Home Theater Projectors – Warranty and Support

There are basically three aspects to the overall warranty and support issue. Two relate to the warranty: Duration, and Replacement ProgramsComparing projectors for those two aspects is fairly straightforward, but with an occasional twist.Support, on the other hand, is hard to get a handle on. Some companies seem to have a superb reputation for support, but for the most part, I don’t get enough feedback to make determinations. In fact when I do comment, it is usually in part based on my previous experience as owner of a large online projector reseller. Having sold that business, I was still involved in it, through end of 2005. Still that’s now 4+ years ago, and some things may have changed. For that reason I’ll make no attempt here to try to define and rank support.

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, so I’ll just list those with more, or less

One year warranties

PanasonicPT-AE4000*
BenQW1000
BenQW6000
OptomaHD20
SharpXV-Z15000
VivitekH1080FD

Three year warranties

Epson9100, 9500UB
OptomaHD8200
OptomaHD8600
SanyoPLV-Z700***
SanyoPLV-Z3000***
ViewsonicPro8100

Projector Replacement Programs

These companies will replace a projector with warranty problems for the timeframe specified, with one out of a loaner fleet. That isn’t a guaranty of a brand new unit, but rather one out of a pool of units set aside for this type of program, and those units are typically projectors that came back to them with a problem, have been repaired, and added to their replacement fleet.

Note: Replacement programs are more popular with business projectors than home theater ones. A number of companies that provide a replacement program (or similar loaner program) on their business projectors (including Panasonic and Mitsubishi, to name two), do not offer them on their home theater lineup.

I’m a huge fan of replacement programs! From my experience, most owners who have used one consider it to be a great support feature.

In the case of Epson, the replacement program is built around overnight shipping, with BenQ, it’s 2nd day shipping. In both cases, there is a cut-off time in the afternoon, after which they can’t ship it out the same day as the problem is reported. Both manufacturers not only pay the freight to get you the replacement, but also pay the freight to send the broken unit back to them. (usually in the box that the replacement came in, so you don’t have to send yours back until you’ve received the replacement).

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