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back to article Sony seeks mojo reboot with 147-inch 'honey-you-can't-afford-me' 4K home projector

Certain products exist to burnish a company's image rather than fatten its bottom line, and Sony's new 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector, able to project ultra-high definition video images of up to 147 inches on any wall, is a shining example. Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector Entrapped in stultifying minimalism, Fido dreams of …

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Nice. Very nice, but...

I bet the cat will still go to sleep on it.

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Re: Nice. Very nice, but...

.....they have a dog.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice. Very nice, but...

A friend's girlfriend owns a cat that had a habit of lying on her old CRT monitor - nice and warm I presume. When she changed the monitor for an LCD, the cat tried once to jump on top of this too, and got surprised by the sudden decrease in landing area...

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Title is too long

"No more commodity products," he promised. "No more parity products. No more 'just good enough' products. We must – and we can – do better."

I am looking forward to the next ereader then.

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Big Brother

Re: Title is too long

"No more commodity products," he promised. "No more parity products. No more 'just good enough' products. We must – and we can – do better."

Well, they were ahead of the game in putting rootkits on commercial media releases.

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Re: Title is too long

Here's some low-hanging fruit for him: they can improve my late 2011 Bravia right away with the decent firmware update they should have given me a year ago. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/24/sony_denies_netflix_app_to/

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JDX
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I've not come across these type of projectors before, kind of neat.

For realistic wall/viewers (like in The Hunger Games) you surely need the wall itself to be the light-source though.

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why?

What's the difference between a photon that's been emitted by the wall as opposed to reflected by it, then?

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Joke

Re: why?

surely the reflected ones will have picked up some dirt from the wall ?

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Re: why?

I guess that depends on the amount of all other photons emitted/reflect from the wall.

In other words, if the wall is emitting photons then imaginably it might also NOT emit them, thus giving you nice deep blacks. On the other hand if the wall is just reflecting photons then the best blacks you can have in the bright of the day are going to be, well, grey at best.

That of course does not matter if the scene being shown is full of light and does not require deep contrasts. However imagine having a virtual window to deep space ... or any geographical location in the antipodes.

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Joke

Re: why?

You are right, projection will never take off.

Right , must dash, early showing of Gravity at Empire Cinemas...

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Re: why?

There are several reasons why a direct source of light is preferable to a diffusely reflected one, One is that the quality of the image is highly dependent on the projection surface. Unless it is specifically designed for projection with neutral qualities and, especially with projection so far from the normal, absolutely flat, the image quality will be compromised. It is very prone to colour shifts, loss of contrast etc. Indeed the contrast ratio will be severely impacted by the use of a white wall unless projected in absolute darkness as the black level will be severely compromised by reflections of ambient light,

The second is brightness. With diffuse reflection, light will be scattered in all directions and, consequently a much lower proportion will reach the viewers eyes. With a "normal" projection onto a screen at right angles, it's possible to engineer the surface of the screen to reflect most light back to a narrower angle and therefore make the image brighter with more contrast, That's simply not possible with a painted wall and where the light is projected to arrive at such a shallow angle.

Of course, it's possible to overcome some of this by making the projected image much brighter by using ever more powerful sources of illumination, but as those who are used to such systems will know, they are power hungry, get hot and invariably require cooling fans, which emit noise.

There's a reason why direct emission display systems dominate in normal households over projection systems, and that is simply they are more efficient, brighter, usable in ambient light conditions and don't impose major environmental constraints. Keep these sort of systems for those that can afford dedicated home theatre spaces.

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JDX
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Re: why?

>>You are right, projection will never take off.

Your attempt to be a smart alec falls short when you remember that they turn all the lights off in the cinema to get the best results. With a projector the darkest you can ever get is the ambient lighting from the wall. That means in a well-lit room, it might look pretty but it's not going to be realistic.

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Re: why?

"That means in a well-lit room, it might look pretty but it's not going to be realistic."

Since when has quality mattered when dwarfed by sheer mega-ness, though! :)

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Re: why?

surely the reflected ones will have picked up some dirt from the wall ?

Hmm, I see a paint marketing opportunity there, to go with the 24ct gold leads for the projector...

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404
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Re: why?

'Since when has quality mattered when dwarfed by sheer mega-ness, though! :)'

Quality would be why I have a 2014 55" Samsung 'dumb' flat screen and not the 70" Vizio 'smart' version -> Samsung looks like being at a stageplay, so real, while the Vizio looks like, well, you're looking at a big honking analog TV...

YMMV

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Coat

Re: why?

@JimmyPage - "surely the reflected ones will have picked up some dirt from the wall?"

You have tiny flecks of dirt on your walls?

Disgusting peasants. I'm sure Sony doesn't want your business anyway.

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Re: why?

"With a projector the darkest you can ever get is the ambient lighting from the wall."

Well, that's a rather simplistic view. If you stand there with a light meter or a tele-photometer, or a tele-spectrometer for that matter, you could prove your point, but then I could set up a rather simple projection system whereby your instruments will report a bit of wall as being "red" and most rational observers will tell you, quite correctly, that it's actually green.

So if by darkest you mean "lowest reflected energy" then √ but if by darkest you mean "blackest" then it's a big X.

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Re: why?

Sony has some neat paint / projection screen that only reflects certain wavelengths, which makes it look (dark) grey in normal daylight, and lights up using their projector. Sadly not seen a lot of this lately :/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhGx84jM8pY

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Re: why?

Thing is, if you just spent 40K on a projector, surely you can afford to get a specialized screen or at least a large wall in your large house prepared to adequately reflect the image?

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Linux

Re: why?

> Keep these sort of systems for those that can afford dedicated home theatre spaces.

pppfffffft.

All you need is a room with a nice unobstructed stretch of wall and the ability to draw the shades.

There's no reason the space has to be "dedicated".

In fact, all of the dedicated media room spaces in the local McMansions all seem to be total pants.

My "finished attic" is better than all of that oversized/overpriced nonsense.

4K projectors are a welcome addition to the market. They are absurdly priced now but they won't always be so. These things will allow you to fully appreciate the format unlike really small TVs in spaces not well optimized for them.

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@petur

I owned Sony's special screen. They don't work nearly as well as you'd like to believe. In artificial light they're passable, but if you have even the most indirect sunlight (i.e. coming through drawn shades and reflecting off another wall) the projector image is severely washed out.

You pretty much need to put it in a windowless room, or a room where the windows are so well covered it can be dark in there in full daylight.

Of course, if you do that, then your room is dark so you no longer need the special screen...

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Re: why?

"All you need is a room with a nice unobstructed stretch of wall and the ability to draw the shades"

Absolutely. looking at the new home designs in Oz, they all seem to include a dedicated media room, long shallow windows with huge blackout louvres, so that, even with them open, it's like feeling your way round a cave, and barely the room for a long sofa and your mega TV.

My media room was supposed to be a games room. Nice big square room (so speaker placement was a breeze) with one clear wall and blinds for the windows, so I can have my 'media room' and still have a 'normal' room for conversation and Scrabble when there's nothing on TV (which, given this is Oz, is 90% of the time)

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Surely a reflective surface emits new photons rather than bouncing back the originals.

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Anonymous Coward

But...

Given the little boxes us plebs have to live in (and getting smaller every year) pretty soon anything over 42in is going to seem huge.

So, SONY, how about that then?

Oh silly me. Devices like this are only for Premiership footballers, Google Directors and MP, none of whom pay sod all tax anyway.

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JDX
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Re: But...

Or perhaps you've forgotten that not every single person in the world lives in England, where house sizes are fairly small on average?

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Re: But...

You are entirely correct. None of them do pay sod all tax.

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Re: But...

and indeed Japan, where they also have famously small living arrangements.

I am sure this is aimed squarely at wealthy Americans - and possibly up-market conference-type places.

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Mushroom

Re: But...

> Given the little boxes us plebs have to live in (and getting smaller every year) pretty soon anything over 42in is going to seem huge.

I think the whole point of this tech is that you don't need a bat cave in order to throw a large image.

A conventional projector is what forces you to have a cavernous expanse in order for the image to expand.

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Hi,

1) To benefit from the high resolution, you will need a proper screen. Just a "basic" painted screen surface won't be flat enough to reflect the light in an even manner.

You can easily see a huge difference of quality between "on screen" and "on wall" projection at any resolution, but this would be like putting a very good old pure malt wisky in a diet coke....

2) Sony already has "normal" throw 4K projectors (the VPL-VW600, VW1000 and VW1100ES) but crucially lack of support and interest from Sony in Europe.

While the US benefits from a cheap and impressive upgrade path from the VPL-VW1000ES to VPL-VW1100ES: Mainboard upgrade, new bulb, 4K media player, Vaio tablet for $2500, Sony Europe offer the mainboard upgrade only for more than £3000.... and more importantly still has absolutely no plan for any 4K content in Europe (Video Unlimited 4K is available in the US since last summer).

As for the recently announced Playstation Now, also an US exclusive, it seems that Sony is undecided to do any investment in the European market.

Such a shame to see a good brand loosing so much over here by lack of management, vision and/or investment.

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It's hardly surprising they would trial PS Now in the US first - there are a handful of dominant ISPs, more advanced broadband, very large population centres, billing is easier and they only have to support one language both in the service itself but also in the content they offer through it.

It'll come to Europe eventually but clearly the effort is that much harder.

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why can't anyone seem to spell losing anymore - or lose for that matter?

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@cambsukguy

I think because chose and choose versus lose and loose tends to confuse people. If you were a bad speller, which of those would you think should rhyme?

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Want

Must sell car. Wife. Kids.

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404
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Re: Want

Understandable-> wait til you see it in person though, hate to see you lose half your stuff in the divorce for a crappy picture quality.

;)

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Re: Want

or make company think it needs to buy one (With a bigger board room to properly fit it in)

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Crappy PR picture

In the real world, the picture is going to suck in a room like that - too many white walls, and have you seen the cost of top-notch projector screens?

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Re: Crappy PR picture

A 120" top-notch projector screen can be bought in the $1,800 - $2,600 price range.

Anyone buying a $30,000 - $40,000 projector surely could buy a $10,000 screen anyway.

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Re: Crappy PR picture

Just a thought - however top notch your projector screen, it's going to be designed to reflect light hitting at 90 degrees, isn't it? How well would a normal projection screen work when the image is being thrown from below at such a shallow angle?

Don't know, just hoping there's a commentard more knowledgeable than me on these matters (shouldn't be hard!)

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OTT maybe, but still very cool.

4K is not only good for video but exceptional for still images.

Imagine having a high quality projection of your favourite artwork sitting on your wall and having it change to another painting every hour or so.

Like one of those crappy digital photo frames only waaaaaayyyyy cooler.

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dark colours anyone?

the basic problem with any wall projection is that the darkest colour it can project is, well, white

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TRT
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Re: dark colours anyone?

(1) Colour is not a function of wavelength or the composition of light from a point source, but a construct of the brain derived from areal integration of received light. Have you ever noticed how a grey CRT screen can reproduce a full black?

(2) Not if you turn the lights off.

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Re: dark colours anyone?

Pretty sure no matter what it's own colour by the absence of a light being shone on a wall, you will perceive it as black.

The issue is whether you can keep light 'leaking' out from those areas you do want to project onto, to those areas you don't

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JDX
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(2) Not if you turn the lights off.

Yeah, one often wants to stand in a pitch-black room looking "out of the window" at a day-time scene. That's not at all weird.

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Re: dark colours anyone?

"The issue is whether you can keep light 'leaking' out from those areas you do want to project onto, to those areas you don't"

If you can afford the TV, you can afford thick curtains, I'd suggest.

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Re: (2) Not if you turn the lights off.

"Yeah, one often wants to stand in a pitch-black room looking "out of the window" at a day-time scene. That's not at all weird."

In that case, I suggest a window would be a cheaper option.

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Re: (2) Not if you turn the lights off.

"In that case, I suggest a window would be a cheaper option."

Depends on the wall perhaps, load bearing walls in large buildings might be a little pricely. I can genuinely see this being attractive to those with internal walls (block of flats maybe). Have a 4K webcam stream from somewhere nice, project onto the wall. Although in a few price generations maybe. It's a bit silly but still looks cool.

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Re: (2) Not if you turn the lights off.

That is actually not bad idea, as long as the colour temperature and intensity projected from such window (more precisely, reflected by the wall) compares well enough against the real thing (actual window). I guess that would require really, really strong lamp - or lasers and special screen?

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noise

And how much noise do the fans make keeping it cool?

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Re: noise

Less than the fucking brilliant surround-sound system that anyone who could afford one would have.

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