Sony's cheapest 100-inch TV is a $25,000 4K laser projector

Want a triple-digit-sized Sony 4K screen but can't quite swing the 60 grand Sony wants for its 100-inch LCD TV? Here's your answer.

David Katzmaier

David Katzmaier

Editorial Director -- TVs and streaming

David has reviewed TVs, streaming services, streaming devices and home entertainment gear at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

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Big TVs are getting cheaper all the time, but 100 inches still costs a bundle unless you want to muck around with a projector, a screen and a dark room.

Sony has a couple of solutions for rich buyers who want a TV that big. One is the XBR-100Z9D, a 100-inch LCD TV that costs a cool $60,000 if you can find one. Another is the VPL-VZ1000ES, a relative bargain at $25,000. It's available for preorder now and ships in April.

It's not exactly a TV, but it comes close enough. It's a short-throw projector, meaning it can sit within inches of the wall and still project a huge image (you could get up to 120 inches or more if you wanted). It can blend seamlessly into a cabinet and the whole system can disappear entirely if you spring for a motorized screen. Of course the price is well beyond most people's budgets, but it still represents a cool concept and a different take on traditional TVs and projectors.

One downside with projectors is that the image washes out in bright light, but the VZ1000ES has a couple of fixes for that. One is sheer light output: its laser light engine puts out 2500 lumens, very respectable for any projector. Combined with a specialized screen designed to only accept light coming from below, as demonstrated in Sony's booth at the Consumer Electronics Show, you get a massive picture that's bright enough for most rooms.

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