IN76 Projector Review - Warranty
InFocus provides a one year Parts and Labor warranty (US) on the Play Big IN76 home theater projector. The lamp comes with a 6 month warranty, three months longer than most competitors provide. One year, makes it one of the shorter standard warranties available. Of directly competing projectors we've reviewed, only Panasonic, with PT-AE900u also offers only one year. (Optoma 2 years on the HD72, Epson 2 years, with overnight replacement on the Cinema 550, Sanyo PLVZ4 and BenQ PE7700 3 years...) InFocus does offer optional 1, 2, or 3 year extended warranties with list prices of $149, $249, and $349. Since any major failure with a projector can cost so much that it makes more sense to toss it out, and replace it with the newest technology, which will no doubt cost less a couple of years out, I would recommend at least buying the one year extended warranty. How does that old Clint Eastwood saying go: "Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?" Since you can buy the extended warranty, you can get the same coverage (or longer) that most other projectors have (2 or 3 years), you just have to factor the cost of the extended warranty into your total cost of buying the projector. InFocus also offers an $89 lamp warranty extension. Unlike just about everyone, since they provide a 6 month lamp warranty, so you are paying $89 for an extra 6 months. If you are a very heavy user, you might want to roll the dice on this option. Of course, since InFocus claims 3000 hours on the lamp in any mode, even a 40 hour a week user will only hit 2000 hours or so in one year. Still, lamps can and do, in many cases, fail well before the average hours claimed. Tough call. More of a "piece of mind" issue, as compared to buying an extra one or two years on the projector itself, which I would encourage.
InFocus Big Play IN76 Home Theater Projector: Summary, Pros, Cons
I'll start with what I liked the very best about the IN76 projector, and that is definitely, that if you choose this projector, you can take it out of the box, hook it up, and enjoy excellent color "out of the box". Unlike almost all of the competition, color balance is close enough to ideal, that if you never touch a color, brightness or contrast control, you will almost certainly find the image to be extremely pleasing.
Now this pricing situation, could change very quickly, since the IN76 is brand new! For it is basically the "more expensive than the competition" price that I find is the only real downside to the IN76.
Here's a summary of what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of the IN76 home theater projector:
- Out of the box performance
- Extremely bright, especially good for watching HDTV sports with signficant ambient light
- Great styling (Most projector's image quality will impress your friends, this one will impress even turned off!)
- 3 savable user settings (presets)
- Pedestal stand
- Good selection of inputs, especially two digital inputs
- Excellent documentation
- Ease of use
- Lamp life - average in low power mode, but exceptional at full power
- Black levels (very good for a DLP, better than the LCD competitors)
- Highlight and shadow detail
- 5X color wheel
- Worked really well with my XBox
- Affordable extended warranties available will allow you up to 4 years of parts/labor warranty.
- Support - Unlike most manufacturers I believe (will verify) that InFocus still offers 24/7 technical support under warranty.
- Noticeably more expensive than the competition, including other Darkchip2 powered DLP projectors, and 720p LCD projectors
- Warranty - only one year standard, no replacement program
- Projector must be unmounted to replace lamp
- No lens shift (typical of DLP projectors in this class, but most LCD models have lens shift)
- Limited range on zoom (compared to LCD models)
- Fan Noise levels - about average in low power mode, slightly louder than average in High Bright mode (compared ot other projectors in their low and high power modes)
- Range of zoom for DLP models
- Remote Control (but I really like the blue lights)