The short life span of Projection TVs

Mar 25, 2002

The Bottom Line Always buy an extended warranty when buying a projection TV.

Projection TVs have improved considerably in the last 10-15 years. The picture definition has improved and the prices have dropped.

However, one constant remains: Big Screen TVs wear out as fast as your favorite pair of shoes.

Thousands of things can go wrong with a projection TV. Without getting too technical, a projection TV has about three times more parts than in a tube TV. That's three times more probability something will go wrong. What's worse, most of the problems found on big screen TVs are subtle. Parts on a projection TV wear out gradually. Most of us will not notice this gradual change (washed-out colors, the inability to hold black levels, contrast and brightness irregularities, and so on) until it's too late. By the time you start noticing these problems-- or when you can't turn the brightness control any higher-- the factory warranty may have expired and hundreds of dollars will be spent fixing and replacing worn out parts.

A technician that worked on my Sony Projection TV told me that these TVs were not meant to last but a couple of years(!). Sure you can get a high-end Toshiba or Mitsubishi TV and hope for a better result, but the truth is, when shopping for a big-screen TV, keep in mind that these giants tend to fizzle out faster than their smaller cousins, the tube TV.

If you are like me and you must have a large projection TV to go with your large room, your large family, and your large surround sound system, at least purchase an extended warranty plan. This will save you frustration and money down the road.

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