Projector Reviews

Home Theater Projectors – Warranty and Support – 2

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).

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.

Replacement Programs

BenQ W20000 First year
Epson 6100, 6500UB Two years
Epson 7100, 7500UB Three years

Projector Support

Generally, support – primarily technical support, is good with projector manufacturers. That said, from my own experience, one company stands out, and that is Epson. Not only are they very customer focused, but they offer a direct line to their projector support team, saving time and hassle navigating through layers of support people when you need to speak with them. When you add to that, the fact that they have a replacement program, their support is tough to beat.

While I don’t get many emails relating to support department performance from home theater projector owners, I can say that most tend to be complaints. With Epson, on the other hand, I get an occaisional email just to tell me how good Epson is.

I can say this, about once a month, I’ll get a complaint about how a manufacturer handled an issue, from a specific owner. If it makes sense, I’ll normally forward that to contacts I have with the manufacturer. Generally I get feedback from that person, that the manufacturer has resolved the problem to the satisfaction of the owner.

* While Panasonic offers only a one year warranty, so far, since its launch, they have been offering a 2nd year free, in the form of a mail-in rebate.
** There are two versions of the Optoma HD806, the standard HD806 comes with a one year warranty. The HD806-ISF, sold through local dealers, comes with a 2 year warranty.
*** Sanyo is the only company that I am aware of, that doesn’t offer to replace initially defective (DOA) units with a brand new one. They prefer to have you ship them in, make them right, and ship it back to you. (They pay all freight). In addition, while Sanyo doesn’t offer a replacement program, they do promise rapid turn around, of no more than 3 days at their repair facility.