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Television Media The Almighty Buck

Will Low Lamp Lifetime Spell Trouble for DLP TVs? 133

Techno-Canuck asks: "Now that the DLP TVs have been in customers' hands for the last few years, there are problem histories that are begining to unfold. According to Toshiba's DLP TV User Manual: 'The average useful service life for the lamp is approximately 8,000 hours in LOW POWER or 6,000 hours in HI BRIGHT MODE.' However there were problems with certain 2005 Toshiba models that saw the lamp lifetime at only a few hundred hours or less. Toshiba replaced the lamps in these models at no cost and extended the lamp warranty to 2 years. According to an FAQ on the lamps currently last an average of 1500 hours. Whether or not Toshiba has resolved the problem remains to be seen, as only time will give the real indication. There also seems to be lamp issues with some 2004 models as well, but Toshiba does not seem to be stepping forward to resolve the issues in this case. The customer ire is starting to rise, however. Will there be similar problems for the 2006 models once enough time has elapsed?"
Most people probably would use the information provided by Toshiba to make a decision about what the lamp maintenance costs would be for DLP ownership. However if lamps only last for 1500 hours, then that's a 400% increase in costs over what Toshiba is presenting to customers. The cost of a lamp is $200 or more, and for a family household that averages 6 to 8 hours of TV viewing per day, this translates to a new lamp every 187 to 250 days. Strangely enough the Toshiba warranty on a replacement lamp not covered by the original TV warranty is 180 days.

It's possible that the death blow has already been struck. It appears that no longer carries DLP TVs in its product line."
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Will Low Lamp Lifetime Spell Trouble for DLP TVs?

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  • Havin' a funeral (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hypermanng ( 155858 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:30AM (#17764966) Homepage
    Problems like these will kill any technology in the cradle unless it has absolutely no competitors. If the 2006 models turn out to be anywhere near as bad, the game's already over. I mean, the Newton's second version vastly improved on the original and had no credible competitors, yet the horrible handwriting recognition on the first cast a pall over the whole enterprise that never lifted.
    • Re:Havin' a funeral (Score:4, Informative)

      by dch24 ( 904899 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @03:12AM (#17765252) Journal
      I don't know that I agree with you. The Newton failed for other reasons in addition to the handwriting recognition problems.

      As another counterexample, the slashdot article says: "It appears that no longer carries DLP TVs". Is that Toshiba? [] Is that some big-name store that sells home theater equipment? But does that cast a pall over slashdot to the point that editors read the summaries before posting?
    • I have one (Score:5, Informative)

      by passthecrackpipe ( 598773 ) * <passthecrackpipe AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday January 26, 2007 @07:16AM (#17766380)
      A tosh DLP that is. It sees very heavy usage in our household, and the lamp has been going for about 2 years now. It will probably die soon, the bulb that is, but hey, I knew bulbs were going to be consumables when I bought it. Most people that run short bulblives forget to switch on the "quick restart" feature that keeps the bulb on for about 10 minutes after you switch off the telly, and its the frequent on/off cycles that do more damage to the bulb then anything else.
      • by rikkards ( 98006 )
        I have a 46 Samsung DLP that I bought in October of 2005. The bulb is still going strong even though this is our main tv. I would suspect that it has to do with the 5 minute cool-down that the tv goes through every time you shut it off. You have no choice. When I was looking for a tv I chose a DLP and I chose Samsung over Toshiba due to Toshiba being rebranded LGs. I'm not trying to start a flame war, I just don't particularly like LG due to its Goldstar history.
  • I know that the six-to-eight hour figure is supposed to be spread out over the whole household, and not represent an average single user, but that figure is still jarring to me for some reason.

    I'm not familiar with the physics or the schematics involved, but is it possible that that kind of heavy-duty usage is cooking the bulbs?

    • Well, if you have 3 people in the house, and they all sit down and watch 2hrs of prime time together, there is your 6 hrs (ofcourse that is only 2 hrs of bulb life).

      The factor in the peopel that have mini TVs in their kitchens running when ever they are there (0 hrs of bulb life), the people that have their TV running 24/7 (Any one that does that with a DLP deserves to be payign $200-300 every 6 months) etc etc.

      And then there is the regular TV watching (Lil'Timmy watchign Sat mornign cartoons, Pop watching
      • Not to say the statistics are obviously in contrast, but I don't think most people segregate their viewing of the HUGE SEXI DLP (tm) by what they want to watch as much as their location. If I'm able to watch that 1940's black and white footage on the history channel on my big screen, frankly bulb life just doesn't enter the picture.

      • by Altus ( 1034 )

        yea, your right about this, 6-8 hours is not a likely amount of time for my household anyway (of course, no kids and my wife and I work so we arent even home enough to watch 6 hours a night).

        But I'm not sure about your other assessments. Sure there is no reason to watch the news on your HD DLP set. But at least for me, if I buy one of these it will replace the wega CRT that is in the living room. It would be the primary TV for all TV watching whether it needs HD or not simply because of the location. If
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        And then there is the regular TV watching (Lil'Timmy watchign Sat mornign cartoons, Pop watching the 10 o'clock news, Maw with her cooking show etc etc etc), most of wich is not goign to be done on the DLP.
        So exactly how many TV's am I supposed to have in the family room? Isn't the point of getting one of the newer flatscreen TV's supposed to be getting some space back in the room? How is that going to happen if I have to keep an old TV around for "regular" watching?
        • DLPs aren't really "flatscreens" (if you mean flat panel). My 55" Sony SXRD takes up more space than that 27" tube TV it replaced (a little less deep, but much wider). It's not really the kind of TV you can set up in your kitchen or corner of the bedroom, where a lot of those daily hours of TV get spent. Our kitchen TV is LCD; the old tube is in the corner of the bedroom; the SXRD goes in the "TV Room", and is only used to watch DVDs and "scheduled" series (as opposed to drive-by viewing).

          If this was abo
      • by Pxtl ( 151020 )
        Well, I have a 3-year-old InFocus DLP that is still running on it's original bulb simply because I only use it for watching movies and playing Dreamcast games. For TV watching I just have a regular old CRT.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        the only way I can see to burn out a DLP fast is via video games, Sports buffs and movie junkies (I don't need to watch Dan Rather in HD, but the latest action flick is probably worth it)

        I usually get home from work around 4 or 5 PM, and the TV goes on. I have it on the news for a couple hours, while I make dinner, relax on the computer, etc. I'll watch a couple programs later on National Geographic or Discover or the History Channel, and watch a Simpsons or two from the DVR. When I'm not actually sit

      • by PeelBoy ( 34769 )
        Weekends might average it out a little bit. I dunno. I can only speak for my house. Most of us are at work all day until about 7 or 8 so 4 hours is probably about the average usage our TV during the week.

        On the weekend it could be way more though. Especially when there are a lot of sports on that I want to watch. I could watch TV 10+ hours a day on the weekend unless I have other plans.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    for a family household that averages 6 to 8 hours of TV viewing per day

    I think the family needs to get a life. The sooner the lamp goes out on this family's TV, the better.
    • Why? For a family of four that is 1.5 to two hours a day per person. Wow, that is just NUTS! Who in their right mind would watch 2 hours of television a day. I mean, like 30min of local news, 30 min of national news, Mythbusters, and then Good Eats while I'm cooking and I've wasted my life. God, those other 5 hours a day that I'm neither working, sleeping, or comuting are totally negated by those two hours of TV on average. Oh the shame of wasting my life doing those things I enjoy.
      • Surely you've also forgotten to throw in at least an hour of gaming? My TV time is split nearly evenly between watching movies and playing the Wii. I don't actually watch any TV at all.
  • This should create a nice market for upgraded replacement bulbs for these TVs. LED bulbs, anyone?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Samsung has just that (announced last year at CES 2006)! The model HL-S5679W also replaces the color wheel with red, green and blue LEDs (this avoids the "rainbow" effect). This 56" HD TV will set you back anywhere from just over $2k to almost $4k depending upon where you buy it.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Initial models also had heavy banding and dithering across solid color areas. Not to say that it's not possible (as much as I hate to admit it, Sony's LED DLP televisions are quite good), but it's not always a step up right away.
      • The model HL-S5679W also replaces the color wheel with red, green and blue LEDs (this avoids the "rainbow" effect)

        How? You still have to multiplex the three colors across one DLP chip, causing discrete "red" "green" and "blue" time frames. Or are there three DLP chips?

        • by bbrack ( 842686 )
          single DLP chip, it's almost the same as the color wheel - you alternate red, green, blue

          The LED is able to switch a little faster than you could get with the color wheel, which should pretty much eliminate any rainbow effect

          To me, the big selling point on the LED is the much lower power usage (thus lower cooling requirements), and the fact that the LED displays should get close to 20k hour lifetime, compared to 3-4k for the current bulbs
          • To me, the big selling point on the LED is the much lower power usage (thus lower cooling requirements), and the fact that the LED displays should get close to 20k hour lifetime, compared to 3-4k for the current bulbs

            Oh yeah, I definitely agree that LED illumination is a big win (should improve the color gamut, too) - I just didn't think it helped with the rainbow effect, because I thought that the speed limitation was the switching speed of the DLP array, not the spinning color wheel. But if using LED i

    • by arivanov ( 12034 )
      Provided that the bulb is easily replaceable it can be considered a consumable. Same as with projectors. The bulbs there usually have a 3 months warranty and last for a few hundred hours at most.
  • not that bad (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ILuvRamen ( 1026668 )
    Well projectors have needed lots of lamp replacements and people still use them. Plus, DLP looks a lot better lol. Now I don't know of any projector lamps that lasted like 100 hours but I know some that are under 1000 and people are just like whatever. As long as Toshiba keeps replacing them for free and giving good warranties then it's just like another product you may have heard of. I mean come on, how many people do you know that had their iPod break and they're like all like OMG DIE APPLE! NEVER BUY
    • In the past, people who bought projectors for watching TV would generally know about bulb life and replacement cost. However now that these TVs are being bought by your average punter, who is replacing a 10 year old CRT that has never needed anything doing to it, and that still works fine, they will not be happy at having to fork out a couple of hundred quid for a new bulb every year or so.
  • It's moot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:57AM (#17765160)
    The DLPs will be going to LEDs. Samsung already has one for sale.
    • Isn't that a step in the wrong direction?

      LEDs wear out as well, and they're much more complicated than lamps, so they'll probably be even more expensive.
      They almost definitely won't have the same vivid colors as anything else because the LED spectrum for each color has always been considerably narrower than incandescent bulbs can produce.

      So we're looking at something that will probably last longer (but not forever), cost much more, and look much worse.

      No thanks. To be honest, CRT is still the most vivid, l
      • Hey, I still have my CRT. :) The only reason I have started looking into HDTV is purely for gaming. I saw Oblivion in 16:9 last month. To quote Neo: whoa!

        And I think I might argue LEDs are simpler in a way. They're solid state, and last much longer than incandescent bulbs. I've heard estimates of 20,000 hours. That's a main reason they took over for bulbs in front panel deiplays and indicators.

        As for color range, from what I can tell, the Samsung models cover, at a minimum, the standard CRT gamut.

  • It appears that no longer carries DLP TVs in its product line

    Did we forget to fill-in-the-blank here?

    Anyway, wait for an SED [] set if you can.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Waiting for a SED sounds like a dumb idea. Toshiba want to keep them expensive and exclusive. 225/125850/ []

      Strange concept. Perhaps this suggests that they don't think they will be able to get the price down enough to compete.
      • Thanks for the link. Boy, that's unfortunate. I think Nishida is completely wrong about how that will shape out over the next five years or so, and I don't understand why he says that products that have been commoditized for five years go off the market. I can still buy a CRT tube at Sears 70 years after they were commoditized.

        I assume he wants to keep costs up for the early adopters to get ROI. Fine. And that his manufacturing costs are too high. Fine. And I know he has some patents concerns to deal
        • by Raenex ( 947668 )

          But to think he's going to be immune from Moore's Law and market pressures and that he won't want to displace all of the existing LCD/DLP/Plasma market is a bit much to believe.

          Moore's Law applies to computer chips, not TV technology. It's quite possible that SED may never become profitable to mass market, or that it may take another ten years to do so. Who knows.

          What is known is that if you've been waiting for SED to come out, it's been in the "just around the corner" stage for a long time. The Wik []

          • Moore's Law applies to computer chips, not TV technology

            Except SED is built on computer chip technology, at least the electron emitter component.

            • by Raenex ( 947668 )
              Still doesn't mean it follows Moore's Law. If it was just a simple matter of plugging in a computer chip, we'd have SED TV already at a good price. Unless you're an engineer familiar with the technology, it seems to me like you're making baseless assumptions. Neither you nore I have no idea what is driving the price of these TVs, what kinds of barriers the techs are encountering, etc.
              • Hmm, I was apparently confusing FED and SED technologies - SED isn't using semiconductor photolithography - they're using inkjets and silk screens. So, Moore's Law isn't particularly relevant then.

                I also learned that Toshiba's CEO who was trash-talking SED was doing it a couple weeks before it was announced that they were out of the SED business which Canon had to buy back from them to settle patent disputes. heh, hard to keep up with this soap opera.
    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      I think the poster was trying to find a company that recently stopped carrying DLP TVs to strengthen his conclusion (which was obviously made well before writing up this piece) but then couldn't find anyone to fit the bill. So he left it blank to make it sound like there really is some company that recently stopped carrying DLP even though there isn't.
      • Actually, I can think of one example of the top of my head. HP has announced they will stop developing new DLP TVs, and will just sell off its remaining stock.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          HP is stopping production of their DLP sets because they suffered from significant problems that killed HP's reputation in that market, especially when they were just getting into it. DLP as a whole is fine, and pound for pound is one of the best fixed pixel display technologies available. I think the only better one available today is LCOS (Sony SXRD or JVC HD-ILA). But I'm really looking forward to Organic LED (OLED). It's got the contrast ratio of CRT (the ultimate display technology when it comes to
          • I've got one (OLED screen) on my watch []. The battery life even for displaying just the time is only about 8 hours, which is slightly inconvenient.
      • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )
        I think the poster was trying to find a company that recently stopped carrying DLP TVs to strengthen his conclusion (which was obviously made well before writing up this piece) but then couldn't find anyone to fit the bill.

        More like an editor did a fact check against the company he did cite and found they still make DLPs, removed the cite, and didn't proofread the results. Or a glitch caused it to drop out of the story.

        I saw it on the FireHose yesterday and a manufacturer was named. Unfortunately I don't
  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @04:00AM (#17765490)
    What the hell is wrong with you people?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kalpaha ( 667921 )

      I was thinking the same, but if you consider a large family, where kids would probably watch a little TV before going to school, home mom would check something during the day, then kids would watch more TV before going to bed and parents would watch a movie after the kids are sleeping, I guess you can average 6 hours.

      Morning: 0.5h
      Daytime: 1.5h
      Evening: 2h
      Movie: 2h

      Eight hours is sick, though. And of course, the argument about "wife" watching is moot with slashdotters, anyway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DrMrLordX ( 559371 )
        Also keep in mind that some people leave the TV on as background noise that rarely garners full attention from the "viewer". I used to leave the tube on in the background while at my computer when I still had a TV in the same room as my PC. Other individuals have been known to leave the TV on while they sleep (and apparently know nothing of these new-fangled sleep buttons lurking on their remote controls).
        • and apparently know nothing of these new-fangled sleep buttons lurking on their remote controls

          Except it's usually better if you don't change the environment around you while sleeping. A sudden change in noise level (either quieter or louder) will generally wake you up. I see evidence of this every weekend when a friend or three comes over and crashes on a couch...they pass out with the TV on, I get up at 3am to turn it off, and as soon as it turns off they wake up and piss and moan that I turned the t
          • I think it's a pretty safe bet that most people with DLP TVs (or other big TVs) aren't using the TV for sound. The sound is coming from their stereo system. So, the TV going off due to its sleep timer would not stop the sound.
          • What, are you poor or something? My TV was only in the 2-3k range and it when it 'sleeps' it slowly drifts off, fading the volume and the brightness.
            • I'm not poor. But I know from experience in the digital video on demand industry, etc, etc, as well as consumer knowledge, that you don't describe a TV as being "only $3000". Sure, it's easily possible to spend $5000+, but let's not pretend you drop $3000 on a TV without batting an eyelid and acting like it's not the higher end of the market.
        • by really? ( 199452 )
          Used to be one of the "TV as background noise" folk. Just over a year ago I "discovered" the Slingbox. Big, BIG difference in the amount of hours my TV is on, yet, almost no change in the amount of TV I "actively" watch - talk about oxymorons. It's so much easier to hit "alt-tab" and focus on the "TV" for a few seconds/minutes than turn around and lean to see the real TV. Saving on electricity as well ...
    • It's not necessarily tv, it could also be movies or video games or etc...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by uberotto ( 714173 )
      The typical family day...
      Wife gets up, turns on news and weather while she drinks a cup of coffee (15 min)
      I get up, watch news and weather while I eat my breakfest (15 min)
      Son gets up, watches cartoons while he "finishes" waking up (30 min)

      Everyone leaves to go to their respective job or school...

      Son gets home, watches t.v. and lies around on the couch (2 hours)
      Wife gets home, yells at son for watching t.v. instead of doing chores, sends him to his room to do homework, turns on cooking channel to "relax" b
    • What the hell is wrong with you people?
      What people? No cite was given, so we're talking about a hypothetical figure chosen just to get the average life of the bulb down under a year.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by CmdrPorno ( 115048 ) *
      I think my parents' DLP has an HDMI input, so you've got PC, satellite, cable, DVD, whatever video games you can connect, oh, and it has a Memory Stick slot, so you can view photos on it too... It's sitting in their basement unused during a long, drawn-out DIY basement refinish, so based on current usage patterns, its lamp lifetime approaches infinity.
    • by bugnuts ( 94678 )

      What the hell is wrong with you people?
      Maybe you can use it to play World of Warcraft?
  • I repaired Sharpvision LCD projectors at one time and the metal halide bulbs were very sensitive to ventilation issues. If the filters were the least bit clogged the bulbs would die faster. They did have temperature sensing but it was not enough to stop the shortening of bulb life. They did not have an airflow sensor but did have a tachometer in the fan which did nothing to measure airflow.

    They did well with the special power supply for them, it was intended to preserve bulb life and uniformity.

    In very new, squeeky clean homes they seemed to do almost a year but I don't know how often they were used. In stinking cigarette clogged bars they'd die every other month if not sooner. Because in one model Sharp put the fan on the bottom it was an excellent path for the drunks drink to spray all over the espensive electronics.

    Bad desings were money for me. :) But I don't have to go in shportsh bars anymore which is much more important.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by NeuroManson ( 214835 )
      "But I don't have to go in shportsh bars anymore which is much more important."

      Sounds like you still don't mind the occasional visit, IMO.
  • Don't watch TV for eight hours a day! Haven't these people got anything better to do with their time?
    • by tsstahl ( 812393 )
      Please return to edit your post after your third child learns rudimentary environmental manipulation. Just because the TV is on that long does not necessarily mean someone was watching it that long.
  • Do you love TV enough that the $110 TV you get at Target is so completely unbearable to watch? If you love TV more than that, then you'll pay for $200 light bulbs and you'll like it too.

    Damned whiners.
    • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *

      I still have a 68cm Philips Matchline 4:3 CRT from so far back I can't remember when I bought it. Best input is S-Video. I'm yet to see anything that convinces me to upgrade.

      Maybe, just maybe, if I was setting up a new place I might go for a flat panel option that I could hang on the wall. But it would be chosen because it takes up less space, not because of some magical picture quality (that, between DRM/HDMI cock ups and a lack of actual HD digital broadcasts, you might never actually see).
  • by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @06:05AM (#17766046) Homepage
    Because Toshiba as a whole doesn't really care if any of their products are lemons.
    Toshiba screwed thousands of people with poor quality laptops and even worse repairs, then screwed many, many people who bought pocket pcs from them when they decided to not release a promised upgrade - those aren't isolated issues either.
    Don't get me wrong - all companies have runs of bad products - but when toshiba does, it's not only that they don't care, but they refuse to admit a problem even exists.

    Oh and this...
    strangely enough the Toshiba warranty on a replacement lamp not covered by the original TV warranty is 180 days.
    There is nothing strange about it - it is calculated and predicted, which is why the warranty period isn't standard.
    Short of a class action - and even then, because we all know how useless those are - yay 20% off 1 toshiba name brand lamp, people are going to get screwed.
  • LCD Rear-projection TV's also use a high-pressure halogen lamp as a light source, so they will also suffer a similar fate. Interestingly enough, despite the universal abhorrence of "extended warranties" it's actually a good investment on any halogen-powered rear-projection TV. This is because most extended warranties cover one bulb within five years, and the warranty price is very close to a new-bulb price. Just be glad you're not replacing a Sony SXRD-Qualia Bulb (xenon based). In their front projector
  • AVS Forum [] is quite a bit better source on this than /. and while last years Toshiba's clearly had a problem, the forum has been absent of the massive amounts of complaints that were there last year. Several posters have even stated the original problem fixed.
  • 46' Samsung DLP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @10:22AM (#17767940) Journal
    We have a 46' Samsung DLP that we've had for almost two years now. The kids watch Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network about 8 hours a day, then I or my wife (mostly my wife) watches maybe 2 hours a day. So far we haven't had an issue. The TV is great. When we bought it, the guy said get the extended (to 3 years) warranty at $150US. He said that the bulb last about 2 years under heavy use and that it cost about $150 to change and was covered under the warranty. That way if something did happen to the TV within three years it would be fix for the price of replacing the first bulb.

    The best thing about DLP TVs is that they don't get burn-in video games or other images left on the screen for to long like other types of TVs (tube, plasma, LCD or other types of projection TVs) It's the main reason we choose DLP in the first place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pestie ( 141370 )
      46 feet?? Holy crap! Where'd you even find space to mount it?
    • The kids watch Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network about 8 hours a day

      For the love of god, send your kids *outside*! 8 hours a day???
      • by really? ( 199452 )
        Don't know his situation, but, what if you live downtown Regina. Even if you find parks, the temperature in winter is usually in the -10C or thereabouts. Anyhow, _I_ can't imagine allowing my kids to watch that much TV, but, being single I don't have to worry about that for a while.
        • Even if you find parks, the temperature in winter is usually in the -10C or thereabouts.

          You *must* be joking. :) I've lived nearly my whole life in Edmonton, and we used to build snow forts and go tobogganing when it was in the -20s.

    • LCD (projection or flat-panel) does NOT suffer from burn in.
  • Designed failure (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dlhm ( 739554 )
    These bulbs are designed to fail... They could put 2 or 3 lower wattage/heat producing bulbs in these machines. More bulbs with less wattage would last much longer and could be much cheaper. They want the repeat business of selling bulbs, just like HP sells $50 printers that have $35 cartridges. Like printers though, changing bulbs will become an accepted norm, for DLP enthusiest. Hell, I don't mind, If I can afford the TV I should be able to afford the bulbs.. It's like buying a car and complaining that
  • LEDs are going to replace the bulbs and color wheels, greatly increasing light source longetivity and also eliminating rainbow effect. This may take awhile to trickle down from the high end devices. On the other hand, since the mfgrs won't want to lose customers over the bulb issue, they will have incentive to make the change ASAP. p []
  • But I have yet to see DLP that has a really good picture, and I'm talking with HD feeds. A friend of mine has a DLP (that needed a lamp replacement almost out of the box), and the HD quality is greatly inferior to my HD CRT, and we have the same feed. Similarly, I was looking at an HD display in the store the other day, with an High Def movie (not sure if it was Blu-Ray or HD-DVD) playing on the 3 major types (LCD, Plasma and DLP), the DLP looked like an analog signal being stretched to WS on an HD screen
    • Plasma is a pile of shit with design limitations. They STILL have burn-in and probably always will. The solution is to burn in the whole display and reduce your contrast ratio. Anyone who both plays video games and buys plasma deserves what they get.

      LCD, too, will be knocked completely out of the running by OLED when that finally gets cheap. I think OLED has the most promise. It doesn't matter much if the lifetime is short if they can get the cost down far enough, because they can just sell you a new sc

      • by Astin ( 177479 )
        Oh, I don't disagree with you. There's a reason I went with the biggest CRT I could find for my widescreen HD. I avoid plasma at all costs and warn off anybody looking to buy one.

        LCD is the best available at the moment in terms of size AND quality (but not value). I too am waiting for OLED to become practical, or even SED if it can ever get off the ground.

        My point is that in terms of pure image quality, I have yet to see a DLP that stacks up to the other options out there. If "good-enough" is what peopl
  • According to a random page I found while googling and not caring if it's valid or not, DLP recently has been in the lead among business projectors vs. LCD. See a few paragraphs down []

    That means the technology will stick around for a while, and I personally prefer the visual quality and price/performance of DLP vs. LCD and plasma. I don't think this bulb life "setback" will kill it since it doesn't have all its baskets in one egg :), eg. TVs.

    If I had the money to finish my basement and home theater room
  • My 51 inch RCA Scenium DLP is going on 3 years old now, and I'm still using the same bulb. The TV is probably on around 6 hours a day (whether we are actively watching TV/playing video games or it's just on as passive background noise) and in my opinion, it still looks as good as it did the day I bought it. The only negative thing I have to say about my TV is that it only goes up to 1080i since I was an early adopter.
  • by Timtimes ( 730036 ) on Friday January 26, 2007 @01:35PM (#17771286) Homepage
    I have a Benq 6200 FP DLP with about 700 hours on it in two years now (I am not the earliest adopter...that goes to the Infocus X1 crowd). Paid $1150 for it. Best electronics investment I've ever made. Bulb life expectency 2000 hours at a cost of replacement near $400. That works out to twenty cents an hour or FORTY CENTS per average movie. I also use my projector for over the air HD (USDTV OTA tuner - Walmart) and DVD's. Mostly CSI and sports OTA. Bottom line: I was aware of the bulb cost and life expectency when I bought the unit. If you don't understand the technology and it's costs you should avoid. But let's look at the ALTERNATIVE of buying a 'smallish' 60" plasma. They gotta still be getting three grand for those??? I will be cashing out my social security before I buy enough replacement bulbs to get to THAT pricepoint and in the meantime I'm watching tv at a MINIMUM of 80 inches. OTA HD tuner: $200 FP DLP: $1150 (much cheaper now) Having your own home THEATER ----- PRICELESS. Enjoy.
    • by GigsVT ( 208848 )
      That works out to twenty cents an hour or FORTY CENTS per average movie.

      My CRT TV is from 1986. That CRT must have 20,000 hours on it. That works out to... 1-2 cent an hour or so, inflation adjusted. So there.

      Most CRTs easily last 15,000 hours these days.
  • Samsung's latest DLPs [] use high intensity LEDs to illuminate the DLP chip, not a standard bulb. These cannot (as far as I know) be burned out. Next topic?
  • The good news with Toshiba televisions is that they can radio for help [] when there's a problem. The snag is that invoking this service costs US$10,000 per day, so you better hope that it gets fixed damn quick!
  • They seem grossly overpriced as it is-- it's not like they're "giving away the razor," the old Gillette strategy...
  • Of the reasons I still have a CRT television, and recommended this to my Mother who recently needed to purchase a new TV, the one she bought even has Digital tuner support so she won't have to upgrade.

    With the new emergence of these different technologies I knew it would be a while before any of them matured enough to be worth the purchase price (to me anyways) as i expect to be able to use a commodity item (like a TV) for at least 10 years before needed to upgrade or replace...
  • It's the flickering that's going to be the deathblow of DLP.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"