Epson Powerlite Pro Z8450WU Commercial 3LCD Projector Review

Appearance

Big and white (black on the back), this 40 pound plus projector, has rack handles on the top.  The input panel is located on the back, while the inputs and other connectors are found on the front, behind a cable cover door, to the right of the center mounted, motorized lens.

Need a black casing for your installation?  No problem, just order the Z8455WUNL, instead of the Z8450WUNL.

A series of indicator lights are located on the back, below the control panel.  If you install the wireless networking module, one of those lights also provides info on the wireless.

Let’s take a closer look.

Epson Pro Z8450WU Setup

Thanks to its adjustable feet and horizontal and vertical lens shift, the Z8450WUNL is easy to setup up in either table or ceiling mounting installations.  If ceiling mounted, the feet can be removed, and supplied covers can replace them for esthetics.

The Z8450WUNL starts up very fast and has multiple test patterns that can aid in initial setup (using the picture geometry and crosshatch patterns), as well as more advanced picture adjustment (using the grayscale and color bars).

Menus

The menus will look very familiar to anyone who has previously used an Epson projector.

All of our reviewers consider Epson’s menu structure to be one of the very best, and relatively Simply choose one of the available color modes, fine tune it with the usual Brightness, Contrast and Sharpness adjustments and you’re ready to go.

You can also adjust the overall grayscale balance with the Color Temp control.

For the advanced user, Epson has also added full color management, found on the Advanced sub-menu.  The CMS allowing adjustment of hue, saturation and brightness of both the primary (Red, Green, Blue) and secondary (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) colors.

Color Mode Menu

Full Color Management

For the advanced user, Epson has also added full color management, found on the Advanced sub-menu. The CMS allowing adjustment of hue, saturation and brightness of both the primary (Red, Green, Blue) and secondary (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) colors.

Extended Menu

The Extended Menu offers even more features. Of note: Closed Caption options, Customizing the start up screen, Time/Scheduling, and Multi-projection when operating multiple Epsons together. There's even a Direction function since this projector can be used vertically as well as the traditional horizontal setup. It is designed to also function when tilted. This makes for some interesting shaped displays. Think about it - using multiple projectors some tilted, and incorporating the edge blending.

Gamma Controls

All this, and a tremendous depth in terms of the number and variety of other adjustment controls allow for excellent image performance. Extensive gamma controls (shown here) are also found on the The Epson Z8450WUNL projector gamma menu.Advanced menu.

Basically the Power Pro Z8450WUNL projector has as complete a set of color controls as their home theater projectors. This truly makes sense due to the wide range of uses the Z could be called on to handle.

Image Menu

Pointer Shape Menu

This Epson has a pointer function on the remote control. Here in this menu, you can select the pointer style that works best for whatever you are doing. There are two high power modes, and a low power mode. The Epson Z8450WUNL projector pointer menu.Despite being a dual lamp projector, however, this control does not let you select single lamp use for minimal power consumption. Even two bulbs running in "eco" will likely draw about 40% more power than a single bulb at full.

This could be considered a wise move on Epson's part. Offering single lamp can be handy, but if you aren't careful, and don't keep the number of hours close on the two bulbs, you will get some color shifts as one bulb ages faster. For many applications requiring accurate color, that would be a problem. On the other hand, some users may need dual lamp in terms of not having the projector fail, and not need more than half the brightness. For those people, the option would be nice to have. And of course, for those scenarios, it's logical to offer the option to automatically switch from one lamp to the other when the one in use fails.

Menu Structure

All of our reviewers consider Epson's menu structure to be one of the very best, and relatively Simply choose one of the available color modes, fine tune it with the usual Brightness, Contrast and Sharpness adjustments and you’re ready to go.

Grayscale Balance

You can also adjust the overall grayscale balance with the Color Temp control.

Spit Screen Controls

The Split Screen controls are located here as well, and have their own sub-menu.

Geometric Correction

The Settings menu offers Geometric Correction, which I didn't mention under special features. The Epson can adjust the image to provide the correct shape for different shaped surfaces. It's another feature used in today's advanced computer enhanced world, where rectangular is no longer the only game in town.

Frame Interpolation

The The Epson Z8450WUNL projector signal menu.signal menu hosts various dynamic controls including Frame Interpolation, Super-resolution, some noise reduction, plus some very standard items like HDMI range, Aspect Ratio and Overscan.

Epson Z8450WUNL Remote Control

The Z8450 has a basic, but well thought out remote.  Power and input buttons are on top, right above a thumbpad which offers 360 degree response, making it very usable as either a wireless or wired mouse (with an optional mouse adapter or cable).  The “disc pad” action of the navigation control also comes in handy when using the Z8450’s built-in pointer.  The pointer display button, as well as buttons to control the electronic zoom and presentation pages, is right below the thumbpad.  Also in an easily accessible location at the bottom of the remote are the Help and speaker volume.  If external speakers are connected to the audio out, the remote’s Volume control will control them as well.  The buttons are not backlit, but that is typical for presentation projectors.  In general, I found the buttons to be well laid out and spaced sufficiently to avoid hitting the wrong one, even in the dark.

Another feature allows you to control more than one Z8450 at a time independently from a single remote.  By turning on the “ID” slide switch on the side of the remote, you can switch the remote between different projector IDs (a total of nine selectable in the projector menu) and have completely independent, full control of each projector.

Since a projector like the Powerlite Pro Z8450WUNL may be mounted some distance from the screen, I wanted to check the range  Doing so, I found the remote had a range of at least 45 feet, the furthest back I could get from our testing room with line of sight to control the Z8450.  There was also no problem with a signal bounced off of our 1.4 gain Carada screen from over 30 feet.

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Epson Z8450WUNL Lenses

All the lenses offer both motorized vertical, and horizontal, lens shift.  Shift range is extensive.

I should note that the fineness of the lens shift controls is downright spooky.  At first I was sure the motorized lens shift was not working.  I held down the button to move the lens down, for several seconds, perhaps more than five.  Well, I wasn’t paying enough attention.  The lens was actually shifting, but due to the fineness of the controls, and my expectations of some real movement, I didn’t notice.  After even more time, the lens shift got much faster. I realize that a projector like this, which may be stacked with others, or used in multi-projection environments, extremely fine control can be a real advantage.

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