RPTV longevity: Please share your experiences.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jack Briggs, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Even though conventional wisdom suggests that a rear-projection television, if properly calibrated and maintained, should last a decade or longer, evidence suggests otherwise.

    A year ago, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater editor-in-chief Thomas J. Norton touched off a minor controversy by stating, in an answer to a reader's letter, that four years seems like a "reasonable" service life from an RPTV (the reader's set had just fatally quit on him after only that amount of time).

    Here, at HTF, some members report that their old analog sets are still running after ten or more years. Others are posting about critical failures after only a year or two of service.

    We all know a CRT-based RPTV is more maintenance-intensive than a direct-view monitor, but what are some of the real-world stories any of you might care to share?

    Specifically, what are your maintenence and reliability experiences with recent-vintage, HD-capable RPTVs? Still running strong with only a few convergences? Or one frustrating problem after another to the point of you wanting to dump home theater and take up fly-fishing instead?

    Nothing scientific here. Just interested in your experiences. Thank you.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Toshiba TW65H80, acquired March 1999 and used every day since then (except for brief period when I've been out of town) for at least 5 hours. ISF-calibrated three times. Still going strong.

    And despite the fact that I watch a lot of 4:3 material in its OAR, no burn-in.

    I have a second RPTV, a Pioner Elite Pro-76 that's 11 years old. It saw 6.5 years of heavy-duty usage before the Toshiba arrived, and sporadic usage since then. (I mainly use it to watch TV show season box sets.) Also still going strong, although it would probably benefit from a session with a good calibrator.

    M.
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Well, the analog story goes to my parents 45" Mits from 1988 and it was a floor model too for 4 months prior to purchase. 14 years and still going, but nearing the end of its life. ($1000 US of repairs in this period of time too ... just small things like capacitors/resistors/convergence chips ... never the crt.)

    UNIT is/was well calibrated for most of its life.

    Had a 46" RCA analog unit that died after two years ... but a $300 repair later and it was up again. Then I donated the set to a church.

    Now onto HD ... as I had a first generation Toshiba 61" 4:3 HD unit from model year 1998. Well calibrated since I first got it and now well into its second ownership. I sold it to a friend 13 months ago 200 miles away. He came in a pick up and hauled it back. I re-certified the TV when I visited him at his home. The TV continues to be finely tuned and ISF'd. No issues to speak of.

    I've also seen plenty of 1999/2000 models of late that seem to be functioning fine. Not that people hire me to calibrate broken units ...

    If a set was not properly set up and just running at factory presets, I can easily envision it not going much beyond 4 to 5 years.

    Regards
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    I have a Toshiba TW56X81, purchased 12/4/99, picture still looks great. I haven't had any problems with it, no repairs. I'm guessing it has somewhere in the neighborhood of 1600-1800 hours on it. I haven't had it professionally calibrated, just used Avia.
     
  5. John_Pang

    John_Pang Extra

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    I just replaced a Sony 40" RPTV that I bought in 95'. It was ISF'ed very early in life and kept dim for HT use. Hours are very high though, I am sure at least 7 hours a day. Never had any problems and it still looks quite good and holds convergence. Just replaced it with a KV34XBR800 and moved it to the living room.

    I used to open it up an use canned air to blow out the dust once a year but haven't done so in the past few.
     
  6. Rajeev_s

    Rajeev_s Stunt Coordinator

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    My parents 1991 43" Mitsu RPTV is still running strong. No problems or repairs at all. Only needed convergence. It has survived 4 moves and still looks good.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    My POS RPTV from 1996 is running, but its PQ is bloomy-looking, so nothing critical is watched on it (I usually watch something on it at night, turn on the 60 minute timer and dooze off to sleep with it on). My 8 month old HDTV RPTV is still doing fine.
     
  8. KennyF

    KennyF Auditioning

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    I have a 10 year old 50 inch Pioneer. Never serviced, moved three times, and when I started monitoring this board a few months ago, I checked the contrast levels and they were set WAAAYYYY up. My kids play Xbox on it all the time and it's our only TV. It still looks good and has no burn in. There is a slight blue shadow on the left side I can't get rid of with convergence setting. It's not worth paying to have it serviced or calibrated, but it's had a good life.
     
  9. Vishwa Somayaji

    Vishwa Somayaji Stunt Coordinator

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    My 1995(November) model Sony 41" RPTV stopped working just after the 3 year warranty. It required a $450 repair. It has been working until last month. Now the blue gun seems to be out of convergence(or something like that). I have not decided whether to fix it or not. I bought the KP61HS30(I know, 4:3 aspect) with an extended warranty. Will find out in due time
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Thanks, people! Please kindly continue posting your experiences.
     
  11. Kevin Golding

    Kevin Golding Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 9 year old 52" RCA that's been repaired twice for a total of about $300. Convergence is getting difficult to maintain, and is performed via two dozen trimpots. The set is not as bright as it used to be, but is fine for the bedroom.

    I also have a 2 month old 65H83 still going strong :wink:
     
  12. Christopher a

    Christopher a Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Brightness drops off considerably in the first 12 to 18 months of the TV's life. 40 to 50% it is said.

    Having the calibration done again after this period will allow the calibration to hold at the new adjusted contrast level for much longer ...

    Regards
     

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