Get the big picture with What Hi-Fi? Awards 2017 best projectors

What are the requirements for a projector to win a What Hi-Fi? Award? A detailed picture with a sophisticated handling of colour and motion is, of course, a must. Whether it's in 4K Ultra HD, HDR or SDR, it's got to look good.

Being easy to set up is also important. And, of course, getting all of that without breaking the bank helps too.

We're pleased to say a couple of Sony projectors manage to pull off that balancing act between price and performance - and with some aplomb.

In the £1000-2000 category the VPL-HW45ES (£2000, above) once again comes out ahead of the rest. With 1800 lumens of brightness producing a crisp picture and natural colour pallette, and compatability with 3D movies, it's no surprise to see it appear on these winner's pages once again. What's more, it doesn't take you long to get this projector to its optimal settings - the image is impressive right out of the box.

Sony also makes an appearance at the higher end of the range, as the £10,000 VPL-VW550ES (below) takes over from its predecessor (the VPL-VW520ES, which won in 2016).

It's a fair few pounds above the base of its £4000+ price category, but worth every penny. 1800 lumens of brightness and a 6000-hour lamp life to put across a 4K HDR image that basks in texture and fine detail.

Even with streaming – inherently less stable than playing a movie via Ultra HD Blu-ray - the projector struts its stuff. We called it an "irrefutable showboat" when we reviewed it in January; nine months later, nothing has changed.

Another projector that manages to tick all our many boxes is the £3000 Optoma UHD65 (top), which has beaten out the Sony VPL-HW65ES that won 2016's Award.

This 4K HDR projector comes in at a comparatively affordable price, and the picture it produces is insightful and nuanced. Motion is handled smoothly and it puts out an enjoyable image no matter what the source.

Finally, the Epson EH-TW5350 (£500, above) perfectly fills the Best projector under £1000 category, winning for the second year in a row. One of the best ways to describe this projector is "mature" - others might err on the side of flashy colours and overly etched details, but the wiser EH-TW5350 is subtle, allowing gradients of colour and texture.

Providing a natural, three-dimensional quality with minimal noise across Blu-rays and DVDs alike, this projector is a great start for those looking to get into the world of home cinema without pushing their budget too far.

MORE: Awards 2017: Projectors

MORE: All our 2017 Award-winners

Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.