How bad is it to turn off projector without cooling down? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of getting an Optoma HD131Xw projector, which I would like to turn on and off using a wireless-controlled power outlet.

 

This projector has a "Direct Power On" function, the description of which is: "The projector will automatically power on when AC power is supplied, without pressing the [power] key on the projector control panel or on the remote control." ... So that's perfect for turning on using the power outlet.

 

But there's nothing in the specs about a complementary "Direct Power Off" function. The other projector I'm getting (NEC PE401H...double the price) has Direct Power Off as does the Epson EX5210 I'm replacing, but the HD131Xw does not. The Optoma's manual says: "When switching the projector off, please ensure the cooling cycle has been completed before disconnecting power. Allow 90 seconds for the projector to cool down."

 

The projector will typically get used for 30-45 minutes at a time a few days a week and it will be mounted on a high ceiling.

 

What kind of problems can I expect if I always shut down the projector without its required cooling cycle?

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 03:30 AM
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It might shorten the projector's overall life, but mostly it'll make you burn through lamps faster..could be significantly faster.
If you are able to shut it down with its own remote, it usually has a fast-off mode/option where the fan will go like a jet engine and you'll have to wait an entire 3-10seconds to kill the power.

If it were me, I'd happily waste 3-10seconds powering down in order to save the possibility of breakage or blowing a $170-200 lamp inside of a year or two. They've made the powerdown cycle much faster than in the past.

I didn't even realize they made lamp-based PJs that advertised/had an ability to safely be unplugged instead of powering down. I wonder what they did different.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rz786 View Post

I'm thinking of getting an Optoma HD131Xw projector, which I would like to turn on and off using a wireless-controlled power outlet.

This projector has a "Direct Power On" function, the description of which is: "The projector will automatically power on when AC power is supplied, without pressing the [power] key on the projector control panel or on the remote control." ... So that's perfect for turning on using the power outlet.

But there's nothing in the specs about a complementary "Direct Power Off" function. The other projector I'm getting (NEC PE401H...double the price) has Direct Power Off as does the Epson EX5210 I'm replacing, but the HD131Xw does not. The Optoma's manual says: "When switching the projector off, please ensure the cooling cycle has been completed before disconnecting power. Allow 90 seconds for the projector to cool down."

The projector will typically get used for 30-45 minutes at a time a few days a week and it will be mounted on a high ceiling.

What kind of problems can I expect if I always shut down the projector without its required cooling cycle?

Stupid stupid idea!! You shut it off instantly and the lamp dimples when it cools itself down. You turn it back on and the lamp Pops. If they didn't need a cool down cycle they wouldn't have built it into the projector, Duh?? Years ago NEC used to push their instant shut off abilities. It was a freaking disaster even though the lamps were more temp balanced so they would cool better than multi component lamps. FYI Glass. metal, ceramics , Bakalite all have different cool down rates, You make abrupt changes in their temps and you get all kinds of strange thing going on. On my projectors I usually increase the cool down period from 90 seconds to between 120 and 150. There have been several threads that mention twisted and burnt out LCD panels by people who were unplugging the projectors to turn them off- Bohanna
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 06:06 AM
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohanna View Post

Read #6

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489317/dlp-vs-lcd-lamp-aging
You mention burn-in. Can you get burn in on a DLP projector?
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohanna View Post

Read #6

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489317/dlp-vs-lcd-lamp-aging
You mention burn-in. Can you get burn in on a DLP projector?

Nope!
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'll use the IR remote for turning on and off, then.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post

I didn't even realize they made lamp-based PJs that advertised/had an ability to safely be unplugged instead of powering down. I wonder what they did different.

 

Panasonic uses capacitors to store charge that can keep the fans running after AC power is cut off. I don't know what NEC and Epson do, but I've asked NEC about it and maybe the sales rep will have an answer.

 

Edit: I got a reply from the NEC rep, and it was useless...

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post #8 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 07:31 AM
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The cool down isn't just about lamp life, or keeping the lamp itself at a reasonable temperature. If anything accelerating the lamps natural cool down time can only decrease it's life expectancy. But limiting how hot it gets during operation might help it at other nearby parts last longer.

The cool-down period is actually for other components in the projector: When the lamp is generating heat, fans run to keep that heat from damaging the circuitry or panels. When you turn off the lamp, it's still putting out heat, so the fans need to continue cooling the unit until the heat drops below the temperatures that might cause problems. Anyone who's ever had a power outage while using a projector without a UPS can likely verify, such can be a machine killer after just one time, or it might take a couple times. I've seen LCD/SXRD panels develop a green tinge at one or more edges after just one instance of not shutting down properly. Some newer projectors, like my current DLP are designed to automatically power up the fans as soon as power is restored in the event of a power loss, to cool down the lamp - which is useful for momentary power losses, but if the power goes out for probably as little as 5 minutes, the damage will already be done, at least with LCD/SXRD, which already has a propensity for panel deterioration to begin with. I imagine in DLPs color wheel degredation would be the primary concern with that technology.

I agree with the others, you should never shut down a projector without allowing it's full cool down cycle, regardless of the technology. If you live in an area prone to unpredictable power outages or even momentary power flickering, you should definitely hook up the PJ to a UPS as well. I disagree that the lamp is the most important thing though. If we ever have a momentary power loss during operation and the UPS doesn't work like it's supposed to, I'd be tempted to restart the PJ immediately and get that fan running. While that would be very bad for the lamp to be re-lighted before cooling down, it's a lot cheaper to replace the lamp than replace the PJ. I don't know about color-wheels, but with LCD you typically have to have the entire optical block replaced, if a panel goes bad; and in that case it'd be more cost efficient to buy a new unit.

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post #9 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeturez View Post

Nope!

Not in the conventional sense associated with phosphor based technologies, during normal use, but pull the plug while the lamp is hot and the fans are running at top speed and see what happens.

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post #10 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

Not in the conventional sense associated with phosphor based technologies, during normal use, but pull the plug while the lamp is hot and the fans are running at top speed and see what happens.
How would that effect burn-in and what does that have to do with leaving a paused picture on the screen for a long time with a DLP projector?
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 12:56 PM
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I wouldn't do it on purpose, but if it happens accidentally then I would NOT worry about it unless the room you were running the projector in was over 78-80 degrees.

I've had tons of projectors that I failed the cooldown because I locked them up in the service menu or on an HDMI problem. I had my Benq w7000 lockup with my HDMI switch at least 8 times over about 1.5 years, and I still got 7,500 hours on the bulb.
Electronics just aren't that fragile really.

It's very very unlikely to shorten the life of the projector or the lamp unless you are running at or above the operating temperature limits in the room. That said, you might want to wait 15-30 minutes to let the bulb cool off after it happens before restarting the projector, though I never had a problem only waiting 5 minutes or less.


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post #12 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

How would that effect burn-in and what does that have to do with leaving a paused picture on the screen for a long time with a DLP projector?

I assumed we were all referring to and was therefore relating my post to a form of damage relative to the topic of this discussion - failing the proper cool-down in a projector - rather than conventional Screen Burn, if that's what you're getting at. No DLP doesn't suffer from Screen Burn, like phosphor based technologies do/did. But, certain parts can be damaged due to excessive heat build-up, as per being discussed here, which can result in similar, permanent image degradation, maybe worse.

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I wouldn't do it on purpose, but if it happens accidentally then I would NOT worry about it unless the room you were running the projector in was over 78-80 degrees.

I've had tons of projectors that I failed the cooldown because I locked them up in the service menu or on an HDMI problem. I had my Benq w7000 lockup with my HDMI switch at least 8 times over about 1.5 years, and I still got 7,500 hours on the bulb.
Electronics just aren't that fragile really.

It's very very unlikely to shorten the life of the projector or the lamp unless you are running at or above the operating temperature limits in the room. That said, you might want to wait 15-30 minutes to let the bulb cool off after it happens before restarting the projector, though I never had a problem only waiting 5 minutes or less.

Of the five projectors I've owned (3 dlp, 2 sxrd), none have ever locked up on me. What were you doing?

I've heard of color-wheels going bad due to heat, but I can't say I've ever had any first hand experience with any of the three dlp-based projectors I've owned reacting negatively to not going through the proper cool down - though I'm not sure any of my dlps have ever been subjected to such either. That said, I have seen damage to the panel occur with lcd/sxrd in as little as one incident of the projector losing power without proper shut-down. It got worse the second time it happened, and a year after that the panel had developed noticable chromatic misuniformity across 2/3s of the screen. I'm sure how long the PJ has been on will be a factor - if it happens shortly after startup, I doubt the lamp would be very hot yet. Though, I've seen first hand that as little as half an hour is long enough. Based on that experience, for Sony projectors anyway, I would advise turning the PJ back on immediately if you can, to get the fans going, assuming the PJ doesn't have an auto-cool down it goes through in the event of power loss, like some do these days (and all should). It's a lot cheaper to replace a lamp that blows because it was struck again too soon, than to replace other parts firmly built in - in the case of LCD/SXRD the entire optical block, should one of the panels go bad.

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post #13 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 02:19 PM
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The things that cooks with LCD panels in projectors are generally the Blue screen Polarizers and the blue panel itself. This is one of the reasons there are multiple fans inside the projectors that blow over different parts. You shut off the projector abruptly and the heat remains in the projector and puts a huge stress on all parts in the light path. The arc chamber gets heated in the thousands of degree range. Its very similar to an arc welders spark. The arc chamber gets hot enough to weaken the glass almost to the point where it will become molten. If improperly cooled it develops a dimple,becomes oblong or explodes. That's why it is constantly being subjected to fresh moving air to keep it cool. I don't know enough about DLP's and heat issues but I think there could be a problem with the heat sink that cools the chip itself if it is abruptly shut off. Either way you need to keep the lamp cool with a metal halide based projector.- Bohanna
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 02:28 PM
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Some manufacturers on business DLP's (which are often run hotter) don't even do a cooldown by default, you have to enable the cooldown. Even the Viewsonic Pro8200 has the cooldown disabled by default. LCD projectors are more sensitive to heat, but its not thousands of degrees in the sensitive areas even if in the arc chamber, cause over 2000 degrees would start to liquify metal. Our ovens are only 500+ max, with the burners a bit hotter.


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The typical arc chamber will reach at least 1400+ degrees. The UV light projected through the light path will not come close to that but it will easily be enough to cook the panels in its path. Re-striking the lamps is pretty much the same with both technologies. The more you restrike a hot lamp the quicker the lamp will fail. The arcs are generally in the 1 to 2 MM range so there are really tight tolerances that need to be met. The fact that Lamp based projectors require cooling fans speaks for itself.- Bohanna
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post #17 of 17 Old 05-02-2014, 07:38 PM
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I don't doubt that, but it's not quantified to know how much really matters. As noted, my w7000 lamp got restruck many many many times from not cooling down, went 7500 hours and I could have still used it another 2000 hours, it was just getting too dim in 3D.
The lamp was only $120 without the housing, so I figured mise well replace it.

Plenty of projectors that never failed a cooldown have had polarizers fail early on. How much it fails is more about the design of the projector and long-term operating conditions, then a few bursts of heat (IME), but I'm not a PJ engineer or tech like you, so you might have better insight (I could have a fallible non-relevant statistical sample). I had a Sanyo z5 that started to have issues around 6000 hours. That is why I put most of my viewing on a DLP, DLP is more relaible even though people do not want to admit it.

Heck, my w7000 has 8000 hours on it now, it was a refurb I paid $1500 for, and I expect it might last 25,000 hours overall before I replace it (not the lamp but the PJ itself). You might get that out of an LCD, but not as likely.

DLP > LCOS > LCD when it comes to reliability, wouldn't you agree?


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