Epson’s Blazingly Bright Home Cinema 1440 Projector Announced

The Epson Home Cinema 1440 was one of two more Epson projectors released this summer, two of five since the beginning of August.  With a $1699 official price, it’s also the only new Epson projector announced that’s over $1000.  For those not familiar, Epson makes perhaps 15 home entertainment and home theater projectors, from under $500 to $8000.

I like Epson’s info they sent me.  In their materials they refer to it as a flat panel killer.  I love the thought, and will discuss that below!

4400 wall melting lumens and an 3LCD design are the backbone of the HC1440.  The HC1440 is scheduled to start shipping in September (2015).

The Home Cinema 1440 Basics

HC1440 Projector Highlights

  • 4400 Wall Melting Lumens
  • Dynamic Iris
  • Split Screen
  • Wired Networking
  • MHL on HDMI for streaming sticks and mobile devices
  • Faroudja Image Processing
  • $1699

Rock your house, with the Home Cinema 1440.  Don’t settle for some tiny 65″ LCDTV!  This projector doesn’t hide in a home theater, instead it’s built for your living, family, or bonus room.

As is common with many manufacturers, Epson has some projectors built from scratch specifically for the dedicated home theater.  Many of Epson’s lower end projectors – most of the ones under $2000 – are “cross-over” projectors.  That means that they are based on business /commercial /education projectors.  They are typically a lot brighter than dedicated home theater projectors.  The Home Cinema 1440 is definitely one of those.  It looks very much like, and is very similar in many ways to Epson’s Powerlite 1985WU.

Don’t settle for some tiny 65″ LCDTV! This projector can give you the really big screen experience in tough rooms

 

Let me say that the Epson 1985WU is the flagship of Epson’s 1900 series, which is the best selling series of projectors in its class, per major industry marketing research firm; Pacific Media Assoc.    We certainly are impressed with “the business/education” versions.  Consider that the 1985WU recently took our award as best value education projector in our high brightness category.  The point I’m making is I have a pretty good idea what to expect, when it ships.  I expect to review this projector.

Based on the information provided by Epson here’s more of what this projector is all about.

Placement flexibility is going to be very good, thanks to a 1.6:1 zoom lens, plus there’s plenty of keystone correction and Quick Corner.

Epson-Home-Cinema-1440_Back
The back of the Home Cinema 1440 is loaded with connectors!

 

Input flexibility is extensive.  There are a pair of HDMI inputs, and one has MHL support for supporting mobile devices such as tablets and phones, and streaming sticks like Roku.  I should mention that MHL is not often found on the business versions of projectors, although it’s becoming more popular there as well.  There are two computer inputs, and a monitor out, lots of audio inputs, two USB’s, and both RS-232 for old school command and control, and an ethernet LAN connection should you want to hardwire the projector to your home network.  (That’s the business computer influence again, there are some inputs that aren’t often found on a dedicated home projector – such as the two computer inputs.)

The Epson’s feature set is also well endowed.

Epson has their Detail Enhancement controls added to this model, as well as CFI – frame interpolation for smooth motion.  That’s a real plus for sports viewing, and some like it for general HDTV viewing as well.  No surprise.  And there’s 3D capability including Blu-ray.

And there’s split screen as an added treat – if you take advantage of it.  Feed it two sources and you can have side by side viewing.  I have used other Epson projectors with this feature, and I like it.  At home I’ve put up football games on one side, and show my computer’s screen with my Fantasy Football info on the other side.  Split screen can be two windows the same size, or one larger than the other.

Lamp life is 3000 hours at full power, 4000 in Eco.  That’s average or better for extremely bright projectors even if most lower brightness models these days are 4000 or 5000 hours at full power.  Epson prices their replacement lamps lower than most competitors.  The two year warranty with two years of rapid replacement program is another plus.

Massive Brightness for a Home Projector

There are brighter for home, but not many.  I have one in my living room setup, Epson’s Pro Cinema G6550WU, which is also a crossover.  My beast claims 5200 lumens, and it is handling an exceptionally challenging room.  Check out our video, as it will give you a good idea of what this projector can do, after all, the Home Cinema 1440 has almost 85% of the brightness of mine, which is a far more expensive projector.  Here’s a picture of my living room projector with some sunlight coming into the room from lots of glass doors.

G6550_install_football_distance
My slightly brighter 5200 lumen projector in my exceptionally bright living room

Point is, you can tackle bright rooms! If the room is so impossible that you can’t really get a decent image from this projector, then you probably can’t enjoy an LCDTV either.  Just pair this baby with the right screen for your room, and you should be good to go.

Here’s the thing about projectors – they provide the biggest image and the most immersive experience.

Here are the numbers.  You need about 400 lumens to do a 100″ diagonal screen in a fully darkened home theater. Here you have 11 times that much brightness, but how bright is that?

Sony’s basic 4K Cinema projector, yes the ones at your local cineplex, per their spec, produces 9000 lumens, just over double this projector.  Sony states that 9000 lumens is enough for a 10 meter wide screen.  We’re talking about roughly 33 feet wide.

In other words, in a different, and fully darkened room, this projector should be just about bright enough for a 20 foot wide screen.  How’s that for “wow”?

OK, enough about the brightness. Light Canon!

Picture Qualty

The images here are from that business/education Powerlite 1985WU projector, so you have to figure that’s the minimum you can expect.

Well, naturally this Epson has multiple pre-defined color modes such as “Cinema”, and two 3D modes as well.  The HC1440 uses Faroudja Image Processing.  Those guys were the first to offer very high quality processing for projectors about 15 years ago.  Good stuff.

That’s about for your HC1440 briefing and perspective.  As I stated at the beginning, this is one we will very likely review.  It’s a real powerhouse that brings the projector experience into almost any room you want.

Your HC1440 won’t be available until sometime in September (2015).  This should make a great stocking stuffer, when the holidays come.

News and Comments

  • Does this projector have the option to output at 16:9? I noticed in the specs that it’s 16:10 (1920×1200). Will the picture spill over a 16:9 screen? Or vice-versa, leave black strips down the side for 16:9 content from say, a cable box?

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi Charlie, If you feed the HC1440 16:9 material, it will output it as 16:9 material. That means you do have a letterbox equivalent to 1/10th of the vertical height. so, on a 100” diagonal 16:9 screen, screen height is roughly 50 inches, so you would have about 2.5 inches above and below the screen surface which would be projecting as black – no data. Of course that “black” will be a dark gray, based on the black level performance of the projector – which isn’t that great – this being a bright room projector. With the lights off, you would see that overshoot. Unless…

      …If going with a fixed screen, most have black velour frames that are 2 to 5 inches wide. If you have a typical 3” frame, it would be very effective in hiding that dark gray. Even many motorized screens (such as my Studiotek 130, have more than 3 inches of material or frame at the top and bottom. -art

      • yashooa

        I have a 154″ 16:9 screen and have always run a 16:10 projector. You do not notice the extra bit of light spilling onto the black screen frame.
        If the projector is in sleep mode you will see it but once some content is shown it is 100% a non-issue.

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Again, the letterboxing would be at the top and bottom, not the sides. And for comparison. Letterboxing a widescreen movie on that same 100” screen would give you about a 10 inch letter box at top and bottom (compared to 2.5 inches). you were doing the widescreen with the HC1440 since it’s 16:10, then the letterbox at top and bottom would be around 12.5 inches on that widescreen movie. -art

      • Ok, good to know! Yea, I’m looking at this particular projector as one side of my living room is all windows… and read that this one out performs many in ambient light. Not sure what size screen I will need, but around 100 seems about right, I will keep that in mind, knowing that the fixed frame material could hide the letterbox. And I will pretty much just be hooking it up to cable, xbox, etc. Only non 16:9 content I would feed it would be if a movie itself is ultra-widescreen.

        I was also looking at ALR screen / gray screen to help with daytime watching. And I’m assuming night time will be plenty bright!

        _charlie

  • Hey Art, so do you think the Epson 3500/3600e w/ 2500 lumens would be enough? I watched your YouTube review of those projectors and they seem awesome as well. This would be for a living room, with a wall of windows on the left side… pretty bright during the day (1% solar shades coming soon). The throw would be between 11-14ft, for a screen size between 100-120.

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Charlie, remember that you generally don’t want to be watching in brightest mode, although the 3500 does well enough in all but the brightnest, and doesn’t loose that much. still, if you were watching the G6550 video that’s a projector officially 2x as bright, but some of those images as noted, are in lower brightness modes, and even in Eco mode. That will be your best guide. So, for example when I’m showing Theater (or is it Cinema) mode, that’s roughly comparable to the the HC3500 in Dynamic in terms of brightness. If your confidence isn’t high, be sure to buy from a dealer that provides you with some flexibility in terms of exchange/return. -art

      • Yea, makes sense. I guess I was just wondering if the 3500 would suffice for the times I would be watching middle of the day? Or would I really need to go up to something like the Epson 1440 (4400 lumens) to make it watchable. I know the picture quality with lots of ambient light won’t be great, but the room is pitch black at night, so that’s good at least!

  • Marc Robin

    Hi Art, thank for all excellent reviews, which one do you recommand me between 1440 and 1985WU ? i need bright projector for event with 200 inch rear projection screen. thank

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      The 1985WU has some advantages, but it’s not all that much brighter. The main advantage is CFI – smooth motion, let’s say, for sports. I’m working from memory now, but if I’m right, there’s only a 400 lumen difference – so just less than 10%. Every lumen helps, but that’s not much difference, so your budget is a deciding factor. You also get an extra year of warranty. Your call. -art