BenQ Wants Brightness Measured with sRGB (DS9)

Felix Pementel of BenQ looked at what makes a great image on a projector. “Do you really give the consumer the specifications they really need to make a good buying decisions?”, he asked. He agreed with Chinnock that sRGB brightness is often very different from the marketing brightness. (See Insight Reports on ColorSpark Testing (DS8)). sRGB might be a good condition under which to specify brightness. Why does the projector industry not use sRGB?

In the early days of projection, lack of brightness was a big problem and colour was not so important. However, consumers are used to seeing content in sRGB on their PCs and mobile devices and close to sRGB on their TVs now. BenQ thinks that the issue is “colour continuity” across different devices and, at the moment, sRGB is the best solution for this.benq media usage

In 1998, 2,000 Ansi lumens was the brightness of a conference room projector, but now it’s 4,000+ so there is no shortage of lumens. Why are we chasing brightness when we should be looking at better colour and sRGB, he asked?

In the early days of DLP, there were colour wheels with clear segments, which was clearly wrong as it boosted brightness but de-saturated colours. Now there are better colour wheels with true sRGB support and so there is an opportunity to change things. In the past, increasing lumens meant more money in costs, so focus was understandable, Pementel said.

LCD-based projectors have a green-shifted white point which means that colours are not accurate and now color continuity is more important as there are enough lumens, he claimed.

BenQ conducted a survey comparing an sRGB projector against nominally brighter LCD or DLP sets. 86% of people thought that the sRGB projector was brighter, although it wasn’t on a measured basis. This is basically the H-K effect. However, he went on, more colour is not necessarily better, if it is not accurate.

In conclusion, Pementel said that you need accurate colour, with good contrast and long lifetimes to give the user the best experience. He regards DLP as the best way to achieve this.

sRGB is well established for PCs, so should be adopted for the projection industry. He also believes that ANSI chequerboard contrast is better than on/off contrast. Pementel criticised 3LCD projectors for colour fading, which he said is absent from DLP-based products.

He said that at Infocomm there would be a number of new sRGB projectors.

Analyst Comment

In my early days as a writer and on one of my earliest trips to Infocomm, Fred Kahn (the SID Fellow and Karl Ferdinand Braun prize winner) said to me “an Ansi lumen measurement that has no specified white point has absolutely no value”. Little has changed since then. It may be a good time to switch to measurement with an sRGB gamut and white point, but it’s hard to see what would drive this. You only need one or two influential companies that decided not to ‘toe the line’ – and one or two would be at the bottom of the league – and the rest would start quoting without sRGB as well. Then again, there’s always a choice of doing something or nothing, so I welcome an attempt to promote this concept. It’s worth a try! (BR)