H79--Very Dim at Only 350 Hrs. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 296 Old 02-07-2006, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I have only 350 hours on my H79 and the brightness has been cut down by almost 60%!........making the picture almost unwatchable except in total darkness.....and this is on my Vutec Silverstar screen!......... I was told that a possible problem might be stray voltage coming from the DVI port on the pj causing premature lamp deterioration.......anyone know anything about this and a possible fix? Right now, my H79 is connected to a Geffen DVI switcher. (When I connect the pj to my Denon 4806 to use that as a switcher, the picture strangely gets even a tad dimmer). I really don't want to go through the hassle of shipping my unit off to Optoma...yet I can't fantom the possibility of going through new bulbs every 350 hours.
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post #2 of 296 Old 02-07-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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Do you have a bulb to put in and test? If it's the bulb at 350 hours I think you'd have a case for replacement bulb.

Scott
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post #3 of 296 Old 02-07-2006, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, it's been well over 90 days and I don't think it's covered in this case. I already ordered a new bulb.
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post #4 of 296 Old 02-08-2006, 05:40 AM
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Fortunately Optoma treats the H79 as their Cadillac machine. They will hot swap out the H79 for dimming problems like you're reporting for up to 1 year.

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post #5 of 296 Old 02-08-2006, 08:00 AM
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Hai,

I can confirm Toms remark, i had a problem with my H78 thats more than a year old and they replaced the machine with a new machine including a new bulb. The old bulb was at 1500h. They even canceled my order for a new bulb since they figured i didn't want 2 bulbs.

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post #6 of 296 Old 02-08-2006, 08:26 AM
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So much for the "horrible" Optoma customer service that dealers are always saying is why they dont carry Optoma.
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post #7 of 296 Old 02-08-2006, 09:02 AM
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Over a year, this it true also. Sometimes they will stretch the time line a bit for you. So don't fear the 90day bulb policy on the H79.

Just horrible service! Right!

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post #8 of 296 Old 02-08-2006, 09:34 PM
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My H79's brightness is down about 50% after 366 hours, but it started out at 600 lumens in the Low brightness mode, so I had a lot of light to spare. I'm still getting 12 FtL on my 92" unity gain screen in the Low mode, 17 FtL if I want to switch to the Brite Mode. Unfortunately, I find the fan noise a little annoying in the Brite mode, so I may be looking for a bulb fairly soon as well.

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post #9 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Tom, do you attribute this to a defective projector or to a defective bulb? (Are you going to send your unit to Optoma?.........to me, dimming this much so soon is not reasonable).
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post #10 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 07:58 AM
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Quote:


Tom, do you attribute this to a defective projector or to a defective bulb?

Neither. It's pretty common for bulbs to lose their initial brightness fairly quickly. I'm assuming that this is NOT a linear curve. If the bulb loses another 50% in the next 366 hrs., then that will be troubling.

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post #11 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomHuffman View Post

If the bulb loses another 50% in the next 366 hrs., then that will be troubling.

You'll be lucky to make it anywhere close to another 366 hours at all IMO. Enjoy your last bit of brightness while it lasts.

PSB, I feel your pain man. The bulb situation with the H79 is beyond unacceptable. You are not alone. There have been many posts and at least one other dedicated thread about this. I know that pj bulbs are unreliable, finicky consumables but it seems the H79 has had much more than its fair share of early bulb failures. Something is not right. I'm purposely leaving my H79 off on nights when I feel like watching just cause I'm worried about the bulb life/cost. My new bulb has 85 hours and the brightness is already down by about 30%. I measured 10% loss at only 14 hours! It's ridiculous!

I finally called Optoma about my original bulb dying at 360 hours (outputting 10 lumens) and was told "Sorry, 90 day warranty on bulbs." I then said that I heard H79's were covered under warranty with the hot swap program for bulb problems within the first year. The tech (George) then told me to fax in my proof of purchase and he'd ask his boss about it. I did that the next day (yesterday) and then called back a few hours later. The boss was supposedly on jury duty but would be back later that day and would call me on my cell. I received no call back as of yet. I will call back tomorrow if I don't hear from them today.

Bottom line: You might get them to do a hot swap if you twist their arm. They will certainly try to put you off if they can. All is not roses with Optoma service, except for guitarman of course!

Possibly I'm being impatient and skeptical. I would certainly love to post some good news about Optoma customer support and certainly will should they give me reason to do so.

Brent

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post #12 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 02:14 PM
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Mine's less than a year old, has about 300 hours and is starting to dim. I switched from Eco mode to Bright a few weeks ago and it's better. I'm curious, how exactly do you measure the exact brightness of the bulb, because if there's a problem I certainly want to get the unit replaced before a year's time.
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post #13 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 02:28 PM
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Quote:


how exactly do you measure the exact brightness of the bulb

You have to purchase an instrument. Probably the cheapest and most accurate would be the AEMC CA813 light meter. It's about $150.00.

I think I rememeber the method for getting lumens. . . . Take a reading at the screen towards the bulb in Lux and divide by 10.79 * screen gain. This gets you FtL. Then multiply FtL by the Square Feet of the screen size and you have lumens.

Anything much below 300 lumens will probably be too dim for most screens. SMPTE recommends 12 FtL as a target brightness.

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post #14 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 02:30 PM
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Quote:


I finally called Optoma about my original bulb dying at 360 hours (outputting 10 lumens)

10 lumens at 360 hours is clearly a defective bulb. So far, mine seems to show a normal, if slightly accelerated, rate of decline.

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post #15 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 02:49 PM
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Hai,

Let me make a few remarks about my 'happy post' on optoma :

1) Im in europe so support is coming from ThemeScene the europe part. I can only respond to their actions and sofar they have been good. But consider that ThemeScene allways had a 3 year gar. deal on the H7x models unlike the states same with the swapouts.

2) I can only comment on my old blub, it ages about the same way as the projectors ive used before this one. I first ran it for 800 in low mode, then moved to bright mode fully expecting to have to replace it at about 1500. Ive had my share of problems in the past with bulbs so i don't distrust any of your horror stories.

3) I think the H7x is a fine product for the money and support for me has been ok but Tom and me are not on the same page on alot of topics and there are alot of areas where optoma can improve. We now have several optoma people on avs and thats a good step, them using some of our feedback would be a second step all the talk on the H77/H78/H79 didn't result in any change in the software or hardware sofar (for example its silly they all still claim H77 in the software and simple things are not fixed like the 2 output levels, remote and lets not even talk about the fool who figured putting a bright blue light on it was a smart idea).


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post #16 of 296 Old 02-09-2006, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielo View Post

and lets not even talk about the fool who figured putting a bright blue light on it was a smart idea).

LOL! Right! Fortunantly I have my H79 mounted in another room with a hole through the wall for the lens so the blue light is not a problem.

As far as measuring brightness Tom is right about needing a meter. That's what I did although I used a different formula. It's simply:

lux * screen area in meters = lumens

I got 2.7 lux for a 3.7 meter screen (101" wide) = 10 lumens. Not even watchable. To get ft/l multiply the lumens by any screen gain and divide by the area of your screen in sq. ft.

My new bulb only measured 414 lumens new and I'm now only at about 300 lumens at 85 hours. Gee, I guess I got another bad bulb? My original bulb was probably only putting out 150 lumens from about 200 hours to the time it dumped at about 360 hours.

Brent

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post #17 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I've e-mailed and called Optoma tech support numerous times and so far, no response......this may very well be my first and LAST Optoma product
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post #18 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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BTW, my H79 is now at 362 hours and I'm guessing it's at about 6-7 ft. lumens......it's so dim even in total darkness, I have to crank-up my brightness and contract to maximum to come anywhere close to watchable (no more blacks for me!).....it gives you a headache after about 10 minutes......my last pj, a Sharp Z10000, lasted close to a 1000 hours on the original bulb before even starting to get dim.........I don't know if I have a "lemon" pj or a bulb but this sort of quality control and customer service is simply unacceptable for these pricey machines.
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post #19 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 12:53 PM
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If the story is consistent, then it sounds like the projector is not cooling the bulb properly, thus leading to early failures.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. Charles Darwin
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post #20 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 01:47 PM
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Great projector bad bulb design.
My first bulb gone at 500 Hrs.
My 2nd bulb now flickering at 300....

Yes, they built a great projector but have screwed up on the bulb!
I'm dumping the H/79 as soon as I can. I have a ceiling mount set up
and it is more that a chore to change it constantly! Not to mention
a dollar an hour viewing time considering the bulb costs.....

Next..projector solutions please....Any suggestions?
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post #21 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laredo View Post

Great projector bad bulb design.
My first bulb gone at 500 Hrs.
My 2nd bulb now flickering at 300....

What makes you so sure the problem is not related to cooling mechanism? Does this bulb display the same problem with other FPs?

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. Charles Darwin
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post #22 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 02:54 PM
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The silence comes at a premium I am sure, Have you ever felt the metal plate on top of the bulb area after an hour? (assuming it is ceiling mounted)

This projector runs VERY hot, in fact every Optoma I have setup runs hot,... very but quiet.

I sure as hell hope this is wrong, because I dumped a Mt700 for this reason, and have no where to go but down from here.

My bulb is flickering here and there after initial startup, but still very bright and punchy at 260ish Anything less than 1000 usable hours from a marketed 3000 is cause to not support Optoma, hell what about the HD81....will that need a bulb every 6 months as well?


I am getting nervous now...?!!?

TJ
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post #23 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 03:47 PM
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great thread.
may have just saved me $3500

i was considering a H78 as an upgrade from a HT1000, but not if there is a good chance i will get less than 1000 hrs from each bulb (in eco mode no less).

issues like this are a deal killer
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post #24 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 05:02 PM
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Good for you....

hopefully manufacturers will be held to specs or at the least rate them accordingly in the very near future, hopefully Optoma techs read this thread..

I mean who are/they we kidding? No one here takes stock in bulb ratings as it is, 3k hours...yeah right?...but more than 500 usable hours on a 3.5k PJ is the LEAST you should expect.

Peak unusable 9k color temp on/off ratios etc.....

I am getting very discouraged in many manufacturers lack of concern over these mis-truths and deception.

If we keep the lies and "perceived value" marketing alive, we only have ourselves to blame.

If Optoma with a clear conscience can deny claims on bulbs in their flagship machines with obvious flaws...they don't deserve our business, even though the PJ puts out an incredible picture for the money.

How can Sim deliver units with similar specs and long bulb life? Don't sell me on the "higher end" component hoopla....a good stable supply voltage and adequate cooling is all that is need to get advertised life out of a lamp.

It is very disappointing....

TJ
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post #25 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 06:25 PM
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Sheesh, how am I supposed to buy an H79 with these kind of results.

In-Walls! Manufacturers Please Speak Out.
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post #26 of 296 Old 02-10-2006, 07:32 PM
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You can't use memory or eye you need a light meter. One I tested at 1200hrs went from 15ftc to 8ftc, putting the PJ in bright mode brought it back up to viewable levels. We're talking about drastic light drop, to the point where the image is unviewable at low hour levels. Some have said the image light was gone, here they can hot swap. When Optoma gets the PJ back they'll know if the bulb is shot or just normal level drop similar to what I quoted above. I don't want the masses to get the idea that just a lower tone on the bulb gives them a shot at new free one.

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post #27 of 296 Old 02-11-2006, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

You can't use memory or eye you need a light meter. One I tested at 1200hrs went from 15ftc to 8ftc, putting the PJ in bright mode brought it back up to viewable levels. We're talking about drastic light drop, to the point where the image is unviewable at low hour levels. Some have said the image light was gone, here they can hot swap. When Optoma gets the PJ back they'll know if the bulb is shot or just normal level drop similar to what I quoted above. I don't want the masses to get the idea that just a lower tone on the bulb gives them a shot at new free one.

I agree the point is there is a support problem Tom (maybe you can help?) There are 2 simple facts :

1) too many have shipped to be a real problem, maybe avs can comment on the number of problems with H77/H78/H79. If you get one you should/may expect normal light drops its that simple.

2) too many have shipped to not have bulb problems on these forums, we have seen them on most if not all projectors over time we all pray for a bulb less projector since its
just the weak point of most of the projectors at this point.

so imho don't take a H78dc3 or H79 of your shopping lists because of the bulb problems if you do then watch the support issue that this poster has. Projecrtors will have problems (sadly) its how a company handles them that makes the difference.

Again i on my first bulb (swapped at 1500) i didn't have any weird drops. My new one is already at 85hours (i watch alot and mostly 4 to 5 hour sessions) in a weeks. Since ive wondered about this i will try to get a lux meter today and track it (seems like fun).

Daniel.

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post #28 of 296 Old 02-11-2006, 03:25 AM
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My lamp was "out of life" according to Optoma USA tech support. I had about 400 hrs on the lamp. Even though it was almost a month past the 90 day lamp warranty, they took care of me and replaced it with a new one. (Thanks Thomas )

"...I'm ready for dream-time Mr. B."
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post #29 of 296 Old 02-11-2006, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cilent1 View Post

My lamp was "out of life" according to Optoma USA tech support. I had about 400 hrs on the lamp. Even though it was almost a month past the 90 day lamp warranty, they took care of me and replaced it with a new one. (Thanks Thomas )

Did you ask how long they will keep replacing bulbs for free one after another if they keep dying like this?
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post #30 of 296 Old 02-11-2006, 04:31 AM
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I think this post save me money as well! I was ready to buy a H79 any day now! now I have to figure out a replacement with same picture quality or better, low fan db, bulb hour spec about 3000 hrs and same price range!
any suggestions?
todd
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