1st Place: Epson EH-TW5500 LCD Projector
This projector's predecessor, the TW5800, was just about as fine an example of LCD projection as we've seen but the TW5500 shifts things up a gear. To start off, there's the brilliant dual-layer iris that makes for super-fine adjustment of brightness allowing for a stunning contrast ratio of 200,000:1. Then there's the 1,600 lumens total brightness, HQV video processing, 12-bit processing, and support for anamorphics lenses.
Yes, it's expensive but once you add in a five year projector and bulb warranty and possibly the finest motion processing system we've seen this side of ten grand and you have an absolute bargain.
2nd Place: Optoma ThemeScene HD20 DLP Projector
This full HD DLP projector isn't the finest performer in the world but it's pretty darned good and will do any entry level home cinema setup ample justice. When you consider that it costs just £900, this makes it a bargain of frankly scary proportions. Quality projection finally goes mass market!
3rd Place: Sony Bravia VPL-VW85 SXRD Projector
This was a tortuous choice. Should we go for Sony's premium (£5000) VW85, or exceptionally good value £2,000 VPL-HW15? And what about Vivitek's stunning if costly (£11,000) H9080FD, which showcased three LED technology to such memorable effect? And would JVC's new D-ILA projectors make it in time to be considered too?!
In the end, the JVCs didn't make it in time, despite our best efforts. And after much soul-searching, we've gone the 'middle way' of our other three contenders, picking Sony's truly superb VW85 - a projector that certainly looks the part and technically is good enough to grace many high-end home cinema installations.