A New Color Brightness Standard for Video Projectors?

When people shop for projectors they compare a lot of information. Since so many people shop online rather than comparing hundreds of models in a brick and mortar store, they often have to rely only on manufacturers published specifications to make their ultimate decision. Most of the specifications you see published are standardized in one way or another to keep manufacturers and resellers honest.

Brightness, for example, is reported as “ANSI lumens”, the ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute. Contrast is also a standard, though the methods of calculation (ie. full on/ full off versus “real world” measurements) are sometimes not equal.

But the people at 3LCD, an advocacy group for LCD technology, believe that there is more to the picture quality story than just brightness and contrast. Just a few days ago they announced support for a new “Color Brightness” standard which they feel addresses another important issue to end users; color accuracy. While the new standard will not exactly specify how accurate color is, it will illustrate the ability of the projector to produce color, which factors heavily into the equation.

When the standard is adpoted users will see two ratings for brightness. Here are two examples from the people at Lumita who have done the research.

Example Projector with Good color performance:

    Light Output specification:

  • White 1800 lumens
  • Color 1800 lumens

Example Projector with Poor color performance:

    Light Output specification:

  • White 1800 lumens
  • Color 900 lumens

Why the New Color Brightness Standard?

Most likely the push from the folks at 3LCD has to do with the technology battle between DLP (Digital Light Processing) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). The two technologies make up nearly 50% each of the home theater and business projector markets (with LCOS a distant third), but each camp continues to work to get a larger share of the market. The advantage of LCD which is most often cited is color accuracy, a characteristic that currently does not have a standardized metric. That

New Epson Home Cinema 1080p UB Projector – Now Ready to Ship!

We started talking about the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB (the UB stands for “ultra black”) projector a few months ago, and now our long awaited ‘ultra black’ projector is finally here. The projector has made a name for itself because it features Epson’s very own 3LCD D7 panel, which boasts higher contrast ratios among other improvements. Here’s a little more about the new projector from features to function.

Our First Look at the Epson UB Series

Epson Home Cinema 1080p UB

Our first look at the Epson UB series came at a local consumer electronics event back in early October. But this was our first look at the Home Cinema 1080 UB in person. We hooked it up with a native 720p Movie Cowboy that upconverts to 1080p, since our native 1080p Cowboy ‘fell off the horse’. We hope to have it back into shape soon, before our next 1080p shootout.

[ photo: The new Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB connections. ]

Hats Off (lights on) to the New D7 3LCD Chip

Epson Home Cinema 1080p UB in action

The Epson Home Cinema and Epson Pro Cinema 1080 UBs both include the new 3LCD D7 chip. The D7 chip is full HD (1920×1080) resolution and has 12-bit color which manages to crank out over 68-billion colors (though I could only identify 67-billion). It also delivers a 50,000:1 contrast ratio. It’s also a 1600 lumen projector, which really sparkles in a dark room, and holds it’s own in rooms with ambient light. We will outline the differences between the Pro and Home versions in a paragraph or two.

[ photo: Image from the Epson’s Home Cinema 1080 UB lens shift example. ]

Videos of the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB in Action

We set up the Home Cinema 1080 UB as soon as we had one we hadn’t sold already. We decided to show it against the Panasonic PT-AE2000U, one of our highest performing, and best selling 1080p units. Both looked very good, but in person, the blacks were noticeably blacker on the new UB. Some of those in the demo liked the color on the Panasonic better, while others really thought the blackness of the Epson made the image punchier. Here are some videos that will give you an idea of what the two looked like in person, though my Lumix camera could not pick up the black levels as well as we could see them in person.

Our first view of the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB in action. On the left is the Epson, on the right our Panasonic PT-AE2000U.

We start shooting on a matte gray painted wall, then drop the screen to see if we can determine a difference on a matte white surface. The Epson is still on the left, and the Panasonic on the right.

Roller coaster video on the two 1080p projectors. Still the Epson on the left and Panasonic on the right. Much like a ride at Disney World, watching the video in person, on the big screen, can actually make you queasy.

See all Projector People videos

More Photos from Our Home Cinema 1080 UB Shootout

Epson Home Cinema 1080p UB motorcycle

Motorcycle comparison. Epson Home Cinema 1080 is on the right. Panasonic PT-AE2000U on the left.

Epson Home Cinema 1080p UB in action

Here is a close up of that very same image. The details is so good that you can see the detail in the tires. A great example of the high contrast in action.

Epson Home Cinema 1080p UB in action

You can also see the serial number…

See all Projector People photos on Flickr

Epson Home Cinema 1080UB Specs

  • Full HD (1920×1080) resolution
  • 1600 lumens
  • 50,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Cool Features

  • (2) HDMI inputs with 1.3 support
  • 2.1 optical zoom lens
  • Lens shift (with impressive range of 96

CES Reporter – Forget HD TVs. Go for a Projector

Our CES review is coming soon, but we recently came across one reviewer’s take on CES and we couldn’t agree more! See Jeremy Laird of Tech UK’s quotes below, along with our own interjections.

Yet again, it was wall to wall LCD and plasma panelry at CES this year. But it’s about time punters realised the HD TV market is all about sparkly gimmicks and keeping-up-with-the-Joneses consumerism.

If you’re remotely interested in the viewing experience, what you really want is a projector.

Customer Home Theater

It’s what we hear from our customers all the time. If you want an awesome movie theater quality experience in your own home, a projector is, without question, the way to go. And even after you factor in the cost of a replacement lamp, you are often still saving money over a flat panel display over 42-inches.

[ Photo: A ProjectorPeople.com Customer Home Theater. See more here. ]

The basic argument goes something like this. Even the largest, most preposterously pricey panels are plain puny compared to a good projector. For pure cinematic immersion, a decent projector is absolutely untouchable. And thanks to the recent fall in HD projector prices, you’d be mad to pay more money for a smaller, chronically inferior HD TV.

And compared to your old 4:3 TVs, the 42-inches feels more like a 30-inch set. The 42-inch spec is measured along the diagonal, so with the wide aspect ratio, you’re losing overall size.

But why settle for 40 inches when you can have 140 inches. Or even 240 inches. With a projector, the physical dimensions of your home rather than the depth of your wallet define how big you can go.

Exactly. Projectors with zoom lenses and lens shift add to the flexibility and ease of installation. Most LCD based projectors have lens shift as do select DLP based models. Watch for these features if you suspect your space will be a challenging one, or if you just like cool features.

Currently, there are several solid 720p DLP projectors available in the

New Projector Coupon Deals for January 2008!

Coupon Code

Projector People is now offering special savings on projectors for home theater and business with our special Coupon Codes. Coupon codes are for blog readers only!

Coupon Code: SAVE50

Save $50 on the projectors listed below from now until 1/15/08!
Now extended through 1/31/2008!

No Coupons: Just Deals!

Free Toshiba Up-Converting DVD Player (TOSSDK860RE) with the projector listed below from now until 1/15/08!
Now extended through 1/31/2008!

Free AVIA II Home Theater Calibration Disc with the following 1080p projectors for a limited time only! Call for details.

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January 2008 Coupon Codes for Projector People.com

Coupon Code

Projector People is now offering special savings on projectors for home theater and business with our special Coupon Codes. Coupon codes are for blog readers only!

Coupon Code: SAVE50

Save $50 on the projectors listed below from now until 1/15/08!

No Coupons: Just Deals!

Free Toshiba Up-Converting DVD Player (TOSSDK860RE) with the projector listed below from now until 1/15/08!

Free Chief iC mount with the following 1080p projectors for a limited time only! Call for details.

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