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Color Gamut

Visualize the range of color possible

Color gamut is the range of color a projector is capable of producing.

Compare the color range of 3LCD vs. 1-chip DLP projectors

Color gamut is the range of color a device is capable of producing. The data is represented in a three-dimensional shape called a gamut model, which shows the three aspects of color – hue, saturation and lightness (brightness). Lightness and brightness are often used interchangeably in the context of projectors. It may be hard to understand how different projectors from different brands could perform so differently. They often look alike and have similar sounding specifications, or state that they produce over a billion colors. But an important question is, what can it display? To answer this, it helps to see their color gamut volumes side by side. The larger the volume, the wider the range of color that can be displayed. If the color gamut volume is small, colors display less accurately.

Compare the Projector Models

1-chip DLP vs. 3LCD color gamut3

BenQ MS504 (on Brightest Mode)

  • Resolution: SVGA
  • Projector Technology: 1-chip DLP
  • Color Gamut Volume: 184,000

Epson EX3220 (on Brightest Mode)

  • Resolution: SVGA
  • Projector Technology: 3LCD
  • Color Gamut Volume: 555,000

Find color brightness and gamut information on more projectors.

The Science of Color Gamut Modeling

Our perception of color uses three dimensions—hue, saturation and brightness. Lightness and brightness are often used interchangeably in the context of projectors.

An Outdated System

This 1931 chromaticity diagram, or horseshoe, was one of the early attempts at establishing a numerical measurement system for color perception.

Known as the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) 1931 x,y Chromaticity Diagram, in two dimensions it shows hue and saturation. It was developed with the best tools available at the time, but is perceptually non-uniform (for example, it has an extended green area). It is not how humans see color and is not the best system to measure projectors.

The Preferred Model

In 1976, the CIE proposed and adopted a newer, more uniform system to modelling color, and a three-dimensional scale (CIE 1976 L*a*b*) measuring hue, saturation, and lightness (brightness). The new mathematics create a number system that better relates to how humans actually see color. It is a more accurate representation of human perception and is still the color measurement standard used today.

Color Brightness - Compare Lumens, Color Brightness Explained, Understanding Projector Lumens and more

 

23D gamut volume models for a leading 1-chip DLP projector and a comparable Epson 3LCD projector. Models based on gamut volume in brightest mode, measured by a third-party lab in the CIE L*a*b* coordinate space. Price, resolution and white brightness are similar for both projectors.

3Actual photographs of projected images from an identical signal source and of 3D color gamut models built to scale, for an Epson 3LCD projector and a competing 1-chip DLP projector. Gamut models, and each projector’s stated Color Gamut Volume, are based on volume in brightest mode, measured by a third-party lab in the CIE L*a*b* coordinate space.

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