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Author Topic: Laser Projector Lifetime
Lucas Iaccarino
Film Handler

Posts: 23
From: capital federal, buenos aires, argentina
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted 10-24-2017 03:34 PM      Profile for Lucas Iaccarino   Email Lucas Iaccarino   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello everybody.

I´have a question that came to me last week. I went to a Cinema to make a Screening Test and I was extremely dissapointed about the luminance of the projection. One year ago the same cinema had a sharp, well contrasted image with beautiful blacks and now it seems very weak: blacks were gray, the colors were all shutdown and the luminance was 1,6 fL.

The projector is a NEC NC1100L-A with laser, around 7200 hours. Nothing changed, only the lamp hours.

My question is: this is normal? or should I think about other reasons for this dropdown - maybe dirt in the lens or mirrors - The lamp life is supposed to be 20.000 hs, but at which luminance?
thanks for advance!

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2496
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 10-24-2017 04:50 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
1.6fL in 2D?

If that's the case - and it was 14fL at the beginning - then the projector is faulty [Smile]

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Lucas Iaccarino
Film Handler

Posts: 23
From: capital federal, buenos aires, argentina
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted 10-24-2017 06:03 PM      Profile for Lucas Iaccarino   Email Lucas Iaccarino   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It was around 11 Fl at the beginning, do you still believe it could be faulty? Whick kind of technical issue do you think could be?

Thanks!

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Dave Macaulay
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1939
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-24-2017 08:17 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
11 ft-L new? It seems like the projector is undersize for the screen.
The laser light source has a lot of blue laser diodes, I don't remember how many, arranged in a few banks. Some go directly to the integrator as blue light, others point at a spinning disc with yellow phosphor that glows VERY bright under the blue illumination. That yellow light also goes to the integrator. Together that gives white light.
If you spec the projector properly you should be around 1/2 to 2/3 full power for 14-16 ft-L when installed. Power is increased (to compensate for the dimming) as the lasers age and as they burn out - burnout happens faster at higher power percentage. I don't know the brightness that defines end of life but it's well known that any digital projector - xenon, HID, laser - will be dim at lamp EOL if it's run at 100% power from day 1.
I don't know if an 85% loss in brightness is normal for a laser light source at 100% power for 7600 hours. It sounds high to me...
Get a 2 year log package and send it to NEC support. They will tell you if the light source has problems.
The laser power supplies could also be in trouble.
You can inspect the log package in any text editor but notepad++ formats it better for readability. You may not understand what it's telling you, there is a LOT of information. Don't open and close/save the log package before sending to NEC, you can open a copy. Any editing will make it "corrupt" to NEC and they won't want to look at it... just opening and closing one in some editors is enough.
There could be a physical misalignment - or even some kind of extreme dirt in there, but the prism itself is sealed pretty much airtight and all optics are well protected.
If the light source checks out OK then possibly the optics are way out of alignment?
Overall, excepting the labor cost for changing lamps, I haven't seen an economic justification for the phosphor laser projectors. 20,000H is less than 10 xenon lamps if you get 2400h rated ones.. and the laser premium is right in there even neglecting a replacement light source is $$$ plus several hours of tech time. The 1100L is in the running for most service-UNfriendly projector ever.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15885
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-24-2017 08:40 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When they had it on display at CinemaCon I asked them how much to replace the laser assemblies in it. They were unable to answer that then, but you can bet it's expensive.

Mark

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2232
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-25-2017 01:39 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
1,6 fl is like watching 35mm film projected with a candle light. I've been using a laser phosphor projector for a while now. It now logs around 6000 hours and there hasn't been a noticeable reduction in brightness yet. The machine runs at about 2/3rds on its rated power for DCI graded content and at 100% for BT.2020 content, but it's being used for DCI graded content about 95% of the time.

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2496
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 10-25-2017 04:24 AM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am not familiar with those machines but yes, there must be something very wrong with it.

11fL when new is just plain wrong though [Frown]

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