JVC is back in the What Hi-Fi? big time by picking up the Award for the best premium projector on the market. The JVC DLA-N5 is actually the baby of the company's spectacular D-ILA projector range, but it sits at a beautiful nexus where value meets performance – and what a performance it is!
It's been a little too long since we last delved into LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) territory with JVC. We loved the five-star JVC DLA-Z1 back in 2017 but, despite its stellar picture quality, the £35,000 price tag made it tough to recommend for the masses. Instead the JVC DLA-N5 offers a healthy slice of those deep blacks and that subtle contrast handling for a fraction of the price.
We'll be keeping this one in our reference system for as long as we can dodge JVC's phone calls.
Fortunately, you don't need to have just hit your Christmas bonus to pick up a What Hi-Fi? Award-winning projector. At the more affordable end of the market, the Epson EH-TW7100 shines the light on a very reasonable home cinema set-up indeed.
When funds are no problem, it's an AV receiver, speaker package and darkened room all the way – but that all racks up to quite the bill. The TW7100 gives owners the option to cut out those middle-men with its built-in Bluetooth and enough lamp brightness to project a decent image in most moderately lit living rooms. By being able to stream audio straight to a wireless speaker or soundbar, it makes for an excellent, versatile projector with some very worthy picture quality to boot.
That debut Award for the TW7100, combined with a second Award for the Epson EH-TW9400, means that Epson dominates the affordable end of the projector market for 2020.
For the second year on the trot, nothing can come close to the TW9400 in terms of performance-per-pound. Until laser and UST (ultra-short throw) technologies properly find their footing, you'll have to step up to native 4K and double the price to find something better.
If that's in budget for you, then the Sony VPL-VW270ES is the projector we recommend. It's powered by SXRD technology, Sony's LCOS solution, and with its class-leading picture, it's a superb first step into the world of native 4K.
So, that's your four. But which will be named Product of Year? Tune into our annual awards ceremony online on Thursday 5th November to find out...