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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Gentle AVS Reader:


I am looking for informed experience of those owning or previously owning Sony 10, 11, or 12HT projectors; is a brand new bulb much brighter than a bulb with 1700 hours on it? Now I'm not sure how to describe "much brighter", other than to ask if anyone has experience in measuring the actual light output of such a brand new bulb versus a used one, and finding out, for instance, that the measured output of a bulb with 1500 to 2000 hours puts out only half the lumens of a brand new bulb.


The reason for my query is this: I have a Sony 10HT running in cinema black mode with 1700 hours on the bulb - it has been calibrated with Smart II, and has a red cc30 filter. It has resulted in a bright picture on a 92" (diagonal) 1.3 gain Dalite screen. I have just put up a 110" Stewart Firehawk, and while this has its advantages, the picture is now unacceptably dark at times (and yes, I've readjusted the white and black levels). What I mean by "unacceptably dark" is that visitors now say, "I can't see it very well, it's awful dark isn't it, can you make it brighter?"


Depending upon the response I receive to this query (including a non-response), I may post another query about the merit in solving my problem of too dim a picture by purchasing a Sony HS20; from what I've seen posted on this Forum, those with a Sony HS20 seem pleased with it in use with a 110" or 120" Stewart Firehawk. But they all have brand new bulbs!
 

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You will definately "gain" more light with a new bulb. I had a 10HT for 3 years (smart cal with cc30r) and after 800 hours the bulb got very dim; almost to the point of not watchable....then the bulb died. I attribute the short life span of my bulb to the heat in the room generated by my wood stove....but I could be wrong on that. Basically, a new bulb will make you think you have gotten a new projector. I would still keep it at cinema black mode though.


I have recently purchaced an HS20 (a descent upgrade from the 10HT) and noticed how much brighter this projector is, even in it's eco mode. Now with the iris closed, it's about as bright as a 10HT, but with the iris open, the picture jumps out at you, especially on animated features. Just my two cents...YOU STILL HAVE A NICE PROJECTOR....the main improvements I saw when upgrading is #1 COLOR and #2 Contrast/black levels.....the color on the HS20 is stunning! OK I'll stop here....go buy yourself a new bulb and be happy all over again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Terrence:


Thanks so much not only for the quick reply about bulb brightness, but for the feedback on the HS10! With your comments about the color and the contrast with the HS10, I will now either purchase the bulb, or the new projector, depending upon my own mulling over and any other responses I receive. Incidentally, I expected someone to suggest that I just go out and purchase a DLP with the HD2+ chip - I'm going to hold off on that for a while until HD Dlp comes out at a little lower price, and also without the dithering in the dark portions of the picture.
 

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I'm on my third bulb on a 10HT. The bulb definately dims after a few hundred hours. My first bulb died at 1300 hours and I replaced the second one at 1500 hours to get the brightness back. Also as the bulb ages the color mix changes, starts out lean in the red and ends up lean in blue. Being able to recalibrate periodically using SMART as the bulb ages fixes the gray scale but can't fix the brightness.
 

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SonyUser,


Have you tried turning off Cinema Black mode? While a new bulb will probably fix your brightness problem, you might be able to squeeze some more life out of this one by running it in its highest brightness mode. At 1700 hours you don't have much to loose. I have a 10HT projecting on a 110" Stewart Grayhawk (.95 gain) and while mine can be a little dimmer than I would like on some material it's never been so dim that other people have commented on it. I currently have about 1300 hours on my bulb.


I got the upgrade bug recently and after looking around decided to order a new HS20 to replace my 10HT (I'm still waiting for it to arrive). The HS20 produces a significantly better picture than the 10HT, especially on darker movies. The contrast ratio is about 4 times the 10HT and it is significantly brighter. The HS20 also has improved colors. My only gripe is that the HS20 has a longer throw meaning I will have to move my mount back a couple of feet.


Good luck....Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tom and Bob:


Thank you for the info! Bob, it had occured to me in passing to turn the Cinema Black off, and after reading your comments, I will do it! I have also just about decided to purchase another bulb, go through the Smart II recalibration one more time and wait a few more months for the HS20 to become more reliably produced and available. I was not aware of the longer throw length for the HS20, and that will prove be a problem until I could get a new unit remounted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to you all! I turned off the Cinema Black, and now the picture has much more "punch", and is acceptably bright now. In further searches, one early 10ht owner/evaluator measured 400 ANSI lumens with Cinema Black on, and 600 with it off. Sony's site said the projector bulb would be at 90% of original brightness at the end of 2,000 or 1,000 hours (with and without Cinema Black on), but one earlier reviewer reported that the bulb lost 7% of its measured brightness after just a few hours of play.


If my original bulb holds up to the average expected life, I have another 150 hours or about 75 movies left in it!
 

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This is good and bad information.

Over the past few days I have been sifting through the threads regarding these projectors (11,12HT and HS20). I am weighing what I read (and have seen) against CRT projectors (front and RPTV). The light life and brightness noted here does sound OK.

I have located a company that rebuilds the lamp assemblies. They can't supply a cost of replacement for the bulb yet (to new) but, due to the popularity of that specific bulb they will soon. Claimed cost savings is about $100.


Martin
 
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