I've had a MD5880N since 2005. The bulb blew out New Year's day this year and I just received a replacement. I had no issues with the picture prior to the bulb breaking (and it was probably past-due as I use the set a lot.).
Anyhow, I'm pretty confident I can replace the bulb on my own. However, there's a weird piece of glass mounted on the front of the replacement that doesn't look like it belongs there. Can anyone verify if this is just safety packaging, or is it an actual component? I've included a picture, there's a lateral piece of glass across the bulb that seems mounted to it with an adhesive. I'm very wary of having to remove this and make sure there is no adhesive left on the bulb. I don't want to have another blown bulb on my hands.