad boy in action last week, and let us tell you, it blew us away. The Panasonic AE8000 has significant improvements in several key areas, including image quality and brightness. Everyone from casual movie buffs to dedicated projector fans will appreciate the upgrade.

Top three Panasonic AE8000 features we’re excited about:

  • Brighter 2D and 3D images. At 2,400 lumens, the Panasonic AE8000 is 20% brighter than the AE7000. This brightness is especially noticeable in 3D mode. We saw 3D content from both projectors compared side-by-side. While the AE7000 looked great, the AE8000 looked even better!
  • Improved 3D viewing experience. Not only is the AE8000 brighter in 3D mode, Panasonic also introduced a ton of new features to improve your 3D viewing experience. The Panasonic AE8000 allows you to control the depth of your 3D image. Additionally, Panasonic’s new 3D Motion Remaster feature is designed to eliminate parallax error, the bulging of the image that sometimes occurs during fast-motion 3D scenes. In short, 3D viewing is more natural with the AE8000. Features like powered zoom, powered focus and lens memory are also now available in 3D mode.
  • Improved contrast ratio and image quality. At 500,000:1, the Panasonic AE8000 has the highest contrast ratio of any of our home theater projectors. Images are richer and more detailed, especially during low-light scenes. The AE8000’s improved Detail Clarity Processor brings out image elements you may not have noticed before, like individual blades of grass or the pattern of a hand towel in the background.

These are just a few reasons why we’re excited about the new Panasonic AE8000 home theater projector. We expect it to hit the shelves later this month. No word yet on price. Stay tuned for more information.

Best Projectors for Gaming

projectors and video games

Projected scene from Grand Theft Auto 4 on the Sony Playstation sent in by one of our customers. See more images »

ProjectorCentral.com recently put several of this season’s hottest home theater projectors to the test to find out which had the fastest responses for gaming. As any gamer will tell you, a small difference in response time can make a big difference in your final score.

So which projectors passed ProjectorCentral.com’s test?

The Panasonic AR100U came in as the fastest, followed closely by the Mitsubishi HC7800 and the Panasonic AE7000U. The BenQ W7000 also had a strong showing.

Read the full review here » To learn more about gaming projectors, check out our video gamer’s projector buying guide »

Which projectors do you think give the best results in gaming mode?

Epson HC 5010 projector: the reviews are in!

the Home Cinema 5010 wont the Hot Product Award

ProjectorCentral.com and ProjectorReviews.com recently reviewed the new Epson HC 5010 projector.

The HC 5010 nabbed ProjectorCentral’s coveted “Highly Rated” award.

“The picture is bright, with sparkling vibrant highlights that nonetheless do not crush highlight detail. In the dark, the projector’s contrast performance is truly impressive, and black level borders on imperceptible at times,” said Projector Central.

Epson HC 5010

Projector Reviews gave the Epson Home Cinema 5010 its Hot Product Award. “The combination of performance and price looks better than any of the more expensive LCoS and DLP 3D capable projectors.”

Check out both reviews by clicking the links above. Get your own Epson HC 5010 projector here »

Panasonic PT-AE7000U projector review

Our Projector Expert Rich was able to take home the Panasonic PT-AE7000U projector last weekend. Lucky!

His “homework” was to watch movies and sports on the projector and write a review. Check it out below:

“I just took the new Panasonic PT-AE7000U home over the weekend for a test run. I have to say there isn’t anything I DON’T like about this projector. It’s bright, has great color and black levels, and looks sharper than any LCD projector I have seen. We watched the new Harry Potter movie which has a lot of dark scenes. The AE7000U handled them very well, even in the Normal mode. The blacks would be even deeper in Cinema mode but I liked the brightness of the Normal settings.”



Harry Potter on the Panasonic AE7000U Harry Potter on the panasonic AE 7000U

“I put in the last Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray movie (talk about milking a franchise) and you could really see the crisp sharpness on the Panasonic PT-AE7000U projector. It was razor sharp!”



Panasonic AE 7000U Pirates of the Caribbean

“Of course I also had to watch some football on it and the colors and smooth frame rate looked amazing (I wish my teams looked that good!) I even captured the classic “Tebowing” pose for those Gators-turned-Broncos fans out there.”



Tebow on the Panasonic AE7000U

“And don’t forget the 3D on this unit! 2D to 3D conversion looked good. You can tell it’s not true 3D, but it added depth to the image. The 3D from a 3D Blu-ray was outstanding! The images are bright and colorful even with the glasses on. We watched some of Avatar and it looked actually better than in the theaters. Even things like smoke and dust particles seem to float in the room.”



Avatar on the Panasonic AE7000U

“Other things I like about the AE7000 is the power lens, lens shift and three HDMI inputs. This projector is also very quiet. All in all just a great projector. Can I keep it? Please!”

Rich had to give it back, but you can get your own Panasonic PT-AE7000U here »