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Sony’s new 4K HDR projector looks seriously impressive

As IFA 2016 really starts to get going, Sony has announced a new 4K projector that comes with support for High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The VPL-VW550ES is the third model in the company’s projector line to support HDR, which is shorthand for a range of image enhancements that create deeper blacks, brighter whites, and preserve more detail in pictures.

Sony impressed with its first HDR projector, the VPL-VW520ES, which it followed up with the VPL-VW320ES – a decent offering that had a few HDR issues.

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550ES projector

But the VPL-VW320ES was capable of pumping out a maximum of 1,500 lumens of light, whereas Sony’s new model matches the 520ES with 1,800 lumens.

Combined with the fact that the new 550ES boasts an improved contrast ratio of 350,000:1, as opposed to the 520ES’s 300,000:1, you can expect one of the best HDR pictures a projector can produce.

Thomas Issa, Product Manager at Sony Professional Solutions Europe, said: “4K HDR imagery is the closest representation of the reality our eyes see and home cinema fans will now be able to enjoy the very best picture quality on the new projector in a way they never have before.”

Sony says it has designed the new projector to be ‘unseen’ and ‘unheard’, which basically means it’s providing a white or black colour option and the fan’s really quiet.

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The company also claims the ‘long-lasting lamp technology’ should ensure 6,000 hours of operation (in Low Mode).

There’ll also be something called Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) compatibility which is apparently used for future broadcasting services and user generated contents.

It seems the company has done all it can to future-proof its latest projector offering, then, and with the 550ES arriving in Europe this October, there’s not long to wait until you can get your hands on one.

Unfortunately, there’s been no pricing details as yet, but the 520ES cost around £8,800 on release, so we’d expect a similar, if not higher figure for the new model, which replaces the 520ES.

If you’ve got 9K to spare then, it looks like this is the projector to beat.

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Have you tried out HDR on a projector? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments.

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