Thanks guys. I guess I never realized that a used RS40 could be had for call it 1500-1800. At that rate it makes one really wonder and think about it.
As I am no expert in the area, I have no clue what goes into all of this, but of the discussions I did have, the optical block is one of the hardest things to get to in the projectors. You have to pretty much take the whole thing apart and once in there I guess replacement is the easiest thing. I mean most service shops don't have the knowledge to repair the block, just replace it, so the replacement there and JVC seems the right path. If I understand, the optical block is just the 3 main lenses that reflect the appropriate light to make my image. Obviously there is more but without it I have no picture...
This royal camera, while it sounds crazy, their site says they repair lots of things and not just cameras. Given their camera knowledge, I would only be able to assume that they know a little bit about lenses and how they work. Knowing the detail that goes into a camera lens gives them the ability to then understand and service the optic of a projector. When I told the guy what was happening he seemed knowledgeable. Whether or not he actually is, I have no clue. My simple thought is that if I can pay $30 to find out if it can be repaired, it might be worth it. They are currently offering free estimates.
Typical Projector Problems
The most common problems in projectors that we repair are: no power, power on but unit will not project the image, overheating message, vertical lines or horizontal lines on the image, bad image colors or spot discoloration, black or white spots or dots on the image, input connection problems. Repair includes complete cleaning and maintenance service: outside and inside cleaning, cooling system cleaning (fans, air filters and air ducts), light engine cleaning (mirror condenser, light tunnel, color wheel or polarize filters), lens cleaning, inputs testing (HDMI, DVI, VGA, RGB, Video and S-Video) and restoring projectors to factory settings.
If they come back and say $300 and it is repaired, then I am set till I am ready to actually upgrade and I save $1000 - $1200 for a used projector, but I am totally not decided.
As far as the idea to zoom out to the black of the frame, it sounds good in theory, but because I do watch a lot of sports on my projector, this would result in the score always being cutoff and that would probably make me more crazy than the pink line. It is a tough call because as much as I would like to just scrap the unit in favor of upgrade-itis, I cannot seem to justify at the moment.