I was on the market for a home theater projector and spent about 6 months researching which one to get. DLP, 3LCD, LED, Sony, LG, Optimus, BenQ, Epson, etc. It was all a bit daunting but I wanted to take it seriously as I was making a $600+ investment.
In the end, I went with this projector. I wanted 3LCD as it's a proven technology and doesn't have the rainbow issue that single-chip DLP projectors do. I also wanted a projector that wouldn't require extensive calibration. There are plenty of websites that offer calibration numbers for projectors but I wanted one that I could get up and running with little to no input from me. I also wanted a projector that would be low cost both in terms of operation and replacement bulbs. Lastly, I wanted a quiet projector that could handle 3D as I have a pretty large Blu-ray 3D library. I wanted all of that without having to spend more than $1000.
The Epson 2045 really was the best choice. Not only was it extremely easy to setup but I didn't have to calibrate anything. After reading professional reviews, I discovered that the Epson 2045 works fine using their built-in presets (particularly Cinema Eco mode). I didn't have to calibrate anything, adjust the colors, or anything else. The only thing I did was turn off the motion smoothing for movies and games (I leave it on low if I'm watching a sports game over broadcast TV).
Images are life-like and colors are spot on. I have this projecting onto a 1:1.2 screen making a 100" image. I can make out details in dark scenes, action scene come to life, and the 3D is actually impressive. Watching Jurassic World in 3D on the Epson was a blast. I suggest using the standard Cinema Eco mode when watching movies. I never hear the fan kick on (I have it mounted to my ceiling) and it extends the life of the bulb. The projector does offer motion smoothing (like 120Hz and 240Hz LED/LCD HDTVs) but it's best to leave that off when watching movies and TV shows but it is useful, on low, when watching football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer games.
The level of detail when watching a Blu-ray movie is rather astounding. I can make out individual fibers in clothing, see wrinkles and blemishes that would otherwise go noticed, and I really feel like I am in a movie theater but I don't have to deal with other people. I also have a Samsung 3D Plasma HDTV and the Epson projector works with the same 3D Samsung glasses as my HDTV so I didn't have to buy new equipment.
If you are on a budget, do yourself a favor and really consider this. I went with it over the Optima projectors offered by Best Buy as the Epson is quieter and doesn't produce an image that is as washed out as those (i.e. Blacks with the Epson are almost true black whereas they are more like a dark gray with the Optima projectors in the same price range). BenQ makes some good projectors but their bulbs are often more expensive and some of their models have known exploding bulb issues.
Another positive for the Epson, if you have a notebook, tablet, or smartphone featuring Intel WiDi/Miracast technology, you can wireless broadcast anything to this projector. I have tried this out with my Surface Pro 2 and it works great though I tend to just rely on my Apple TV and MacBook Pro for such situations.
It doesn't matter what I'm watching, this Epson projector is great. Football games are awesome up on the big screen, movies feel like an actual theater, and TV shows feel more cinematic. The Epson 2045 isn't perfect though. I do wish that it had built-in AirPlay as well as WiDi and Miracast. It is also a little on the bulky and heavy side making it more difficult to transport. Lastly, it doesn't have any vertical image correction. It can straighten and image vertically by 20 degrees but not horizontally. This means that you pretty much have to mount this projector at the same height as the image that you want. It isn't that big of a deal as ceiling mounts make things easier but it can be a pain for people who can't do that. You would have to put it on a shelf if you can't mount it via a ceiling in order for the horizontal keystone (angle) to be correct. Other projectors often allow you to correct both the horizontal and vertical keystones but this one does not.
All-in-all, you aren't going to find a better projector for the price. Read up on the professional reviews of it and you'll see that it's top in its class. You can find better projectors but not at this price. It's hard to beat all of the features that are included in the Epson 2045.