Epson has reprised its role as projection industry watchdog in lawsuits filed this week against four budget projector brands sold on Amazon, including the popular Vankyo brand, for their failure to use industry-standard brightness specifications in promoting their products.
Vankyo, along with WiMiUS, GooDee, and Bomaker, are accused in the actions of using the term "lux" to describe brightness instead of lumens, which are measured and reported by most manufacturers according to the accepted ANSI or similar ISO 21118 standards. By definition, lumen measurements take screen size into account, while a lux measurement is merely a brightness reading from a luminance meter that varies with distance from the source and cannot be used by consumers to compare projectors or calculate the brightness of the image they will see on their screen.
Vankyo's V630 model, for example, is an LED projector promoted on Amazon as having "6800 LUX high brightness," while ANSI brightness measurements conducted by a third-party reviewer has shown it to produce only about 420 lumens. An uneducated consumer might reasonably think it was a very bright projector based on the number alone.
Epson uses the ISO standard for measuring white brightness and separately measures and reports color brightness (color light output, or CLO) according to the IDMS 15.4 standard. The ISO standard is slowly supplanting the ANSI standard and uses the same nine-point technique that averages light across the entire screen.
"We are seeing more connected households embrace big-screen viewing solutions than ever before. As we enter the busy holiday season, we want to ensure that consumers are receiving the vital information needed to make informed purchasing decisions," said Mike Isgrig, vice president, consumer sales and marketing, Epson America, Inc., in a company statement. "Epson invests considerable time and money to ensure performance claims are based on industry standards, and we take it seriously when companies blatantly mislead consumers with non-standard specifications. This lawsuit underscores Epson's commitment to support a fair marketplace and deter sellers and manufacturers who by misleading projector consumers, damage the credibility of the entire industry."
Back in 2019, Epson made headlines when it filed suit against Curtis International Ltd., the distributor and marketer of RCA brand projectors, and against Technicolor SA, which owns the RCA brand, for grossly overstating the lumen output of its projectors. Projectors claimed in advertising to be 2,000 or more lumens (of an unspecified type) were measured by an independent lab as typically delivering less than 40 ANSI lumens. That case was settled with Curtis agreeing to advertise its projectors only using the industry standard ISO/ANSI lumens and to modify its packaging to reflect the accurate lumens ratings. In 2018, Epson was granted a permanent injunction and a $5 million damage award after suing iRulu for advertising false lumen ratings.