When buying a home theater projector, people typically only think about the one room in which they plan to use it, and ignore all the other places it could also go. But in our Epson Home Cinema 1450 review, we discover a lightweight, no-fuss projector with the ability to throw a crisp picture — even in ambient light — that will look good no matter where you use it.
Wherever you take it — from a dark home theater, to an airy, open-concept living room, to the backyard for a movie night — your video will pop. Though not exactly a portable projector, the 1450 packs array of features that make large-scale projection possible, with clarity and convenience.
Out of the box
An update to the well-received Epson 1440, the Home Cinema 1450 sports the same build and body as the older model, with minor adjustments that make big impacts. The white casing is designed to melt into the ceiling for overhead mounting (if that’s how you decide to install it), and side grates kick out heat and audio well enough that the former doesn’t drown out the latter.
Despite having to support just a 10.1-pound unit, the 1450’s feet didn’t instill much confidence on making level adjustments, but never caused any problems. The projector’s remote control is standard, though not particularly intuitive and, more critically, not backlit. Still, ample inputs make this projector a prize for presentation pros; the 1450 has ethernet, USB-A, USB-B, MHL, HDMI (a pair of them), a couple VGA-ins, and both audio in and out jacks.
If there is a knock on the build, it’s that the 1450’s light body (and easy setup) makes the projector feel like it’s more portable than it really is. Lacking a handle or a case, it isn’t easy to move it around, though you certainly can, and may find yourself wanting to.
Features and design
As a good all-arounder, the Epson Home Cinema 1450 offers an array of features that home theater aficionados will appreciate, but none are more attractive than the price. Ringing up at $1,499, the 1080p projector is debuting at $200 less than its predecessor, the 1440.
The 1450 sports an array of features that home theater aficionados will appreciate.
But that’s only half the story — the 1450’s new, lower-cost replacement bulb will set you back just $99, and lasts 5,000 hours (or even up to 10,000 hours on eco mode). That low cost of ownership could tip the scales for television owners to consider buying a projector over a big screen.
While those numbers may make your wallet whistle, the image quality will make your eyes pop. Packing a three-chip LCD light engine, the Home Cinema 1450 was designed to stand up to the ambient light thrown its way in brighter rooms. Kicking out 4,200 lumens of both white and color brightness, it’s a pinch dimmer than the 1440, but that is likely due to the 1450’s ability to achieve impressive lamp life numbers.
Put to the test in several settings, the 1450 literally shined. First, while using it in a darkened home theater, inch-for-inch, it blew the brightness of our 65-inch 4K television away. But projectors like the Epson Home Cinema 1450 are designed to throw much bigger images than that.
With a 1.57 throw ratio, it can get up to about 260-inches at a distance of about 29 feet. But making a 45-inch image at nearly 5 feet, this isn’t a projector for cramped quarters. On the contrary, with its superior light and color handling, it’d be well placed in a restaurant or sports bar. In addition, the 1450’s split-screen video output capabilities could turn this projector into a peacemaker come game day.
Next up, we tested it outdoors around dusk, simulating an open-air living room environment before the sun went down, and seeing how it performed outdoors at night. In both use cases, the 1450 delighted. Starting a movie almost an hour before the sun went down, the picture was understandably low contrast, but still easy to enjoy.
Put to the test in several settings, the 1450 literally shined.
But the most surprising part of the experience wasn’t the picture, but the sound. The projector’s 16-watt speakers were so loud that we were concerned that the neighbors would complain. On-screen, meanwhile, vivid colors and good contrast left little to be desired — 4K would be nice, but you hardly notice its missing when you’re sitting back at the proper distance.
With superior white and color brightness, a low price and cost of ownership, and ample portability and good connectivity, the Epson Home Cinema 1450 is a solid purchase for anyone looking to integrate video projection into their home, office, restaurant or backyard.
The Epson Home Cinema 1450 projector comes with two-year limited warranty. You can learn more about the warranty here (opens PDF in browser.)
For those wanting a vivid image in even challengingly bright conditions, the Epson 1450 is an outstanding, and affordable, choice.
Is there a better alternative?
The Optoma HD39Darbee is a highly competitive projector for about $400 less at Amazon, but it can’t pack the white or color brightness the Epson Home Cinema 1450 can, nor does its lamps last quite as long. On the long terms, the Epson 1450 is the better deal.
How long will it last?
Given its excellent lamp life and relatively low lamp replacement cost, the Epson Home Cinema 1450 should last a decade or beyond before it may need replacing.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Whether placed in a dark room, or one which sees a fair amount of ambient light, the Epson Home Cinema 1450’s outstanding brightness makes it a stellar choice for any budding home theater enthusiast.