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Sony announced today the availability of two new LCD home theater projectors. The VPL-AW15 and VPL-AW10 are 1280x720 LCD projectors that are expected to ship in June for $1,300 and $1,000, respectively.
Both models feature an HDMI input capable of supporting 1080/24p (a signal made possible by the HD DVD and Blu-ray high definition optical disc formats, which results in smoother image motion), which downscale the 1920x1080 resolution to the LCD panel's 1280x720 native resolution.
The VPL-AW10 features a contrast ratio "up to 6,000:1" while the VPL-AW15 boasts a dynamic contrast ratio of "up to 12,000:1," a lens shift capability to provide greater placement flexibility, and a VGA input for analog PC's.
The low MSRP of both of these projectors either signals a significant shift in the entry price for home theater projection, or that these projectors are missing some significant features that are not outlined in the press release. I have extensive experience with the Sony VPL-HS51 LCD (1280x720) projector, and it represented a great value for the money for its time (its list price in 2005 was $3,500). If the VPL-AW15 projector matches/exceeds the performance and features of the HS-51, the price of admission for good quality home theater projection is going down in a big way!
SONY’S NEW FRONT PROJECTORS BRING MOVIE THEATER EXPERIENCE HOME
SAN DIEGO, March 28, 2007– Sony Electronics today unveiled two new front home theater projectors that bring the movie-going experience home at prices beginning at about $1,000.
The new BRAVIA 3LCD VPL-AW15 and VPL-AW10 projectors feature 1280 x 720 progressive resolution, which is ideal for large screen home entertainment applications like enjoying HD movies, gaming and sports.
“The popularity of high-definition programming and gaming is driving the adoption of big-screen home theater applications,” said Philip Abram, vice president of television marketing for Sony Electronics. “Our new projector line will bring that experience home for a broader range of consumers.”
Both new models feature a 165-watt Ultra High Pressure Lamp that produces 1,100 lumens for a life-like, vivid picture. Each one is equipped with a short focal-length lens with 1.6 times zoom and features low fan noise of 20dB (in low lamp mode), providing flexible installation options in many home settings.
The VPL-AW10 model features Sony’s Advance Iris for contrast ratio of up to 6,000:1 when "auto" iris mode is selected. The VPL-AW15 unit features the step-up Advanced Iris 2 technology, which also works with the High Contrast Plate device producing deep, accurate blacks and a dynamic contrast ratio of up to 12,000:1 when "auto" iris mode is selected. The Advanced Iris 2 also features a variable setting allowing for user optimization.
Additionally, the VPL-AW15 model has greater installation flexibility with lens shift, which helps adjust the picture both vertically and horizontally expanding projector placement options. Key to this feature is Sony’s All Range Crisp Focus (ARC-F) lens. The lens allows for flexible throw distances, making installation easier in less than ideal conditions like small rooms.
Users can also optimize the AW15’s model’s color palette with Sony’s Real Color Processing function. Color hues can be adjusted to match specific tastes.
Both projectors feature a HDMI input supporting 1080/24p, which is downscaled to native 720p and displayed at a native multiple of 24 for realistic cinema style motion reproduction. Other inputs include a RS-232C connection for custom control applications and a host of others including component, composite and S-video. The VPL-AW15 projector also includes an HD15 input for analog PC.
The new VPL-AW15 and VPL-AW10 front projectors are expected to ship in June for about $1,300 and $1,000, respectively. They will be available at Sony Style stores, online at www.sonystyle.com and at authorized dealers nationwide.
Source: Sony Press Release
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