We’ve had a few Sony A7 series cameras sent to us for repair with the “Camera Error turn power off then on” – from our experience, there are a couple causes of this issue. The most likely cause of this issue is a frozen mechanical section in the sensor assembly (aka mecha device). We have developed a method to repair these cameras without replacing the optical block in some cases, which can cost well over a $1000 regardless of the model.
One customer had been told by a certain repair center that repairing their camera would cost the same as a new Sony A7s. We were able to repair this camera for significantly less without parts. If you are experiencing an issue with your Sony A7, A7S, or A7sii, give us a call 323-887-0777.
We get a lot of phone calls about repairing off-brand projectors. It’s hard pill to swallow for most people, but these off-brand projectors aren’t worth repairing. They’re not worth the $800 they sell for, and certainly not the $4000 they list as MSRP.
The biggest issues with off-brand projectors stem from build quality & HDCP compliance. Customers will call, complaining about how the HDMI port doesn’t work, how the fan is rattling, or the image is too dim. Often times, these projectors will outright fail. To make matters worse, spare parts are not available. The only thing we can do is sell them a refurbished projector.
White Van Projectors
They call them White Van scams, because back in the day, scammers would sell these subpar goods from the back of their vans. These days they have the internet at their disposal.
One of the biggest scammers on the web, HDProjectorWorld.com just closed its site. Consumers can breathe a little easier. With that said, one should always purchase vigilantly.
If the deal seems too good to be true, don’t purchase that projector.
Things to consider when purchasing a projector:
- Is it listed on projectorcentral.com ?
- Does it claim to have every feature known to mankind like 3D for the low price of $299?
- Does it claim to have full 1080P HD resolution, but upon closer inspection, outputs a low resolution, 4:3 picture?
- Is the lens assembly made out of plastic?
Some known scams to watch out for:
- com branded Pro Series HD17
- Vivid Technologies
- Digital Galaxy
We will expand this list as we hear more names.
Sony A7R Repair
This Sony A7R took a big fall. We had to replace 10 parts including 3PCBs an LCD and a Viewfinder. Read more on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/SonyAlpha/comments/4ilxg8/sony_alpha_repair_flatlay_ama/
B&H Photo is closed for the Passover holiday through May 1st
This can be an opportunity for us to help you with you A/V purchases, give us a call if you need any projectors, camcorders, live sound equipment, or accessories.
Should I Repair, or Should I Replace My Projector?
Repair or Replace is probably the most common dilemma that our projector end user customers face. First thing’s first – Don’t replace your lamp without reading our guide on replacing projector lamps.
The first question to ask is – What was this projector worth new?
- If the projector cost less than $600 new, don’t even bother with a repair. A factory refurbished projector is your best bet for saving money. Or you can use this as an opportunity to trade up to newer features like higher resolution or HDMI inputs.
- If the projector cost less than $1,000 new, this situation can be a coin toss between a cost-effective repair and an upgrade. If you are due for a lamp change, this can exacerbate the cost of repair.
- If the projector cost more than $1,000 new, chances are that this is going to be a cost effective repair, and you should do it.
The next question to ask – Are there any negative factors to replacing my projector? Is there anything about this projector that makes it more valuable than a new projector with similar features?
- If your projector has a detachable lens, check to see if there is a short throw or long throw lens installed. Often times, the lens can cost just as much as the projector. Replacing what you think is a $1,500 projector can cost double that with the cost of a lens.
- Does it use a special mounting system that was designed for this projector? The cost of hiring a contractor to modify the mount can be a massive pain.
- Does this projector integrate with a special room control system? Changing the projector could cause issues with the control system.
- Is the projector part of a multi-projector system? A new or different projector will cause serious blending issues due to differences in brightness/lamp life.
- What is the build quality of this projector? A Sanyo or Barco purchased five years ago will be much more resilient than an Optoma purchased at the same time.
- Do you use an LCD projector in a special application where you can’t use a DLP based projector? It is becoming more difficult to find LCD based projectors on the market.
- Do you already have a road case for your projector? You would have to get a new case built for a new projector that you purchase.
- Do you work for a government agency that requires new purchases to go through a long bidding process? It may take months before you can purchase a new unit, but you can repair a unit more quickly.
Still here? Then the third question to ask – Are there any positive factors that would make the repair more economical?
- Do you already own replacement lamps? If the original seller of the projector included lamps, then you would have no use for them with a new projector. Some lamps like those on the Christie Roadster series can cost $4000 or more.
- Do you own multiple of the same projector? If so, you can use two bad projectors to make one good one, saving on parts.
If you are still on the fence about repairing your projector, then you would be a good fit for our repair/upgrade program. Send your projector in for a repair estimate.
- If the projector is cost-effective to repair, we apply your repair deposit towards the total cost of repair, basically a free estimate.
- If you decide that you’d rather upgrade to a new or refurbished projector, we can help you find the right choice and apply your repair deposit towards the total purchase price.
If you decided early on that you’d rather just toss your current projector and upgrade, give us a call and we’ll help you select a projector that will fit your needs & budget.
- We sell all major brands of projectors including Panasonic, Barco, NEC, Christie, and More. See a list of the brands we sell here.
- We also have access to refurbished projectors that others just don’t. We have refurbished 1080p Epson projectors for under $1000.
A Case Study For Replacement – Freedom Christian Center in Santa Fe Springs, California
Freedom Christian Center contacted us when their ACTO LX8100 failed. To deal with dimming brightness, the team at Freedom Christian Center attempted to replace the lamp on their own, using a lamp that caused total failure to the projector. With a failed Ballast PCB, the ACTO projector was dead.
With a tight deadline, and a unique set up with a long distance projector throw, we knew that finding replacement parts for the Chinese made ACTO would be a tough one. We worked with the team at Freedom Christian Center to pick a new projector with a long throw lens, eventually settling on the Panasonic PT-EW730ZU with ET-ELT20 Long Throw Lens.
“Much brighter than before. We loved it.”
Why we recommended replacement of their projector:
- We believed their experience was under-delivered by the ACTO projector and could benefit from an upgrade
- Their new projector is capable of widescreen as well as traditional 4:3 projection
- The new projector is brighter
- Parts were difficult to source for the ACTO projector, the cost of rentals and repairs would be more than the cost of repair
A Case Study For Repair – Banning Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Banning, California
Banning Seventh-Day Adventist Church contacted us when their Sanyo PLC-XF47 refused to power on after a lamp change. What started out as a simple Ballast repair eventually evolved into a complex and intricate repair requiring multiple teardowns & rebuilds. We were able to offer a loaner unit to mitigate the total cost of repair, which was in the thousands of dollars, requiring a new main PCB, 4 new lamps, and other parts. In this case, failure to perform professional maintenance led to a catastrophic failure that cost 5 times as much in the end as a repair.
But in the end, the repair was worth it – the PLC-XF47 is a 15,000 lumen monster with a long throw lens. To replace this unit today, will cost more than $10,000 new and at least $8,000 used (We NEVER recommend purchasing a used projector online).
Why we recommended repair of their projector:
- We believed that the cost of recreating their current experience with a new projector would cost 2 to 3 times more than repair
- The build quality of the Sanyo XF47 is unmatched, and the 1.8” 3LCD optical engine create a rich image
- We had a loaner projector that could help offset the cost of the repair
A Case Study For Home Theater Users
A home theater projector was sent to us with power issues. They had recently replaced the lamp, because they believed the lamp was the cause of their problems. As this didn’t resolve the issue, they contacted us. When we received the unit, we prepared an estimate that would cost 50% of the original cost. As they had already sunk a $100 on a bad lamp, they were married to the idea of fixing the projector.
We were able to find a factory refurbished projector that had better color reproduction, was a higher resolution, and had HDMI compatibility, for only a slightly higher price than repair.
There is no one size fits all for projector repair, and that’s why we created our risk free repair/upgrade program. We repair hundreds of projectors a month including Sanyo, Panasonic, Barco, NEC, Christie, Eiki , give us a call with your questions, and as always, don’t replace your lamp without certainty.
And if you do decide to purchase a new projector, we sell the whole line of Panasonic, Barco, Christie, Sony, NEC, & more.
Big news out of Hollywood today as Panasonic announces their newest addition to the VariCam line. The VariCam LT adds top of the line performance for the super competitive price of $18,000 (body only). With the option of a PL mount or an EF mount, the camera should appeal to the latest generation of adventure videographers. Incredible dynamic range with V-Log, lightweight at 6 pounds, and a P2 Expres card on board, the camera is sure to be a gamechanger.
Analog Audio & Reel to Reel
The 2010’s have been a decade of analog audio revival. Following in footsteps of the Vinyl revolution that has presses putting out millions of new records a year, Reel to Reel machines have seen a wicked resurgence among audiphiles, hipsters, & boomers alike. As the Factory Service group for TEAC & TASCAM, we have been absolutely shocked by the volume of units coming to us for repair. Models like the X1000 and 38 are among the many coming to us from the corners of the US including New York, Los Angeles, & even Alaska. These units require precision calibration& biasing, but when correctly calibrated, some say the warm analog sound is unparalleled by digital and other analogue mediums.
New Reel to Reel Machines
At this time, there are no new manufacturers of reel to reel machines, but a group from the UK hopes to change that. Horch House, a last man standing in the analog space, hopes to change that with the introduction of Project R2R. Horch House intends to manufacture new Reel to Reel machines, and we salute them for their dedication to an almost lost form of media.
A Favorite Among Audiophiles
For those surprised by the resurgence of Analog, look no further than an old reel to reel. As the publication The Absolute Sound reported:
In 2013, The Absolute Sound shocked readers by concluding that a reel-to-reel deck absolutely crushed the highest-rated turntable-based system ever reviewed by the magazine. “I have never heard rock and roll reproduced more powerfully and realistically in my home or at a show in my entire life,” concluded reviewer Jonathan Valin. The deck in question was billed as ‘new’, but was in fact a highly modified TASCAM Pro deck.
Try it for yourself some time.
Barco DCS 100 & DCS 200 Repair
In the last month, we have repaired a series of Barco DCS switchers. Recognizing a common point of failure, we will be offering a flat-rate repair for DCS units suffering from no output or no power. Please contact us for more details.