In conference rooms and other locations throughout your facility, you have a handful of digital projectors. Here at Experience Audio Video, we’ve watched projector technology come a long way in the past couple decades. Today’s machines are impressive and quite reliable.

But even the most reliable projector will eventually experience degraded performance or may even stop projecting entirely. When this happens, you’re faced with a choice: try replacing the bulb, or just buy a new unit?

Option 1: Replace the Bulb

The first option is to try replacing the bulb. After all, the bulb is a consumable component. The manufacturer intends for users to replace projector bulb assemblies after a certain number of hours of use.

This is certainly an option. The problem is that the bulb itself can be fairly expensive. If replacing the bulb doesn’t fix the problem, you may have wasted a few hundred bucks.

According to one projector specialist, the one situation in which replacing the bulb is the clear first step is when you hear a “pop” or can visually tell that the bulb has popped or exploded.

Option 2: Replace the Projector

The second option is to replace the entire projector. The average price for projectors has dropped greatly. On the surface this is a good thing, but the reason for the price drop is that many cheap, low-quality players have entered the market. Component failure rates are high. These projectors aren’t designed to last.

If your projector didn’t cost much, chances are it’s in this category. If it’s failed or is malfunctioning, your best bet may be to replace the unit outright.

Option 3: Have the Projector Serviced

The third option is to have your projector serviced. Dust can build up in vents, and small internal components can fail as a result. Having your projector serviced is one way to extend its life. And if it turns out the bulb really does need to be replaced, your repair person can take care of that, too.