Before we even start, did you know that almost all
television manufacturers do not manufacturer their own TV lamps? Only a
handful of companies actually manufacture the lamps used in their own
televisions. Almost all major TV manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and
Hitachi use Philips brand lamps as an OEM part in most their television
models. In fact, all Sony television models come with a Philips lamp.
PHILIPS represents about 80% of this market, meaning that 4 out of 5
television models come with a Philips lamp from factory.
Why is it so important to buy brand name components when purchasing a high performance lamp for your DLP or LCD television?
The answer won't shock you, but you might think twice before buying generic.
First of all, let me preface by mentioning that there is nothing wrong
with purchasing generic parts. With some electronic components or
consumable parts, generic is the most cost-effective way to go. The same
goes for DLP and LCD projection lighting. Generic can be a great for
your wallet in the short-term, but you may kick yourself 4 months down
the line when your generic lamp goes kaput!
Hg, or mercury, vapor lamps are under extremely high
pressure. The quality comes down to the manufacturing process, the
better the process, the better the lamp. There are two main parts to a
UHP lamp, the lighting element (sometimes called the burner) and the
reflector. Philips used to manufacture both in Belgium, but as demand
and costs grew, Philips started manufacturing the reflector in China.
The burners are still said to be manufactured in Europe since it's a
trade secret - and for good reason too since the burner is what makes
the lamp ignition possible.
There is always a risk of premature explosion and loss
of lumens associated with purchasing an off-brand or generic lamp
product. If you buy brand lamps such as Philips for your television, it
may cost you a bit more now but the lamp will last for about 2-3 years
without having any picture related problems. However if you buy a
generic or off-brand lamp, it usually does not last as long and does not
render the same picture quality. The cost-benefit analysis maintains
you are better off purchasing a brand lamp.
Here are some of the disadvantages of using OEM compatible/ Generic or third party lamps:
Brand name lamps such as Philips, Ushio, etc has been
extensively tested and engineered to ensure quality and longevity of
your television. But BEWARE... counterfeit lamps do exist and they are
presented in a number of different disguises. Generic lamps sold online
by a number of vendors today should be considered counterfeit when
sellers deliberately mislead consumers by not mentioning the lamp brand
name and claiming OEM when in fact they are compatible replacement or
generic knock offs (such as DNGO).
What should consumers do to protect themselves?
Lamp is the heart of your television.
You have spent thousands of dollars in buying your television just to have a pleasant television
watching experience. Don't ruin that experience by purchasing a generic lamp,
which is not even cost effective in a long run.