Video projectors have become increasingly popular in home theater setups, with UST Laser Projectors becoming the fast-growing home theater projector category.
Sony continues its leadership in the video projector market with two entries that are sure to get some attention, the VPL-PHZ61, and VPL-PHZ51.
What distinguishes these projectors is that as of the publication date of this article, they are the smallest 3LCD Laser Projectors available, but don’t let their small size fool you.
On the outside, these projectors are identical in look and size, but the VPL-PHZ61 can output as much as 6,400 lumens of White and Color output while the PHZ51 is no slouch either with the ability to output 5,300 lumens of both White and Color.
With their foundation, the VPL-PHZ61 and PHZ51 can project bright colorful images. However, we need to discuss resolution.
The stated resolution for these projectors is 1920 x1200 pixels (WUXGA) which is a common resolution used in professional and PC settings.
WUXGA is sometimes referred to as 1080p+ as the number of horizontal pixels is the same, but the number of vertical pixels is 1,200 instead of 1,080. This equates to a 16:10 aspect ratio, once again common in the professional world.
Tip: Total number of pixels on each imaging chip (R,G,B) numbers 2,304,0000. The number of pixels in 1080p resolution is 2,073,600 (a 13.95% difference)..
Another interesting thing is that while these projectors can accept a 4K/60Hz input signal, the signal is scaled down and processed for optimum display quality at WUXGA resolution. An incoming 4K UHD image contains approximately 8,200,000 pixels which is almost 4 times the number that these projectors can display natively.
Tip: Unlike many “4K” home theater projectors, pixel shifting is not used in the VLP-PHZ61 or PHZ51 to display a near-4K UHD resolution image.
Moving from their foundation, here is an overview of core features that both projectors also share.
Compact Size: Sony is promoting these projectors as the smallest 3LCD-based Laser projectors today with cabinet dimensions of 422 x 129 x 338 mm (16 5/8 x 5 3/32 x 13 5/16 inches). It is surprising how much light these projectors can put out from such a small cabinet.
Easy Installation: With their compact size the PHZ61 and 51 are easy to install. They can be placed in several spots in relation to the screen including the front, front ceiling, rear, and rear ceiling. For ceiling installations in meeting rooms and classrooms the +55% vertical lens shift, is the widest in the fixed lens models.
Sony Reality Creation: This feature provides real-time signal processing, mapping, and analysis technology. It enables the projectors to display crisp and clear pictures. Reality Creation enhances the overall sharpness, resolution, and quality of the imagery.
Reality Text: This feature improves text-based presentation materials by providing clearer letters and lines with enhanced legibility.
Advanced Intelligent Settings: This feature provides optimization based on the room environment. The settings include
- Bright View: This enables colors to accurately maintain their contrast and vividness, even in brightly lit rooms.
- Ambiance: This feature automatically measures the room’s brightness using an ambient light sensor, and further calibrates the Bright View, color gain, and Reality Creation settings accordingly.
Auto Light Output: By utilizing the ambient light sensor, the brightness of the projector is automatically controlled at night to save power consumption
Auto Power On: New Auto Power On feature that turns the projector on when the video signal is sensed.
Auto Input Select: If the video projector is on it can automatically change the input when s new video signal is detected.
Data Cloning Function: This allows users to copy any settings on one projector to all subsequent projectors using a USB device.
Screen Size Range: 1.02 to 7.62 meters (40 to 300 inches)
Lens Shift (Manual): Vertical –35% to +55%, Horizontal: +/–15%
Keystone Correction (Max.):
- Horizontal: +/-30 degrees
- Vertical: +/-30 degrees
Input Connections: 2 x HDMI, 1 X RGB/Y PB PR, Video In (composite), Audio In (3.5mm), HDBaseT
Output Connections: Audio (3.5mm)
USB: Power and Firmware Update only.
Audio: 16-watt mono speaker system.
Maintenance: Sony makes it easier for users to remove the filter and to know when the filter needs cleaning with a new sensor.
Availability and Pricing
- VPL-PHZ61 ($5,500) is expected to be available in November 2022.
- VPL-PHZ51 ($4,500) is expected to be available beginning in December 2022.
While supplies last, the previous models are available for:
- VPL-PHZ50 – $2,332 at Amazon
- VPL-PHZ60 – $3,291 at Amazon
For additional availability check Sony’s Professional Dealer Network.