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Will Low Lamp Lifetime Spell Trouble for DLP TVs?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the high-maintenance-television dept.

Television 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 About.com 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."

cancel ×

133 comments

Havin' a funeral (3, Insightful)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17764966)

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 (3, Informative)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765252)

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? http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/televisions/dlp.asp [toshiba.com] 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 (4, Informative)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17764992)

The article asks a question and then answers it. What am I supposed to say in this comment? Oh, maybe I just did.

Why yes, this post *is* somewhat off-topic... (-1, Offtopic)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765004)

My only sentiments on DLP TVs is someone please teach the little girl standing next to the elephant in the Texas Instruments ad the proper pronunciation of the word "mirrors".

Unless, of course, there actually is some magical new technology known as "meers".

Re:Why yes, this post *is* somewhat off-topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17765084)

Realizing that your post is off-topic doesn't make it less off-topic. What bothers me, however, is its content.

Someone please mod the parent '-1 Language Nazi.'

Re:Why yes, this post *is* somewhat off-topic... (0, Offtopic)

Blinkin1200 (917437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765458)

We just purchased a Sony LCD. LCD and plasma were the only technologies we considered. We refused to consider DLP's because of the annoying commercials and the stinkin 'meers'. I know the backlight(s) will eventually fail and have to be replaced, but hopefully it will be well after the 1500 hours mentioned above.

I should send that kid and the advertising company a thank you note for saving me a bit of money for the frequent repairs.

BTW - Orville Deadenbacher looks even worse in hi-def...

Re:Why yes, this post *is* somewhat off-topic... (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766654)

BTW - Orville Deadenbacher looks even worse in hi-def...

In fairness to Orville, it's unlikely that he was filmed or recorded with hi-def equipment back then, so you're likely seeing plain ol' TV "blowed up" to fit the high-def screen.

Re:Why yes, this post *is* somewhat off-topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17771408)

it's really cgi and not pictures from the past.

Six to Eight Hours? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765010)

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?

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768282)

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 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.

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)

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769248)

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.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769420)


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 you are buying for a dedicated home theater that is one thing, but I dont think that is the standard.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (2, Insightful)

PhilipMckrack (311145) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769920)

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?

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770596)

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:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (2, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774706)

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 sitting in front of the TV watching, I'll have something interesting on from one of the aforementioned channels (and with the DVR, if I'm surfing the web, but hear something interesting from the TV, I can easily rewind to catch it). I'll often watch a Simpsons or South Park from the DVR as I am falling asleep, or will turn to the Music Choice channels for some music. When listening to music, I want the TV on, so I can see the information about the current song. So, it's pretty easy to end up with the set on all night.

Basically, TV is the new radio. It is often on as background entertainment while doing other things.

Net result: it is easy to get 8 hours a day with the TV on, and if I fall asleep with it on, 16 hours. I've on average gotten about 12-14 months out of my $250 6000 hour DLP bulbs.

6 to 8 hours? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17765020)

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.

Re:6 to 8 hours? (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767542)

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.

Re:6 to 8 hours? (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770570)

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.

replacement bulbs (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765066)

This should create a nice market for upgraded replacement bulbs for these TVs. LED bulbs, anyone?

Re:replacement bulbs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17765184)

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:replacement bulbs (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17767022)

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.

Re:replacement bulbs (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767960)

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?

Re:replacement bulbs (1)

bbrack (842686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770044)

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

Re:replacement bulbs (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765242)

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.

Re:replacement bulbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17767606)

Holy shit, either american consumers get screwed, or your counting is off.

My home projector has over 1000 hours lamp, the office one well over 6000 hours

not that bad (2, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765074)

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 ONE! And I swear at least 1/4 of all iPods made broke but Apple fixes em for free and people seem happier to get something free than they would be if it had not broken in the first place. Dunno what the name of that psycological effect is but it works apparently.

Re:not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17765396)

Operant conditioning. Reliable unreliability is apparently seductive. Because hey, when things work out, you must be special.

Re:not that bad (1)

Filmcell-Keyrings (973083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766264)

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.

I have a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17766288)

"DLP looks a lot better lol."

Two things:

1) DLP looks better than what? It certainly doesn't look better than direct view LCD's. The appeal of the technology is that it has a good picture for a low price.

2) Why would that make you "lol"? Is that funny? I mean, why does it make you laugh out loud? Seriously? Is typing "lol" the equivalent of a nervous laugh when people are doing public speaking?

I'm actually more interested in your answer to the 2nd question.

Re:I have a question (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767592)

Please also ask him about the 'people are just like whatever'. I wonder what people are like, when they're like that ;)

Re:I have a question (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17771252)

learn how to read, kid. DLP looks a lot better than regular projectors. Have you seen those shitty projectors that do like 10,000 colors and the bulb wears out all the time? Yeah, DLP looks just a hair better than that (thus the lol because it's so obvious but to stupid people apparently not)

Re:not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17770458)

Ellen Feiss [ellenfeiss.net] ? Is that you?

It's moot (2, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765160)

The DLPs will be going to LEDs. Samsung already has one for sale.

Cat Got Your Tongue? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765328)

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 [wikipedia.org] set if you can.

Re:Cat Got Your Tongue? (2, Informative)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766624)

Waiting for a SED sounds like a dumb idea. Toshiba want to keep them expensive and exclusive.
http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20061 225/125850/ [nikkeibp.co.jp]

Strange concept. Perhaps this suggests that they don't think they will be able to get the price down enough to compete.

Re:Cat Got Your Tongue? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770296)

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 with.

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.

Re:Cat Got Your Tongue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774626)

Waiting for SED may very well be a dumb idea, but not for this reason. Toshiba is on longer involved in SED. Canon is buying out Toshiba's interest:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/12/canon-set-to-bu y-out-toshibas-display-stake-sed-production-in/ [engadget.com]

Either way ... it sounds like if/when SED every ships, it's likely to be too late. If you're really wanting to wait for something new/cool, you should probably be looking at OLED.

Re:Cat Got Your Tongue? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767064)

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.

Re:Cat Got Your Tongue? (1)

jimbolaya (526861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767574)

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:Cat Got Your Tongue? (2, Informative)

GodBlessTexas (737029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773786)

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 visual quality) and vibrant colors, but with a form factor that is thinner than LCD (a horrible display technology) or Plasma (energy inefficient). They just have to work on making the blue elements last longer, but Sony displayed several OLED sets at this year's CES show, and everyone who say them was stunned at how good they looked compared to the other flat screen technologies. It makes LCD and Plasma look like CGA monitors.

6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765490)

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (3, Informative)

kalpaha (667921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765692)

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:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (2, Informative)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766388)

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).

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768354)

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 tv off.

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774782)

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.

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766424)

It's not necessarily tv, it could also be movies or video games or etc...

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (2, Interesting)

uberotto (714173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767360)

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" before she starts to make dinner (1 hour)
I get home after 10 hours of software engineering work followed by 1.5 hours of either gym or grad school class, sit on the couch and "unwind" while watching t.v. (1 hour)

Everyone home, homework done, dinner ready we all sit down together in the living room, watch t.v. and talk about our day (2 hours)

Kids go to bed, wife and I sit up, have a couple of drinks, watch t.v. and spend some quality time talking about adult stuff with each other(1 hour)

Total t.v. time: 8 hours.

Just in case you didn't notice, we're not transfixed to the t.v. while it's on. It is there to provide filler for the in-between times. Without t.v. we spend maybe 30 minutes together as a family until we have said all that we want to say to each other, then we go our separate ways. Several studies have shown that this is typical, that in homes without t.v. families tend to spend less time together interacting with each other.

So the real question is What the hell is wrong with you, to feel that you have the ability to pass judgment on others without even caring about the facts? Maybe you should turn on the t.v. and get a life...

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17768118)

Somebody's a little defensive.

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768166)

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:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (2, Funny)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768384)

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.

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770504)

What the hell is wrong with you people?
Maybe you can use it to play World of Warcraft?

Re:6-8 hours of TV a *day*? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773358)

I do [youtube.com] . I also got a sound card [newegg.com] that renders DTS 5.1 in realtime.

I SAID WHO WANTS TO FUCKIN TOUCH ME?!?

broken (0)

1010110010 (1002553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765592)

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

eh?

Re:broken (2, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766330)

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

eh?

It means that they are on the way to destruction and have no chance to survive, so they should make their time for great justice.

Re:broken (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766910)

So you're saying the summary's sentence is the 2007 version of "you have no chance to survive make your time?"

That is the same life as the Sharpvision (3, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765722)

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:That is the same life as the Sharpvision (2, Funny)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765968)

"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.

Re:That is the same life as the Sharpvision (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769672)

Heyyy boddie, I donit neeeed to drich! I ken quit anytiime I waaaant!

Simple answer (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765748)

Don't watch TV for eight hours a day! Haven't these people got anything better to do with their time?

Re:Simple answer (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768036)

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.

How much do you love TV? (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765778)

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.

Re:How much do you love TV? (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766506)

/applause

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).

Not really a surprise... (3, Interesting)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766046)

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.

No longer carries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17766766)

Maybe someone should do some fact checking. They still sell the DLP tvs.

The bad viewing angles ALREADY spell trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17766790)

The worst part of a DLP (or LCD) rear-projection TV is its bad viewing angles. I'm not just talking about the viewing angle from side to side either which already limits furniture arrangement for multiple viewers in your average living room. It's also the vertical viewing angle which is typically horrendous on ANY rear-projection. This means you can't sit on the floor and watch a DLP, and it also means that you need a big honking screen (usually more than 50") in order to watch it standing up. These aren't minor points either. Most LCD and Plasma made these days have outstanding viewing angles. When you combine this with the total cost of ownership due to the failing lamps and the rainbow effect problems, DLP is obviously not the best choice. That's also why most manufacturers will be abandoning them for all but the very largest screen sizes (more than 60") in the next 3-4 years.

Re:The bad viewing angles ALREADY spell trouble (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766870)

You should have said "better" lcds. Many LCDs, while not as limited at RP screens, are still pretty poor when offaxis by more than 40-50 degrees. That is where Plasma really shines.

As for DLPs, people will have a shit over this because they're used to tube TVs lasting 10-20 years without fail (looks-like-crap does not equal failure for many). They aren't the early adopters who are willing to drop $400-700 on a lamp every thousand hours. After it really becomes common, people will get used to it. And lamp tech will get better, too, resulting in longer service intervals.

On the flip side, maybe there will be a sucker market for "dead" LCD TVs and you and I can pick one up for almost free, then drop in a new $200 lamp and have a nice 60" RP in the play room :-)

Re:The bad viewing angles ALREADY spell trouble (3, Interesting)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17766966)

Or more likely, there will be a market for better bulbs in the future. If the bulbs don't last long, why blame the TV? It's a frickin' light bulb. Expensive and really bright, but it seems to me that cooler-running, longer-lasting bulbs are an obvious next step, especially since DLP TVs look absolutely amazing for the price, they're not monstrously heavy like old RPTVs, and they have a user-replaceable backlight (take that, dimming LCD!).

Re:The bad viewing angles ALREADY spell trouble (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768974)

The amount of light necessary to produce a bright image, especially in larger sets, is actually quite large. Often, a lamp will need to be twice as bright as the output, or 2000 lumens for a 1000 lumen projector. You start getting into the realm of "lighting paper on fire" at that level and above. It's also about color temperature, which typically needs to be high. Remember that your run-of-the-mill $18 overhead lamp, which is far dimmer than a PJ lamp with horrible color temp, usually lasts for only about 80-100 hours.

Not Just DLP's (1)

Dr Faustus 60 (886309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767540)

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 projectors, it's a few thousand bucks!

Re:Not Just DLP's (1)

Ponies_OMG (965954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774398)

We have a rear projection LCD tv, and in the first two years went through two bulbs - which was covered by the extended warranty. We haven't had a failure recently, but we don't watch as much tv now.

fixed? (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767770)

AVS Forum [avsforum.com] 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 (2, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767940)

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:46' Samsung DLP (2, Funny)

pestie (141370) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768870)

46 feet?? Holy crap! Where'd you even find space to mount it?

Re:46' Samsung DLP (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768986)

In my shitter. ;)

Re:46' Samsung DLP (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769284)

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???

Re:46' Samsung DLP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17769638)

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.

How would an LCD or LCD projection TV get permanent burn-in? What wears unevenly?

Re:46' Samsung DLP (2, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772462)

The LCD panels that the extremely bright light is projected through. They fade over time, frequently unevenly, Blue is usually the first to go.

Designed failure (2, Interesting)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17767964)

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 I have to buy tires every few years.. IT is what it is..

LEDs Will Replace Bulbs (1)

stan_freedom (454935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17768586)

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.

http://www.dlp.com/home_entertainment/led_hdtvs.as p [dlp.com]

Re:LEDs Will Replace Bulbs (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769146)

I believe Mitsubishi is also working on a line of DLP that uses lasers.

Re:obligatory (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769552)

Mitsubishi is also working on a line of DLP that uses lasers.
WOW! DLP with frickin lasers in their guts.

Maybe it's just me... (1)

Astin (177479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17769542)

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 in comparison to how crisp the other two options were.

I just don't see DLP as a worthwhile technology. Sure, it's significantly cheaper than Plasma or LCD if you want a BIG screen, but eventually that difference will be minor and the tech will die.

Re:Maybe it's just me... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770422)

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 screen that goes into your TV.

On the other hand, DLP continues to improve and the laser-based and LED-based DLP systems probably will dominate over the next five years. LCD is just annoying, because it uses a subtractive system, which means that the display uses the same amount of power whether the screen's all-black or all-white. In fact it probably heats up more when it's all-black since the light from the backlight is being absorbed by the LCD. Plasma we've already talked about. SED is nowhere to be seen. I think DLP is the answer once you do away with the arc lamp.

Check out LCoS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17770578)

Take a look at the newest sony displays using LCoS. They're gorgeous. I'm waiting for HDMI 1.3 for the extended colors and then I'll plop down my cash.

I hope DLP doesn't go anywhere (1)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770012)

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 [studiodaily.com]

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 right now, DLP would be my choice. And I'm talking home theater projector, not TV. It always bugs me how every few months some company announces it's showcasing the world's largest LCD TV. 80", 90", 100", or 46'. Who cares!?! What donkey goes and buys these things? If you're going to go big, get a high quality projector and a high quality screen, regardless whether it's DLP or LCD.

Re:I hope DLP doesn't go anywhere (1)

ecuador_gr (944749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774400)

I guess the theoretical reason to buy a huge TV is daytime watching at a bright environment. Ok, and it is easier to setup, but a good 60 inch TV will certainly cost more than a good projector + 120" screen + professional installation.
I imagine that the real reason though is plain ignorance.
Personaly, I don't have an environment that can become dark easily, but I mostly work during daytime, so it is not an issue for me.
There are the bad effects of watching a 120" DLP projected screen. First of all you become kind of a snob. My (very wealthy) cousin was showing off his new house last year, and the "tour" included the rec room with a 70" Sony HDTV. Yeah great I said, trying not to show I am squinting (his couch was farther from the screen than my couch is in front of the 120" screen). Also I don't enjoy most movie theaters any more - IMAX is the only movie experience that is trully worth it for me over the convenience of my living room.
In any case I cannot imagine "home cinema" being anything smaller than 120". Otherwise it is simly "TV". Granted, the plasma displays give the best image in movies than any technology, especially projection, but even at their maximum size the experience for me is still lacking.

DLP is not the devil (1)

entmike (469980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17770208)

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.

Lightbulbs! (1)

shlepp (796599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17771062)

I have a quite a bit experience with this type of light bulb and they can have a long lifetime, i use 2 very similar type in my greenhouse, I use 400 watt metal halide's and High pressure sodium, i am positive that the TV bulbs are Metal halides (mercury vapor) and these can run for 16 hours on and 8 hours off for several years given a steady power supply (no power bumps or power spikes. Currently i have had both my Metal Halide and HPS for 3 years. One thing i do know is the bulbs i use are much higher intensity then the one in the TV so my guess is the problem is power related, which is why the bulbs are dieing, i noticed my Toshiba DLP doesn't even have a ground on its power cord, which my Lamps do have (the lamp's ballast is grounded) and the lamp in the DLP should have a ballast that is grounded too, some reason it don't. Its possible you could stretch your DLP's lifetime out by hooking it up to a UPS so when power spikes or surges, it wont do any damage to the lamp. and NO i don't use my lamps for illegal purpose for those who suspected that this is an actual normal indoor greenhouse.

Re:Lightbulbs! (1)

shmelly (855824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772734)

I'm on the market for a large screen TV, and am planning to go LCD rear projection. Still, there is an expensive light source involved (a light bulb, if you will). I was given the following advice to extend the life of my light source: If I turn the TV on, leave it on for at least a half hour. If I turn it off, leave it off or at least a half hour. Since I have no children, I have some hope of being able to comply with this regimen.

I'm wondering if this is really going to increase lamp life? and are there fundamental differences between light sources (filament bulb, arc, etc.) that might apply to DLP, but not LCD?

Actual Ownership Input (3, Interesting)

Timtimes (730036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17771286)

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.

Re:Actual Ownership Input (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772302)

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.

Bulbless DLP is out... (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17771326)

Samsung's latest DLPs [samsung.com] 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?

Samsung LED TVs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17771578)

Samsung now has a line of LED powered Rear projection DLP TVs (such as the HL-S5679W). The LED life is effectively infinite and the color gamut is improved over traditional lamp based TVs. Also there no color wheel effects as 3 banks of LEDs replace the spinning color filter. The latest model comes very highly recommended by Consumer Reports (in there top 10 of all DLP TVs), and the only recommended TV for those who suffer from the Rainbow Effect.

A bit pricey, but this year other suppliers will be rolling out LED TVs. Problem solved.

Missing part of post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17771592)

Part of my post is missing. I don't know where that went. It was in my original submission.

Here's what it said.

"It appears that Future Shop (http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/subclass.asp?log on=&langid=EN&catid=23528), probably the largest electronics retailer in Canada, no longer carries DLP TVs in its product line."

I subsequently sent a query to Future Shop, asking why. Their response was a bit vague.

"We were pleased to look into your inquiry for you regarding DLP TV's. We have determined that we do not carry these items any longer as a result of lack of availability as well as other considerations. We are not told exactly why we do not carry specific items any longer just that we have new items coming in. We apologize that we no longer carry these items anymore and hope that you will find a replacement item that you like instead."

when lamp fails, it radios for help? (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17771616)

The good news with Toshiba televisions is that they can radio for help [technewsworld.com] 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!

Hopefully it will drive the cost of bulbs down... (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772140)

They seem grossly overpriced as it is-- it's not like they're "giving away the razor," the old Gillette strategy...

This is one (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773126)

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...

What about Plasmas? (1)

ravyne (858869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773406)

Don't plasma tubes fail after some 3-5 years? Not only do they cost 2-3 grand to begin with, but when the tube goes there's no practical point in replacing it since it costs nearly as much as a new plasma screen to do so.

But maybe I've heard wrong, anyone know?

I just got a 46" samsung DLP a couple months ago and I couldn't be happier with it.
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