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