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Should I Replace my Projector Lamp? (The Answer is Usually NO.)

By Projectors

Should I Replace my Lamp?

People often call us looking for advice on their projectors.  The most common complaint we hear is, “I just changed the lamp on my projector, but it still won’t turn on!”  Projector owners are well aware that projector lamps are consumable and that they need to be periodically replaced.  What is poorly communicated is the fact that the lamp is usually the least important aspect of projector maintenance and ownership. Clogged cooling channels, burnt polarizing plates, broken fans, and overheated components are the most likely culprits of your anguish, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Projector Lamp Repair

When do I need to replace my projector lamp?

Economics of Modern Projectors

When purchasing projectors for home or small office use, most consumers will purchase the projector which is most accessible in their local Costco and Best Buy, and opt for either the brands that are the least expensive or the brands most recognizable from their high school classrooms.  While neither of these brands are bad in any way, it is important to note that less expensive projectors are NOT built to last.  Certain unnamed projectors have come to our work benches with melted lens assemblies and melted components, that is to say, that the construction of these units were so cheap, that they melted during normal use and warped the lens assembly.  The units were of course out of warranty, and left the owners in a position where repairing the unit cost more than the scrap value of the projector.  And that is to say, these units were expensive to repair not because of our labor rates or margins, but rather the unavailability of parts.  Just like with cheap TV’s, laptops, and consumer electronics, cheap projectors are designed to last until the warranty expires, then fail.  When the manufacturer receives units for repair, they will actually scrap the broken unit and send a new one… that’s how cheap they are.

Are OEM Lamps really Original?

When purchasing lamps, it is important to read the fine print.  More often than not, an OEM lamp simply means that the lamp is manufactured by one of the 6 or so major manufacturers, and is not actually an original lamp.  It is important that you evaluate your needs; if projector uptime is critical, under no circumstances should you use a cheap OEM bulb from an unknown source.  Most critically, these cheap lamps are known to cause power fluctuations, leading to damaged PCB components and blown ballasts.  Last month, a Southern California church saved $300 by installing an ‘OEM’ bulb in their Sanyo PLC-XF46.  The OEM bulb subsequently caused over $1500 worth of damage to the projector, as we needed to replace the ballast (as well as the lamp). Many manufacturers share common components, which means purchasing lamps for your Sanyo projector from Eiki is a totally acceptable practice, as Sanyo is no longer in the projector business.

When Should I replace my Lamp?

Most people who purchase a projector neglect to fully understand the longevity of a projector lamp.  For example, the popular Panasonic PT-AE2000U’s lamp is rated to 2,000 hours on Eco mode.  That means for a business or classroom environment, where the projector is used 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, you could go 222 weeks or about 4.25 years before you would meet the manufacturer’s expected lifespan for the lamp (and we’ll give you a hint, it usually lasts longer than that).  As you can imagine, if you are a church that runs your projector once a week, your lamp might last you 5-10 years.  Some tips: run your projector at a reasonable brightness level, in a clean and dust free environment to maximize the lifespan of the lamp and follow the guidelines posted on Projector Central.  If your lamp has exploded, it should be pretty obvious, and this is the only time that a lamp replacement is the first point of repair.  However, it should be noted that a burst lamp could be caused by other issues.

Why is my Projector Malfunctioning?

There are many causes for a malfunctioning projector, and they depend on the symptom.  Very rarely is the correct answer, “My projector is malfunctioning because of the lamp.”  Is your projector discolored?  This is probably caused by dirty and burnt polarizing plates.  Does your projector power off on its own?  Then it is probably overheating and the fans are blocked and the cooling channels clogged with dust.  No power at all?  Then it’s probably the power supply or ballast module. There are many causes and many symptoms, and none of these are user-serviceable.  You can see a thorough list of issues and causes on our page projector repair, or you can send your projector to us for an estimate.

Need a new lamp? No you need to clean your projector!

The Projector Lamp Light could mean your projector is clogged, not that it needs a new lamp


Is my projector worth servicing?

As we discussed earlier, there are many low-cost, high-resolution options available to you to replace your malfunctioning projector.  But chances are your projector is a high-lumens, long throw projector, or business class projector that cannot be as easily replaced.  If that is the case, help reduce E-waste and repair your projector.  Read our most recent blog post on Pro A/V E-Waste here.

How can I maximize the lifespan of my projector?

Your projector is like a powerful, light-emitting vacuum.  The hot components require a lot of cool air to keep the components in functional shape, and you can help maximize the lifespan of your projector by running it in intervals, keeping it in a cool and dust free environment, and bringing it in for a semi-annual cleaning, calibration, and service.

What qualifies Digitron Electronics to make these statements?

We have been in the projector repair business for nearly 20 years, and we are an authorized serviced partner for Panasonic, Sanyo, and Eiki, as well as for Sony and NEC.  We’ve repaired thousands of projectors in the last year alone including Dell, Epson, Optoma, InFocus, Viewsonic, Christie, Mitsubishi, Barco, Runco, and Digital Projection.

Who Repairs Sanyo Projectors Now That Sanyo was acquired?

By Projectors

Who Repairs Sanyo Projectors Since Sanyo was acquired?

Sanyo PLC Projector Repair


Is Sanyo Out of Business?

For years, Sanyo have been a dominant player in the high-lumens projector category. In 2010, Panasonic finalized its purchase of Sanyo, leaving many Sanyo Projector owners confused regarding warranty, service, and support issues.

We are an Authorized Sanyo Projector Repair Center

As a result of the acquisition, Sanyo Projector service requests are now handled by Panasonic Authorized Service centers. We are authorized to service all Sanyo PLC, Sanyo PDG, and Sanyo PDV Models including the PLC-HF10000L and PLC-XF46 under warranty for preventative maintenance, bulb replacement, color management issues, and more.  Sanyo units last shipped with 3 year warranties, and we service those units that are no longer under warranty.

Why you absolutely should service, maintain, and repair your Sanyo Projector

With low end projector models, it’s easy to say let’s buy a new one, instead of repairing an old one.  But in today’s world, it’s simple, high-lumen high-brightness projectors still cost the big bucks.  The 15,000 lumen PLC-HF15000L cost $22,000 new, the older PLC-XF45 cost nearly $15,000.  While older models might not be HD or might not have the latest HDMI inputs, they still offer the best in class image brightness, which is usually what matters for classrooms, churches, and businesses.

Why choose Digitron Electronics to service your Sanyo Projector?

No one services more Sanyo projectors than we do, plain and simple.  We use authentic Sanyo parts, we offer quick turn-arounds, and our experience with these projectors means more accurate repairs on popular large body Sanyo projectors like the PLC-XF40, PLC-XF45, PLC-XF46, PLC XF-47, PLC XF-70, PLC-HF-10000, and the PLC-HF-15000.

More organizations choose us to refurbish their projector inventories than anyone else.  In 2013, we refurbished 127 Sanyo projectors for the University of Southern California (USC) and in 2014, we did a project for the City of Los Angeles, handling over 30 high-lumen Sanyo projectors.

About Digitron Electronics

Digitron Electronics is a consolidated A/V Repair Services firm. We help consolidate A/V Repairs for Event Production Companies, Corporate Entities, Schools, and Broadcasters.

As an authorized service center for 62 different manufacturers including Panasonic, JBL, and Mackie, our team of engineers is trained to work on Projectors, High-End Video Camcorders, Lighting, and Mixing Boards, among other miscellaneous A/V equipment. We help production companies save time and money by consolidating all repairs in one convenient location with a net 30 account and free pick up/delivery for large orders.

Where Should I Repair My Projector?

By Projectors, Video Repairs

There have been many changes to the display industry – one of these changes is the growing availability of theater quality, high-lumen projectors on the market.

Some of our favorite brands include Panasonic, Eiki, Sanyo, and Christie, but the competitive market is making it easier for the consumer to choose a winner. There are many benefits to Projector ownership over standard LCD and LED TVs, especially for event production companies and houses of worship, including churches. High brightness projectors over 4000 lumens mean superior viewing quality, even in bright settings.

In order to get the most out of your projector purchase, it is important to have it cleaned once a year, along with preventative maintenance. Mis-Calibration in the polarizing plates can cause discoloration, or a clogged vent can lead to power supply failure. By having your equipment serviced once a year, you can help bring down the cost of projector ownership.

Audio visual equipment today offers you some amazing features, but with this you can pay high prices for it, and extra care must be taken to protect the integrity of this equipment. In filmmaking, television studios, and music recording studios, high technology electronics are used, and only expert services can be used to repair breakdowns when they occur. Should you have been seeking projector repair service, camcorder repair, sound synthesizer repair, or any related equipment of this nature, Digitron Electronics can provide you what you need. Projector repairs for equipment that operates using computers, film editing equipment, and for playback purposes in all the different brand names like Sony, Akai, Eiki and Panasonic, for examples, can be sent to us for expert repair and servicing.Repairing expensive electronic equipment is a cost-effective solution, but using a reputable service is the best choice.

Digitron Electronics has been doing projector repair and other electronics repairs for all West Coast clients for over two decades, so you can use our services with confidence. Our skilled technicians also stay abreast of ever-changing trends in new digital technology equipment on the market. When we handle your projector repair, only original replacement parts are used, and with our 90-day warranty on parts and labor, you have peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, we will gladly attend to the problem promptly. Use a service that is committed to delivering the lowest rates for our impeccable services in projector repair and refurbishment of all electronic equipment.When you want to use a projector repair service, you can see exactly what the cost will be from the list of standard rates on this website, which has been designed for client convenience. A minor charge is asked for diagnostics, and if there is an extensive part that must be replaced from badly damaged electronics equipment, we will clear it with you first. There is smart technology in projectors that can meet all sorts of functions that work with camcorders and computers, or sound video interactive equipment.

Only skilled electronic technicians can facilitate projector repair, and you get our own personal guarantee of quality-checked machines when they are returned to you. If you want to get some excellent deals in refurbished equipment as well, you can also contact us to get a list by email.Digitron Electronics’ projector repair gives you reliable services to any makes you have, and if you want a rush job done to put your repair ahead of the queue, then a small cost is levied. It is easy to get an idea of what to budget by using the guidelines in rates featured on our website. Use the contact details on this website to talk to our consultants for specific repair jobs, and click on the links to see some examples of hi-fidelity equipment we can repair and refurbish. You can save a fortune on buying new equipment by getting it repaired, and now that you have found us there is no reason to look any further.