Epson America revealed last week that it has filed a lawsuit against Canada-based Curtis International, marketers of RCA-branded televisions and video projectors, and Technicolor SA (licencor and administrator of the RCA brand) for alleged false advertising of brightness performance for certain RCA-brand projectors.

The lawsuit claims that Curtis, and by brand-association Technicolor, have used promotional materials with misleading images of projectors placed in well-lit viewing environments, while describing the picture performance as “Super Bright.”

Epson’s 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.”

“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,” the Epson complaint stated.

Epson said the RCA projectors are widely available online and in many major retailers in the U.S. and Canada. In a press statement, Epson said it filed the lawsuit and issued a press statement announcing it with the goal to protect consumers from purchasing projectors that can not meet the performance requirements specified in these false claims.

Epson America happens to manufacture and market a number of competing high-value 3LCD-based video projectors. Some of Epson’s projectors are designed and marketed to produce high-lumen output capable of reasonably good picture performance in viewing environments that have some amount of ambient room lighting.

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We reached out to Curtis International and some of its agents for comment Friday, providing them several days to respond before going to post. We still had not received a reply Wednesday.

“When manufacturers use blatantly misleading specification claims—it hurts the entire industry—from consumers, schools and businesses, to retailers, dealers and suppliers,” stated Mike Isgrig, vice president, consumer sales and marketing, Epson America, Inc., in an press announcement circulated to members of the AV entertainment technology media.

Further, the company said: “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.”

A list of the alleged under-performing RCA-branded projectors supplied to us by Epson America follows below. For comparison, this includes lumen measurements taken by Epson using what Epson said were standard practices:

Source: Epson America


By Greg Tarr


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