LCD projector life

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Ruben M, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Ruben M

    Ruben M Extra

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    I read that LCD projectors have a limited life of a few thousand hours. I'm not talking about the lamp life, but about actual life of the whole machine. Also read that DLPs don't have this problem. Is this true?
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    There have been reports that a particular filter in LCD units degrades after about 2000 hours ... at which time colour degradation is significant. (I tend to believe it because it explains what was happening to a unit I had.)

    This filter can usually be replaced and the unit restored to original health for likely another 2000 hours ...

    The filter/polarizer costs about $100 to $150 in most units.

    Regards
     
  3. Ruben M

    Ruben M Extra

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    So I guess this is an issue to consider when deciding on LCD or DLP? I wonder if most of the people that are thinking on buying a projector know about this... $100-$150 every 2000 hours of use!...that's almost as much as a new lamp.. I also wonder if this is something easy to fix or you need the help of a profesional...wich, I guess, would increase the cost...
     
  4. John-Tompkins

    John-Tompkins Second Unit

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    what the heck ? ..I just bought a lcd projector (panasonic ae500)
    and already have 180 hours on it (regular tv viewing etc.)...Now I know Ill have to replace the bulb but havent heard or read a thing about the projector itself degrading or having a life time limit

    Is this true ? ..if so this would have been a BIG consideration..

    What filter is this ? Can you purchase and install it easily ?

    I dont mind having to replace bulbs but if I gotta worry about the freaking projector itself..thats sucks
     
  5. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Nature of the beast. The colours start to shift at about this time. Essentially, the blue in the image goes ... and the image becomes progressively green in time. Something about a certain blue filter in the unit being affected by the UV radiation from the bulb.

    Word has it that on the Panny ... a $100 part and 15 minutes is all it takes to replace it. Very doable by the end user. I had a Panny AE100 and I was just glad it was fixable. (2000 hours is two years worth of viewing ... will $50 a year break you?) It may also be a non-issue as many may have sold off their projectors and upgraded long before that time.

    God, I have to buy tires for my car too?!!

    Regards
     
  6. Bob Maged

    Bob Maged Stunt Coordinator

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    LCD projectors have three LCD panels -- blue, green, and red. The actual LCD panels are "black&white", and each of the panels has a colored polarizer plate (also referred to as a filter). Some -- definitely not all -- LCD PJ owners have experienced heat-induced damage to the polarizer plates. The blue one is supposedly more prone to this damage than the green or red. On screen the damage is seen as a yellowish discoloration, usually in the corners of the image. Proper maintenance (cleaning or replacing air filters as the manufacturer recommends, providing enough room around the PJ for air circulation to avoid overheating, and running the PJ with the fan in "high" mode) are all sensible precautions to avoid damage. And, as Michael TLV notes, if damage does occur you are looking at a $100-$150 repair.

    Every so often the infamous "independent" LCD vs. DLP test funded by Texas Instruments, exclusive manufacturer of DLP chips, rears its ugly head (do a search over at the avsforum). Whackos and alarmists cite it to claim that LCD PJs will all fail within a few thousand hours of use. In the test they ran the PJs for thousands of hours non-stop until they started to fail -- not exactly real-world usage.

    Deciding against buying an LCD PJ because of the possibility of polarizer plate damage is like deciding against buying a car because the engine will break down if you run it without coolant in the radiator or oil in the crankcase.

    Edit -- While I was typing Michael TLV posted again so some of this may seem redundant.
     
  7. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Not redundant at all ... very illuminating.

    Thanks

    Regards
     
  8. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Actally, just to shake the hornets' nest some, yes, LCD projectors can and do die when you abuse them.

    An un-named projector manufacturer called it abuse when they found out that we ran our projectors 9 hours/day without any breaks, and we politely looked at them in disbelief when they said that their 3K lumen projectors were designed for two hours on, minimum four hours off duty-cycle.

    We really began to see degredation at about 2500-3000 hours on these units. It manifested in two different manners:

    1. blue degredation; picture yellow-shifted. Some areas were worse than others.

    2. delamination. Something in the optical block began to delaminate, showing as soft, pure, dichroic blue clouding. Very curious. If I think of it, I'll shoot a few pictures with my digi-cam this weekend and post them somewhere; we've got both symptoms showing on the same unit right now.

    And yes, we're looking to replace these with DLP projectors... pro'ly the Christie DS-30.

    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  9. Bob Maged

    Bob Maged Stunt Coordinator

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    Leo:

    Your experience proves my point. Your company's high lumen PJ (probably a 220 Watt bulb), running for 9 hours at a stretch, began to show polarizer plate damage after 2500-3000 hours. In a typical home theater setting you would run the PJ for no more than 3 or 4 hours at a time, and probably not every day. I have accumulated 1100 hours on my Panasonic PT-L200U since I bought it 8 months ago. I typically run it for 3 or 4 hours on weeknights, and occasionally longer on the weekend. The longest I ever let it run was around 12 hours, and that is a rarity. My modest 700 lumen PJ uses a 150 W bulb which doubtlessly throws off a lot less heat than your company's 3000 lumen light canon. If you do not abuse your PJ it will probably last a long time.

    By the way, I see over at projectorcentral.com that Christie has a nice 88 lb 3000 lumen DLP unit with an msrp of $32,000. It uses a 700 watt bulb that has a lifespan of 1000 hours. Ouch!
     
  10. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Bob,

    For my home use, I've got the PT-LC75, running in low-mode. I think it only has about 700 hours - maybe close to 800 (it's been a while since I checked,) and is rarely run more more than two or three hours at a time.

    For our more recent installations at work, we've been using the Christie X5 (5k lumen, 1024x768) and the Christie S6 (6k lumen, 1280x1024.) Both are 3-chip DLP, both use the same 1200W lamp with th 1000 hour life.

    The next major show is going to use two or three Christie Roadie X10 projectors (which are actually S-XGA chips,) - 10k lumen, 1900 watt lamp for 1000 hours life...

    Talk about 'ouch!'

    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  11. Bob Maged

    Bob Maged Stunt Coordinator

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    The Christie Roadie X10 -- for $85,000 you get a great PJ that doubles as a hot-air popcorn maker!
     
  12. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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  13. Ruben M

    Ruben M Extra

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    I think is just another thing to consider when deciding on DLP or LCD, just like any other feature... connections, black level, rainbow effect, lamp life, etc...
     
  14. Keith M.

    Keith M. Second Unit

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    Im not really convinced either way. I have had my sony lcd for years running in Cinema Mode or conservative light output and have not seen any issues. We tend to watch 2-3 movies at a time. My gain/bias settings are all calibrated correctly (munsil faq) as is the usual settings per Avia. The projector shows no signs of picture degradation. An important step in using any projector is proper shutdown & air flow. The Sony runs its very adequate cooling fan for a short period of time after the projector is shutdown. And the room has proper ventilation. Maybe this helps...

    A side note, the projector manufacturers all use various means of determining their particular bulb life. Some are more conservative than others. The bulbs themselves are all not created equally either. One bulb may be consistent during its full lifecycle, while another may slowly degrade.
     
  15. John-Tompkins

    John-Tompkins Second Unit

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    I would have still bought a projector even if I had know about this prior to my decision.

    But to say...its like buying tires for a car isnt the same thing imo. Having owned direct views and rear projection tvs all my life up untill now..Its always been buy a tv hook it up and let er rip.. (no new tires required)..and the thing would last 10~15 years or longer if you wanted it to.

    Having researched projectors for awhile on the net I realized that you had to replace bulbs (replacement tires if you will)..but the bulb ISNT part of the actual projector itself. Its not the same as having to replace actual internal projector parts...

    I have been using my projector not only as a movie machine but as my full time tv..Heck it logs about 4 hours a day during the week and on the weekened it may log 8~10 a day..at that rate Ill wear out the bulb and the freakin internal filters in less then a year.

    The fact that the filter will degrade combined with the bulb life pushes me over the edge as far as how I will use my projector...Im going to purchase a small direct view tv to use for my normal non-movie/non-sport viewing (which to be honest kinda sucks.. but its not a deal breaker for me)
     
  16. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    So I need to get an air filter too?
    So I need to flush my transmission fluid too?
    So I need to change my brake pads too?
    So I need to change my light bulbs too?

    [​IMG]

    It's all internal. Some things just take a bit longer to perform than others. No big deal ... factor in $50 a year for this. It's a gradual change, which may be attributed to the general decline in quality of the unit ... as you use it over time. New cars don't stay new forever ...

    I know that finding this out does not deter my decision to buy LCD. Now if you said it wasn't fixable and the unit was toast ... then that's another story.

    Don't change your viewing habits over $50 a year. Just buy two less DVD's if the money is the concern.

    Regards
     
  17. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I am VERY new to this so excuse my ignorance.
    I will be purchasing a front projector in a year. I was trying to figure out which type of inexpensive projector to get, lcd or dlp. When seriously thinking about it.....why would anyone who does not see rainbows with a dlp ever consider an LCD? You get the prospect of burnt pixels, lower contrast numbers, from what I see less lumens and a very obvious screen door not to mention what is being spoken about in this thread. With Dlp's, if you do not see rainbows than everything seems to be "better". Plus you can get an inexpensive projector for a bit cheaper if you go DLP. I do not see rainbows without REALLY trying. Should I even bother looking at LCD now? Sorry again for my ignorance but I honestly do not see why anyone without a rainbow issue would EVER consider an LCD. Is there anything elso about LCD's that I am missing?
     
  18. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    YOu may not see rainbows, but what about anyone else around you that might also view the unit? Aside from rainbows, the LCD unit was the least expensive entry level step and the prospect of a 5000 hour bulb life was also enticing. No rationed viewing ...

    Regards
     
  19. DuWayne

    DuWayne Stunt Coordinator

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    Evan,

    I'm not sure were you got your info, but your statements aren't 100% true.



    This too, will vary from projector to projector. I would like to see feature for feature a new $1995.00 DLP projector go head-to-head with the Z2 personally.
     
  20. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Hope I didn't ruffle any feathers guys. 2000$ is out of my price range so the z2 is not even an option. But I will say I have not seen an LCD that comes close to matching the Benq6100 or infocusx1 for features. All of my info comes from projector central and from sticking around here. I am a total audio guy so this video thing is very new to me. I think ti realy is just a preference. In the very cheap price range I am looking at the screendor drives me nuts with LCD and I do not see rainbows unless I am looking for them so I think DLP is the way to go for me. I was just looking for any reasons why LCD would have an advantage over DLP other that rainbows. I know that S.D.E. is with all projectors but From what I have scene it is A LOT more evident with LCD (in my price range:b ). And yes, rainbows may be seen by others who view the projector but no offence to them....the projector is for my wife and I....not other people viewing them, and we don't really let the rainbows bother us. Again, I am not trying to be a pain, I know how ignorance can annoy people around here...hell, I do most of my posting on the most subjective threads....audio, so if I seem out of line please let me know, it is certainly not my intention. I just want to hear some actual user info about advantages of LCD over DLP. Most of what is on projector central is just reviews and stats......nothing subjective from actual owners. Thanks guys for the help and knowledge.
     

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