Best Home Theater Projector Report - Warranty and Support
March 2013 - Art Feierman
Projector Warranties Overview
In a perfect world, your next projector will have:
- A long warranty
- A replacement program, in the event of a warranty problem
- Great support
The first two aspects are easy to define, support however, is far more difficult, as we just don't get enough feedback on most brands. I do troll the forums, so I do hear complaining from time to time, but how well most companies respond with few exceptions tends to be at least part historical, over years, and therefore not necessarily fully accurate today, as company policies and handling of support and warranty change.
Thus, I recommend you base your decision primarily on the first two. Plus, if you are concerned, you can check online with the forums to see if there are specific issues for the projectors you are considering. Forums such as the AVSforum tend to be magnets for people with projector issues. But keep in mind, that some projector models for home may sell 10,000+ pieces a year, while others less than a thousand. In other words if there are 4 or 5 complaints for an Epson or Optoma, compared to say higher end brands like Sony or JVC, note that brands selling projectors starting from under $1000 to under $3000 might sell 10 or even 50 times the projectors from brands that start over $3000.
Projector Warranty Duration:
All of the projectors considered in this comparison report offer limited warranties. A full warranty implies if it breaks, a brand new unit will be sent to you, and no one does that.
All of the projectors have one, two or three years, parts and labor warranties. The vast majority have two year warranties.
Under $2000 Home Entertainment / Theater Projectors: Warranty
|Acer H6500||1 year parts/labor|
|Acer H9500BD||1 year parts/labor|
|BenQ W1070||1 year parts/labor|
|BenQ W7000||1 year parts/labor|
|Epson HC8350||2 year overnight replacement|
|Epson HC3020/e||2 year overnight replacement|
|Mitsubishi HC4000||2 years parts/labor|
|Optoma HD20||1 year parts/labor|
|Optoma HD23||1 year parts/labor|
|Optoma HD33||1 year parts/labor|
|Panasonic PT-AR100||1 year parts/labor|
|Sharp XV-Z30000||3 years parts/labor|
|Viewsonic Pro8200||3 years parts/labor|
|Vivitek H1080FD||1 year parts/labor|
$2000 - $3500 Home Theater Projectors: Warranty
|Epson Home Cinema 5020UB/e||2 year overnight replacement|
|Epson Pro Cinema 6020UB||3 years overnight replacement|
|JVC DLA-X35 / RS46||2 years parts/labor|
|Mitsubishi HC7900DW||3 years parts/labor|
|Mitsubishi HC8000D||3 years parts/labot|
|2 years parts/labor|
|Sony VPL-HW50ES||3 years parts/labor, 90 day exchange|
|ViewSonic Pro9000||3 years parts/labor, 1 year exchange|
|Vivitek H5080||1 year parts/labor|
$3500+ Home Theater Projectors: Warranty
|JVC DLA-X55R/RS48U||2 years parts/labor|
|JVC DLA-X75R/RS56U||2 years parts/labor|
|3 year parts/labor|
|Optoma HD8300||3 years parts/labor, express program|
|Runco LS-5||2 years parts/labor|
|Runco LS-10d||2 years parts/labor|
|SIM2 Nero 3D-2||2 years parts/labot|
|Sony VPL-VW95ES||3 years parts/labor|
|Sony VPL-VW1000ES||3 years parts/labor|
Projector Replacement Programs
I will say that projectors with replacement programs, typically are preferred. Sadly, most replacement programs for projectors are for business and education, not on home projectors. The two advantages of replacement programs:
When offering a projector replacement program, generally, the manufacturer has to "trust" the owner, as they send out the replacement projector before they receive the broken one, so they have to base their "warranty covered" decision on the user's info, not from viewing the projector. By the time they see it, the user has a replacement, deal done!
Second, with a replacement program you are back up and running in typically 1, 2, or 3 business days. That sure beats getting a Return Authorization, packing up and shipping your unit, waiting for it to be repaired (a week or two in most cases) and returned. Who wouldn't prefer to be "back up and running" in 2 days, rather than 2 weeks.
At this time, Epson and some older, higher end Optoma projectors are about the only home theater projectors with replacement programs, at least in the lower price ranges.
One other note: Replacement programs normally require you provide credit card information. The manufacturer will hold that information, and put a charge on it for the value of the projector, in the event that you don't return the broken projector, and keep them both.