In the world of consumer electronics, it’s not uncommon to see an exaggerated specification here and there. However, sometimes these exaggerations become egregious in nature and can cause confusion in the marketplace. In the world of projectors, lumens (essentially, brightness) are perhaps the most important specification that buyers used to make a purchase decision, and consequently it is commonly exaggerated.
In a lawsuit announced today, Epson is tackling what it complains is false advertising by Curtis international Limited and Technicolor SA regarding claimed lumens for numerous RCA branded projectors. Specific models include: RCA RPJ116, RCA RPJ116+, RCA RPJ119, RCA RPJ104, RCA RPJ129, and RCA RPJ136.
Epson says that in some cases, measured lumens are as little as 1% of the claimed lumens, a huge exaggeration that is reminiscent of cheap boomboxes that advertise 2000 W of power.
The RCA projectors in question are sold on the notion that they are "Super Bright" which Epson says is a false claim, and that misleading images of the projectors show them operating in a well lit environment. Epson notes that these RCA products are widely available online, as well as through major retailers and that the manufacturer, Curtis International Ltd., makes and sells projectors under other brand names with similarly false claims when it comes to lumen output.
“When manufacturers use blatantly misleading specification claims – it hurts the entire industry – from consumers, schools and businesses to retailers, dealers and suppliers,” said Mike Isgrig, vice president, consumer sales and marketing, Epson America, Inc. “Epson ensures its performance claims are based on projector industry standards, and takes it seriously when competitors misstate specs that mislead consumers. This practice makes it impossible for consumers to make informed purchase decisions and is damaging to the credibility of the industry and those who support it.”
According to the press release, the actual lumen output of these projectors was tested independently utilizing standard procedures. It also notes that Epson recently won a similar suit against iRulu, a company that made similar inflated terms when it comes to lumen ratings. In that suit, he was awarded $5 million in damages and "attained a permanent injunction" against the company. Epson notes that its aim in filing this new lawsuit is to protect consumers from false advertising claims.
Currently Available RCA/Curtis Projector Models – Claimed vs. Measured Lumens: