I haven't checked my time on the bulb in a while but I was over 1000 hrs a few months ago so I'm probably close to 1500hrs now on the original bulb. I haven't had a problem with the bulb not lighting off in several months. In the past, I was plagued by this issue. For those of you who are having this problem, here is what has been working for me:
-I'm running HDMI to DVI from my Yamaha RX-V2600 receiver to the PJ (25ft Bluejeans Cable)
-Harmony 890 RF remote
-I found that by introducing a slight delay with the Harmony remote, so that the PJ turns on in sequence before my Receiver does, I drastically reduced the number of instances where the "bulb failed to fire"
-When it "failed to fire", I found that even though my screen was dark and even though I may not have even gotten the Optoma logo, the bulb had in fact fired. It just didn't appear that it did because no image was shown, not even the logo. In these instances, I would be forced to wait for the PJ to recycle itself. It would turn itself off and then back on again after waiting about 3-5min.
-On the rare occasion that this happens now (since adjusting to have the PJ come on before the source) I realize that the bulb is most likely "on" and that the problem is poor software in the PJ that is finicky about how it handles the signals the PJ receives.****Try This**** Next time you get one of these light off problems, cycle through your inputs (go from DVI to PC to Component and back to DVI). See if you notice the text in the bottom right that tells you "searching for signal" If it does, well you need a lit lamp to give you that image don't you? When you get back to DVI you should have a full working image, maybe try one more cycle. If you don't, next try changing sources. Try going from your TV source to Xbox or DVD for example. Anything that would change the input type (HDMI source to component source into your receiver) That should do it. Then go back to TV or whatever you want.
I know it shouldn't have to be this way, but it's been a few months now using this workaround and I haven't had that anxiety about whether the PJ will start up or not. I know that if it doesn't, I can ALWAYS fix the problem now with a couple of button presses. It's not like I have a unit that is immune to this problem. I'm one of the guys who was really bashing Optoma early on in this thread for a lack of support on this bulb issue. It still sucks that we can't just get a firmware update to fix this. Let me know how this works for you guys and PM me if you want a clarification.
BTW. Look forward to not losing any noticeable brightness when you guys hit 1500hrs! Still an amazing picture. I'm happy now, no thanks to Optoma