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The price of projector bulbs!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by manhar, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. manhar

    manhar
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    Why are projector bulbs so expensive?!!
    I cant believe it costs £200 just for a bulb.
    Is this another rip off like the "Manufacturers Printer Inks" which are three times more expensive than generic inks?
    Its the same thing with rechargeable batteries for videocameras - hideously expensive.
    More people would buy projectors if only the price of bulbs was reasonable.
     
  2. LV426

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    Probably just another rip off. Because each lamp assembly is specific to the device and manufacturer it's intended for, so they've "got you".

    Much the same as the irrationally high cost of car parts.

    Prospective projector buyers should always factor in the cost of one or more new lamps (depending on expected lamp life and their expected usage pattern). I bought mine fully in the expectation that I'd have to replace the lamp (GBP400) after 2000 hours.
     
  3. KraGorn

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    To be honest I doubt the cost of a bulb factors into many potential purchaser's thinking as a deterrent.
     
  4. cyberheater

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    My advice is to sell you projector when your around halfway thru it's normal bulb life.

    I do agree though that it is a rip off.

    /note to self. Must find a way to get cheaper bulbs.
     
  5. Ekko Star

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    I think £200 is quite reasonable really ? Anymore and yes it does start getting expensive.

    What goes on inside those lamps is a minor miracle, the power of a minature sun almost.

    You got to remember these are not your average 100 Watt B&Q bulbs :D
     
  6. moco

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    Ekko, this has nothing to do with the technology inside (the cost of developing it or the cost of manufacturing it). DVD players are way more hi-tec and cost less.
    This is purely the economics of scale. If and when projectors become common, as inkjet printers for example, it will be worthwhile for manufacturers to market compatible bulbs and prices will drop significantly, as is done with printer ink refills.
    There is no way the cost of manufacturing a projector bulb can be 1000 times the cost for a regular light bulb.
     
  7. MikeRJ

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    It's blatant profiteering really. Manufactuerers never use the same bulb in more than one model, meaning there are hundreds of different lamps for all the projectors. The volume of sales of any particular type is therefore low, so not third party manufacturer is interested in making a cheaper product. If a "standard" lamp or range of lamps was developed that all manufacturers used, the price would fall dramaticaly, but that's simply not going to happen.
     
  8. Ekko Star

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    Well it does actually, since the cost of development tends to be absorbed across the volume of product produced. Quite clearly PJ lamps and regular bulbs are not comparitives in that case

    The manufacturers are trying to use the same lamps in generic models, such as the Sanyos, Panasonics and some of the Sony's. It therefore also comes as no surprise that the lamps for these models tend to be the more 'reasonably' priced.

    Take a £200 lamp with a range of 3000-5000 hours life. Do the math and it's quite reasonable really.

    However, as newer models develop, one of the ways to better the spec and performance is to address the lamp itself. ie stick in a new HS20 lamp into a HS10 and I believe there is a marked improvement. New lamp means the development cost cycle begins again.

    Of course a lamp is a lamp and the life of it is dependent on types of usage.
     
  9. KraGorn

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    But talk of 'development cost cycle' presumes they start from scratch, when clearly they don't, the changes by and large a probably small incremental changes to increase light output, maybe alter type of connection etc. .. I mean just how much new technology can there be in the incandescent light bulb?
     
  10. manhar

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    Ekko, Calculating the cost per day's use is fine logic ........providing of course the £200 lamp is warrantied for that many hours! For £200 I would expect at least that kind of warranty.
     
  11. Ekko Star

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    The lamp is integral and key to the quality of image that you will get and works in conjunction for the PJ it was designed for. 'Standard lamps' is therfore not likely.

    If a 3rd party was to produce a lamp it would not be that cheap either.

    Sure there's profit in it, but it's about as blatant as there is profit in pretty much everything we all buy !
     
  12. Ekko Star

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    I think this is why people think they are getting ripped off. A light bulb = PJ lamp.

    I'm not sure you could just 'add' something onto a lamp, I would guess you would have to go back to the drawing board. Obviously prior knowledge helps, so the development cost can be incremental. But it's still a cost....

    Have you tried fitting a light bulb in your PJ. Everyone would be moaning, poor colours, poor uniformity, bad contrast...that's if you could even manage an image to project out of it !
     
  13. Ekko Star

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    If you are happy to buy a PJ for £1k, £200 represents 20% of your outlay.

    Do you think that the lamp plays a 20% part in your PJ ?

    If it went out I bet you would think it plays 100%.

    Unfortunately a lamp, or a bulb is pretty difficult thing to pinpoint a warranty on really isn't it ? However, quite a few manufacturers are getting quite good with replacing lamps failing within the warranty of a PJ !
     
  14. Daftboy

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    The resellers are making all of the money here.
    I accidently talked to Epson spares department and got a price of a lamp for £161.59 but when I went to purchase, they appologised and said this was for their dealers only.
    Anyway, spoke to a dealer and they wanted to charge me £301.
    Talking with the Epson helpdesk, they said they cannot offer a warranty as the margins are very low and their manufacturer (Osram and Philips) did not offer them any warranty. They explained that as the dealers were making a significant profit, they should be the ones offering the warranty.....Yeah right.

    It bug me as I bet Epson Japan buy the lamps from Philips at say £30 then shipped to Japan, then shipped to Europe at say £100, etc, etc.

    Suppose the point I'm trying to make is:
    1. Who is making all the profit?
    2. Who should be offering the warranty?
     
  15. manhar

    manhar
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    Daftboy
    Good work!
    Its just as I thought. Seen this to often in the luxury goods market.
    As u say its probably made in Taiwan for £30.
    You can bet you can buy the same Epson bulb for £50 in India! Ive seen many such items for 1/3rd the price in India.
    Why is it that everything that costs $100 in USA is £100 in UK! And its not due to VAT either.
    This is how the big corporates shamefully work.
     
  16. RTFM

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    Manufactuerers never use the same bulb in more than one model, meaning there are hundreds of different lamps for all the projectors.

    Sim2 do and they are rated at 6000/8000 hours with a 3000 hour or one year warranty, whichever comes first.

    Jeff
    :rtfm:
     
  17. MikeRJ

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    I agree that is is important to the image quality. However, what are the important parameters? Colour temperature and luminous intensity. Virtualy all projectors have similar specs in this regard.
    Yes it would be if they were made in large volumes. The point I'm trying to make is that due to the huge variety of lamps and the relatievly small market, the sales of any one kind are going to be very low. If all projectors used the same lamp, (or at least one of a few) the 3rd party manufacturers would jump on the bandwagon as the quantities would be sufficient. The price would be a small fraction of what it is now.
    I'd compare it more to the Inkjet printer and ink cartridge scenario, where the cost of a set of replacement inks is a significant fraction of the cost of a new printer. The big difference is that you usualy have the choice of using the overpriced OEM ink or a cheaper (and possibly inferior) 3rd party ink.
     
  18. Ekko Star

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    Whilst I'm not disagreeing with you (after all it's in my interests as well if the prices were to be lower) I'm not sure if you can cite printers and ink jet cartridges as a comparison.

    1 - For one if you have a PC chances are you have a printer.
    2 - Nearly every compatible ink cartridge I have ever tried is far far inferior to an original and is prone to clogging up the inkjet heads.
    3 - When you buy a printer you accept the fact the ink is a consumable

    For a PJ

    1 - It's still a very niche market, however popular it appears on this forum it isn't the mass market product you may think it is.
    2 - If you could buy 3rd party lamps and they didn't exhibit exactly the same characteristics as the original, your viewing pleasure would deteriorate and you would question 'was it really money well spent ?'
    3 - When you buy a PJ it's part of the territory that the lamp is a consumable and your choice of PJ should take this into account. Unsurprisingly people nowadays don't.

    My point is it's such a crucial part of the PJ that in comparison to the overall cost it is fairly reasonably proportioned. Pretty much like what an engine is to a car.

    If your lamp fails within the warranty period of the PJ or reasonably low hours, many people have had success with it being replaced by the manufacturer. That seems fair. Out of warranty or if it fails at 2000hrs and not the quoted 3000hrs well that's just one of those things. Not everyone will be able to achieve the quoted hours anyway as on/off cycles greatly effect the life of it rather than just a flat out run.
     
  19. Ekko Star

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    Categorically disagree with that one I'm afraid. All PJ's are not created equal !

    Fair point but it's all hypothetical. Thing is they're not made in large volumes. If there was any room for 3rd party's to jump in there and half the costs or to the order of magnitude people are stating here...well this would have all happened long long ago in a galaxy far far away. After all it is only an incandescent light bulb......and can't be 'that' expensive to make ?

    One of the biggest areas that makes me laugh is people always think of pretty much anything "the parts only costs pennies to make" and there must be loads of margin in it. If you really knew the profit margins a retailer makes on a circa £1k PJ you guys would laugh...get out of bed ? you wouldn't even go make a cup of tea !!

    Fact is manufacturers are trying to use economies of scale to bring the price down where they can. Look at the circa £1k LCD PJ's, they all use the same Epson panels. One of the few remaining areas that they can affect any differentiation from the competition is through their choice of lamp and the characteristics it can exhibit in conjunction with the body of their PJ.

    Now if they were all into a clone war, who would suffer from lack of choice ?
     
  20. John7

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    Originally Posted by KraGorn
    .. I mean just how much new technology can there be in the incandescent light bulb?

    Err.... guys, BTW, these are not your ordinary tungsten filament lamps here you know. They are a form of metal halide lamp (i.e. a gas plasma discharge lamp) which require far more stringent (read expensive) manufactring techniques/materials than ordinary lamps.

    No ordinary lamp could output light of the high intensity required for a PJ

    Lifespan....10 hours viewing a week, every week of the year on you average lamp life of say, 3000 hours will give you almost 6 years viewing pleasure... not bad for £200
     
  21. Ekko Star

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    Totally agree, what goes on inside that bulb really is a recreation of a minaturised "sun" in such a controlled and precise manner that it beggars belief. Usually if anything it's the dissapation of heat that kills them.

    These are no ordinary bulbs :confused:
     
  22. manhar

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    Ekko Star, Your analogy of the car has "driven" my point home.
    The Ford Ranger costs £ 7000 more in UK than in Belgium. Why?
    It is a well established fact that UK car retailers have been ripping us off all along. Importing cars into UK at a cheaper rate has now become so common that the greedy UK retailers have now taken note and have reduced their prices as well!
    Just goes to show "What you pay for is not necessarily what you get".
    The true prices of PJ lamps will one day be revealed.
     
  23. Ekko Star

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    Sorry manhar but my analogy was not a car. It was an engine to a car in the context of lamp to a PJ.

    Not sure what you are trying to say ? Can you get a lamp for your PJ cheaper in Belgium ?

    Bet you can't make anywhere near the proportionate savings you are suggesting or even relatively close by shopping abroad in Europe for your lamp!
     
  24. Siamese Cat

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    Not sure what you are trying to say ? Can you get a lamp for your PJ cheaper in Belgium ?

    Bet you can't make anywhere near the proportionate savings you are suggesting or even relatively close by shopping abroad in Europe for your lamp![/QUOTE]

    Nope. But you can in the US. The replacement bulb for my NEC lt75z is about £420 here and is about $320 in the US.

    Maybe there's a US seller who'd be interested in supplying people on this forum?
     
  25. Ekko Star

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    Ahh US and Japan, different thing.. add in the cost of shipping and taxes and you're looking at rough conversion of circa £220 right ?

    Goes back to my point, sounds like you're happy to pay £220 for it but many are arguing that that's not cheap. They wouldn't want to pay even that !

    I'm getting the feeling that people want to believe these things should cost about £20-30 to replace ????? :rotfl:
     
  26. MikeRJ

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    You took my quote out of context. Of course not all projectors are equal, but the requirements that they have of the light source are generaly pretty simmilar regarding colour temperature and to a large extent luminous intenisty. ( Obviously a presentation projector requires higher light output and colour rendition is not so important ).

    The "engine" in a projector has to be the LCD's or DLPs which ultimately have by far the largest effect on picture quality.

    By the way, I've read that the hours rating on the lamps is simply the time after which the output has reduced to about 90% and does not imply a life expectancy.
     
  27. explicitlyrics

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    A regular bulb has to produce no particular shade of light, a halogen bulb costs a bit more as you may have noticed, this is coz the light it whiter.

    Take it onto projectors, you need good colour representation, and to know that bulbs produce very nearly the same wavelengths of light so to calibrate the panels correctly. Thus they cost a lot more. Thats just a little reasoning, Im happy to pay that amount, its cheaper than a new PJ and it would last me (personally) 4 years probably...
     
  28. moco

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    The correct analogy for the bulb would probably be the fuel.

    Well, isn't that exactly what life expectancy is? Actually I thought it was 50%.
    In any case, the bulb will cease to be useful way before it dies completely.
    In my Hitachi TX100 manual, they also warn that using the bulb after 2000 hours puts you in danger of the bulb blowing up and damaging the projector.
     
  29. Daftboy

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    Going back to my original point, the retailers are making all the money.

    Talking about ink, it wasn't until computer world started to price cartridges reasonably that it forced PC World, etc to change their prices.
    I remember when I was working for a local PC store and the cartidges were delivered, looking at the invoice sheet a HP Cartridge was £8.87 and we priced them at £27.99
    Now if this is a local retailer buy 10 at a time, imagine what price and markup the big retailers make.

    So back to my original point, shouldn't the retailers be providing the warranty as they are making all the profit?

    Should we be allowed to contact Philips, Osram, etc to claim our unit back under warranty (The lamp manufacturer)?

    I really have to side with the PJ manufacturers going back to the car thingy.
    If I bought a car, and the tire failed due to a manufacturing fault, who would you contact to get a replacement. I know my letter would be winging it's way to Dunlop.

    I don't like paying a lot of money for replacement lamps, but everytime I switch my PJ on, I put the pennies into a jar so when a replacement is due, the money is saved up.

    Feel sorry for the guys who have dual or quad lamp systems!!!!
     
  30. Ekko Star

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    Sorry if it was taken out of context. However I still cannot agree they are all pretty similar, they are designed to work in conjunction with the PJ they were specifically designed for. I can see your point that any differences 'should' be minor, but unfortunately in the real world it's the minor details and improvements that cost all the time and money to make.

    The panels in the PJ 'are' the picture quality, that's fixed. The lamp affects the picture quality. No lamp = no picture. Pretty good equation that one !

    The life of the lamp is exactly that, it's a useful life. It's demise could be a gradual degradation, a pop, or a crack and a fizzle etc etc
     

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