Panasonic PT-AX200U Home Theater Projector Review

The Panasonic PT-AX200U Projector Warranty

One year parts and labor warranty! That’s right, one year is all Panasonic includes standard, with the PT-AX200U. About half the competition offers one year, and the rest, mostly standard two years parts and labor. For the sake of comparison, Epson offers the best warranty, with their similarly priced Home Cinema 400 (and its soon to be released, replacement), offering 2 years, and with a overnight replacement program for the entire two years. Now, that’s a big difference.

Before I continue my “rant”, I should point out that with the launch of the PT-AX200U, Panasonic is offering a 2 year warranty as a promotion, that ends 11/30/2007. No way to know if they will renew it. (Don’t count on this page to get updated as promotions change, consult your friendly dealer).

There is definitely a value associated with that extra year. If you go with a 3rd party 2nd year warranty, it will in reality, probably cost you around $100 or a little less, although a couple of online dealers throw in a 3rd party warranty at no charge. (Don’t worry, the dealer has factored in its cost, somewhere in your total bill.). After all, as they say, “There’s no such thing, as a free lunch.”

Now the important point here, is that you really should not be satisfied with a one year warranty. Should the Panasonic, or any other home theater projector, for that matter, develop a problem in the 2nd year, it’s probably going to be an expensive one. The last thing you want is a $600 repair bill, in year two on a $1299 projector. If you have two years coverage, and it fails in year three, that’s a whole different story. Why? Because you’re probably about to buy a replacement lamp, anyway ($300?), and if the repair is even $500, that’s $800 total, and in 2+ years, no doubt you’ll be able to buy a replacement for the AX200U, that’s every bit as good, or better, for that $800. That’s just the nature of home theater projector pricing over time. (Two generations and two years ago, the PT-AE900U commanded a street price of about $1900 – $2000, so, the AX200U is barely 2/3 that amount.

So, while 3rd party warranties may have issues and hassles that a manufacturer’s warranty won’t, when you consider the low cost, I’d recommend picking up that 2nd year warranty. And I mean that, not just for the PT-AX200U, but for any home theater projector that comes with only a one year warranty.

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