Epson Files Lawsuit Tackling False Lumens Claims for RCA Branded Projectors - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Epson Files Lawsuit Tackling False Lumens Claims for RCA Branded Projectors

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:


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post #2 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 09:47 AM
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Nice. A little exaggeration is one thing, 99% is just crazy. Good going Epson!
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post #3 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 09:56 AM
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Shocker, that RCA projector I got at Walmart for $69 is not 2000 lumens! Dang

Every single manufacturer exaggerates lumens rating including Epson. There are ton of Chinese projectors that are flooded in Amazon with bold claims of "3200 lumens for $100". I guess RCA was easier target to sue since it's a Canadian owned company.
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post #4 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wookiegr View Post
No respectable home theater hobbyist would buy a JVC projector anyways. Seems like a wasted lawsuit. All it will do is put Epson's lumen ratings under a microscope. If all their projectors are not dead on this will backfire.
What?
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post #5 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by klas View Post
… Every single manufacturer exaggerates lumens rating including Epson. ...
Most reliable independent reviews of Epson projectors using calibrated test equipment to measure lumens state that they generally produce more maximum lumens than claimed in Epson's specifications. In fact Epson is widely recognized in the projector industry as being one of the most honest when it comes to claimed lumens.
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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post
… Every single manufacturer exaggerates lumens rating including Epson. ...
Most reliable independent reviews of Epson projectors using calibrated test equipment to measure lumens state that they generally produce more maximum lumens than claimed in Epson's specifications. In fact Epson is widely recognized in the projector industry as being one of the most honest when it comes to claimed lumens.
My thoughts exactly.
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Epson sued for claiming power supplies last longer than five minutes.
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post #8 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
Most reliable independent reviews of Epson projectors using calibrated test equipment to measure lumens state that they generally produce more maximum lumens than claimed in Epson's specifications. In fact Epson is widely recognized in the projector industry as being one of the most honest when it comes to claimed lumens.
Good for them if they managed to improve on their rated lumens rating and keep it consistent.
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Epson Files Lawsuit Tackling False Lumens Claims for RCA Branded Projectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
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:





I’m glad that somebody is taking action on this, however I can’t help but wonder if that table is exaggerated as well. 1% of 2,000 lumens is only 20 lumens. RCA would almost have to go out of their way to build or find a light engine that weak. Not to mention, their products would be nearly unusable under any circumstance. How is RCA not getting 99% of their projectors returned at a huge loss to their bottom line? I’m scratching my head.
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post #10 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 12:29 PM
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it is highly exaggerated. There are ton of positive reviews for that RPJ116 for example and people even game on it, no way it's 32 lumens...


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post #11 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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it is highly exaggerated. There are ton of positive reviews for that RPJ116 for example and people even game on it, no way it's 32 lumens...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVvzK9YxTOY
That tiny little thing? If it's much more than 32 lumens it would melt.
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post #12 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 12:40 PM
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That tiny little thing? If it's much more than 32 lumens it would melt.
I guess my 100 lumens headlamp should explode any minute now...

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post #13 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess my 100 lumens headlamp should explode any minute now...
The lamp in these projectors is likely not much different than your LED headlamp, but you do lose some lumens turning it into RGB video and shining it through a lens etc.

Best part about the video "believe me it's 1080p" he says about a 480p projector. Lol.
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post #14 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 01:06 PM
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I’m glad that somebody is taking action on this, however I can’t help but wonder if that table is exaggerated as well. 1% of 2,000 lumens is only 20 lumens. RCA would almost have to go out of their way to build or find a light engine that weak. Not to mention, their products would be nearly unusable under any circumstance. How is RCA not getting 99% of their projectors returned at a huge loss to their bottom line? I’m scratching my head.
I would guess Epson is trying to calibrate these projectors before they test the output lumens. Sounds fair doesn’t it? the best they could calibrate them I’m sure is by turning the brightness all the way down. The only thing more accurate is to pull the plug but then the black level would be too good.

Epson runs the ColorLightOutput site and they don’t really measure color lumens they just measure the RGB of the color wheel and disregard the CYW so if 180 degrees is CYW on the wheel the color brightness is computed at half. That’s also not fair as the CYW does produce useful light and adds to RGB to some extent.

As someone mentioned sure these companies are playing fast and loose but they have to work to some degree or they would all be returned.

This is a case of misinformation about misinformation IMO Just like everything else everyone deals with every day. I just threw out my frying pan that nothing will ever stick to and was guaranteed for a lifetime. The magic copper stuff quit working.

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post #15 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 02:13 PM
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I guess my 100 lumens headlamp should explode any minute now...
The lamp in these projectors is likely not much different than your LED headlamp, but you do lose some lumens turning it into RGB video and shining it through a lens etc.

Best part about the video "believe me it's 1080p" he says about a 480p projector. Lol.
I am almost tempted to buy one and do a review comparing it to the flashlight... Lol

And what do expect from walmart crowd about understanding the real specs. Of course Epson could start another lawsuit since their title falsely stating it's a 1080P projector.
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I bought one of these on a lark a while back. While it struggles to produce a watchable image in a room with ambient light, at night it wasn't completely terrible. I was even contemplating trying it as a bedroom projector but the fan is REALLY loud. I kept it in case someone I know is contemplating a projector and wanted to see what a projected image looked like in their house, and especially at different sizes.

I agree that Epson's numbers seem way off.

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post #17 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 03:45 PM
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The problem with many of these projectors is that they may be using 700 lumen LEDs inside of them. That is, the measurement standard used for projectors of ANSI lumens has absolutely nothing to do with a legal requirement of measurement until the courts and laws say that they must.

So, throw in 3 LED lamps each rated at 700 lumens and you have a 2,100 lumen projector.

Then, you don't run them at full power, you have terrible optics, and you end up with under 100 lumens at the output stage.

Yes, it's a BS specification and why some people think you have to spend thousands of dollars to get a nice big bright image in any room.

I still want to play with all these cheap LED models, especially from the more reputable Pico manufacturers.

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post #18 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wookiegr View Post
No respectable home theater hobbyist would buy a RCA projector anyways. Seems like a wasted lawsuit. All it will do is put Epson's lumen ratings under a microscope. If all their projectors are not dead on this will backfire.
I think they're more worried about a school or small business buying one, probably with an IT guy who might be smart about IT, but doesn't know much about displays or projectors.
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post #19 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 04:17 PM
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The 190 lumens Epson claimed were measured on the "3,100 lumen" RPJ129 is comparable to what projectorcentral.com measured for some cheap LED models they tested (link below), so no reason to be skeptical about Epson's rating on that model. The other model measurements ranging from 18 to 38 do seem absurdly low. But Epson would need to prove these numbers in a court of law through independent testing so exaggerating the low numbers in the lawsuit makes little sense. The lowest projectorcentral.com measured was 87 lumens for one rated at 1,500 lumens:

projectorcentral.com/cheap_projectors.htm

I happen to have a cheapskate friend who bought one of these cheap LED projectors and wanted help with the setup. When I saw it I almost gagged. I tried to convince him that for a little more money he could have a real projector that actually produced a decent image. He really took offense at that because in his mind that gigantic, fuzzy, dim image was the greatest thing he'd ever seen. So I totally understand how Amazon owner reviews of these cheap LED projectors get rave reviews.
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post #20 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 06:01 PM
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The 190 lumens Epson claimed were measured on the "3,100 lumen" RPJ129 is comparable to what projectorcentral.com measured for some cheap LED models they tested (link below), so no reason to be skeptical about Epson's rating on that model. The other model measurements ranging from 18 to 38 do seem absurdly low. But Epson would need to prove these numbers in a court of law through independent testing so exaggerating the low numbers in the lawsuit makes little sense. The lowest projectorcentral.com measured was 87 lumens for one rated at 1,500 lumens:



projectorcentral.com/cheap_projectors.htm



I happen to have a cheapskate friend who bought one of these cheap LED projectors and wanted help with the setup. When I saw it I almost gagged. I tried to convince him that for a little more money he could have a real projector that actually produced a decent image. He really took offense at that because in his mind that gigantic, fuzzy, dim image was the greatest thing he'd ever seen. So I totally understand how Amazon owner reviews of these cheap LED projectors get rave reviews.


Your experience reminds me of how I got into this hobby in the first place. I was given a 480p InFocus projector, I watched Lord of the Rings on my wall (about 85” picture size) and I fell in love. Even only having 480p (DVD quality) I was awestruck with the detail I was able to reconcile vs an 1080p 40” lcd display. We get so hung up on contrast/lumen ratings that we forget scale. I personally, have no problem with someone discovering the attributes of a larger screen size after buying a cheap $90 dollar projector. I just hope they understand the benefits of moving up to an entry level $500 1080p full HD, or entry level $1,500 4k projector.
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post #21 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 07:03 PM
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I happen to have a cheapskate friend who bought one of these cheap LED projectors and wanted help with the setup. When I saw it I almost gagged. I tried to convince him that for a little more money he could have a real projector that actually produced a decent image. He really took offense at that because in his mind that gigantic, fuzzy, dim image was the greatest thing he'd ever seen. So I totally understand how Amazon owner reviews of these cheap LED projectors get rave reviews.
It's the same effect as when people think $100 soundbars sound great because they are slightly less tinny than the crappy TV speakers.
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I hope Epson's numbers are as real as it gets...

Wait, my iPhone's battery is dead, how come it doesn't last as long as advertised???
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They probably measured the lumens right off the bulb.
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post #24 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
That tiny little thing? If it's much more than 32 lumens it would melt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post
I guess my 100 lumens headlamp should explode any minute now...
would it really make it OK if the 2200 lumen projector put out 500 lumens instead of 30-something?

no officer, i wasn't doing 100mph, i was only doing 90...

unless that projector is putting out minimum of like 1800 lumens, even then, that's exaggerated if not illegal, there is a problem with the claim.

i think it's nice to see some action being taken. i also cautiously like that it's a manufacturer pursuing this. i mean, of course they are doing it because it's their competition, but i think the industry does need to police itself like this. certainly your average consumer wouldn't be able to do anything, so this is the only option. thankfully there are some places you can get some reliable reviews, but for the most part they don't bother with these cheap pico projectors. i see little reason why a 16yr old spending $100 bux on one of these would understand why they should spend more for a '1000 lumen' projector. it's obviously going to hurt competition, it's going to confuse the market, and it's going to make consumers lose trust in all brands, because that's the way people think these days. people don't care about brands unless it's apple. otherwise, your japanese car made with german parts that was built in mexico is more indicative of today's global market structure.
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Someone may substitute rocks for dead power supplies and throw them at Epson's glass house.

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post #26 of 57 Old 03-29-2019, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
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No respectable home theater hobbyist would buy a RCA projector anyways. Seems like a wasted lawsuit. All it will do is put Epson's lumen ratings under a microscope. If all their projectors are not dead on this will backfire.
Not really- there is a huge difference between 99% off, and "not dead on".
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I'm not familiar with these projectors, are they direct competitors to Epson's? If these are similar to the hundreds of no-name projectors that come up on an Amazon search, listing for under a $100 and claiming 1000s of lumens, then I wouldn't worry about them- Most people know, these are toys, and treat them as such anyway!
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post #28 of 57 Old 03-30-2019, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I am almost tempted to buy one and do a review comparing it to the flashlight... Lol

And what do expect from walmart crowd about understanding the real specs. Of course Epson could start another lawsuit since their title falsely stating it's a 1080P projector.
Well at the end of the day if the previous similar lawsuit against a different company netted $5 million then that if what most people call worth it. Why wouldn't Epson try again?

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post #29 of 57 Old 03-30-2019, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not familiar with these projectors, are they direct competitors to Epson's? If these are similar to the hundreds of no-name projectors that come up on an Amazon search, listing for under a $100 and claiming 1000s of lumens, then I wouldn't worry about them- Most people know, these are toys, and treat them as such anyway!
They are like those other projectors but I my guess is the RCA name and retail availability at Wal-Mart are why it's more of a concern than no-name random brand. The lawsuit explicitly said these projectors are sold under other brand names. And yes these are the under $100, thousands of lumens "LED projectors"
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post #30 of 57 Old 03-30-2019, 05:07 AM
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Yet epson make claims of 3 million to 1 contrast ratios.. they should sue themselves perhaps
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