Ensure you are doing all that you can to keep your TV performing optimally!

Posted by Robert Gaul at

Regarding the service that you can perform, these TVs require a great deal of cooling to ensure the lamp performs optimally and for its intended life span. Within the cooling process there are fans and filters that are always at work, ultimately becoming our environments vacuum cleaner. They collect all the dust and debris that is floating through the air around the TV. Over time this dust and debris will buildup on the intake vents located on the TV, as well as the blades of the fans. The dust will also settle on reflective mirrors, optical lenses and other various parts of the TV.


First things first: Always ensure there is no power supplied when performing any service on electronics. Unplug them from any and all power sources!


When it settles on the intake vents and fan blades it inhibits air flow and can slow the speed of the fan. This disrupts the TVs full ability to cool the lamp off and can lead to premature lamp failure due to overheating over prolonged periods of time. We recommend using a spray can of compressed air. Do not use a standard pneumatic air compressor as they do use water and can spray droplets of water into your electronics! This can of air will help to clean the passageway and clear the fan of any blockage. It is best to do this with the TV off and fully cooled. Removing the lamp cover and lamp is also recommended. Look for the intake vent and start there, you are bound to see a great deal of dust cloud out from the exhaust vent area. Continue until it subsides, and the cooling channel seems free and clear.


When it settles on the lens’s, mirrors, and the screen it inhibits the light from penetrating as clearly and brightly as it would when the TV is brand new. This process can be done in a very simple or detailed manner. It all depends on how much work you want to put in! Either way, it is like a spring cleaning of your homes windows. They may look to a great view outside, but wow, when you clean them! The simple method is to clean where the light from the bulb shines when installed to your TV. This should be done with a microfiber cloth, refrain from cleaner as there are sensitive electronics around each of these areas! You can also clean the viewing side of the screen in the same manner. If you would like a more detailed approach some disassembly is required to get to the light engine, internal mirrors, and the back of the screen. If you are interested in doing this, always follow proper safety precautions and ask one of our knowledgeable techs to help locate your TVs service manual for guidance.


Next, filters. Filters are sometimes hidden and not easily accessible, and sometimes they are a very serviceable part. Think of a clothes dryer and they are very similar. They catch a lot of what comes into the TV. They also fill up similar to a clothes dryer filter and when it becomes clogged the air finds its best way past those blockages and this is where dust really gets built up on those internal components. If you can easily locate your filter, the same dusting air can will do the trick in most cases. Like a clothes dryer, once the filter is full – it is no longer doing its job. The air flow is impeded, and the cooling capability of the TV is lost. Again, contributing to premature failure of a TVs lamp and other components.


In short, these lamps run extremely hot and any hinderance to the cooling of these lamps will shorten their lifespan.


Another common issue with premature lamp failure is excessive on and off power cycles. These lamps are mercury based and require an ignition phase to get the mercury to vaporize and complete the connection in the lamps filament, ultimately providing the light you need. This phase is very stressful to the lamps and should be limited as much as possible. Should you be leaving the TV for 20 minutes just to come back and view again – leave it on. Equally important for the lamps life is the power down process. You will hear your TV continue the cooling process for some time after the TV is turned off. This is extremely important for the lamps life and performance. It is recommended to always have good surge protector in between the TV and its power supply. If you can install a UPC, even better! For those that experience frequent power outages, there is not much worse for your bulb than this. A full power down with no cooling will stress the lamp out and cause premature failure. Always protect your investment and be sure to protect!


As always, please do not hesitate to call or email and pick our brains. After well over a decade of working with projection lighting specifically and well over a score of years with video equipment, we have a ton of knowledge we would love to share!

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