Posted on November 6, 2013 By Art Feierman
In a perfect world, your next projector will have:
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.
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.
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.
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