The Downside of HDTV

TV up on blocks
Since I know you’ve all been tempted to upgrade (yeah right), I’ll mention that the bulb went out in our Samsung DLP TV last night. While this was something we knew would happen, there was no warning, and the behavior of the unit after the failure was somewhat more bizarre than the “three flashing lights” indicated in the manual. And of course the most shocking part was learning we had already had the TV over two years! With a 2000-hour bulb life expectation (Samsung says 5000-8000, but no one is achieving this, probably because you’d have to be watching in pitch dark all the time), that works out to about 2.6 hours of TV per day. Frankly, I’m sure we exceeded that, and that’s not even counting all the times we’ve accidentally left it on overnight and intentionally left it on for 16 hours for weekends, parties or whatever.

Also, according to this knowledgebase article, we probably cut the bulb life in half by running “dynamic mode” all the time and unknowingly overdriving the bulb by 20%.

Note: If using the dynamic setting in the picture mode of the menu, this can affect the life of the bulb. When using the dynamic setting the 100 watt bulb operates at 120 watts causing the picture to look brighter. This will shorten the life of the bulb by about 2,000 hours.

Perhaps if we had ever gotten around to watching Blade Runner on the thing–and really, what’s the point of having an HDTV if you’re not watching Blade Runner? Doh!–we’d have remembered that the ultra-high pressure lamp that burns twice as bright burns half as long!

We’ll have the new bulb tomorrow, at the cost of buying only a “normal” TV all over again, but this has meant a full tear-down of the entertainment center (once again) and cracking open the case on the TV itself. I’m not complaining, just caveat emptor, as always.

This story continues… here

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8 thoughts on “The Downside of HDTV”

  1. It gets worse. In fact, it’s only been one year and one month. So, of course, installing the new bulb this morning didn’t fix it. Which now means it’s the ballast, or something worse. Which means a warranty service call. And who knows how long that’s going to take. Another post on this is forthcoming, I’m sure.

  2. you think that’s bad! I mean this is a total coincidence, but i have the guys coming over to fix my tv today and it’s practically brand spanking new!! I’m super pissed, I bought this Samsung in november, NOVEMBER PEOPLE! its less than 3 MONTHS! Thank god i got that 4 year warranty, at least i dont have to worry about the cost of replacing the bulbs, just the aggravation of having to deal with it every few months! I should return the TV

  3. You might want to read the fine print on your warranty. I know most of the extended warranties don’t cover the bulb. You can buy a separate bulb warranty, but they’re at least an extra $100 a year.

  4. I have had a Panasonic 52′ for four years now. I love the TV but I am now looking to replace the third bulb at $500 a pop. It was always set on dynamic. I never heard about it shortening the life of the bulb until now. I have complained to Panasonic and the business I purchased it from and for years and no one ever told me this. Thanks for the info.

  5. I’d love to watch My Mitsubishi 57″ WD-57731 TV, But It seems Mitsubishi doesn’t honor any warranty If one buys a TV from an Online retailer of any sort including ebay(especially any ebay type retailer), the minute I sent in My valid Receipt showing I paid for the TV and when(Nov 24th 2006 @ 1:25pm Pacific Time), They said their warranty does not apply to My set and No one will come out to Yermo CA from Victorville(Midway Appliance) and others I called won’t come out either and sure It’s 45 miles, Whatever happened to a service call? I’m redlined that’s what…. Although Midway Appliance in Victorville will come out, If You bought the set from them….
    My TV would run If I had a working 915P049010 lamp or $223.50(USD).

  6. Oh and I nearly forgot I bought the WD-57731 in Nov 06 as I said and the lamp burned out after 8 months…

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