Review: Epson 1450 video projector for movie night bliss

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If you’ve already had your baby or just contemplating a lot more at-home time after baby arrives, do consider asking for the latest video projector from Epson, the Epson 1450. In our review, we love the easy setup, but mostly the even brighter picture from this small projector.

In our review of Epson’s 3700 video projector, we told how amazed we were with the improvements in this technology. No longer does a video projector require you to burrow into a dark hole to get a flat screen like image. The latest Epson projectors deliver very bright images even with the lights on and shades up. While the model we review here is not inexpensive, when you’re spending every Friday and Saturday night at home with your newborn, you’ll at least be glad you can get a full cinema experience. Note: Epson does make less expensive projectors starting at around $250 but we have not tested those.

Home theater gets better – Epson 1450

We loved the 3700 which destroyed all our prejudices about video projectors but couldn’t believe the improvement we discovered when we turned on the 1450. I don’t pretend to know what a lumen is but the 1450 has 4200 of them versus the 3000 in the 3700. That means a demonstrably brighter image you can see the moment you turn it on, even without a side-by-side comparison.

Considerations for even the best video projectors

Even the most amazing products often have downsides you should know. These are all things you can live with but better to understand them before you discover them after installation:

Screen placement: You will need to deal with a screen and how to place the projector. You can search screens on Amazon and find many different sizes. You can find very inexpensive hanging drape-like screens that you can attach to the wall, as well pull-down screens that will come down from the ceiling. If you’re not a purist, you can buy a good 80″ screen for less than $75.  bePerhaps this is obvious, but I’m sure some folks have bought one of these projectors without thinking through how the screen will now completely cover their Rembrandt. Or there is nowhere to put the projector except in the middle of the couch without a custom setup.  You really do want to figure this out before you get a projector.

Light: Light will play a role. The one area where light does play a role is in shadows. If you have lights that cast a shadow on the screen, you may need to turn these off. We had a strange shadow on our screen that looked like water damage until I realized it was a shadow from our crown molding.

Irritating warm-up time: In our go-go world, we want immediate viewing. All projectors take a bit to start up. The Epson takes about a minute to get to full brightness.

Fan noise: If you sit next to the projector, you will notice the fan. It gets quieter and you quit noticing after a while. We found the heat emitted by the 1450 was less than the 3700 though and didn’t notice it at all.

Limited HDMI ports: Versus TVs, there just aren’t a lot of HDMI ports. Epson is counting on you using a switcher or an A/V receiver to connect your three gaming devices, TV, old DVD, old VCR and Apple TV to their projectors.

If you’ve gotten this far, you have come to the same conclusion we did that the benefits of giant screen viewing far outweigh the minor inconveniences.  The Epson 1450 has plenty of benefits.

Right away, we loved the 1450 out of the box. The setup is very easy. You plug in the projector, plug in HDMI to the cable box and you project to the wall or screen immediately. Thanks to the zoom ring on the lens, you just turn to find the right size, adjust the focus and you’re good! The image setup is too easy.

In terms of audio, the 1450 has a 16W speaker that can take audio from the HDMI. The speakers produce good sound,  but they can never match how beautiful the picture is. Ideally, you’re going to want some sort of sound bar or home theater audio setup to pair with the projector. The projector has regular red/white audio outputs if you need to attach an amp. We run sound from the TV to a SONOS playbar. The 1450 does not have a

Simple remote

The remote that comes with the projector is small and compact and does what it needs to do. Gone is the standby button that confused us on the 3700. We just have on/off. A small but nice feature is “source search” which gets you to active sources rather than making you scroll through every possible input. That said, You’ll probably pair the remote anyway to your cable or other main remote and not use it.

Portable…

and perfect for moving inside the house or outdoors on a summer evening. At only 10 lbs, it’s easy to move this projector from room to room. And with the zoom/focus ring, you can get set up quickly and enjoy the show.

The best for last

But the intense pleasure of this device is its screen size, coupled with clarity and brightness. The image is 1080p so full HD, but it’s 4200 lumens of brightness that are the wow factor.  Epson boasts three times higher color brightness than top-selling 1-chip DLP projectors as measured by an independent lab.

Epson says that home video projectors make up only a bit over 1% of the current TV market worldwide. With entries like the 1450 and the 3700, I’d bet on Epson to grow that number substantially over the next few years. These projectors are just that impressive.

 

 

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