is it worth getting spare bulbs anymore? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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is it worth getting spare bulbs anymore?

question: I am about to order a 1070 and thought it was wise to get a spare bulb while I was at it. However, since the PJ is so inexpensive, the bulb is about 1/3 of the cost of the PJ!

I was wondering: are we at the point now where once the bulbs goes, that it is just more efficient to buy a new inexpensive PJ, rather than buy an expensive bulb to prolong the PJ's use?

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 11:52 AM
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I am willing to bet that by the time your bulb goes out, LED or LED laser hybrid powered projectors will be a more viable option and you will want to upgrade anyway but who knows. I hate the thought that these front projectors have a bulb that will eventually go bad. With a guarantee of only 500 hours or 6 months on the replacement bulbs, I bet many of them fail right after that. and $250 a pop.... don't get me started.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 12:15 PM
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There's an old saying in the technology industry that simply goes:
"You don't buy tech until you need it".

It's applicable for two reasons.

First, like agent8 says, obsolescence means many projectors are worth simply replacing when the time comes. If you run your projector in Eco or SmartEco mode, you should get 5000 hours or more from the first bulb.
In most use-cases, that's years; by which time there's something else available that may make your current projector look ancient.

Secondly, technology prices almost never increase. Your odds of paying the same or less a few years from now are high.

Both of which mean that not only will you probably not save money in the long run, you'll also purchase an expensive bulb that you may never use (I've seen this happen many times before!)
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 12:26 PM
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The Bare Lamp for my Planar PD8150 is $179 and comes with a 6 month warranty.. I have a 1000 hours on my current lamp.. IF I buy the new lamp (don't really need it) I would need to put it in and use it otherwise if I wait and it is DOA I am SOL.. No point if having it on hand, life won't end if the projector is out of service for a week.. If the projector was obscure and off the market after a year it might be good to get one before there are non around.. however the BQ does not fit that description and the price for an OEM lamp will be the same if you buy it now or when you need it.. Like it to buying an extra set of tires for you car so you have them when the set you are using wears out..

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post #5 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 12:35 PM
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Thank you for your input.

I will wait for the bulb..

I am cautiously optimistic about LED pj next year. we shall see!
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 01:32 PM
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I don't believe that anyone should purchase a replacement lamp before they need it. All the wonderful talk about LED, is of course just that: Talk.

But, the root issue is that lamps don't have 10 year warranties, and should strictly be purchased when needed. Sure, it may blow movie night for the family, but if you are good about saving, then stick a buck or two away in savings every week towards a new lamp, and when the lamp fails, you can get a replacement shipped within just a few days with money that is already set aside for it.

Projectors seem to hit a low point with pricing, and I'm thinking we will see lamps also drop in price to a point similar to the $99 Epson lamp for the 2030 model. When all lamps are 100 bucks and projectors are 700 bucks, then even with 5 hours of use a day, it may only be a new lamp every 2 years. It would run a total of $1,000 to run a projector for 8 years with that usage rate and about a 3,000-4,000 hour lamp life.

It's completely incorrect to believe that lamps only last for 500 hours (or 6 months). It simply isn't the case. The vast majority of projector owners see lamp hours run well beyond 2,000 hours when using factory branded, original lamps. Not OEM junk, or bare bulb replacements, but actual manufacturer original product, with a full lamp assembly that is brand new. I certainly will never take or recommend the risk of 'compatible' or 'OEM' based upon the horror stories. The quality lamps will come with the manufacturer's name right on them.

But, I would wait until you need it for sure.

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
'OEM' based upon the horror stories. The quality lamps will come with the manufacturer's name right on them.
There may be more than one meaning of OEM but typically it means Original Equipment Manufacture.. i.e. lamp made by the projector manufacture.. The rip off sites call them OEM Compatible.. i.e. compatible with the OEM lamp.. in other words JUNK!

In the case of some older high end units, the bare lamps are OEM and work perfectly.. Not recommending the average joe use them when they can get the complete unit for $300, but when the complete unit from Marantz, Planar/Runco is $500-$800 and you can get the lamp that is in those housings for $200 and have the skill set to install them, they work just fine.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 02:39 PM
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with my old PJ that I had years ago, I replaced just the bulb. It was a cinch to keep the housing. The whole thing was a 2 minute exercise.. worked like a charm and saved myself a lot of money. forgot about that.. so if, and when, I need a replacement bulb, that is what I will do. just get the bulb.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post
...you can get the lamp that is in those housings for $200 and have the skill set to install them, they work just fine.
Some of these lamps have UV filters on them that deteriorate over time and the housings, as good as they are, still warp slightly with usage over time as well. This can lead to issues with using OEM bare bulbs, or even lamps, if they are re-using worn material or aren't properly treated to manufacturer specifications. So, even the original equipment manufacturer, may still have cheaper product which isn't actually up to the same quality level which the projector manufacturer specifies. Certainly living in the world of $500+ lamps, with used projectors, saving some cash makes sense, but when a 3,000+ hour lamp is only a couple hundred bucks or so, it doesn't seem to make sense to save $100 and gamble with the life of the projector. I mean, a replacement BenQ branded lamp for the W1070 is around $230. Bare bulbs seems to be around $130 or so. Just not worth it when I want my projector to run for 3,000 more hours.

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Some of these lamps have UV filters on them that deteriorate over time and the housings, as good as they are, still warp slightly with usage over time as well. This can lead to issues with using OEM bare bulbs, or even lamps, if they are re-using worn material or aren't properly treated to manufacturer specifications. So, even the original equipment manufacturer, may still have cheaper product which isn't actually up to the same quality level which the projector manufacturer specifies. Certainly living in the world of $500+ lamps, with used projectors, saving some cash makes sense, but when a 3,000+ hour lamp is only a couple hundred bucks or so, it doesn't seem to make sense to save $100 and gamble with the life of the projector. I mean, a replacement BenQ branded lamp for the W1070 is around $230. Bare bulbs seems to be around $130 or so. Just not worth it when I want my projector to run for 3,000 more hours.
We are in complete agreement.

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-27-2014, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post
I am willing to bet that by the time your bulb goes out, LED or LED laser hybrid powered projectors will be a more viable option and you will want to upgrade anyway but who knows. I hate the thought that these front projectors have a bulb that will eventually go bad. With a guarantee of only 500 hours or 6 months on the replacement bulbs, I bet many of them fail right after that. and $250 a pop.... don't get me started.
Another possibility is that some enterprising soul will start manufacturing LED light modules to substitute for the high pressure mercury original lamp modules. Even if such a unit was $600, it would be worth it if it had a true life of 20,000 hours.

It would require electronics specific to each projector to adapt to the intended power supply, so the size of the market would be critical. Those of you out there constantly replacing projectors are ruining it for those of us that are happy with their 8 year old 1080P first gen projectors but are tired of spending $300 on a new lamp every year ;-)

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post #12 of 12 Old 07-27-2014, 07:06 PM
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Now if only the projector makers would agree on some standards and stop having every model require its own unique bulb and assembly. Every DLP projector that needs 3000 lumens should be able to use any standard 3000 lumen bulb.

But then again, having all those unique and expensive bulbs probably helps their bottom line, because by keeping the bulbs expensive (and more difficult to find as the years go by) you're more likely to buy a new projector when your old bulb burns out.
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