Two More with Three Chips
That's exactly what Sony did after announcing they'd rolled a million rear projection Grand WEGA micro-display sets off their assembly line in Pennsylvania. The two new models are based on Sony's SXRD (Silicon X-tal - that's their clever way of saying "Crystal" - Reflective Display) technology which Sony says delivers full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution.
The new 1080p sets, the 60-inch KDS-R60XBR1 and 50-inch KDS-R50XBR1, use a trio of new 0.61-inch SXRD panels (one for red, one for blue, and one for green), which Sony claims to be the world's smallest. The panels are said to produce a contrast ratio of 5,000:1, and an "Advanced Iris" that combines the panels with Sony's Cinema Black Pro mode maximizes contrast to 10,000:1 ("based on overall light levels of the original signal"). Sony says the aperture of the iris shutter has also been reduced in size in order to better reproduce black levels. A 120-watt high-output lamp and a new optical engine design are used to improve the brightness and color reproduction over previous models.
The new models are digital cable ready with an integrated CableCARD slot (which is quite nice to have if you can convince your cable company to let you have a CableCARD). Other features include dual HDMI inputs, three i.LINK (that's Sony speak for IEEE 1394) inputs, a PC input, optical audio output, and a Memory Stick flash media viewer.
The new Grand WEGA 1080p rear projection sets join Sony's other two SXRD HDTVs - the 70-inch QUALIA 006 micro-display rear projection HDTV and the QUALIA 004 front projection HDTV - both of which produce images that look pretty darn awesome.
If all this makes you tremble with excitement, you'll have to wait until September when the "million+" models begin shipping. Once they arrive in stores, the KDS-R60XBR1 will move out the doors for about $5,000. The smaller KDS-R50XBR1 will come with an appropriately smaller price tag: $4,000.