This Cyber Monday deal is really, really good. I'm not even sure it's a Cyber Monday deal. It's something closer to Amazon or Sony's pricing algorithm bot having a fit. I've been following it for about 10 days now and the price has been going up and down like the springs of a mattress on a wedding night.
Now, I thought that the mattress had given up the fight, because the fantastic Sony VPL-VW290ES native 4K projector had dropped from its normal price of £5499 down to just £4339 at Amazon (opens in new tab). Sadly, that deal has now passed and my dreams are shattered. I did warn that this would happen.
Fortunately, the next model up, the five-star Sony VPL-VW590ES is available for £5999 instead of £6999 (opens in new tab) and I'll certainly take that instead. The only problem is that I still can't afford it and, still, no one has offered any funds to help. So, I ask again, will you lend me some money, please, only I'm going to need a bit more now.
The Sony VPL-VW290ES is such a great machine. It's the most affordable native 4K projector around and the 590ES is one step up. We've tested both in 2021 and, yes, they're stone-cold, five-star projector – but there's even much more to it than that.
Sony VPL-VW590ES 4K projector
£6999 £5999 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This fabulous discount represents a great opportunity to own a native 4K projector at a bargain price. Prepare for an incredibly immersive picture with a brilliant sense of depth and insight, and some of the smoothest action around.
These projectors represents the first step into high quality home cinema. Sure, there are lots of very decent pixel-shifting and UST projectors that you can buy for less but this is in another league and the projector I recommend to people who really want that feeling of their own private cinema.
This is the most budget-friendly projector where the compromises are pretty negligible. It's sharp, it's black, there's loads of fantastic detail in the light and in the shadows – there's a good chance that it's better than what you'll find in your local cinema. It's certainly better than what's in mine.
I've watched films such as The Martian through this projector and stared agog at the glossy HDR look it gives to the red planet's landscape. I've felt my stomach drop as the camera dips over its mountains. This is the way watching films should be, and I want in. That's why I want to buy this machine.
If you're like me, you probably can't without taking out the kind of loan that's not going to go down well with the rest of the family – not when I announce that it's instead of a summer holiday.
The next step down in excellence would be the Epson EH-TW9400. Below that it's the Epson EH-TW7100. They're both great choices but, instead, I'm opting to beg. I'm not trying to be greedy. There are even more impressive, more expensive projectors out there that I could be asking for. I'm trying to keep things reasonable but there must be someone out there for whom this kind of cash is just pocket change?
Maybe a few of us could get together and do a timeshare? Or how about everyone chips in a fiver and I'll see if I can get enough page views to make this work? That's what JustGiving is for, right? Please donate to home cinema fans in need.
Epson EH-TW7100 4K HDR projector
£1699 £1500 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
It may seem pricey for what is an entry-level 4K product but this projector is a real gem. The black depth is very decent for this kind of money, the colours are bold and balanced, and the HDR production brings an excellent sense of immersion.
Epson EH-TW9400 4K projector
£2549 £2499 at Richer Sounds (opens in new tab)
This big, brassy projector is as good as you'll get before forking out for the beauty of native 4K projection. Colour accuracy, contrast control and HDR are all handled brilliantly and help make for a proper cinematic feel on a relatively modest budget.
If you do have this kind of cash and space to install one – you'll need at least another £699 for an AVR and maybe £999 for a speaker package – then please do take the plunge. This is a terrific projector and you won't regret it. (Plus Amazon has a pretty good returns policy in case you do).
Don't wait around too long, though. I fully expect Amazon to whack this back up to full price once this post goes viral. It'll be all too late once I'm on You and Yours on Radio 4 getting grilled about whether Black Friday is all a big con (SPOILER ALERT: only if you buy crap).
Instead, act now. Buy one for me, and for yourself while you're at it. Don't make me have to come back next week and ask for an extra £1000 when it goes back to £6999.