Originally Posted by BigCrutch /forum/post/16901555
good thread, bookmarked
Not to hijack, but which HD projector generally has the cheapest replacement bulbs/lamps? I've researched a few of the pj's mentioned here and there, but I've found most bulbs to be in the $300 range? It's hard for me to justify paying $600-$700 for a pj only to have to replace the bulb in a few years at half the cost of the entire pj.
Is that pretty much the norm?
Yup. There are a few that cost under $300, but not by a lot usually. Sometimes you can find better deals online at an auction site or something, but they generally run from $250-$400 retail. Just remember that for $600-$700 you are getting a picture upto or larger than 4x the size of a 50+ inch LCD flat panel that costs way more.
These very good 720p DLPs nowadays in the $500-$800 range were what would cost you $2,000-$3,000+ a few years ago. I seen a $4,500 DLP from a few years back go for $500 on ebay.
I was hear since the Infocus X1 days, that 4:3 800x600p projector got me into the whole projector craze back when it was a $1,000. The huge image shook my world and I've been with front projection ever since. A bit after 2 years of owning it I upgraded to a far superior 720p HD unit (and one of the best 720p DLPs ever made; the Sharp DT-500) even cheaper than it for $240 less at $760, when not long before I owned it I saw it for nearly $3,000 and the super high quality HD was out of my reach and I thought it would be for a very long time.
You are getting a great deal at these prices. A 100" TV not that long ago cost upwards to $100,000. When I had my apartment I had a 12 foot wide image that made that 100" image look tiny. All for under a grand, including the surround sound system.
In a few years you can simply replace the whole projector with a better one at a much better price. Forget buying a new lamp after a few years. In a few years a much superior 1080p will be at the same price most likely. Simply sell your pj and use it to help fund the newer better model. That's what I do.
The projection market drops far more than the TV market. I've seen $4,500 projectors plummet to $500 street price in the matter of 3-4 years. Every year there is a ton of competition with manufacturers fighting to come up with the latest and greatest; higher resolution, higher contrast, new features, etc, which only pushes other great previous models down in price more and more. So, get in and then get out with something better later on down the road I say.
Front projection gives you an experience these small tvs cannot compare to. Eventually though, in a few years you'll be able to upgrade to an LED based or laser based projector that won't require lamp purchase, so enjoy front projection while you can today and upgrade later.