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Sony will be putting its new VPL-FHZ55 3LCD video projector on display at the upcoming infoComm13 in Orlando, Florida this month. What's unique about this projector is that they have done away with the traditional lamp and are employing laser light source technology instead. This is the first 3LCD projector to use this technology.

"Sony has always been about innovation, and this unique laser projection technology continues that tradition," said Dianne LaGuardia, senior manager, professional display marketing at Sony Electronics. "Our experience in projection is far-reaching, and we're applying that expertise to develop a solution for the future."


What is 3LCD?

3LCD refers to the three LCD chips inside many video projectors today (as well as some rear projection TV sets). Each chip is specific to each of the primary colors red, green, and blue. It works by splitting a white light source (from a blue laser) into three beams to create an image of the respective color. The images are combined using a prism at which time a full color image is sent to the screen using a lens.

The blue laser in use is based on the expertise of Sony after developing the lasers for PlayStation 3 consoles, Blu-Ray players, and Professional Disc camcorders.

What is laser light source technology good for?

The VPL-FHZ55, being equipped with laser light source technology allows it run for 20,000+ hours without losing any of its brightness. This particular video projector is rated for delivery of up to 4,000 lumens of both color and white light output. The contrast ratio is at 8,000:1 on this unit, and the output is at WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200).

WUXGA is great for today's presentation needs, as well as providing the ability to see a lot more of the longer spreadsheets without having to scroll.

The 20,000 hours translates to 10 hours per day, everyday (except weekends), for most of the year (50 weeks), for as long as eight years. Compare that to the standard high-pressure mercury lamps that often need changing after just 1,500 to 3,000 hours of use.

There is no cool down period needed when this technology is employed, and it is at max brightness immediately after being turned on, so no warm-up period needed either. Laser light source is more "green" in that comparable lamp systems require more power and consume more energy to run. Plus this laser light system is mercury free, further making it a better system for the environment.

VPL-FHZ55 notable features

The VPL-FHZ55 boasts 1080p display resolution, has many video source inputs (which include Component, HDMI, S-Video, Composite, BNC, DVI, and VGA), and allows the ability to move the lens assembly both horizontally and vertically so that there is no need to move the entire projector. Diagonal lens shift is not available for this unit.

Additionally, the VPL-FHZ55 is not 3D compatible but if the unit does well at the show perhaps we will see a 3D version in the future.

Expectations for availability is in the beginning of August this year. It is targeted towards the business, education, and custom installation markets.

Sources:

blog.sony.com

hometheater.about.com

pro.sony.com
 

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:dancebanana::banana:
Winner winner banana dinner! I am very excited about this technology. How much will it cost?

After 20k hours, can you change out the laser light source and how much will this projector cost?
 

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It sounds like this is more if a presentation PJ, as opposed to one for an HT?
I find it a shame that Sony insists on using LCD and not DLP with this projector. It may be the reason why the lumens are low.

Second generation will probably be a lot brighter than this. And when they come around, I'll probably snatch one of the first generation up for cheap.
 

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I am def interested in this... I wonder how much it will be? If this keeps up it looks next year there might be more LED projectors! :) I am hoping that they will be under $3k by next year... Hopefully my lamp will last that long.
 
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