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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Anybody get the extended warranty from Barco? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Anybody get the extended warranty from Barco?
Jay Glaus
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 112
From: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Registered: Dec 2010


 - posted 01-31-2018 07:37 PM      Profile for Jay Glaus   Author's Homepage   Email Jay Glaus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just curious what everyone else out there thinks about Barco's extended warranty. I have 3 Barcos, 2 of them are 5 years old and the other is 4 years old. I've tossed around the idea before of the extended warranty but always find myself on the fence about whether its worth it or not.

For me, it would be a little over 11k/year to protect all of my Barcos. Quite a sum of money. However, by the same token, when Deadpool came out a little while ago, my ICP went on Friday night (still remember it well), and it was 5k to buy and ship a new one. So while I don't like putting out so much to protect the machines, I also look and see how quickly a problem can become expensive.

But, I'm interested to know if anyone decided to go with the plan. Are you glad you did? Do you wish you would have? Or do you think you're better off without it?

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12052
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-01-2018 04:58 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is a numbers game. With 3 screens, you are "on the bubble" on the value of the extended warranty. For 1 or 2 screens, extended warranty makes financial sense.

The big ticket item is the light engine. That will set you back $16K ro $27K, depending on model projectors you have. So think of the extended warranty as buying one of those on the 8 year plan rahter than trying to come up with it all at once. Another thing the warranty gets you is standard overnight freight included so you'll get your parts pretty quickly.

Here is another thing to consider. So you spent $5K on that ICP...do you relaize that the warranty was only 90-days? Barco has the worst parts warranty in the industry. But, if you have extended warranty, while you don't want failures because that means downtime, at least you don't add insult to injury.

Once one has enough screens, and 3 is about that threshold, it is cheaper to have their own spare parts or an entire projectorr. Think about it, if you have a 10 plex, that warranty would buy another projector each year, just about, definitely by every 2 years.. In a 3 plex, the payback is much longer but you still have that painful warranty (that goes up each year if you don't buy it all at once).For 2 or less, the money definitely works for the extended waarranty.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 02-01-2018 04:25 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That math does assume that all the screens in a 'plex have the same model of projector, or at least one with interchangeable parts. The alternative strategy of keeping a spare projector, or spare big ticket parts (ICP and light engine), only works in that case. For example, I service a 13-plex that has 4 x DP2K-15C, 4 x DP2K-32B, 2 x DP4K-32B, 2 x DP-1500 and 1 x DP-3000. You'd need to keep five light engines in stock to cover any of them going out.

An extended warranty is basically a limited and very specific insurance policy. It provides partial relief against a revenue-earning piece of machinery going out of action, and the certainty that if that happens, the economic damage will be limited to the revenue from lost shows over a known timeframe. The question is whether that certainty is worth the cost of the warranty. That question will have a different answer for every theater, weighing up all the relevant factors and circumstances.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
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 - posted 02-01-2018 04:53 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What is the failure rate on light engines?

My experience with this stuff is mostly limited to festivals and special screenings, not long-term use, but I have never seen a light engine go. Barco and Christie, at least, seem to be pretty reliable at this point, though they weren't in 2012/2013-ish, when most of them were installed.

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Stephan Shelley
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: castro valley, CA, usa
Registered: Nov 2014


 - posted 02-01-2018 05:33 PM      Profile for Stephan Shelley   Email Stephan Shelley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stuck pixels are not that uncommon. Light engine replacement is how one fixes that.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-01-2018 06:04 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wondering how dangerous it is to move DLP for repeated mobile use. Mark once suspected a light engine cluster pixel failure due to some close construction work. Is a 60kg machine safe to be moved around?

I mean, Christie and Barco make similar DLP projectors for the rental market - they receive quite a bit of kicking?

- Carsten

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 02-01-2018 07:16 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In answer to Scott's question, my best guess at an answer is that light engine failures are pretty rare, but not unheard of. In seven months as a service tech I've dealt with two, both of them on Barcos. The first was when the green formatter board in a DP2K-32B suddenly went TARFU - green artefacts all over the screen. Swapping the ICP with a known good one didn't fix it, and neither did pulling or reseating all the relevant connections. Our loaner light engine is currently in that projector, and the deceased one is now in Belgium being repaired.

The other was in a DP-2000. One of the coolant quick release couplings sprung a leak, all the coolant leaked out, and the green (again) DMD toasted before the temperature sensor registered an alarm and shut the lamp off. After repairing the cooling system and refilling it, the red and blue was still OK, but the green DMD was out. So that wasn't really a light engine failure per se, but the side-effect of the liquid cooling system failing.

That projector was totaled - not worth the cost of a new light engine, all the components that had been doused in coolant, plus the tech hours needed to fix it. It had already done 60,000 hours of runtime.

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Tom Bert
Film Handler

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From: Belgium
Registered: Apr 2010


 - posted 02-02-2018 02:50 AM      Profile for Tom Bert   Email Tom Bert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Wondering how dangerous it is to move DLP for repeated mobile use.
I mean, Christie and Barco make similar DLP projectors for the rental market - they receive quite a bit of kicking?

The rental and events projectors have extra mechanics inside to enable free rotation (install it under any angle): that helps also in making it "transport-proof"

Free rotation is not a use case in cinema (except for a certain forward tilt)

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Peabody Massachusetts
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 - posted 02-02-2018 04:09 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
FWIW We transport Barcos (D-Cinema Machines B's and C's) all over the world all the time. We do have custom road cases made for them but AFAIK the only modifications are quick connect power on them. We don't really have any problems with them from road use.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

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From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-03-2018 09:00 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Servicing a lot of Barcos, I have changed a few light engines. Most have been warranty or on NOC contracts and part of that deal. A few with pixel issues, not just one or two - a constellation of them or a line/block of stuck on or dead pixels. And several with blocked coolant flow. If these were going to be paid replacements I would have investigated and hopefully cleared the blockage but for warranty replacement I don't mess with the RMAd parts.
We do have rental Barco cinema projectors and problems are with general mistreatment... like lost feet, case scratches, and power cables ruined. No internal problems so far and even convergence holds up pretty well in shipment.

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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 02-03-2018 06:31 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The projector I was called to and discovered that a failed cooling system had FUBAR-ed the light engine, was, I am 99.99% sure, caused by an unscrupulous tech using cheap, no-name coolant rather than Barco coolant: I saw a bottle of O'Reilly's branded stuff, about half full, in the booth, and the traces of moisture remaining around the chassis were green, not blue. Furthermore, the O'Reilly's coolant was full strength concentrate, not diluted to working strength. If that had been put straight into the projector's liquid cooling circuit as is, it would have been too thick to circulate properly, I'd guess.

I wonder how many other pumps and light engines have been killed the same way.

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Dave Macaulay
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From: Toronto, Canada
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 - posted 02-03-2018 08:03 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With projectors in a Barco warranty and/or on a Barco NOC contract... we use Barco coolant and change it on schedule. Nasty expensive stuff (for what it is) but that won't have them void the warranty over coolant.
I have seen Christie CP2000S projectors grow weird waxy clots in the reservoir, no clue what that is.
I had some cinemas use automotive antifreeze in film projector gate coolant tanks... it destroyed the pumps - paint peeled off and the metal just eaten away, and even clogged the projector cooling tubes/passages with goo.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 02-05-2018 10:42 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Coolants typically are glycol based and that chemical will attack metals especially aluminum
The US military in the 50's did major research into the issue and found that they needed to add phosphate to solution to maintain a alkaline PH

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Barry Floyd
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From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
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 - posted 02-05-2018 03:53 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have extended warranties on both of our Barco's and our GDC servers.

The first set of extended warranties on the Barcos weren't that bad, as it was just an additional two year warranty tacked on to the end of the two year factory warranty. This past year, we bought the bullet and bought an additional 3 year warranty on both machines. It was expensive, but one Saturday night in the summer with a dark screen would cost me as much as the warranty, so it made financial sense.

I had a "Switched Mode Power Supply" go out in one of my projectors one night about 11:15p.m. early in the season on a Friday night. It didn't go all the way out, but I could tell by listening to the fans inside the machine "something" wasn't right. I called the Barco tech support line and the technician walked my through troubleshooting and stayed on the phone with me until 5:15 a.m. the next morning. Because I had the extended warranties, he found a new switched mode power supply in a parts warehouse in Las Vegas and put it on an airplane headed to Nashville within 2-3 hours. I paid a little extra ($115.00) to get it here expedited, but I drove to the Nashville airport (30 minutes from my theatre) and picked up my part at the Delta freight terminal on Saturday morning and had my projector back up and running by 3 p.m. We never went off screen, and we didn't miss a show.

In that particular case, the extended warranty saved my butt.

Speaking of COOLANT... how hard is it to change out the coolant on a Barco DP2k-23B? I'm due for a change, and have two bottles of coolant in my parts cabinet. Is it something I can do or do I need to call somebody. I've been to the Barc o Level 1 certification classes in Rancho Cordova, but we didn't cover coolant changes.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6867
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 02-05-2018 06:20 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's not at all difficult, but to do it properly, you do need:

- Two lengths of hose, long enough to reach from the projector to the ground, one with a male Series 2 quick release connector on one end, the other with a female one.

- A large (e.g. 100ml) syringe

Barco sell these as a kit, which is probably the only way you can get hold of the quick release couplings.

Start by emptying the coolant reservoir: remove the light engine covers, then remove the upright piece (with the level gauge stamped out of it) covering the reservoir and the two hoses attached to the bottom of it.

Holding a bucket by the side of the projector, tip the reservoir into it (with the pipes still attached), then undo the cap, and let the coolant pour into the bucket. You might find it easier to have an assistant hold the bucket while you empty the old coolant into it from the reservoir.

If there is any residue or gunk in the reservoir, you may need to remove it to clean it out. To do this you'll ideally want a spring-loaded hose clamp removal tool (though it can be done with a pair of pliers and some patience). Pulling the hoses off the barb couplings on the bottom of the reservoir takes both strength and care. If the reservoir is seriously gross and disgusting (which it shouldn't be, if it's only had Barco coolant in it and hasn't been left too long between changes), wash it in the top rack of a dishwasher.

Once the reservoir has been emptied, cleaned and reassembled, undo the quick release couplings from either end of the light engine, and attach your drain hoses. Place the end of one of them in the bucket, and then use the syringe in the other to push the coolant out. Now fill the syringe with new coolant, and pump it through until the light engine portion of the circuit has been refilled. Repeat these steps with the pump/radiator half of the circuit.

Now reassemble the cooling circuit and fill the reservoir with fresh coolant until about an inch below the top. Keep the bottle of fresh coolant handy, and then, using Barco Communicator, put the projector into refill mode. The level in the reservoir should immediately drop, rapidly. Add coolant until it settles around the max mark. You should see the liquid agitating gently through the hole in the top of the reservoir. Give it a minute or two for any air bubbles to work through the circuit and out of the top of the reservoir, then replace the reservoir cap. Look for leaks all the while.

Now strike the lamp, and have the temperatures window open in Commmunicator. The light engine temperatures should rise to the high 20s/low 30s of celsius, and hold there. If they go up and keep going up, shut the lamp off and investigate what could be going wrong. Otherwise, run the lamp for 10-20 minutes after the numbers stabilize, and if they stay stable, the job is done. Feel the pump for excessive heat and vibration, too.

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