You’ve properly maintained it, cleaning the filters regularly, changing the lamps before they degrade to the point of exploding — or, perhaps not? Either way, at some point it’s worth considering replacing rather than maintaining that aging projector.
Jim Kumorek · March 12, 2018
That being said, the decision process for either situation is similar. In the case that your projector has died, the only difference is that your decision has become immediate, and your price point of whether it makes sense to replace has just become clearer. “If we do have an older projector that has failed,” comments Branden Pendley, president at Pendley Productions, “it’s often better to just upgrade, instead of repair, to get more brightness and better features. It can also be hard to find parts for older units, so you need to decide how much time you want to be down, while you’re waiting for replacement parts to come in.” Even if your projector isn’t failing, there can come a time where replacement is worth considering.
“We always look at the function of the device,” comments Linden. “Communication is the goal — have people’s expectations changed?
In the case of a projector, do you need to provide video that’s easier to read, for example? Is there new functionality needed? Have your needs changed? People need to take stock of what they are doing with projection every few years. When you originally installed your projector, perhaps you were just doing high-contrast PowerPoint slides.
Have you now added video or graphical backgrounds to what you are doing, and the projector doesn’t do it justice?” In the case of projectors in classrooms where teachers may want to connect their own laptop to the projector, you may start running into issues of connectivity. “With new projectors, there’s new connectivity options,” says Pendley. “Long gone are the days of VGA and component connectors, both on projectors and laptops. It’s SDI, HDbaseT. HDMI, and DisplayPort that are the interface types now in use.
Some newer projectors don’t even have VGA or component video connections anymore.” Video formats have changed as well over the last ten years. “We’re seeing the end of the 4x3 video format,” says Linden. “People want to do 16x9 or 16:10 now.” While connectivity and video formats matter, perhaps the biggest change in video projectors is the advent of laser- phosphor lamp-sources replacing traditional projector lamps. “Laser-phosphor lamps have a typical lifespan of 10,000-20,000 hours before they are down to half-brightness.
If you’re a church that uses the projector for three hours a week, the extra cost of going to a laser projector might not be worth it. However, if you’re using your projector for more like 20 hours a week — the laser projector starts to pay for itself really fast.” And if getting access to your projector is difficult and requires renting scaffolding or lifts, it may be well worthwhile to invest in a laser-phosphor projector to eliminate that high-effort work load.