Prevent a Projector Nightmare

Prevent a Projector Nightmare. Set a maintenance schedule.

Prevent a Projector Nightmare. Set a maintenance schedule.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Everyone is familiar with this quote by Benjamin Franklin. But how does it apply to your digital projector? Every machine needs maintenance. We either pay a little up front to maintain, or we kick the snowball down the hill and pay a lot later to repair. This is of course true of projectors, and this is especially true of projectors with 3LCD optical systems.

Maintenance of Your Projector is Critical

All projectors are maintenance-critical due to having several hundred-watt lamps. These lamps necessitate robust power sub-systems, ballasts to limit lamp current, more complex circuitry to filter the inherent electrical interference, powerful air-cooling systems and in some cases even liquid-cooling systems. Almost every component inside a projector is a single point of failure.

For LCD-type projectors, it gets worse. Optical parts, such as polarized glass, burn over time. The longer maintenance is put off, the more the damage becomes apparent, akin to car tire wear. If left ignored, by the time the optics get to the point where you or your customer can’t stand to look at the projected image, it’s usually too late.  Repairs are much more expensive and usually well beyond cost-effective. Maintenance is key to avoiding this pitfall.

Dust is Your Enemy

Regardless of how well you maintain an LCD projector, optical parts will eventually burn, just as tires will eventually wear down treads. But drag racing is to tires what no maintenance is to a projector’s optical system. Dust accumulates on the blades of axial fans, in the rotors of blower fans and in fan ducts leading to restricted airflow. It also accumulates on the optical parts themselves, which functions much like a blanket on the LCD modules and polarized glass. This effectively disables them from being cooled properly. The dustier the environment, the worse this problem typically becomes.

Do a Full and Proper Cycle

Good maintenance practices can greatly reduce these risks. While blowing canned air into the exhaust fans and lens receptacle is better than nothing, the best protection comes from a full and proper maintenance cycle, to clean out dust from where it likes to get trapped deep within a device.

Projectors should be on a cycle for PM at least annually. Projectors in schools, event rentals and some other environments should be cleaned at least every six months. A clean and well-maintained projector is a happy, long-living and cost-effective projector.

Maintenance does not matter if the projector is installed incorrectly. Here are a few real examples of why you should always consult an experienced AV installer prior to installing a projector.


Choose prevention.

Tony, the AV Guy

Some content provided by Projector Doctor