Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Staten Island N.Y.
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I purchased my Epson 8700 about a year and a half ago. It was an upgrade from my old Sanyo Z4 that I liked very much but was past it's prime. When I first installed my 8700 I LOVED the picture quality! The image popped off the screen so much more than my old Z4. Unfortunately I've had terrible issues with the lamps. After 1 day my lamp exploded! It was a loud bang and I thought the projector exploded! After calling Epson they told me that it was the lamp and they sent me a new one. No problem. 5 or 6 months after that with about 400-500 lamp hours, it happened again! Again they sent me a lamp. I was worried that there was something wrong with the projector, but the Epson people told me that there was a problem with the lamps and that the new lamp should last alot longer. Fine! They sent me another. This one lasted until late July. This time I noticed that the picture looked really dim for a day or so. I recallibrated my settings to make the picture bearable as I had friends coming over to watch a UFC fight. Right before the fight, the projector wouldn't power up and the dreaded flashing red light came on. I called Epson and after initially screwing up my claim, they sent me another replacement bulb. I had to go a week with no projector this time and my buddies and I had to go to a bar instead of watching the fight on my 100 inch screen. Once again Epson claimed that they had bulb issues and that I might have gotten one from a bad batch. Once again, I got my new bulb. Now it's November and once again, the guys are coming over for a UFC fight, and once again this Friday, I get the dim screen and now the projector won't power up and I got the flashing red lights. I can't contact Epson because they work banker hours. You can't get them after 5pm during the week and there are no weekend hours. I'll call Monday and I'm sure they will give me the same song and dance about the bulbs. Obviously this is completely ridiculous! I miss my Z4 and I'm considering buying a replacement bulb for it so I can use it for a backup.
One of the reasons I went with Epson was because of there customer service reputation. They do have no problem shipping bulbs but what happens when my warranty runs out? If I have to replace my bulb every 3-6 months, I will be paying over $500.00 a year for replacement bulbs! On top of that, I will have to go with no projector each time it burns out. This is EXTREMELY ANNOYING!!! I had my Sanyo for 7 years with one replacement bulb that I got for free and never had any issues! Now I have a problem every 3-6 months! What should I do with this thing?!?! Should I try to push for a new unit? I hear horror stories about refurbished replacements sent by epson with no THX mode or a focus ring that won't move, etc etc. This whole thing seems crazy to me! The great Epson customer service seems like they are appeasing me with bulb replacements until my warranty runs out and I'm on my own. I flat out refuse to pay that much every year for replacement bulbs!
More importantly, I was looking to upgrade to a 3d projector. Initially I really like what I saw with the Epson 5010 but it didn't have THX mode which I love with the 8700. Now that the 5020 has THX and 3d glassed, I really liked the look of the projector but I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want to go through the same kind of issues I am having with the 8700. Does anyone know if the bulb on the new 3d models is improved or should I expect more of the same with the 5020? If I can, I will be going with the Panasonic which sucks because I'd rather have the better lens shift.
Oh, by the way, my PJ is shelf mounted but has plenty of room to vent. I allowed for more than what is asked for according to the Epson manual. I even built a bigger shelf than for my Z4 because I figured the lamp would run hotter in the more powerful projector. I clean the vents perodically and they have never been clogged. I have the projector plugged in with an expensive surge protector. I take care of my equipment!