Wednesday, 2 May 2007
My replacement Panasonic AX100 projector has become faulty. I've only had it three months. I've returned it to Superfi today for repair. I also asked them to ask Panasonic to provide me with the option of a replacement or refund. It will be interesting to see what transpires with that request.
Regarding Superfi, I sent them an email detailing the problem and told them I would be in later today to return it. They made the effort to call me first thing this morning and tell me that their weekly shipment to headquarters was scheduled for 10am and if I got the projector in before that time it could be moved on straight-away. Splendid.
The fault is something to do with the iris mechanism. This controls the amount of light that is emitted from the projector and, according to the manual, contributes significantly to the life of the bulb. Well, the bulb's still going strong...
The most visible symptom is this: the projector turns itself off when you turn it on.
The "Self Check" option in the hidden / system menu places a red light next to the word "Iris".
Looking back now, I can see that I first had an inkling of a problem about a month ago. The picture suddenly lost life and vibrancy. I had been operating the projector on its "Normal" picture setting up to this point and now the picture was underwhelming. It was fixed by changing the picture mode to "Vivid Cinema" and I remained very happy.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a slight discolouration of the picture on my browser window (which is predominantly white). The left edge of the picture was pink, the right edge blue. As time went on, this got worse and was joined by the bottom half of the picture being tinged grey. While playing games or watching movies, the discolouration was not noticable but, as I say, when using the computer it is distracting so.
About a week ago, the projector started misbehaving in the first couple of minutes after you switch it on. About thirty seconds to one minute after switching on, the image would suddenly go extremely dim for about half-a-second, then return to normal, then dim again, then return to normal and be fine until the projector was switched off.
A few days after this behaviour manifested itself, it started to switch itself off when turned on about one time in three. Now, it switches itself off every time.
I did manage a workaround however. You turn it on. It turns itself off. You can then hard switch it off using the power switch on the back. Wait a second or two for the light to go off and switch it back on. Power up and the projector will display a picture until you turn it off again. Then you'll have to do this again.