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M20X reliability problems? - Page 3  

post #61 of 103
i leave for a day to go study and look back on this thread and you guys are in full detective mode. i'm impressed. i hope somebody gets to the bottom of this... it's certainly not going to be me. if i could say "at that price, i'll pick one up, i'm sure somebody will want one," i'd probably be just as gung-ho on this... for me, on the other hand, i think the good ol x1 will suffice :)
post #62 of 103
i just looked back on the website, and clicked ont he seller's little "me" icon next to his name, and this came up:

"User: ephemeraman (177) Date: Dec-07-02 16:36:59 PST
Complaint: WARNING!!! Do not buy from defuncto...He has been HACKED!!! WARNING!!! "

here's the url: http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/defuncto/

looks like case closed. x1 it is. thanks for making me look into it deeper, guys. :)
post #63 of 103
I'm not exactly sure how to stop people like this normally. I couldn't figure out any way to contact ebay and get them to shut the auctions down. So, I decided to just sign up to buy all their product. I figure it's fairly low risk for me, because if they really want to sell me 26 brand new projectors at those prices I can afford a plane ticket and would actually make some money. It's not going to happen and I expect some negative feedback, but hopefully this will slow them down. I would expect them to post new offers, but if somebody can figure out a way to email ebay and shut this account down that would be great. None of the links work for me.

post #64 of 103
BTW: Does anybody know an Andy Steiner in Chicago who has recently had their ID stolen?
post #65 of 103
Yeah, I'd also like to thank the members of this forum for making me look deeper into this. I sent feedback to Ebay and this morning got an email from Defuncto saying his site had been hacked. Whether it was truly him or not, I immediately retracted my bid. Thanks all:) Sure would have been nice to pick up a PJ on the cheap.
post #66 of 103
Contact Ebay Rules and Safety to report Abuse/Fraud ....

...I this link goes to Ebay investigations for them to pursue ,

post #67 of 103
Well, all of defuncto's listings have now been ended - with no explanation.
My email to defuncto was replied to:

My questions:
"Are you a dealer? I just want to be sure the warranty is valid. I know some manufacturers only warranty for purchases through authorized dealers.
Also where are you located? If not too far, I'd like to come see one of these since I've never seen one."

His response:
"All the products that we carry are brand new factory fresh, sealed by the manufacturer and have FULL USA WARRANTY.ALL our goods come with complete manufacturers warranty and registration card.
The unit that you want to buy will be shipped to your address in the same day you submit the payment. All shipping costs are supported by our store 100%(we use Fedex for 2 days delivery).
Insurance is also supported.
Our products are guaranteed against DOA(death on arrival) for 30 days from the day we ship. If one product is damaged another product will be shipped ASAP after we receive the damaged unit.

Thank you "

Note he did not give name, store location or anything.
post #68 of 103
back to the original topic of this thread....

I have almost 200hrs on my unit. I have never used the econo mode. My unit doesn't seem to have any problems starting, and it has never shut off. Now that it is getting colder (winter), I have been running the heater in my theater room and I have noticed that after about an hour or so, that I am seeing a little flickering or flashing in the picture. Don't know if it is caused by heat?!? or electronic/bulb problem?!?

Also, I wonder... since this unit was really designed as a portable presentation unit, maybe it wasn't really designed to run for hours at a time for home theater use... maybe thats why they don't put component video connectors on the thing?!?

I have also noted with my power protection gear that this projector draws and utilizes more juice on startup than any of my other electronic components in my theater room. I wonder if some of these problems might be electrical in nature? I have noticed for instance that when AC or heater kicks on, the lights dim and I have even seen picture flash when this happened. For those of you who try to plug everything into one circuit to avoid ground loops (me too), I wonder if power issues are causing some problems?!? I think this is one reason it might be worth-while (but expensive) to find a true-online UPS type of power conditioner that provides pure and clean sine-wave power (AC to DC to AC?).

Any thoughts?
post #69 of 103
Thread Starter 
I too have pondered if the flickering thing is electrical in nature. However, my third M20X is approaching the 100 hour mark and it is starting to flicker. My second one was flickering badly, and then I swapped it for the third which was good (for a bit). This leads me to believe that the flickering issue is not due to an external influence.

I have also thought about if the flickering is caused by things like the room's ambient temperature. Once again, I'm going to rule that one out being that there was a 15 minute gap between the flickery second projector, and plugging in the third one which had been fine up until recently.

Really, I'm just wondering what the saleslady is going to think when I tell her that the third one is turning out to have the same issues. I really hope she's not thinking I'm a loony trying to get some free bulb time.
post #70 of 103
Here's my experience:

My projector was worked perfectly for the first 125 hours. At that point, I started experiencing two problems:
1. My M20X failed to start up (once in a while). Trying a second time worked fine.
2. Sporadic flicker (stronger in the lower left corner).

The flicker starts and stops sporadically, has a ~5 Hz fixed frequency and lasts between a few seconds to a few minutes.

What I tried:
- Changed the Energy Save mode. I was able to reproduce the flicker in both modes.
- Connected the unit in another outlet, still reproed.
- Brought my unit at my friend's place, still reproed.
- Used a MonsterCable line conditioner, still reproed.
- Bought a UPS on the suggestion of other users, still reproed.

I lived with the problems for the last 2 months, but over the Holidays, it got me annoyed enough to call the help line.

With all the people talking about this issue around here, I was very surprised to hear the guy on the phone saying that he NEVER heard of a flicker problem on the M20X. Anyways, I'm sending it on Monday. Hopefully, they'll find the problem and fix it permanently.

From what I've explained above, did anybody experienced this issue? If so, did you send it back to Sharp for repair? Did it help?


post #71 of 103
As I posted in this thread already, I saw the flicker a couple times on my M20x around 60 hours. Since then I haven't seen it.

I did, however, have one startup problem. It was very strange too. I pressed the power button on the remote, the unit acted like it was starting then the light on the unit turned from green back to red. After that, the unit would not reconize the power button being pressed to turn it on. If not for the red light next to power button on the M20x, it acted like it was unplugged from the electrical socket.

I tried pressing the power button on the M20x itself and it still did nothing. After messing around with it by unplugging the power cables and whatnot, I decided to take it off the ceiling mount.

All I did was flip it over and it turned on with no problem.

I haven't had the issue since, but like I said, it was quite strange.
post #72 of 103
Nox -> What I meant to ask is what exactly was your flicker problem? Was it uniformed on the whole screen, or more pronounced on a specific corner? How long did it last? Did it have a fixed frequency like mine? Which mode were you in when it happened? etc...

I would like to know if the flicker problems people have are all the same issue...


post #73 of 103
Oops...that was missworded on my part. Sorry about that.

I didn't mean to sound like I was talking back to you in any derogatory way. I meant to say in general that I posted in this thread already.

My post was just giving an update to everyone how my M20x is doing.


My flicker problem only happend twice around 60 hours. It was the whole screen, but I noticed it in the brighter areas. I was watching Harry Potter when it first came about. The movie is generally dark except in the scenes where they are outside. It was there in the sky that the flicker was most dominate, but I could see it elsewhere too. A simple switch into power saving mode and back to normal fixed it.

The second time I was watching Lord of the Rings. Again, the same thing. It's a dark movie in parts and the flickering was most noticable in the light areas. This time, a switch into power saving mode didn't fix it. I actually had to turn it off then back on and the flicker was gone.

Since then, I have had no flicker problem at all.

The power on/off issue, that I mentioned in the last post I made, happened only a week ago. That hasn't happened since either.
post #74 of 103

Before I sent my M20x in the first time I had noticed that the picture wasn't uniform. It was like it was out of focus in maybe 4 vertical bands that were maybe a foot wide, but in focus everywhere else. I don't think this would be the flicker problem. This was just before it started having the powerup issues and then I sent it in shortly after that. They replaced my bulb that time. Later I had the problem with the M20x powering off every 5 minutes or so and that was the last time I sent it in. They replaced my key unit that time and I haven't had that problem since. I have had the problem of the projector just sitting there and not accepting any key presses twice. The first time was out at a shootout and driving home and plugging it in there worked. The second time unplugging it for 10 seconds never worked, but unplugging it for about 5 minutes worked.

I think the official stance of a lot of customer service groups is that they've never heard of your problem, so it doesn't surprise me that this is the answer that you got. I wouldn't give it a lot of credence. I guess the way to test this would be to ask if they've had to repair many of these. I think the fact that they had to send out a new projector as a loaner to somebody here not that long ago because they didn't have a regular loaner to send out is a pretty good indication that they had more repairs going on at that time than they had expected.

post #75 of 103
While I recognise this is a M20X thread, does anyone know if the same problem exists with the M20S...I am about to purchase one.
post #76 of 103
Nox -> np :) I was just curious to know the details of your problems, that's all. :) Besides the fact that my flickers are off to the corner, we seemed to have experienced the exact same glitches. And sometimes, just like you, switching back and forth between the 2 modes helps. I'm glad for you that it seemed to have gone away in your case. I'll let you know whatever I learn about it... just in case yours come back.

Nox, Darin -> Thank you very much for the feedback, it's really appreciated.

Seabird -> I would expect M20X and M20XA to potentially have these problems, but I can't say much about M20S. Though I think the bulb and the outside of the units are very similar, I would be on the lookout for them anyway...

post #77 of 103
So, what's the latest with this projector? Are you still having problems? Are they blaming the problem on the lamp so they don't have to fix it? Is it still flickering? If you were me, would you buy one? I've seen the picture and loved it compared to the X1 and Z1. Should I get one now, wait until they work out the bugs, forget about it and buy something else (HS10?). Or, just wait for another DLP in about 6 months that is cheaper and more reliable? Thanks!
post #78 of 103

Sharp was closed yesterday and today, so I didn't get any news yet (I will tomorrow).

Even with the problem I currently have with the PJ, I still would recommend it. Personally, I find that the price and performance is hard to beat and I'm willing to live with a few dealings with their customer support if necessary.

In any case, I'll let you all know what they will conclude tomorrow.

post #79 of 103
My M20X died just before Christmas after about 35 Hours on the bulb. These were the symtoms: Hit the power button to turn it on, the middle green LED would alternate between flashing and steady on. The projector would not turn on. If I looked inside the lens there was a faint green light for about 1/2 second every minute. I called Sharp and they told me to send it in. I requested a loaner that came FEDEX.

When I called them to get a status on the repair they said the color wheel had to be replaced. They said they had to order a new color wheel which would take about a month. I didn't care if it took a year since I had the loaner. Surprisingly it showed up after a week and it seems to work fine.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this PJ and I would buy the same one again. The picture is outstanding and with the 3 year warranty and the loaner program I'm not too worried about it.
post #80 of 103
In the past week mine has had problems starting.

Twice now it turns on but the lamp does not light. The fan was on and the LED light was green, but no picture. I let it sit there for a few minutes both times before unplugging it and trying it again.

Both times it worked after unplugging it.

It's still annoying to me that there is even a problem. I'm about ready to call Sharp. But if I ever I do, I do not want to have to keep sending the thing back and forth because of the same problem as some people have reported they have. If I have to call Sharp, my call will be the first and last...the unit will be returned to them.

When the M20x works (which for me is about 97% of the time) it works beautifully, and without a doubt, I am most pleased with it.
post #81 of 103
I got my loaner yesterday and mine goes back today. I find it interesting that my loaner has 0 hours on it. I wonder how many loaners they have out.

I checked the firmware on my loaner and it is M20X020425. I can't check mine, since it won't turn on, but for some reason that number rang a bell like it was the same as the last time I checked mine. Could be wrong, though.

post #82 of 103
My experience returning the unit so far:

Lesson #1: Never trust Sharp CS Rep when they say it's only a 3-day job.
Lesson #2: Request a loaner at all times.

I've been without my pj for more than a week now. I finally got a loaner unit today, but the 8 days I didn't have my unit felt like an eternity. :|

Anyway, here's what they told me they did on the pj so far:

1. They changed the ignition key (just like you Darin).

2. They're currently waiting for a new color wheel (just like you roarbj), so they said it would be a couple of weeks.

Looking forward to see if those fixes will take care of my problems.

I'll let you guys know.

post #83 of 103
I watch this thread closely with my fingers crossed.

I haven't had problems as serious as some of you, but I have started noticing the PJ lamp doesn't turn on the first try all the time. Here's some detail on my setup if anyone's interested:

Hours: about 90
Power save: currently off, but ran with it on (about 50 hours) until I started hearing that may cause problems
Power: PJ is plugged into a 500VA APC UPS on a dedicated 20 amp circuit.
Problems: Sometimes lamp doesn't light on first try (50% of time). Have never had the replace lamp light come on. Never had the unit sent in for repairs.
post #84 of 103
I don't want to scare you frdfsnlght, but I didn't get any issues until after 120 hours. When I was at 100 hours, Darin warned me about the fact that the problems are most of the time coming at after 120 hours on the bulb, but I was hoping anyway...

Then, my unit started doing exactly what you described. And after 130 hours, I started getting that flicker problem. The fact that you're having issues turning it on, with the powersave turned off, probably indicates that your "ignition key" is defective and needs to be replaced.

My advice: get to 130 hours on your bulb as quickly as possible, since the bulb's warranty is only 3 months. If the condition of your unit doesn't degrade at that time, you might be in luck...

post #85 of 103
ericjut, thanks for the advice, but I'm already past the 3 months on the bulb. From the sounds of it though, the ignition unit is part of the projector and is therefore covered under the 2 year warranty. Of course, if Sharp tells me I have to try replacing the bulb on my own dime first, I'll tell them the shove it. For unrelated reasons, I'm not in a good mood tonight.
post #86 of 103
On the brighter side of things, I don't think I've heard of somebody that was asked to replace their bulb on their own dime. Actually, it seems like more people were getting a complete new projector (and hence a new bulb) when the problem persisted. So, I would let it ruin your day... :)

In the end, I think we'll all get it figured out.

post #87 of 103
BTW... my loaner unit is working out ok (doesn't reproduce the problems). But it does have only 89 hours on the bulb... :|

There's one thing that kinda threw me off though. I did a lot of work to black mask the frame with velvet and was expecting all M20X to throw their image exactly at the same spot. But the loaner unit throws about 1.5 inch lower than my original unit. Did anybody else have to tweak their masking for their loaner? Just curious...

post #88 of 103
Actually, I happened to repro a problem with the loaner.

On 2 occasions, when the bulb is cold (overnight), the bulb fails to light up on the first try. The second try worked out on both occasions.

Looks like this problem seems to be widespread, as many people here have been reporting it. It might just be a quirk of the unit.

post #89 of 103

I got my unit back, and here's the final result:

"Action Taken:

+ Unit had an intermitent flicker in the upper portion of the screen, also unit fails to start up everytime.
- Defective key unit, lamp unit.
- Key unit, lamp unit replaced."

So it looks like they replace the key unit when the projector has a problem starting and they change the lamp unit when there's a flicker problem.

So I'm back to square one... (0 hours on the bulb), which I sure can live with. :D

The unit isn't repro'ing any of the problems right now, but only time will tell if I'll get the flicker issue again at 120+ hours.

On a separate issue, I'll have to redo my masking because my unit projection isn't exactly lined up anymore... And the projection area is different than the loaner too. Maybe something you guys want to consider when sending your units for repair...

post #90 of 103
I got mine back last night. This time they replaced the ballast unit, but not the lamp. So now I have about 326 hours on this lamp with the key unit and ballast unit replaced during its life. I tried low power mode last night and it started up on the first firing. I then left it overnight and it also started up right away this morning. Hopefully that will continue, but I'll try low power mode sometimes.

I'll compare the brightness to my loaner tonight and send the loaner back tomorrow.

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