Toshiba Investigates DLP Lamp Problems
The company's new HD DVD Player may have taken Toshiba's share of press lately, letting rumors of its DLP lamp problems slip under the radar. Recent customer complaints have prompted Toshiba to investigate premature lamp burn out in some models of its DLP HDTVs.
As a micro-display technology, DLP rear projectors rely on a powerful lamp that illuminates its picture. The cost of replacement is one of those costs of ownership for HDTVs with this design. Replacement bulbs can cost up to $300 and if you're paying to have someone replace it for you the bill can reach as high as $500. Customers report lamps burning out after as little as 300 hours of use or within two months.
The model numbers that have been reported with this problem include: Toshiba 44HM85 Toshiba 52HM85 Toshiba 62HM85 Toshiba 46HMX85 Toshiba 52HMX85 Toshiba 62HMX85
Under optimal conditions manufacturers will tell you that the bulbs may last from 6,000 to 8,000 hours before burning out. Toshiba claims an 8,000 hour lifespan when the brightness is turned down but around 6,000 for sets with the brightness driven higher. But real world experience demonstrates the lifespan is really somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 hours. The optimistic manufacturer estimates are calculated under conditions where the bulb is never cycled on and off. Letting the lamp heat up and then cool off when you turn the set on and off shortens its life. So if you want 8,000 hours out of your next lamp turn the brightness way down and do all your viewing in one sitting.
Reports of the problems surfaced on various websites where Toshiba's customers were comparing notes on customer service. Reports are that Toshiba has been responsive to customer complaints and that they've announced they're looking into the problem. The affected Toshiba models were sold in both Canada and the USA.
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