Epson challenges DLP with 3x brighter colour claim

posted on Thursday, 3rd October 2013 by Steve May

projectors  home cinema  Epson 

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Not all projectors are created equal. That's the message from Epson going forward, as it seeks to consolidate its position as market leader in home cinema and data projectors. Making a case for colour brightness rather than lumens to be a key metric when comparing brands, Epson's director of business sales Neil Colquhoun maintained only 3LCD could deliver both a high white light output and high colour brightness. "We know this is a disruptive message," he told Inside CI, "but independent testing by Intertek confirms that 3LCD projectors are 3x brighter than single chip DLP projectors."

Measurements of white light, argues the brand, give no indication of how vivid video or photography can look. The very nature of the spinning colour wheel used by single chip DLP limits performance. "Manufacturers can opt for a larger white segment on the colour wheel but this reduces the space given to RGB," he says. "Conversely, more space given to Red, Green and Blue segments reduces white output. Only 3LCD gives both 100 per cent white light output and 100 per cent colour brightness, or CLO (Color Light Output)."

To prove the point, the brand organised a shoot-out with rivals. Explains Colquhoun: "Measuring CLO is the only way to accurately access if a projector can meet the increasing demands of the entertainment, education and business markets. The lumens count can be misleading as it doesn't account for brightness or colours. A single chip DLP model could get the corporate brand logo wrong and make you think a Smurf is purple instead of blue."

A closer look at Epson's data reveals that the biggest difference can be found between data projectors, where brightness is a key factor. In this sector, the CLO of single-chip DLP projectors is uniformly low. With home cinema projectors, it's a slightly different story. As brightness isn't a primary concern because the models are designed to be used in light controlled environments, single chip DLPs perform better. However they contine to be outshone by Epson's 3LCD range. "On these models we qualify our message by saying that the projectors are 'up to' 3x brighter," says Colquhoun.

The brand is planning to spread its colour message with a major marketing campaign this autumn.

Epson solid state projector launching 2014?
Epson has been the frontrunner in the projection market for over ten years, and currently has over 30 per cent market share. "But there's no room for complacency in this market, it's constantly evolving," notes Epson's sales director.

As evidence, Epson confirmed that it's prepping its first solid state projector. "We hope to introduce an LED light source model during the summer of 2014," confided Colquhoun. The new model will be positioned "considerably" higher than the brand's current flagship LCD product, the EH-TW9200. Could this also be Epson's first foray into 4K? The brand wouldn't be drawn on the subject. However it did confirm that Ultra HD was on its roadmap.

For more on Epson's product range, visit our partner page here.

Also read:
Game on for new Epson high contrast projector range
IFA Berlin 2013: The installer's viewpoint

Auditioned: Epson Pro G Series projector

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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