Pg-m20x 2 year review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 68 Old 06-24-2004, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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It's been around 2 years now since I purchased this projector and I thought a long term review was in order. This was my/our first foray into the realm of home theater and front projection. It's hasn't all been perfect, but overall this purchase has to rank among the top 2 I have ever entered into when it comes to satisfaction, peer envy (in a good way, not in the "I'm cool and you suck" fashion) and overall use vs. investment. The only purchase that trumps this would be having LASIK done for 3k$ and going from a natural 20/300 to 20/10.

Perhaps one of the best indicators of a success is copycating. Of the people who have seen our theater:

My parents had me purchase and build them one within 3 months of seeing ours.

My S/O's parents, well, her mother is enamored and loves movies. Her father hates any form of video because he considers it time wasting. It doesn't help that he appears to suffer from the DLP headaches. I know there was still some debate as to the existence of these some time back. I can only say that he can watch movies at home on his television in a darkened room without problem. I only recently found out about this effect on him and he was never told of the possibility. He's around 70 and views anything electronic as more of a status symbol than something to actually use.

My brother had one built into his new home upon seeing what I had done for our parents. He designs and markets sound chips for TI and was very impressed with the bang for the buck.

My S/O's Uncle and wife have made me promise to help them design and install the instant he has retired from the military and has his own home for a long term. That will take place this fall.

A few others have seen the image and been awestruck, then the endless questions follow. I have no idea if they ever followed through on their desires.

For the PG-M20x itself, not all has been smooth sailing. Shortly after we built our first version of a theater (we are currently on version 2 and will be creating number 3 later this fall) the bulb literally blew up. I must say that Sharps customer service on this issue was nothing short of miraculous. Within a week I had the projector mailed out and returned to me at no cost and had a replacement/loaner for the time it was gone. All by FedEx Next Day Air.

Later we would hit another problem, this time apparently it was the power supply, but we didn't bother to ask for a loaner given the turn around time. Same result, we had the projector back almost before we knew it was gone and had zero problems with Sharp.

My parents projector had the same power supply problem, their experience with Sharp was identical. Out and back before they knew it. The only other problem either of us experienced involved the projector failing to auto-detect a progressive signal from a DVD player, and Sharps customer service being unable to provide an answer either. The solution came from the forums here and was a simply manual selection. At the time, I simply failed to diagnose the problem.

We each paid around 2500$ for our projectors. At the time, it's lowest listed price was 2500$, however this was from LA projectors. Another answer from this forums was to put it on a American Express card, buy it from a reputable dealer for 2650$ and the request the difference from American Express for finding the item for less within 30 days.

2 Screens have been tried so far. Originally we used the shower plastic surround purchased from a local Lowes store. While we were still using this, I installed my parents version using just the drywall with a coat of light grey paint. Their picture was substantially better and when we rebuilt our theater 6 months ago, we used the same method. Painted drywall, with a frame of 1x4 wrapped in synthetic black felt trimming the edges. This produces an excellent contrast with the picture.

We are not audiophiles, so our sound choices reflected small rooms and people who were more concerned with cost than all the details an audiophile would consider. Keep in mind here that all equipment was purchased sight unseen and unheard. Simply hours of research here on the forums and asking endless questions. My parents and I both use a simple Kenwood HTB purchased for a little over 200$. For small rooms and those of us who are not so critical on the sound, it has been beyond our expectations, with one exception. The subwoofer. That thing is junk, but for 220 or so all told what can one expect.


So far we have spent around 3200$ all told. That's for wire, carpet, 2 different screens, 2 different shelving systems we built to fit, adapters, everything. What we got was a true home theater. I was sparked to return to avscience and start poking around again by the lamp finally giving out. This took place around 1900 hours. Part of me finds this very short, and a 400+$ replacement a bit much to stomach at the moment, but oh the joy we have had so far.

I cannot thank the community here enough for all the help I was given trying to solve problems and pick out components. As I stated above, it has wowed everyone who has seen. More often than not, they have already built their own or are planning on doing so. I cannot help but shake my head everytime I walk through Sams and see HDTV's for more than I paid for my entire setup.

After 2 years we are very happy with our decision and are never going to be without a home theater. The homes we have looked at since building our little home theater were looked at differently than those before. We recently purchased a home we are in the process of remodeling. What was intended to be the dining room will be our home theater room.

After the new lamp (unpurchased as yet) dies I'll be back doing endless research again shopping for the latest bang for the buck model that fits my needs. I do not hesitate to help people I meet with front projection and often send them this way to further their knowledge. It's been 2 years, and I don't know how I ever managed without one.

Thanks,
Craig A. Reynolds

"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
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post #2 of 68 Old 06-25-2004, 07:20 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by deSade
... by the lamp finally giving out. This took place around 1900 hours. Part of me finds this very short, and a 400+$ replacement a bit much to stomach at the moment, but oh the joy we have had so far.

Thanks,
Craig A. Reynolds

Hey Craig,
Thanks for coming back and giving us an update. Glad to hear it has been great for you! The M20X sure was a great projector.

My quick math on the clip above ... 21 cents per hour that projector cost you. I guess if you really think about it, not bad at all! Sure beats $20 at the movies ... and the experience is better as well.

In any case, congrats! And thanks again for coming back and letting us all know how things are working out.
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post #3 of 68 Old 06-25-2004, 07:33 AM
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Thanks for posting the update as well. I always find these very interesting as I am sure other people do as well. It is disappointing that the projectors had so many problems even if they were fixed by the manufacturer. Makes you wonder how well the projectors will work when they are out of warranty.
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post #4 of 68 Old 06-25-2004, 12:18 PM
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I have my M20X for a little after a year now. It's the same like you, everyone sees it wants to copycat mine, especially I'm driving it with a HTPC with 7.1. They can't believe 7.1 is so much nicer than 5.1, and make the whole experience even better.

However, everyone I shown my set up to, eventually say "I have to ask my girl first" or "my girl wouldn't allow me to have that...". Oh well, for those who're single out there, get all the toys you want before you lose your spending freedom!!!!
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post #5 of 68 Old 06-25-2004, 05:06 PM
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I have also had a M20X for 2 years and I'm still happy with it.
My projector hasn't had any problems at all.
The best part is the bulb is at 4100 hrs and it remains bright.
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post #6 of 68 Old 06-25-2004, 10:17 PM
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Good post.

I must say I just watched a movie and was very thankful overall.

I've replace my unit once and repair themall at least 4 or 5 times total.

It been great for about 6 months now.

We all need to do a power buy for replacement bulbs.
Last checked, they were around $450.

What do you think?
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post #7 of 68 Old 06-25-2004, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure we have enough people to qualify. I couldn't afford to purchase more than one at the moment, at nearly any price. I did find a few places that list the price at 409$, but that is apparently as low as it goes.

I am considering sending my projector in. The lamp simply will not light, but if I remember correctly after 3 failed attempts the projector should go into a shutdown mode. That hasn't happened. It simply continues to attempt a relight.

It's almost certainly the lamp in my case, but the previous power supply problems may be connected. I should just get up off my butt and call Sharp and ask them.



If anyone thinks we can get enough people from here to do a power buy I'm definitly in.

"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
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post #8 of 68 Old 06-26-2004, 05:53 PM
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tell the all of your problems, but don't indicate that you are willing to accept that the issue is the lamp and its all on you to root cause and fix.

Let them tell you what it is.
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post #9 of 68 Old 06-26-2004, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I may do just that. I just don't want them to decide it's the lamp then charge me 500+ to replace it.

"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
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post #10 of 68 Old 06-26-2004, 06:21 PM
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Looks like the price isn't really dropping.

I guess like ink replacement cartridges, the lamp is where they really get you.

Have you feed your unit DVI yet???
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post #11 of 68 Old 06-29-2004, 07:51 PM
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I've had our M20X for 2 years now. Actually when we bought it was the M20XA because supposedly the first run didn't have the brightness it was supposed to.

We are on our 3rd unit having sent them in because of a problem that sounds suspisciously like the not turning on problem mentioned above. They replaced them twice. Have no compunction about sending in to repair.

This third unit which I don't think is a M20A has been going great for about a year. We're at 1500 hours.

My impression is that the early ones were kind of buggy, but service is great
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post #12 of 68 Old 07-02-2004, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I just spoke with Sharp and they are having me send it in. I'll report back on the results, but so far service has been excellent.

"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
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post #13 of 68 Old 07-04-2004, 05:04 PM
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Quote:


We all need to do a power buy for replacement bulbs.
Last checked, they were around $450.

Hell yes! Unfortunately, it might be hard to find a lot of m20x users who all need lamps at the same time.

P.S. If anyone knows a good place to buy replacement lamps in Canada, please PM me!
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post #14 of 68 Old 07-05-2004, 06:02 AM
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I guess I was thinking that we could power buy before we need them.

If you're lack me, you don't want to wait for a bulb once it blows.

So we may considering buying a spare through a power buy.
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post #15 of 68 Old 09-01-2004, 10:34 AM
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Quote:


I have also had a M20X for 2 years and I'm still happy with it.
My projector hasn't had any problems at all.
The best part is the bulb is at 4100 hrs and it remains bright

How do you get 4100 hours out of the Lamp? I am approaching 1900 hours and I beleive it won't start-up after reaching 2000.

Anyone get a deal on a replacement lamp???.....Boy I hate to have to spend that $400 bucks but I knew this going in....just wish the lamp lasted longer than 2000 hours.

Rob, FLorida
Sharp PG-M20X-A DLP Projector
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post #16 of 68 Old 12-28-2004, 04:19 PM
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Not to chime in a couple months laters , but i'm in for a lamp power buy if one gets put together. Any suggestions on where to buy would help also.

I too had the start up issue, sent it in once (about 2 years ago) they said it was fine. It wasn't. But I switched it over from econo mode to regular and it fires up at least by the second try now. Can't complain about the service, other then them not finding any issues w/ the PJ.

I'm over 1200 hours now and need to start looking around for a new bulb so I don't get interrupted service.
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post #17 of 68 Old 01-15-2005, 04:13 AM
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I've had my M20XA for 2.5 years now...extremely happy with it. I did have the no-startup issue after about 6 months, and I called Sharp. They told me this was a known problem, and I just need to send it in. I took it down, got ready to pack it up, but tried it once more after removing it from the ceiling mount...started up immediately. Weird.

I hung it back on the ceiling, and it's worked ever since. Original bulb has about 3700 hours and still looks as bright as when I bought it.
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post #18 of 68 Old 01-15-2005, 07:39 PM
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I was wondering if you guys have seen this issue.

I always have to refocus mine between usage, no matter what.
Never really focuses full screen, I have to comprimise between top and bottom.

My basement cieling does see alot of vibration from the main floor above, but still this is really odd.
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post #19 of 68 Old 02-08-2005, 11:45 AM
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Have had mine for over a year. It works really well, except that it has a severe random flickering problem, whether or not run off of UPS, which reappeared soon after sent in for repair and I think they replaced the bulb at that time also. But the problem disappears completely in power save mode, so I just leave it in power save all the time. Other than that it works great. I put it on a high shelf in the basement to avoid the heavy vibrations above.

Don't have to refocus mine between uses, but on the computer desktop the top left and bottom right corners are difficult to focus simultaneously. But this is impossible to detect in any video I watch.
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post #20 of 68 Old 02-08-2005, 06:52 PM
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I can't get both top and bottom focused at the same time.
only on the computer can you tell.
Video is washed out
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post #21 of 68 Old 03-10-2005, 06:40 AM
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Do you guys have start up problems? I've sent mine into sharp 3 times now. And while it works great once it starts, I generally have to unplug it after it fails to start then plug it back in and it fires up. When it fails to light it just sits there with the green light blinking. It won't shut off, the only think I can do is yank the plug. Every once in a while I'll get three red lights on it, when it fails to light. The bulb was just replaced and has less than 200 hours on it.
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post #22 of 68 Old 03-10-2005, 09:08 AM
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Once in a while I have start up problem, but not as serious as yours. For mine, the fan comes on, the green light blinking, but no light shoot out, I turn it off for a few seconds, then re-fire it, then it works again. I'm using DVI from the computer.

If you constantly having problem, try and see if Sharp would be able to give you a different model instead.
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post #23 of 68 Old 03-17-2005, 08:53 PM
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I purchased an M20Xa in 7/02. I had to send it back and Sharp sent me an M20X. I've had it for more than 2 years and haven't had a problem (touch wood). I too have had a lot of really great reactions to the theater. Glad to know other people are also still enjoying their projectors.
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post #24 of 68 Old 09-06-2005, 10:49 AM
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I've had my sharp PG-m20x for almost 3 years. It had the startup problems, but solved with a quick return to sharp. I've really enjoyed the projector.

My question though, is ever since I bought it, I've had pink and green bleeding on the sides of every pixel. I thought this was normal until seeing another DLP last week. Changing the focus adjusts the bleeding, but it never gets better than about 10%-20% bleeding. It's hard to even get a noticeable screen door.

Has anyone seen this? Any ideas on what I should do?
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post #25 of 68 Old 09-06-2005, 01:09 PM
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My 3 year old m20x doesn't have any bleeding pixels. It's very sharp with the vga connection I use. Does it bleed with all inputs? dvi/vga/composite?
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post #26 of 68 Old 09-06-2005, 03:31 PM
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Yes, DVI, VGA, Component, S-Video, and even the blue SHARP screen.
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post #27 of 68 Old 09-08-2005, 09:42 PM
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I guess I've been lucky. I had a startup problem once, took it off econo mode and its been happy since. Still have my M20X. Does a credible job given ambient.

Getting the itch though. The Realis looks nice...tho' with the Ruby that might be OBE...bulb just has to hold out another 6 mos or so...

Nigel
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post #28 of 68 Old 09-10-2005, 01:44 PM
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My PGM20X is approaching 1900 hours, and I remember reading that it will turn off at exactly 2000 hours. Is there any way to disable this or reset the timer? A new bulb doesn't really seem worth the price so I am hoping to just run it until it blows up.
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post #29 of 68 Old 09-10-2005, 02:44 PM
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To reset the timer hold down these three buttons on the projector (not the remote):
Down, + , Enter. Keep them held and then press Power.

You can download the pdf manual on the Sharp page. This info is on page 72.
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post #30 of 68 Old 09-10-2005, 09:08 PM
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Thanks
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