Lamp life on Sanyo Z1?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Drew Wallner, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Drew Wallner

    Drew Wallner Extra

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    Hey HT folks!

    Awesome news, I just found out from my realtor that my offer on a new house (with a very HT appropriate light controllable room) has been accepted. If all goes well I'll be closing in March and you best believe I plan to be installing my gear before April!

    Exciting times, no doubt. I've been researching extensively on the forums for months now, doing a lot of lurking about and reading. I'm pretty darn sure I want to go with a Z1, for a number of reasons. Mostly it's that I can see rainbow effect, and so can my wife, on DLP's we've checked out. Also I'm 100% DVD (we don't even have cable, and have no interest in TV or HDTV) so the 16:9 aspect will work well for me.

    I'm somewhat concerned, however, that there are no official published figures I can find from Sanyo on bulb life for the Z1, and that I've seen here and elsewhere on the web people talking about bulb failures as soon as 600 hours. That would be sort of horrifying for me, given that I'm pushing my budget as is.

    Anyone have any thoughts on or experiences with this?

    Believe me, I will baby this thing, keep it in a well cooled space, mount it right, and clean its air filter religiously. Should I be concerned?

    Typical use for me might be two hours every other night and several hours a day on weekends, we pretty much live on Netflix and public radio for entertainment.

    Should I be relegating most movie watching to my WEGA in the den and only using the projector for special events? That seems kinda lame...

    Thanks in advance for advice! [​IMG]
     
  2. James_G

    James_G Stunt Coordinator

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    Drew,

    I recently ordered and tested out the Z1, as well as the Panny AE200 and Infocus X1, and it was a decent little unit. I've decided to return it, however, because of the horror stories I've heard about dust clumps on the screen, where you need to open the case and use a can of compressed air every few months, lamps dying after only 300 hours of use, mirrors becoming misaligned, poor Sanyo customer service with only voicemail and no live support...all of these problems just piled on and I decided that the risk wasn't worth it. I'm going with the Epson Home 10 instead, which is also a 16:9 LCD. Epson has a two year warranty where they will ship you a new unit overnight, plus the lamps are only $150-200 each, which is a lot cheaper than the standard $350. I don't want to "save" my projector for special events either, I want to use it and not have to think about lamp time and wear and tear. The warranty and lamp prices will alleviate those worries I think.

    I'm sure there are perfectly happy Z1 owners here who will give a rebuttal, but there were simply too many reports of problems for my taste. 1,200 bucks is a lot of money for me to be spending on a TV, and I want to be sure that I will get as much customer service and use as humanly possible.

    At any rate, good luck with your search. [​IMG]
     
  3. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Nick So
    This is the way i see things:

    Though you see alot of stories about bulbs bustin at low-hours, they're a minority in all Z1 owners, since people who have had their bulbs bust in low ours WILL post their expereince, people whose bulbs are working fine wont usually post "my bulb is still working at 1000 hours!". So what you see is biased to people with problems.

    That said, i dont have a Z1, but im sure its a very nice unit with many satisfied owners.

    All projectors ahve their share of problems, its just yuo hear about the problems and never the working-fine ones (im REALLY tired, forgive my bad writing).
     
  4. James_G

    James_G Stunt Coordinator

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    That's absolutely true regarding unsatisfied customers making their voices heard more loudly and often. However, it seems to me that out of all of the people with complaints there are more Z1 owners than any other. I could be skewing it too far to one side for whatever reason, but the seemingly inordinate number of problems reported on this unit rubbed me the wrong way. The people with problems are obviously in the minority, but this particular minority seems larger than the others. Just my moderately-educated observation.
     
  5. Drew Wallner

    Drew Wallner Extra

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    Interesting! The Epson Home 10 looks like it might be quite a good idea. Do you already have yours? Would you mind replying when you do with a short review? Projector Central basically gave it raves for the price and just said the remote sucked, which I don't really care about since I'll mostly be turning it on and off and always watching DVD once I get it set up well.

    One note, I'm curious, I can't find information easily on a ceiling mount for the Epson Home 10. Is this unit not ceiling mountable?

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
     
  6. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    If you're worried about customer service skip the Sanyo and get the Studio Experience 1HD instead. They're clones of each other but the 1HD has much better warrenty and service. As for the bulb life yes it could be an issue but so long as you're not leaving it on all day even at 20 hours a week it'll still last a long time.
     
  8. Jonas Pearson

    Jonas Pearson Stunt Coordinator

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    I think someone over at avsforum said it best (to paraphrase): bulbs are a crapshoot.

    You keep the unit as cool as possible, clean the filters as directed, and hope for the best. I have seen posts from someone with nearly every projector make and model complain about a bulb going prematurely.

    While these forums are a great site to pick up info, they are also notorius for mass hysteria that propagates like kudzu. For the X1 it's rainbows, for the Z1 it's bulb life.

    I treat my HT equipment like my tools: I take great care in selecting them, maintain them properly, and most importantly, use them! If the tool breaks or the bulb goes, I'll deal with it!
     
  9. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Yeah, let's all base our decisions on heresay evidence... [​IMG]

    I've had my Boxlight 1HD for about 6 months. NO dustblobs, no bulb problems, no nothing except great images.

    ALL PROJECTORS have numerous examples of early bulb failures. I've seen no evidence that the Z1 is any more likely than any other bulb projector to fail.

    FWIW, the Sanyp UK site lists the bulb life in low power mode to be 3000 hours...

    I agree that if your concerned about customer service, get the Boxlight version, that's what I did...
     
  10. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Oh, and also, all bulb projectors that don't have a sealed optical path get dust blobs...
     
  11. Drew Wallner

    Drew Wallner Extra

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    Thanks guys, this is all really good information.

    As several have pointed out, of course all consumer electronics experience abnormalities from unit to unit, and of course sometimes folks just don't take very good care of them, who knows. Sometimes it's just "sunspots" hehe.

    Still what I'm really after is a "promise" of sorts, to make me feel better as a consumer. It sounds like the rebranded version of the Z1 with superior support would be a good option, as well as the Epson Home 10. I will have to try and find a way to test drive both of them someplace in VA, hopefully somewhat close to Richmond if possible.

    The comment about Epson honoring a warranty for only a few dead pixels is a powerful one, I always appreciate good customer service. It's like my thing with Western Digital hard drives (I've built dozens of computers for friends over the years), whats more important than them being good is them being replaced quickly and easily when rare things do go wrong.

    I sincerely appreciate all the input guys!

    Feel free to keep it coming!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    I currently own a Z1,going 4 months now, about 120 hours on it, had one dustblob which frankly I caused. I have tried the X1 and rainbows killed it for me.
    There r just too many of us owning Z1s that problems will be coming out more than other brands. The "minority" would be larger in a larger population, right? These was also observed from the then highly acclaimed widescreen Toshibas when people started gobbling them up then complaining of faults up the wazoo.
    But all in all, it all boils down to ur personal preference. we r all here to express our opinions and that is where most of us will base their decisions....and that is where this forum shines, in its diversity of views and comments.
     
  13. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    I have had my z1 for 13 months, so I am an oldtimer with it. It works as perfectly today as it did the first day. 800 hours on the bulb, and I really can't see any sign of degredation. No dustblobs, no dead pixels, and none of the other horror stories you hear about the projector.

    If course, now that I have said that, I will turn it on tonight and it will blow up and turn my neighborhood into a bomb crater.
     
  14. Clifford Manuel

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    We've had our Z1 for almost 3 months now and no problems. How can you find out how many hours you've logged on your projector?
     
  15. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Clifford,

    Just hold the "up" button on the projector (not the remote) for 30 seconds...
     
  16. Sheldon-m

    Sheldon-m Stunt Coordinator

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    I think it is luck of the draw. Cause if you think about it
    there is always faulty parts that make it out to the public. I just wished they had a limited warranty on them so we would not have to worry about this problem.I own a x1 and never see the rainbows. I just had super bowl party(40 or so people) and no one ever pointed them out. I just got my x1 and would like to know where I can find a maintenance sheet on it? I have about 20 hours on it but I would like to know how to keep it clean. thx
     

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