RCA Makes False Lumen Claims…Epson Lawsuit Begs to Differ
Today we received an email from Epson stating that RCA engaged in “false lumens advertising”. Intrigued, I opened the email to see several projectors listed from RCA with almost comically-bold lumen claims. The projectors are mostly sold on Amazon and seem to have mixed reviews. Oddly, we couldn’t find any that complained of poor light output. Still, to presume that a sub-$100 projector can output 2000 lumens or more should throw some red flags for anyone even mildly educated.
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Epson Lawsuit vs RCA
The Epson Lawsuit comes against Curtis International Ltd. and Technicolor SA. Epson measured the lumen output of 7 different RCA-branded projector models. At worst, the actual measured lumens came to just 1% of the claimed lumens. One model, the RCA RPJ129, managed to hit 6%. Check out the full chart where Epson claims RCA makes false lumen claims:
Models affected include: RCA RPJ116, RCA RPJ116+, RCA RPJ119, RCA RPJ104, RCA RPJ129, and RCA RPJ136.
The Argument: RCA Makes False Lumen Claims
Epson claims the projector industry shouldn’t suffer manufacturers making bogus claims this ridiculously off-kilter. We’d have to agree that if Epson’s measurements correctly reflect the true output of these models—they have way overstepped the boundaries. Having a margin of error is one thing—being 99% off in your claims is another thing entirely.
Here’s the actual press release:
LONG BEACH, Calif. – March 29, 2019 – Epson America, Inc. today announced that it has amended its lawsuit against Curtis International Ltd. for falsely advertising the lumens of projectors manufactured and sold under the RCA brand name. The amended complaint names Technicolor SA as an additional defendant, and expands the false claims to include misleading images of the projectors in a well-lit environment and descriptions of the projectors as “Super Bright.” The lawsuit alleges dramatic inaccuracies in stated projector lumens or brightness performance of all models manufactured by Curtis International Ltd. including the RCA RPJ116, RCA RPJ116+, RCA RPJ119, RCA RPJ104, RCA RPJ129, and RCA RPJ136.
The RCA products are widely available online and in many major retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Curtis also manufactures projectors sold under other brand names that use these same false lumens claims. Independent testing conducted using existing standard procedures confirms these projectors typically emit as little as 1 percent of the claimed lumens performance [see chart above].
Projector brightness, measured in lumens and tested according to industry standards, is the number one specification used by consumers in the purchase process to compare performance. Epson has worked diligently to ensure its projectors meet industry standards and that misleading public claims by other manufacturers are corrected.
“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.”
Epson recently attained a permanent injunction and damage award for $5 million as a result of its successful litigation against iRulu for similar false advertising of lumens ratings. The current suit against Curtis International Ltd. and Technicolor SA aims to protect consumers, who may think they are buying a projector with a high lumens rating capable of projecting large, vibrant images, when it actually emits a very small fraction of the advertised lumens and images may not be discernible.
Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with Aits original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, watches and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 81,000 employees in 85 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
Epson America, Inc., based in Long Beach, Calif., is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit: epson.com. You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (facebook.com/Epson), Twitter (twitter.com/EpsonAmerica), YouTube (youtube.com/EpsonAmerica), and Instagram (instagram.com/EpsonAmerica).