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That is an entirely arbitrary thing, that's why ;-)
The scale for adjustments can be linear or not, can be centered at 50 or not...etc. Along with this, different display technologies have different responses. The actual starting point for the contrast settings also depends heavily on the calibrated settings in the displays firmware. You can think of the contrast control as a user adjustable version of the non-user settings. I could easily go into your display's service menu and make some adjustments which would require your displays contrast to be centered around 10.
Aside from that, one may be able to surmise that projectors are generally centered around 50 purposely to give the user the most control both ways, since projectors are meant more for home theater use where calibration is most important.
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