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AV lamps - time to get up off our knees

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by twoofer, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. twoofer

    twoofer
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    Why is it so difficult buying projector lamps, or even finding prices for them? I’ve spent two evenings searching UK sites and I still don’t know the cost of a replacement lamp for the Benq PE5120. There are plenty of sites with promising names like AVlampsonly and justprojectorlamps, but they’re either trade only, or don’t list recent projectors, or are just a phone number. Some jokers have up to the minute prices for projectors, plasmas, screens etc. but make you phone for lamp prices.

    I’m not generally authoritarian but I’m thinking of sponsoring a Private Members Bill [AudioVisual (e-commerce) Bill 2005] to force web retailers to act reasonably. This Bill will compel retailers of projectors to offer spare lamps for any projector they have for sale online. The Bill will set out penalties, to be executed on each director of the offending company, as follows:

    :mad: Website supplies lamps for every projector except the one you want (take a bow avpartsmaster.co.uk): custard pie in face

    :mad: Website omits to mention, except in a footnote, that its prices exclude VAT (a big hand folks for projectors-online.co.uk): as above with noxious substances added to the custard

    :mad: Website sells lamps, but all mixed up with everything else and not in alphabetical order (come forward iiid.co.uk): option of electrified cycle clips or ammonia throat spray

    :mad: Website supposedly sells projector lamps but is completely unnavigable (let’s hear it for lampbank.nl): ferret down trousers for ten minutes

    :mad: Website offer lamps without specifying which projector they are for (come to the front epinx.com, don’t be shy): enforced viewing of vintage Tony Blair speeches (‘she was the people’s princess.....schools’n’hospitals....let’s do it for the kids....’)


    STOP PRESS: after typing above I got a price (had to phone of course) for the PE5120 lamp from projectors.co.uk....£365 + VAT! The projector itself can be bought on ebuyer for £698 inclusive of VAT. This means a replacement lamp costs more than 60% of the price of the projector. Outrageous. Does anyone know anywhere else I might try?
     
  2. Flimber

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    I'm guessing that as with PC printers and their ink cartridges part of the reason for the 'accessible' initial purchase cost is so they can kill you on the consumables. Am I wrong ?

    Mike.
     
  3. theritz

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    The cost of replacement lamps for projectors reflects to a certain extent the cost of manufacture - these aren't regular tungsten or halogen lamps, nor are they produced in anything like the same quantities - if it was a proprietary or brand issue, or if there was the demand for them or if they were easily manufactured you can be sure that there would be non-oem versions being made somewhere.

    While they are technically "consumable", the general experience here on the forums is that people change their projectors in far more cases than they change lamps - with exceptions in the case of premature lamp failure.

    The price you've found for the lamp for the PE5120 sounds not far off the mark - I think certain projectors have cheaper lamps (in the region of £250-ish). The comparison with the cost of the projector isn't really relevant, nor does it necessarily mean that you're being overcharged for projector lamps - there's a hell of a difference between lamps supplied (usually from JIT related suppliers, often on or near site) to manufacturers in bulk, to small quantities of lamps in a distribution/supply chain with the associated overheads - they could hardly be regarded as FMCG. The PE5120 is relatively new to market, so the sites you indicate might not yet have obtained price information from suppliers.

    If the lamp costs £420 or thereabouts and lasts 3000hrs, it's a running cost of 14p per hour, say 20p per movie, not an issue imo.


    Sean G.
     
  4. Jules

    Jules
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    I'm sure I read somewhere that the actual value of a typical projector lamp is around £30. The manufacturing costs are somewhere around the £5 mark.

    Whilst acknowledging they are nothing like your average 100W Osram, or your kitchen halogen spot lights, they are still a shameful rip-off at their current retail prices.

    However, with rapidly advancing projector technology, by the time I've used 3000 hours of lamp life I'll probably have upgraded my projector twice.

    I think people under estimate how much viewing 2-3000 hours represents.
    Admitedly I'm a low mileage projector user, but after 2 years I sold my my
    Sony VW11 with just 400 hours on the clock, and my 6 month old HS20 has just 70 hours on the clock.

    Most people don't watch the nightly news on a projector, so it will take quite some time to reach the end of the lamps useable life.
    However, if it is a concern....throw 20p into a jar each time the projector is fired up. It will easily cover the price of a new lamp when needed.
     
  5. Nick_UK

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    Nothing like them ! Most pj lamps are high-pressure mercury-vapour discharge lamps. No filaments. A filament lamp would not emit light of the correct colour.

    We have to realise that projectors are (and continue to be) sold mainly to businesses for light usage, and if the lamp price is high compared to the price of a new pj, many businesses could choose to change the pj and write off the costs. Many more projectors are being sold to domestic customers now, I agree, but the majority of customers will continue to be business, and that will affect the cost of the lamps.
     
  6. Solomon Grundy

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    When you think about it it is a bit like replacing a crt in a tv or a plasma/lcd panel so the cost seems ok to me. I bought my unit knowing the costs of the lamps so I can't really complain.
     
  7. boksbox

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    Is there any reason for a common design of lamp for home cinema projectors couldn't be produced? Would this kill off the consumables market
     
  8. Cheddies

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    i tend to find http://www.wedgwood-group.com/lamps.htm are good, they do mu lamp for £192 and update the prices online and let you buy online.. though all the benq lamps they do ar £325ish and they dont seem to have yours
    sorry!
    might be worth a phonecall tho
     
  9. MikeRJ

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    Hardly comparable with a CRT or LCD panel. Whatever anyone says, they ARE a shamefull rip off in most cases. Granted they are much more expensive than a standard halogen bulb to make, but nowhere near the amount to justify the typical prices quoted in this thread. Why is the Benq lamp £420 when e.g. an Epson lamp can be bought for £140 odd? Ok the Benq lamp may be brighter, but that does not justify being 300% more expensive. If it lasted 3 times longer it wouldn't be so bad, but they clearly don't.

    The problem is, the manufacturers/retailers charge these prices simply because they can. As a projector owner, you don't have any choice in the matter if your lamp breaks. There is pretty much zero interchangability between projectors, not for any particualr technical reason, but to make sure that the quantities of any particular lamp are low enough that no third party manufacturer would be interested.
     
  10. Cheddies

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    oh no, seems like thats trade only
    poop

    I did check the price of my lamp before i bought... but there is nothing to say that it will still be that in a couple years is there?... it is a bit of a rip
     
  11. robfitzp

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    UK prices are a rip off but you can always shop around. Sony centre wanted £350 for a HS10 bulb but I bought one from pricejapan for less than 200 and with hindsight could have got one from the states for less again.

    First one lasted just over 2000 hours so I am not that bothered about the replacement cost.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  12. Kahless725

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    How come the lamps for buisiness projectors are cheaper than the equivalent home cinema lamp? somthing I noticed while looking at what to buy. I could be wrong but it seemed that way when I was looking.
     
  13. explicitlyrics

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    I have to admit they are stupidly expensive. I understand expensive but a common price of £250 I could cope with fine, perhaps 300. The fact that different bulbs are different prices does seem a little off.

    I have an AE700 and I cannot find a bulb for it anywhere on the internet. I have had a pretty decent look! I spose when the bulb actually goes, there may be more on sale, but it is a big search!
     
  14. twoofer

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    I agree 2000 hours is a long time but....
    1. when I get the pj the kids will be using it 90% of the time. They will be told, on pain of (near) death, not to move it while it's hot, fight near it etc. But it is more than possible they will, somehow, break the lamp, and it would grieve my heart to have to pay £429 for a new one in those circumstances
    2. my job is under threat, and I am in the position where I can easily afford a pj now but might find it impossible to fork out £429 in a year or two
    3. Despite what Nick says about high pressure mercury vapour I still think we're being ripped off. We're talking about a glass envelope with two electrodes, and some mercury vapour wafting about. Mercury isn't a precious metal. If the vapour needs to be under pressure, maybe the glass has to be thick; big deal, I leave thick-glass milkbottles outside the door every night and they don't get nicked. I just can't imagine these pj lamps being worth £429
     
  15. robfitzp

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    I would recommend you ceiling mount it.....

    Bulbs are expensive in general because a projector is a niche product which is bought by those with disposable income. They are worth whatever people will pay. It is a pretty major part of the unit afterall.

    Arguably, cheapest way to do this is buy a used PJ with few hours on it and then punt it on after 6 months and repeat the process. Satisfies the desire to upgrade, you never pay full list and you never have to buy a bulb.

    Or just buy a plasma.
     
  16. Daftboy

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    I thought I might take this opportunity to suggest another comapny who sell lamps. www.justlamps.net Okay, they do not have you model listed, but I'm sure if you ask them, they can source you one. Have ordered a lamp from them in the past and do find them cheap compared to the rest.
     
  17. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Hmmm.... they quote about £30 more for a lamp for my Benq 6200, compared to prices I've seen elsewhere :thumbsdow
     
  18. benji_m

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    Ok.

    Any Panasonic dealer should be able to sell you a bulb for an AE700 for £250 if they are high street, more like £229 if they are web. This is in stock at Panasonic and any dealer who turns down a full margin £250 sale for minimal work doesn't deserve to be a dealer imho! Indeed any dealer who did the AE700 stocking plan (about 150 iirc) should have a spare knocking around anyway. Panasonic will continue to supply bulbs but the key is, and I can't emphasise this enough, to buy early whilst the machine is still in production. If the part passes from sales to spares the price typically doubles, probably because spares employ a massive mark up to deal with all the hassle of suppling resistor and other low value items.

    As for retailers ripping pepole off, it's just not true. The manufacturers are the ones doing that.
     
  19. Daftboy

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    Sorry they were not any good.
     
  20. silentbob

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    For reference the model / part number of the replacement bulb for a Panny AE700 is: ET-LAE700 - using this in google returned a lot more results. And within a couple of minutes I had found the following store selling them for £199.99.

    Clicky

    Now I don't vouch for them, nor do I know whether this price is exc VAT. Just posted in case noone knew the bulb part number.
     
  21. benji_m

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    Yes they are a reputable company, about 2 mins from my house!

    Been in existence about 50 or so years I belive :eek:

    I'm sure other dealers would match that though.

    Thanks
     
  22. andya

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  23. iansimpson888

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    If you can easily afford the projector now then buy a spare now (as mentioned above). If not then i'd think seriously about buying the projector, if you can't afford a replacement bulb then that's one expensive useless chunk of plastic you'll be left with.
     
  24. iansimpson888

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  25. twoofer

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    Scene: A large branch of Halfords. A customer walks to the motor spares counter.

    Customer: Good morning. Do you have a headlamp bulb for a Ford Carbuncle 1.3 Popular?
    Assistant: certainly sir, that will be £429
    Customer: what!?
    Assistant: they are rather hard to come by sir, the Carbuncle has only been in production since November
    Customer: but....shouldn't that make the spare parts easier to get?
    Assistant: (smiles indulgently) I see you're not au fait with the workings of the industry sir. And you must understand these are not ordinary bulbs. The envelope is made to close tolerance sphaericity and is manufactured from high transparency silica glass.
    Customer: but....
    Assistant: internally the bulb is reduced to a low pressure, sir, achieved in the factory by a sophisticated suctionality process.
    Customer: but....
    Assistant: to say nothing of the high grade genuine tungsten filament
    Customer: but....
    Assistant: and electrolytically finished copper terminals
    Customer: but look, how long do these things last?
    Assistant: you can expect a life of 2000 hours sir, providing the bulb is not lit more than five hours consecutively
    Customer: but....
    Assistant: if longer night time journeys are inevitable we would recommend you break the journey into three-hour chunks, allowing at least an hour with lights off between each. And I need hardly stress the importance of avoiding bumpy roads and manhole covers while the lights are on
    Customer: but....
    Assistant: perhaps I can suggest, sir, you also purchase a set of Carbuncle stop and indicator bulbs. These are manufactured from refractional glass and.......... where's he gone?
     
  26. Nick_UK

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    Laugh if you wish. Very similar bulbs are fitted to more expensive cars.
     
  27. explicitlyrics

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    On the subject of buying while they are still common, out of interest, do bulbs have a shelf life? I understand that 10years would definitely not be good for them, but is there an advised maximum before first use?
     
  28. twoofer

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    Thanks everyone for the advice and education. I'm going to buy an Epson emp-tw10h on the strength of its relatively cheap lamps. I'll teach myself to love the soft image and low contrast ratio. As for the £429 Benq lamps......your mother needs the monkey serum. there's none to be had. but the man in the pub has a friend who has a friend. You meet him at 10 p.m. under the flyover. You count out the £1500 in used banknotes. It's not the handing over of the money that hurts, it's the knowledge that he's silently chortling at you......
     
  29. Mr Incredible

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  30. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    £249.75 plus VAT for my Benq 6200. Not bad :smashin:

    Ebuyer do them for £198.26 + VAT, and they're out of stock. In my experience, things are always cheaper when they're out of stock ;)
     

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