I have a RS45 on preorder, but all these lamp failures have me worried. I would assume JVC would make sure a problem such as this would not effect another model year of its prodcts, but I could be wrong. I have been following this thread for a while, all along thinking about what is causing these failures. I work on very similar lights all the time (I am an electrician), and have never seen a lamp explode, although the lamps used in light fixtures are not nearly as confined within a small place, and probably not driven as hard as those used in projectors. I have been doing a little research online, which has led me to belive that the ballast in the projector is most likely the problem, and not the lamps. If I remember correctly, Phillips is one of the manufacturers making the lamps. To think that a company that makes millions of this type of lamp would all of the sudden have a failure rate like we have been seeing seems absurd, but I guess the same thing could be said about JVC and the ballast in its projector (if they are making them in house). My theory is that they had problem with low light output (as noted in many reviews of these projectors before they were released last year) so they decided to overdrive the lamps to try to correct this. In my research, overdriving the lamp is what causes it to self destruct. Here is a little info from Wikipedia:
How it works
The mercury in the tube is a liquid at normal temperatures. It needs to be vaporized and ionized before the tube will conduct electricity and the arc can start. So, like fluorescent tubes, mercury vapor lamps require a starter, which is usually contained within the mercury vapor lamp itself. A third electrode is mounted near one of the main electrodes and connected through a resistor to the other main electrode. In addition to the mercury, the tube is filled with argon gas at low pressure. When power is applied, there is sufficient voltage to ionize the argon and strike a small arc between the starting electrode and the adjacent main electrode. This starting arc discharge heats the mercury and eventually provides enough ionized mercury to strike an arc between the main electrodes. This process takes from 4 to 7 minutes, so mercury lamps are slow starting. Some bulbs include a thermal switch which shorts the starting electrode to the adjacent main electrode, extinguishing the starting arc once the main arc strikes.
The mercury vapor lamp is a negative resistance device. This means its resistance decreases as the current through the tube increases. So if the lamp is simply connected directly to the power lines, the current through it will increase until it destroys itself. Therefore it requires a ballast to limit the current through it. Mercury vapor lamp ballasts are similar to the ballasts used with fluorescent lamps. In fact, the first British fluorescent lamps were designed to operate from 80-watt mercury vapor ballasts.
Variation: Metal halide
A closely related lamp design called the metal halide lamp uses various compounds in an amalgam with the mercury. Sodium iodide and Scandium iodide are commonly in use. These lamps can produce much better quality light without resorting to phosphors. If they use a starting electrode, there is always a thermal shorting switch to eliminate any electrical potential between the main electrode and the starting electrode once the lamp is lit. (This electrical potential in the presence of the halides can cause the failure of the glass/metal seal). More modern metal halide systems do not use a separate starting electrode; instead, the lamp is started using high voltage pulses as with high-pressure sodium vapor lamps. "MetalArc" is Osram Sylvania's trademark for their metal halide lamps; "Arcstream" and "MultiVapor" are General Electric's trademark. Besides their use in traditional outdoor lighting, these lamps now appear in most computer and video projectors. However, Philips' UHP lamp, introduced in 1995, contains only mercury. As an example of application and efficiency of mercury lamps, the 61" Samsung DLP rear projection TV (HL-S6187W) uses a 132-watt Philips UHP lamp.