What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023: a bargain ultra-short throw projector joins a list of familiar favourites

Ultra short-throw projector: Hisense PL1TUK
(Image credit: Hisense)

Do not adjust your set; yes, the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 Best Projectors list is almost identical to last year's. That being said, these projectors have earned their spots on the Awards list, as we have once again deemed them to be the most cinematic options on the market. 

There are a total of six 4K projectors receiving Awards; five of those are repeat winners from last year. Whether that's BenQ's brilliant budget 4K beamer, Epson's pair of projectors that have sat comfortably on our Awards list for around five years now or Sony's duo of stellar native 4K home cinema projectors – each of these returning winners remained resilient to the undoubtedly tough competition.

Four of those are traditional long-throw units, and there is one shorter throw option (often dubbed "coffee table-style"). The sixth, and only new projector on the Best Buy list is a new ultra-short throw model – a projector category we introduced in last year's Awards list.

Ultra short-throw projector: Hisense PL1TUK

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The one new projector in our exclusive Award-winners club is a short-throw model from a brand that hasn't featured on any of our Awards lists before. Please welcome the Hisense PL1, which is not only a brilliant TV alternative, but also an excellent projector in its own right.

Crisp detail, punchy colours and brilliant motion make for a triple threat of pure cinematic excellence. To go with that there is a comprehensive built-in smart platform with full app compatibility, and more than usable built-in speakers; that might not sound like a compliment, but in the realm of projectors, it truly is. 

Add in a duo of Dolby features in the form of Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio support, as well as some next-generation gaming features such as ALLM and we have a projector that is equally well serviced in the features department as it is in pure performance. 

4K Projector: Sony VPL-VW790ES

(Image credit: Sony)

While we are, of course, happy to see a fresh face on the list of best projectors, we are also pleased to see a swathe of reigning champions remain steadfast on the list. The BenQ W1800 champions budget 4K brilliance in a compact and convenient package and is enjoying a second year on our Awards list. 

Likewise the duo of Sony projectors. The VPL-XW5000ES takes home the Best projector £4000-£10,000 Award, thanks to its stunning picture, while also remaining the cheapest native 4K laser projector we have seen. The VPL-XW7000ES is the next step up, earning the Best projector over £10,000 Award, and while it's certainly the most premium projector on our list, its performance speaks for itself with unmatched contrast and jaw-dropping clarity. 

Epson EH-TW7100 lens

(Image credit: Future)

Finishing things off we have two Epson projectors that are no strangers to the Best Projector Awards list. The EH-TW7100 snags the Best projector £1250-£2000 Award for the fourth year running, while its bigger sibling, the EH-TW9400, enjoys a remarkable fifth year on the list as the Best projector £2000-£4000.

Both of these projectors offer natural, crisp and detailed picture performance, making them supremely cinematic. Combine that with a set of extremely user-friendly lens controls and you have a pair of home cinema projectors that are hard to pick faults with. 

Did your favourite projectors make the list? Or are you tempted by this year's winners? Most importantly, of course, which will take home Product of the Year? Find out on 15th November.


Check out the full list of What Hi-Fi? 2023 Award winners

Read our full Hisense PL1 review

And our picks for the best projectors

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.