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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been perusing the projector forums for a while, researching an eventual purchase. A few issues that seem to affect one technology or another keep coming up. I have searched fairly extensively for hard data, but the few polls and threads on these issues don't really cover the ground I'm looking at - they ask how to get rid of blobs, how to look for convergence, did your color wheel go before 1000 hrs or after, etc. And we all know that multiple people having the same problem can look like everyone is plagued by that problem, but as usual people without problems don't post complaining about that. (I'm not saying the problems don't exist - or that some people are whiners: I just want to get a feel for how common these issues really are.)

So the question I have is: what is the actual percentage of users affected by these issues? I speak of:

Dust blobs (LCD mostly? Can this affect DLP or LCOS?)

Convergence (LCD)

Color wheel noise (DLP)

and other projector-technology-specific issues (beyond bulbs blowing out).

Related issues are things like: how easy/hard is it to address these issues? Is blowing out dust blobs something that every LCD FP owner will look forward to, like changing oil in a car? Can convergence get worse over time? When color wheels go bad, do replacements have a higher likelihood of failing again due to "something wrong" with the unit in the first place?

I also saw a recently revived thread on LCD panel burn-in/image retention. Not sure if this is a problem with today's LCD panel tech.

I recognize some of this will be subjective: people have different tolerances for slightly misconverged LCDs.

Comments are welcome, especially ones that can provide something beyond single anecdotal experiences. Maybe someone has done a study on dust blobs and sealed optical paths, and how to improve the conditions. Or one or more manufacturers have come up with some new funky way of preventing dust blobs. Does ceiling-mounting a projector increase/decrease the likelihood and severity of dust blobs?

I pick on dust blobs because they seem like the most user-friendly issue to correct, seem to be the issue most likely to occur, and seem to be the one issue that users can be proactive about (additional filters, cleaning filters, reducing the dust in the immediate environment, etc). Note the repetitive use of the phrase "seems to". Thus the reason for this thread.

I wouldn't let any one of these issues stop me from buying a particular model or technology, but I am curious what to expect, and maybe anticipate technological improvements in these problematic areas.

Oh yeah, please don't turn this into a Tech A vs Tech B debate. You know what I mean...

Thanks in advance,


1,545 Posts
Hi Shinksma,

I don't think you'll be able to find hard, reliable data about the percentage of defects for a particular technology, brand, or model. This type of data could only come from the projector manafacturers themselves, and I've never seen that type of data released.

I've read that the industry norm for problems / failures that get returned to the manafacturer is 2 to 3%.

You have to judge by forums like this, looking at the reports of the issues balanced against the popularity of a particular model. For example, there have been a few posts about the colourwheel going bad in the Mits HD1000, but, this was one of the top selling projectors in it's day, so, I don't think the issue was epidemic. On the other hand, the BenQ 7700 and it's Toshiba clone had hundreds of posts about lamp failures. Those models were rather pricy at the time, and I'm sure didn't sell the volume of the Mits HD1000. This is hard to quantify as well, as projector companies don't release sales figures either. You just have to get a 'feel' from reading the threads.

That's why I usually wait until a particular projector has been out at least 6 months before purchasing.

Personally, I have 3 digitals. A 3 year old Mits HC3 LCD that was used as a computer monitor for most of it's life, and often left on for 8 to 10 hours a day. It then became our first livingroom projector, and has now been religated to the bedroom. Close to 2500 hours on the original lamp. No panel discolouration, image retention, dust-blobs,or miscovergence.

For the last two years we've primarily used a Mits HD1000 for our livingroom theatre. No colourwheel problems or dust blobs, with close to 2,000 hours on the clock.

Finally we have an 1 year old Epson 400. Only a few hundred hours on it. No MC ( less than 1 pixel ), shading problems, dust blobs, or panel issues.

We live out in the country, and have a particularly dusty house.

I've set 4 friends up with projectors. 2 with LCD's ( Epson Home20's ), and 2 with DLP's ( BenQ 6100 / 6200 ). All are more than 2 years old ( the BenQ's nearly 4 years old ). None of them have experienced any issues.

Just my personal experience. YMMV.

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