System designed in particular for use in small or medium sized screen auditoriums and is the first in the industry to use high pressure mercury lamps.

Sony has unveiled its new SRX-R515 4K digital cinema projection system, set to be showcased at CineEurope which runs June 18-21 in Barcelona, Spain.

SRX-R515 is designed in particular for use in small or medium sized screen auditoriums and for budgets of smaller cinemas, also allowing them to offer new services beyond traditional content such as sports, theatre and multi-user big screen gaming.

Among its key features is the use of six high pressure mercury lamps, instead of xenon, which is an industry first. This new light source enables quick and easy replacements, ensuring an industry-leading lower cost of ownership of the projector over ten years, as well as enhanced reliability without the need for stopping projection if a bulb goes down.

High frame rate is also built into the projector and works automatically, meaning it will be ready for the 48fps used by Peter Jackson for The Hobbit, along with the high frame rate rumoured to be used in the upcoming Avatar sequel.

Physically, it is smaller than the original SRX-R320 which will result in increased installation flexibility for smaller projection booths, creating more operating space for smaller exhibitors.

Speaking to Screen, David McIntosh, Senior Vice President, Sony Digital Cinema noted: “One of the best new features is the contrast ratio is going to be in excess of 5,000:1 [compared to] projectors at the moment where the DCI spec is 2,000:1. The actual contrast of the image on this projector when you look at the picture on the screen is truly astounding.

“Blacks are incredibly detailed and we believe the picture quality with this projector, although it’s lower cost and although it’s aimed at a different market, the actual picture quality is astonishingly good, literally incredible. The smaller or medium sized screens will be able to assure that their customers are literally seeing the best possible picture on screen of any film that they’re playing.”

McIntosh also believes that while the projector is aimed at smaller to medium screens, it will also benefit larger chains. “I think for the larger cinemas, this gives them a more affordable alternative for smaller screens because the price positioning of this is significantly below our current product.”

Oliver Pasch, Director of European Digital Cinema Sales at Sony Professional, added: “This newest addition to the Sony portfolio, with its outstanding image quality, operational versatility and low cost of ownership, showcases Sony’s long-term commitment to delivering the ultimate entertainment experience to the independent cinema market.”

Delivery of the SRX-R515 is expected at the end of October this year.