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Author Topic: Panasonic PT-D5500 projector reliability  (Read 1800 times)

Arnold B. Krueger

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Panasonic PT-D5500 projector reliability
« on: October 18, 2011, 02:53:42 pm »

About two weeks ago I flicked on our 5 year old Panasonic PT-D5500 projector and it was very dim. I logged into it and found that one bulb was gone. Thing is the remaining bulb was very, very dim for 3000 lumen projector, which it had become by losing one bulb.

If this was my first ride at exactly this same rodeo that would be one thing, but we went through exactly the same thing almost exactly a year ago. In the end we spent over $600 on replacement bulbs which didn't help that much, followed by a $2,500 plus shipping trip to the authorized service center. The repair slip mentioned 2 ballasts a combiner and a new color wheel.

When you are looking at over $5,000 worth of maintenance on a $6,000 projector and know that $2,500 fix-up jobs only last only a year, you're thinking about a new projector. 

We're darn careful with this thing, and have only put about 2500 hours on it in the past 5 or so years. If memory serves, its only got about 1200 hours on it since the last mega repair job.

The thing is permanently wired to power so it can't be shut down without a proper cool down cycle. Internal temperatures look fine when we monitor them via the network connection. The line voltage at its power plug is normal, maybe 118 volts. It is sitting on the end of a six foot 2" steel pipe coming down from a 27 foot ceiling so it is nice and rigidly mounted. The air temperature up there isn't that much more than room temperature because it is so far below the ceiling.  The filters stay pretty clean since the room has minimal dust or fiber sources in it. Basically a tile floor. Walls and ceiling have been painted several times. Bare wood seating with a few strips of thin carpeting.

Theres no problem with the video source, as it works the same when we drive it directly with a short cable and a laptop.

Besides,we know what is happening inside the box because it tells us and I look at it from time to time since I often turn it on and shut it down that way.

As we did a year ago, we temporaily replaced the D5500 with our old Eiki, which is rated at about 2000 lumens. While its image quality is vastly inferior when the D5500 was working well, it now outshines the D5500 by a huge amount. It is far brighter than the D5500 was the week before it failed so badly.

I've been under the impression that the D5500 was visibly degrading starting at least siz\x months ago, and it slowly got worse.

IME Panny PT-D5500 projectors are very common and generally highly regarded. When this thing was new or fresh back from the repair center, it looked great! It was actually too bright!  It had visibly degraded before it crashed.

I can't believe that many PT-D5500 projectors are taking dumps on their owners like this one is doing to us.

Anybody got any clues about issues I haven't thought of, or have any suggestions about its replacment?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 02:30:03 pm by Arnold B. Krueger »
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Chuck Fudge

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 projector reliability
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 04:56:31 pm »

We just received a quote for $5400 and $2000 for repair of 2 - PT-D5600 Panasonics.  Sitting in the same boat as you.  We paid $5000 a piece for these things less than 6 years ago.  Used as venue portable projectors.  Never traveled. 

Looking to replace next fiscal year....Christie?  DPI?
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Brad Weber

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 projector reliability
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 09:36:45 am »

You've probably already done this but you might first want to check all the settings such as that it is set to run in dual lamp mode and high lamp power mode, the brightness level, etc.  Also do check the filter regularly, it is sometimes surprising how much junk gets in the air.

The reality is that  in terms of perceived value when purchasing a projector, most purchasers focus on brightness, ease of use/setup and, of course, cost, which drives manufacturers to do the same.  At the same time, being able to support the latest computer and entertainment technology  tends to limit the practical useful life for projectors.  Put that all together and 5 to 6 years may actually be a fairly expected useful life for a projector.  That's not saying that many projectors don't last much longer or have some 'second life' in another application after that, but it seems that many colleges, universities and corporations look at anywhere from 2 to 5 years as the expected life for classroom and conference room projectors. 
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