If you want a huge TV screen on the cheap, projectors offer great bang for the buck. $3,000 for a 65-inch TV? Please! Home theater projectors can give you a 100-inch image – or even larger – for half the price. But the big drawback with projectors is limited light output. If you want to watch TV with the living room lights on – or during the day with the drapes open – most projectors just can’t compete with that ambient light. Colors get washed out and images look faded.
Epson has been on a mission lately to address this issue. And their latest projector, the Home Cinema 1450 ($1,499), is one of their brightest consumer projectors ever, rated for a whopping 4,200 Lumens of both white output and color output. That last bit is important. With Epson’s 3-Chip LCD design, there’s a separate LCD display unit inside for each of the three primary colors: red, green and blue. This gives the projector the ability to maintain high brightness for color content as well as white content. Other technology such as single-chip DLP, which uses a spinning color wheel to create colors on the screen, may get decent brightness for white images (when the color filter is out of the loop) but tend to have a dimmer image on content with actual color in it.
The Home Cinema 1450 features two HDMI inputs (one with MHL support), two PC/VGA inputs, a composite video input and analog audio inputs. It also includes two USB ports, an ethernet jack and an RS-232C port for use with an external control system. Although there is no lens shift capability, there is a 1.6:1 optical zoom and automatic digital keystoning to adjust for less than ideal placement. The projector’s native resolution is 1920×1080 pixels (1080p) with a standard HD aspect ratio of 16:9. The 1450 includes a built-in speaker powered by a 16-Watt amp so it’s ready to rock right out of the box. For best results, we’d recommend hooking it up to a powered soundbar or receiver and there’s an analog audio output on board to help make that happen.
By Chris Boylan
See full details at www.bigpicturebigsound.com