About Cost of Operation, Maintenance, Filters

About Cost of Operation, Maintenance, Filters

The core factors for educational institutions, relating to long term operation are:

  1. Initial cost of the projector
  2. Cost of installation
  3. Cost of replacement lamps
  4. Cost of replacing lamps
  5. Filter costs (when needed) minor, but cost of replacing them is labor
  6. Cost of repairs

The first category we won’t include in this section.

Cost of Installation

Cost of Installation will vary depending on the type of projector.  Ultra-short throw projectors and Very short throw projectors typically mount o the wall directly above the screen or whiteboard surface.  This puts all the install work on one wall, not wall + ceiling, so labor is less, and cabling runs simpler and less costly.  The only downside cost wise, is that the typical wall mount cost more than the typical ceiling mount.  But all considered the utra and very short throw projectors should have lower total installation cost

Cost of Replacement Lamps

Replacement lamps are tough to figure.  There are projectors out there with lamps that last 4000/5000 hours that cost $249, or even $349 to replace, but then there are some companies that make replacement lamps incredibly affordable for the education market.  Epson as an example is one, with their Brighter Futures program offering lamps to schools for $99 on almost all of their projectors.

Cost of Replacing Lamps

It’s not just the cost, if a district is managing 500 projectors, and lamps last an average of 4 years, that means replacing lamps at the rate of about 125 per year.  And those would be located at multiple schools  Bottom line, that’s a lot of labor time, and therefore cost.

If you are managing a lot of projectors I highly recommend that those projectors being mounted can have their lamps (and filters when appropriate) changed without having to remove the projector from its ceiling or wall mount.   Otherwise you are adding significantly to the time it takes to replace each lamp.  Fortunately most projectors suitable for education use do not have to be unmounted…

Filter Costs

Filter costs tend to be insignificant.  Except for larger commercial DLP projectors, most DLP projectors have no filters to change.  That’s good from a cost/labor standpoint, but not so great in terms of dust.  Any of us who’ve seen into a 3-5 year old desktop computer know that every internal component tends to be covered in dust, and that makes computers – and projectors to run hotter.  So, there’s a possible trade-off in terms of reliability.   The question though is how often to change the filters.  Unfortunately many projectors that have filters don’t quote a time, but rather advise with a message when its time.  Still filter life has improved, and most projectors with them in a normal room can survive 1000 or more hours between dealings with the filters.  Some companies say change the filter only when replacing the lamp (4000+ hours).  And a few projectors, have long life filters that can outlast several lamps.  (Panasonic, Epson and Sony come to mind on their bigger projectors.

 

Filters vs. non-filters from a cost of operation/maintenance/reliability standpoint should be a consideration in choosing the right projectors.  Perhaps not a top consideration, but the trade-offs are there, and should be factored in to some extent.

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