We cast our minds back to August 2004, when BenQ and Epson produced two very good 'budget' projectors...

Back in August 2004 we tested eight budget projectors, and came across some gems.

That was something of a surprise – at the time, any projector below £2000 was considered bargain-basement. Cheaper projectors were generally considered suitable only for business use.

MORE: Best projectors 2017

Home cinema demands more – natural colours, smooth motion, finesse. In 2004 those were qualities both the BenQ PB7220 and Epson EMP-TW200 had enough of to earn solid four-star reviews - at both at the unheard-of price of just £1800 (or slightly less, in fact).

Back then an HDMI input was thought to be cutting-edge, and the BenQ’s 1024 x 768 resolution was a highlight of that test. Today the likes of Epson’s EH-TW5350 and BenQ W1090 are light-years ahead (no pun intended).

They have Full HD 1920 x 1080 images, a choice of HDMI inputs and way stronger contrast ratios. They even have built-in speakers that make a semi-decent fist of a film’s soundtrack.

In terms of picture they’re terrific, delivering an image of far greater insight and finesse than their forebears could imagine. All for just £600. That kind of value makes us happy.

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