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Color Accuracy or Color Brightness? How to Make Sure your Projector Delivers the Right Color.

  • Bob Wudeck
  • 2020-09-30

For most displays, color is taken for granted.  But as any decorator or beautician will tell you, when selecting the right color for their bedroom wall or the best hair color, small changes can mean the difference between transformation and tragedy. Since many earlier projector models struggled with producing color-accurate images, how can you tell if a modern projector will deliver the right color to create the audience reaction you are looking for?  The answer lies in the projector color gamut.

Color is Critical to Your Brand

While most articles on projector color accuracy relate to home theater, displaying the right color in meetings is critical to businesses.   Marketing experts know that colors generate emotional and cultural responses, so companies spend millions of dollars choosing the right color for their brands and products.  According to the website 99 Designs, you can infuse attributes such as youthfulness, energy, and emotional tone by aligning on the optimal color palette for your product and brand.   https://99designs.com/logo-design/psychology-of-color.  For example, if you have a brand color palette designed for a serious and earthy feel, having it look bright and lively on a projector screen doesn’t work

Color Accuracy is Critical for Communication

High brightness projectors are some of the most powerful displays available, and also are the most cost-effective way to communicate with larger groups.   While bright colors initially attract the eye (and may look good in a demo), a color-accurate projector on a big screen are the key factor in delivering your brand and messages. Color standards such as SRGB and Rec.709 define the color gamut used on most commercial displays, but are often ignored by some leading projector manufacturers.   If a projector has a lower color gamut, it may high “color brightness” but may not deliver the intended image.

 

Here is an example of a projector with high “color brightness” or “color lumens” compared to a projector with a higher color gamut.  When the projector is optimized for brightness and doesn’t have a large color gamut, the text is harder to read.

 

Color Brightness
Color Accuracy
How do you Select a Projector with Excellent Color Accuracy?

Displays often come with both color processing capabilities (e.g. 1 billion colors or 10 bit) and color accuracy percentage specifications that accompany the product.  For example, the BenQ professional photography monitors can display 99% of Adobe RGB with multiple color gamut’s to enable a photographer to properly edit photos for either print or online use.   Meeting room projectors also specify color gamut such as Rec. 709 and some home theater projectors can display the larger DCI-P3 digital cinema color gamut used in commercial movie theaters.

 

For a high brightness projector of 4000 lumens or higher, the best systems use laser technology to achieve over 92% of the Rec.709 standard used in most home theaters.  This enables a “Coca Cola” red as well as a “Lufthansa” orange where the projector can generate over 1 billion colors – and the manufacturer has tuned the projector for color accuracy.   This enables an accurate rendering of even difficult to reproduce color such as skin tones and hair highlights – as well as accurate logos.

 

Example – 6000 Lumen Meeting Room Projector

For any organization that has a meeting room over 10 people, a 6000-lumen projector is ideal for providing a large, bright image that is easy to read from anywhere in the room.  With dozens of different models to choose from, how does a buyer determine color accuracy before they purchase?   Here is a comparison of popular 6000 lumen models from three large projector brands.

 

BenQ LU785

Maxell MCWU08461

Epson L610U

Brightness

6,000 Lumens 6,000 Lumens 6,000 Lumens

# of Colors

Over 1 Billion 16.7 Million Over 1 Billion

Color Gamut

96% of Rec 709 Not Specified Not Specified

Technology

DLP LCD LCD

The BenQ LU785 is the only one of the three that clearly specifies the exact color gamut of the projector.  This goes a long way to ensure that when you display an image on the projector – it will look the same as it would be if displayed on a typical monitor or flat panel display.  The BenQ LU785 also has the advantage of using the same rock-solid DLP technology used in commercial cinemas to ensure that the picture doesn’t turn yellow over time.

 

 

To learn more about how to select the right projector for your business-click here (link to Selecting a business projector).  You can also click here to try out the LU785 projector in your conference room or house of worship