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Sony projectors through the ages: From Home Cinema to laser projection

Over the past 40 years, Sony has been trailblazing the path for projection. See how projectors have evolved from humble beginnings to today’s innovations – from Home Cinema and 4K to a bright new generation of laser projectors.

Projection has been around for centuries. As early as the 1600s, magic lantern shows entertained audiences with still images thrown onto a wall by a candle or oil lamp.

Until the early 1970s, the only way to get moving pictures on anything bigger than a TV screen was with a film projector at home or in the cinema. Video recorders became steadily established during the 1960s, but you could only view images on a connected TV display or monitor.

Everything changed in 1972 when Sony introduced the world’s first video projection system. With videotape player, lens and screen built into a wooden cabinet, it was far from portable. But for sharply-dressed business executives in the 70s, it was state of the art.

Other innovations followed fast. The world’s first video projector for domestic use effectively coined the idea of ‘home cinema’. By 1978, Sony projectors were beaming in-flight entertainment to plane passengers. And plenty’s happened since then: rear projection turned things around – literally – in the 1980s, while table-top models got smaller, lighter and brighter.

Over the past decade we’ve seen huge jumps forward in resolution. First HD, followed in 2005 by our first SXRD 4K projector: still the gold standard for picture quality today.

Fast forward to today, and there are ultra-portable models for schools and offices, the convenience of wireless connectivity, and now laser projection for game-changing reliability and virtually no maintenance. It’s been a colourful history, but Sony innovation in projectors is as bright as it’s ever been.

Discover more about laser projection