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Epson Home Cinema 2250 3LCD 1080p Projector Review 2021

The Epson Home Cinema 2250 ($999.99) doesn’t include Streaming Projector in its name, but Epson lists it as one, and for good reason. As with our Editors’ Choice for streaming projection, the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector, it comes with integrated Android TV, Wi-Fi, and dedicated remote buttons for streaming functions. The two even list for the same price. But the HC 2250 trades the EF12’s laser light source for a standard lamp, has poorer onboard audio, and lacks support for 4K and HDR input. These drawbacks are mitigated by a zoom lens, additional sophisticated video processing, and a step up in brightness and image quality. 


A Little Bit of Everything

The HC 2250 has a native 1080p (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) resolution, courtesy of three 1,920-by-1,080 LCD chips. The 3LCD design guarantees both that you won’t see rainbow artifacts and that color brightness will match white brightness, so color images will be fully as bright as you would expect from the 2,700-lumen white brightness rating. 

A bright, beautiful image is the HC 2250’s hallmark.

Physical installation consists of little more than pointing the HC 2250 at your screen, plugging in the power cord, optionally connecting a video source with an HDMI cable, and adjusting the manual zoom, focus, and vertical lens shift. At only 8.4 pounds and 4.8 by 12.4 by 12.2 inches (HWD), the HC 2250 is small enough to fit just about anywhere. The 1.6x zoom adds screen-distance flexibility, and the vertical lens shift, at 15% of the image height, lets you match the image’s vertical position to the screen without having to tilt the projector and use digital keystone correction. 

The first time you turn on the HC 2250, it will take you through the same setup routine covered in detail in our EF12 review to make sure it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network and get the Android TV set up. Note that there’s no way to use the projector without first going through this setup routine. However, after you’ve connected to the network once, you can use an HDMI video source without an active network connection.

The HC 2250 setup offers to let you connect by Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, but the HC 2250 has no way to connect by Ethernet, so don’t waste your time looking for a port. Epson says it’s looking into upgrading the HC 2250 firmware to omit that option and avoid confusion. 

Epson Home Cinema 2250 3LCD 1080p Projector back viewThis streaming-ready projector has just one HDMI port, as it’s intended to connect to your Wi-Fi network.

During setup, you can also download some starter apps from Google Play Store, including YouTube and Netflix, and there are links for downloading more apps and games. My Bodnar meter measured the HC 2250’s input lag at 27ms for for 1080p at 60Hz, making it fast enough for most people, though serious gamers generally prefer a projector with less than 17ms lag. Gamers will also appreciate the support for a 21:9 aspect ratio.

On the home cinema side of the HC 2250’s personality, one notable feature is frame interpolation (FI), with low, medium, and high settings to smooth motion. It’s on by default, but if you’re among the majority who don’t like the digital video (aka soap opera) effect that FI adds to filmed material, it’s easy enough to turn off. Many people consider it desirable for video, if not film. 

A color management system lets you adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness for each primary (blue, green, red) and secondary (cyan, magenta, yellow) color. In addition, you can save up to 10 sets of custom picture settings to memory, easily storing profiles for different levels of ambient light or creating one profile for gaming and another for movies.

As with almost any projector, for the best sound quality, you’ll want to use an external audio system. However, the onboard 10-watt speaker delivers high enough volume to fill a large family room and good enough sound quality to be usable. 


Accurate Color Even at Max Brightness

All four predefined picture modes—Bright Cinema, Cinema, Dynamic, and Natural—deliver good enough color accuracy for most people to consider them more than acceptable. Given that the brightest mode in many projectors is green-shifted to the point of being tolerable at best, that comes as a pleasant surprise. 

The brightest mode, Dynamic, shows a green bias, but it’s so slight that it’s hard to see. In most scenes in our test suite, skin tones were a little too yellow (because adding green to red yields yellow), but they were still within a realistic range. I noticed the shift only because I’m so familiar with the test scenes and know exactly what the color should be. Though Dynamic mode is not my preferred mode for the HC 2250, it’s good enough to use without hesitation if you need the extra brightness. 

All the other modes deliver more neutral color, with only small differences from one to the next. Any is acceptable for watching movies or video, but my pick for viewing in a dark room or in low levels of ambient light is Cinema, which delivers the darkest black level of all the modes along with good shadow detail and the best sense of 3D in dark scenes. If ambient light levels are high enough to wash out the differences in black levels between modes, my choice is Bright Cinema, which provides the most accurate color along with good shadow detail. Both modes have good contrast. 

See How We Test Projectors

The HC 2250 does not accept 4K UHD (3,840-by-2,160) input to downconvert to its native 1080p, and it does not support HDR. However, it supports Full HD 3D and Epson’s proprietary glasses. I didn’t see any crosstalk in my tests and saw only a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts. More noteworthy is that it delivers among the brightest 3D images that I’ve seen, relative to the 2D brightness, which makes the HC 2250 a top choice if you want to watch 3D movies in ambient light. 

Epson Home Cinema 2250 3LCD 1080p ProjectorManual settings let you adjust projection until it’s exactly how you want it.

Even for 2D, the HC 2250 is a light cannon, especially when you consider that its brightest mode is pretty color-accurate. At 2,700 lumens, it’s bright enough to fill a 235-inch diagonal 1.0-gain 16:9 screen in a dark room, according to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommendations, and suitable for a 130-inch screen in moderate ambient light. Even using the Eco power setting, the lower-brightness Cinema mode was easily bright enough to light up my 90-inch screen in a dark room. In daytime in my family room, Bright Cinema mode at full power delivered an excellent picture on an 80-inch screen. 


A Capable Generalist

What distinguishes the HC 2250 is that it combines integrated streaming, a high-quality image straight out of the box, and features that will be of interest to videophiles who like to fine-tune their projectors to get the best image possible. If you like that combination, be sure to take a look at the Epson Home Cinema 2200 as well; it’s less expensive and has similar specs, the key difference being a lower-rated contrast. Also take a look at Epson’s other streaming models, including the EF12, which is smaller and lighter, supports 4K, and has a long-lived laser light source.

If you add a Roku or Apple TV dongle to a lower-priced projector like the BenQ HT2150ST, you’ll get a similar experience in a different streaming ecosystem. But if you’re happy with Android TV, the Epson Home Cinema 2250 will make life easy for you with a fully integrated package of features and impressively good image quality for the price.

Epson Home Cinema 2250 3LCD 1080p Projector

Pros

  • Good color accuracy, contrast, shadow detail, and black level for the price

  • Three-chip LCD engine (3LCD) delivers matching color and white brightness and no rainbow artifacts

  • Integrated Android TV

  • Built-in Wi-Fi

  • Unusually bright 3D mode

View More

The Bottom Line

The Epson Home Cinema 2250 is equal parts 1080p home theater projector and streaming projector, with integrated Android TV and a bright, color-accurate image.

Epson Home Cinema 2250 3LCD 1080p Projector Specs

Engine Type LCD
Rated Brightness 2700 LED Lumens
Native Resolution 1920 by 1080
Maximum Resolution 1920 by 1080
Inputs and Interfaces HDMI
Dimensions (HWD) 4.8 by 12.4 by 12.2 inches
Weight 8.4 lbs
Warranty 2 years

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