Epson announced today that it reached a settlement in a legal action taken against online projector seller ACROJOY over the quoted brightness specification of one of its products.
The end result, Epson says, is that ACROJOY has agreed to properly report the lumen count on its compact projector at 250 lumens rather than the 9,500 lumens advertised to date.
As of today, Amazon was still advertising ACROJOY's projector alongside the hilarious 9,500 lumen spec. The unit sells for $139, and comes with a 120-inch screen. ACROJOY does not quote a screen gain, but a 120-inch, 16:9 image on a 1.0 gain screen with a 250 lumen projector measured at the industry-standard ISO or ANSI lumen spec would net about 6 foot-Lamberts on screen, or about half at best of the minimum recommended for home theaters in a darkened room. ACROJOY promotes the projector as suitable for images up to 300 inches.
Epson has over several years now functioned unilaterally as the consumer watchdog for a largely unregulated projector industry whose budget sector has seen an influx of cheap, often under-performing products. By taking direct legal action against companies who promote pumped up lumen counts or misleading metrics such as lux, LED lumens, or lamp brightness, the company hopes to create a more even playing field and ensure consumers come home with projectors that satisfy their needs and expectations.
The industry does have an established standard, defined as ISO21118, that most legitimate projector manufacturers adhere to voluntarily for measuring and reporting lumens. It requires a nine-point averaged measurement that is modeled after the former ANSI lumen specification. The two terms ISO lumens and ANSI lumens are often used interchangeably for purpose of spec sheets. ProjectorCentral measures ANSI lumens for its product reviews, which applies to a single projector vs. a larger number of manufactured samples as would apply to a true ISO lumen rating.
Most of Epson's legal actions have centered on smaller and less pricey off-brand products such as the ACROJOY, though the company's most recent prior announcement involved a suit against Sunvalleytek International Inc., makers of the $2,799 VAVA 4K ultra-short throw laser projector.
In a company statement, Mike Isgrig, Epson VP of consumer sales and marketing, said: "When a consumer purchases a product expecting 9,500 lumens and the actual industry standard measurement results in 250 lumens, that's a big disappointment for the user and hurts the entire industry. Our goal is to ensure consumers have access to accurate information when making purchasing decisions, and ACROJOY's actions to state the correct lumens claims according to industry measurement standards is a step in the right direction."
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