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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

i have been an owner of CRT front-projectors for over 20 years now, and promised myself that my next front-projector purchase would be a digital one, probably a DLP, as LCD's seem to be just too prone to too many problems ( "dead pixels", dust contamination, magenta/blue screen shadows, screen-door effect, etc, etc )...we have all seen the innumerable posts on this forum as well as on others concerning the failings of LCD's technology, i don't have to repeat them here again....

one thing that is beginning to bother me, though,is the outrageous prices charged by all manufacturers for replacement light-bulbs used in DLP's, LCD's and D-ILA's.

why are these bulbs so expensive??? are they made of some very rare materials, too difficult to manufacture reliably, or just manufactured in too small production-runs to justify their very high prices???

i have seen some manufacturers advertising their bulbs with a lifetime of 6.000 hours, while others are just guaranteed for 1.000 hours... why the discrepancy???

couldn't all major manufacturers of digital projectors settle on a few different wattages for light-bulbs, say 150 watts, 200 watts, 250 watts, 350 watts and 400 watts, all using the same type of lamp, for easier production-runs and cheaper prices for us, consumers????

after all, according to my estimates,i do an average of 4 to 5 hours of TV viewing every day, or more than 1.400 hours in a year, be it broadcast TV, DVD/laserdisc movies, cable/satellite. i assume that, on average, most people watch as much TV as i do, and, at a replacement cost of $500 to $800 for these "precious" bulbs that last approximately 1.000 hours, we would have to buy new bulbs every 10 months or so...!!!! that is, basically, a big rip-off, as far as i am concerned...!

i now wonder if i should continue waiting for DLP's to become more commonplace, less expensive and offering better performance in contrast and lumens, as well as offering cheaper and longer-lasting bulbs....

any comments, ladies and gentlemen???

P.S: and, by the way,how many hours of TV viewing do you average per day?
 

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MCaugusto,


It does seem peculiar doesn't it (lack of standardization)? Maybe there are technical reasons for why there needs to be dozens of different lamps. Or maybe it's simply because the manufacturers are greedy. I used to be in the jukebox business. Each manufacturer had a model change every year. They would purposely take the same part and modify it so it would not interchange with other models. They would do anything to avoid giving up total control over lucrative parts sales.


Bob Wood




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The first five months of my VT540 saw around 800 hours. I would say that that's a little high to extrapolate since I was watching everything on the projector and have since calmed down a bit, however that period only includes part of football season, CBS has HD football this year, and I am adicted to my racing simulator. I wouldn't be surprised if I clip through 2-3K hours a year. Oh yah, the family gets to watch sometimes too http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif The VT540 lasts for 2-3K hours (std/eco). I run in standard mode. I have seen the bulbs for around $350.



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"Bulb" is the wrong name for what you are swapping - it's really a pre-aligned precision optical assembly with a bulb at the center, plus accessories - and it's a highly proprietary and unique design, often specific to just one projector model which may only be in production 1-2 years.


My VT540 uses the same bulb as the "sister model" VT440, the combination of two popular models with the same bulb means you can find bulbs all over at $315 and up. These "bulbs" include two air filters plus maintenance instructions in the package - and I'm gonna save all the old "bulbs" as some have had success with changing out the real bulbs at the center of these optical assemblies, after the real assemblies go out of production.


I believe many of today's projectors will get discarded as unusable before their time, as the bulb assemblies get impossible to find - perhaps with years of life left in the projector itself.


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks to you all,guys,for all the replies and especially to you Gary, for your concise explanation on the "bulb" misnomer, when actually it should have been more appropriately described as an "optical assembly"...

so, basically Gary states that if i or anyone else purchases, as an example, a SHARP XV-Z9000U sometime in the near future,and once SHARP stops manufacturing that particular model, we may find it quite difficult to get replacement "optical assemblies" for the projector after a period of, say, 5/6 years? even for the bargain price of only $400/$500...!!!

well, i, for one, in case i decide to go ahead and buy a DLP projector, will contact the manufacturer beforehand and ask them for how long they keep parts in stock once the item is no longer built...!

i used my first CRT front-projector for almost 12 years and my second is still in use, since january 1991....

you see, i firmly believe in getting my money's worth for these expensive electronic "toys" !
 
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