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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I'm about to buy the 43" HLN4365W. I went to Best Buy in Ft. Lauderdale and the salesman says "you better take out the maintenance contract, because the bulbs on these units burn out about once a year... and they cost $250 - $300 to replace." I said "no way, the website says they have a lifespan of 8000 hours." He said "the sales rep told me they are having problems with the bulbs. You don't want to take a chance with this."


So, here's my question: Has anyone else heard this? I've read a little about some people having bulb issues. But, is it that chronic? I'd like to do a little survey here to see how many people have owned DLP tv's (preferably Samsungs) for close to a year... and see what % of you have had your bulbs burn out.


I have a limited space in the wallunit of the house I'm buying, and the Samsung 43" fits perfectly. I've seen the set and think it has a great picture. But, am I buying a headache? Let me know what you think.


Thanks!


Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool. It looks like most of the people responding have only had their set for less than 6 months. What is everyone else doing re: a spare lamp?


Are you buying one to have on hand in case your's goes out? I see there is a thread on AVS with people trying to get a power buy. Is everyone getting an extended warranty? I figure with spending over $3000 on a TV that the extended warranty is worth it.


Any thoughts?


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by robozepp
Cool. It looks like most of the people responding have only had their set for less than 6 months. What is everyone else doing re: a spare lamp?


Are you buying one to have on hand in case your's goes out? I see there is a thread on AVS with people trying to get a power buy. Is everyone getting an extended warranty? I figure with spending over $3000 on a TV that the extended warranty is worth it.


Any thoughts?


Thanks.
Well, given that in Canada the Tantus line comes with a three year on-site warranty, and given that my last set (a 40" Samsung LCD) is still going strong at around 2.5 years and 4000 hours (it also uses a 100W UHP bulb, but only rated at 6000 hours), I won't bother ordering a spare until sometime after two years have elapsed. :)
 

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The lamp on my HLM507W had problem "starting" after 4 months (lamp had about 700 hours). The "starting" problem was that I had to power on/unplug/power on many times (from first try to 6 or 7 tries) before the lamp would turn on. I called Samsung and got local service to order a new lamp. Two weeks later, the service guy came out and replaced the lamp in less than 10 minutes. He had never seen a DLP set before, but he did have the service manual with him and apparently had studied it beforehand. This was under warranty (still is), so it didn't cost me anything. It is working fine now. The reason we want to get a spare lamp (even under warranty) is that it takes weeks to get a new lamp, most of us can't live without this set for that long a time! Also, it is real easy to replace the lamp.
 

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6+ months, 1500+ hours, it keeps going and going and .....
 

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robozepp,


As a rule I generally do not buy warranties. However, $3000 on a TV is a lot of money and I think the warranty may be worth it. Best Buys warranty I believe is $299 for the DLPs. I've been waiting to get a DLP since the Fall last year and am still waiting. I want to buy mine from Best Buy because in my area they have the best warranty for the money. I did not realize that a bad mirror was not necessarily 100% covered until recently. There is a local Best Buy in my area and it has a bad mirror in the center of the screen. It is a bright white dot and you can see it easily from 15 feet away. Samsungs warranty does not necessarily cover this (search this board for more specifics). I was told from Best Buy that this is covered 100% under their warranty. I for one could not live with that (especially after paying $3K for the TV). I would guess that if this problem occurred 1 year after the manufacturers warranty expired that if this problem happened to you that it may cost that much to get it repaired one time. My last 35" TV I bought from Best Buy had a slightly discolored tube go bad and 3-1/2 years later I got the full amount towards store credit (Was very glad I bought the warranty especially when the problem was only noticable on white screens). If you're buying the TV at Best Buy's price you can try getting them to give you 10% off since they do that on customer appreciation days anyway which would pay for your warranty.


Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by xb1032
robozepp,


As a rule I generally do not buy warranties. However, $3000 on a TV is a lot of money and I think the warranty may be worth it. Best Buys warranty I believe is $299 for the DLPs. ...


My last 35" TV I bought from Best Buy had a slightly discolored tube go bad and 3-1/2 years later I got the full amount towards store credit (Was very glad I bought the warranty especially when the problem was only noticable on white screens). If you're buying the TV at Best Buy's price you can try getting them to give you 10% off since they do that on customer appreciation days anyway which would pay for your warranty.
xb,

Thanks for the advice. Hmmm... I'm waiting for the HLN467W to come out (the new slim-bezzled 46") and was actually leaning towards buying it at Sound Advice (the Tweeter subsidiary in south Florida) because I was thinking that they have the best maintenance plan. In fact, I was figuring that it would be worth paying a little more to them - over BestBuy - because they are more of a "pro-sumer" company, carrying higher-end equipment, compared to BestBuy which is more of a department store.


Am I making a mistake? :confused: Sounds like BestBuy has been good for you. Maybe I'll reconsider. What do you think?


The other issue is: I KNOW that SoundAdvice is getting the 46" set when it comes out. BestBuy has no way of telling me that for sure yet. If BB doesn't carry it, that will make my decision an easy one. Either way, I'm thinking that I'll get the extended warranty.
 

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xb1032,


I am intrigued by your comment about the "discolored picture tube" on your 35" tv. I have a thread in the Direct View section and would greatly appreciate your input.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=251499

My set is in the hands of Circuit City right now, only their tech guy doesn't seem to see the problem. I already had warranty-ceirtified techs at the home who saw what I was talking about, but they said they couldn't repair it in my home and wouldn't move it for me. That's why I called the store and they picked it up and took it to the CC center. But, so far it isn't doing any good because the guy can't see what I see, and I'm not there to point it out. I told him to focus on whites and light colors, but so far no joy.

Again, I'd greatly appreciate you further describing your problem to me.

Sorry for crashing the thread, everybody. I was researching DLP, and stumbled upon xb1032's comment.
 

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 http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...24#post2153024

Above is my post from the bulb power buy but has to do with exactly what your asking.

I had my DLP for 4 days before it "died" I hope this isn't the start of a nightmare. I am now awaiting a service guy or a new bulb to get it fixed.
 

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I think anyone who burned out before 6 months has something defective.


I am about to hit the 6 month mark, I've logged in 1000 hours and it's still lookin good.
 

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One thing to be careful with - the warranty may not cover all the salesperson said it will. I have a somewhat unique perspective, as I used to be a sales rep for Computer City/CompUSA, and now I am finishing my second year at Georgetown Law. I has coworkers that told customers that the extended service plan would cover the machines no matter what - like if aliens abducted their computer then they would honor the warranty (ok, not really) but they went pretty far.


One of first lines in the warranty's little book of fine print they give you (at least, they should) says that the little book supercedes and replaces any representations made to you about the warranty. That is legalese for "whatever your salesperson told you to get you to buy this plan is totally out the window, and we won't fulfill his/her promises." The warranties also almost always say that they will not cover items that incur normal wear, like a lamp. If it burns out in the first week, you're fine, but once you are out of the first year, they probably won't replace it.


Also, I have heard of people getting salespeople to write things onto the warranty and sign it, like promises of lamp replacements. I guess they are attempting to modify the contract. The law in this area is unclear and varies state to state, but I wouldn't expect it to work. The company holds all the cards (they can deny you service), and you don't want to have to sue them with a claim that the salesperson was authorized to modify the contract at time of formation in contradiction to the written language of the agreement. Salespeople do it because it costs them nothing. The customer will probably never try to claim the additions, and even if they do, the person probably won't work there anymore to get in trouble, even if the company does try to dicipline them.


I have mixed feelings on the warranties, and I might even buy one for my DLP, but I wouldn't ever expect the lamp to be replaced unless it was clearly a defect.


Good luck whatever you do!

RDaneel
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by RDaneel

I have mixed feelings on the warranties, and I might even buy one for my DLP, but I wouldn't ever expect the lamp to be replaced unless it was clearly a defect.


Good luck whatever you do!

RDaneel
Hmmm... :confused:

Thanks for the advice. I know about integration clauses in contracts since I'm a lawyer too. Of course, as is the case with most lawyers, I rarely read my OWN contracts! :eek:


I think the only proper course of action is to ask to see the warranty agreement before committing to the sale. I may also call the warranty company to verify what is and isn't covered. Your point re: the lamp being excluded as "normal wear & tear" is well-taken. I want to present the scenario to them i.e. - (the lamp goes out in year 3 of a 4 year extended wtty plan -- is it covered??) and see what they say... and what language in the agreement is CONTROLLING ON THE ISSUE!


Gosh... I knew I went to law school for a reason!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does anyone else know if the Tweeter or Best Buy extended warranty / maintenance plans include replacement of the DLP lamp? If that burns out, is it considered "normal wear & tear"? Since that part is so susceptible of failure, it is the main reason I would buy the extended plan in the first place.
 

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I've been following this thread and the power buy thread for quite some time. Here has been my experience... Purchased the HLM4365 4 1/2 months ago with and extended service plan from BestBuy. A week ago the screen was noticably darker. Had the BestBuy folks out and he ordered a new bulb. He said that he had replaced about 6 in the last 3 months. Two days later the lamp went out.


The service guy said that it would be about 7 days till the new lamp was in and that it was 100% covered (under the mfg) but would still be covered for the next 3 yrs under the BestBuy service plan. I'll let you know if I find out differently.


Does anyone know how to check the hours on a bulb?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Soooo.... according to the poll results thus far, it looks like about a 10% failure rate on the dlp lamp within the first year... and most of those failed within the first 6 months. The sets haven't been out long enough to really guage how they will do beyond a year. But, it would seem that they will continue to fail.


I think this is pretty significant for a purchase exceeding $3000 and in some cases $4000! I have to say that I am concerned. I like the picture, and the size of the space in my wall unit doesn't leave open many options. But, it sucks to think that there is such a high failure rate in such a short period of time.


I DEFINITELY want to buy a spare lamp to have on hand so that I don't have to wait an extended period time if it goes down. Has there been any update on the dlp lamp Powerbuy? Any news from our friends at TV Authority? Thanks.
 

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How does everybody know how many hours they have on there bulbs? Is a guestimate, or is there a way to find out the hours? I have the HLN617 and LOVE it so far, but I sit in my chair watching it, hoping the blub does not fail.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dale Ploung
How does everybody know how many hours they have on there bulbs? Is a guestimate, or is there a way to find out the hours? I have the HLN617 and LOVE it so far, but I sit in my chair watching it, hoping the blub does not fail.
With the set off, press MUTE, 1, 8, 2, and POWER.... the set will turn on in Service mode, allowing acces to things including the elapsed lamp life.
 

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This is slightly incongruent, but I recently purchased the Sony GWII and bought an extended warranty for that. I was explicitly told at the time of purchase that lamp replacement is not covered by Sony or by the extended warranty because it is "normal wear".
 
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