Today Epson announced the Home Cinema 1450 - a "Bright Room" projector that replaces their HC1440. The Home Cinema 1450 has the same feature set as its predecessor, but has managed to up the value proposition.
This is a seriously bright projector claiming 4200 lumens, for $1499. That's enough to tackle almost any room when paired with a proper screen (one designed to work in brighter rooms - often called ALR screens).
Epson Home Cinema 1450 - 4200 color, and white lumens of bright room home entertainment for $1499!
The major news - the two most significant differences between the HC1450 and it's predecessor are:
1) Increased lamp life - the Epson now offers 5000 hours at full power! And 10,000 hours in eco mode.
2) The HC1450 projector's price of $1499 represents a $200 decrease from it's predecessor.
For your consideration, laser and led light engine projectors typically claim about 20,000 hours at full power, but cost far more). In other words, even if you are running full power, and use your projector 40 hours a week, 5,000 hours translates to 5 years before you achieve the projected lamp life. (Note: claims are to a 50% reduction in brightness - not to failure - some lamps fail a lot short of claim, some last a lot longer, but most folks should get about what the claim is, or close to it. That is, most of you folks will never need to replace a lamp, rather, you'll be on to your next projector by then.
On the other hand, the 4200 lumens claimed is 200 lumens less than the HC1440, so, Epson may very well have reduced the brightness (by less than 5%) as one of the methods to get the major improvement in lamp life.
An HC1450 paired with an ALR screen - say 100" or 110" diagonal, can definitely do "battle" with LCD TVs in terms of looking great in rooms with a fair amount of ambient light. And most certainly, the cost of, say, an 80" LCD TV is far, far, more than this projector, plus an appropriate screen. This is not a projector for a fully darkened, dedicated home theater or cave, but one for "real rooms" around your house. Remember, like all Epson 3LCD projectors, the HC1450 has an equal number of color and white lumens, which goes a long way into cutting through ambient light with good/great color. This will give it an advantage over the typical single chip DLP projector with the same number of white lumens, as those tend to have color lumens between 1/3 and 2/3 of the white lumen counts.
The HC1450 has good contrast for this class of projector, which should provide respectable performance in a room with more than a little ambient light.
The HC1450 will be available shortly, both online and through local dealers. A real wall melter, for sure. We liked (and awarded) the HC1440. Considering the relatively minor changes, all for the better, the Home Cinema 1450 should prove to be at least as popular.
The image below is from the older HC1440, taken in a bright room environment:
The HC1450's predecessor, the HC1440, is shown here, temporarily setup table top, projecting to my ALR screen on a bright day, in a bright room.
A final note: I'm a big fan of projectors moving into brighter rooms. It's the large screen sizes that immerse you in the content, whether sports, a movie, general HDTV, streaming or gaming. I currently have a motorized ALR screen (Screen Innovations Slate) in my living room where it's paired with a projector just slightly brighter than this one. Although I have much higher end equipment in my dedicated home theater which is used more, my living room setup gets used almost every day for an hour or two, with great success, and with friends for major events such as the March Madness championship game. -art