My video projector lamp popped today. I’ve ordered a replacement lamp, partly because I want it working before the next season of Battlestar comes out on dvd and partly because I can’t stand the suspense of knowing if all that went wrong was the bulb reaching the end of its life (it lasted about 20 months) or if the projector itself is reaching the end of its life (it was manufactured in 2001, and I have some worries that the cooling fans might be failing).
I will plug the new bulb in when it arrives. If it melts after a couple hours, then I will know the projector itself is broken and that I just blew a large sum on a replacement bulb. I’d like to say that I will keep an eye on the fans, but realistically if the fans stop blowing in the middle of a movie, I will probably notice just after the bulb melts.
I don’t want to talk finances, because things like computers and videos sometimes demand money that is above and beyond what we’d spend on …on ourselves, for instance, for food or clothing. But the bulb cost a lot. Like, I’ve lived in places with monthly room rents that were equivalent. So if it melts, I’ll be… upset.
The other option was to take a guess that the whole projector was shot, and invest in a brand new one. But the technology is advancing so rapidly (into the new Hi-Def resolutions) that at this point in time one would have to consciously make a decision to buy old technology at prices that do not yet reflect the fact that it is old technology (a bad deal), or to buy new technology at prices that are beyond what anyone should spend on such things (another bad deal). It’s an in-between time now. In a year or two, old technology 720p projectors with old fashioned RGB inputs will be as cheap as the bulb I just replaced. And in two or three years, new 1080p projectors with digital inputs will be the price of the current 720p projectors and all the Hi-Def requirements will be fully understood.
But right now, the best idea is to just try to keep the old projector working for another couple years. I might try taking it apart and brushing the fan blades down. Ooh wait, pipe cleaners. I need pipe cleaners. That would work.