There are a number of sellers on ebay offering 'Hd ready' projectors with inbuilt tv tuners for anything from 150 or 350 pounds. They do not state the native resolution of the product, which is generally 640x480 (less than svga let alone xga) , thus tricking the unwary customer into the belief that the product can reproduce Hd content at native resolution without down-scaling. The presence of Hdmi inputs on these products encourages the belief that the projector can not only accept Hd content- i.e is Hd compatible-but also reproduce it (which is the whole point) at the same resolution.
Seen in this light, these products suddenly look very unattractive because higher res. (svga) alternatives can be bought from reputable companies like Optoma for the same price. or cheaper- the difference being that the reputable brand won't fall apart within a few months. This is not to say that the cheap Chinese projectors with cheap lamps are a complete scam. Not at all. A well liked company in the U.S- lumenlab- marketed the evo projector last year for $499- the specs and look being the same as the projectors under discussion- but, I believe, they've discontinued the line because of the many problems with the product that cropped up over time. However , for all we know, some of the Chinese manufacturers may be on a learning curve on this one and thus it is too early to write off the whole project. What is unfair is that the guinea pigs in this process are budget conscious ebay buyers- many without technical nous or legal training. The distributors of these products in this country, who do not state the true native res. of their product, are relying on our faith in the strong trading standards tradition we have in Europe. When we see the phrase HD ready we believe the product is really 720p native res. Only by going to the manufacturer's web-site to check the specs do we discover we had been misled. If the U.K distributor is also trading in reputable products he will have a lot of good feedback for those transactions. Even those who receive these sub-standard projectors may, in their first flush of enthusiasm, leave positive feedback re. delivery and packaging. This is because, normally, if a product is sub-standard, we don't blame the Department Store but the manufacturer. In this case, however, you have no comeback against the Manufacturer- the product's brand name has no worth- and thus your only comeback is against the guy who conned you into buying it.
Most people who fall for this scam haven't previous experience of using quality projectors and thus do not suspect till too late that the supposed 1000 lumen projector is actually putting out a small fraction of that. The same point may be made about the high noise level and discrepancy in contrast from what is advertised. I suppose, there are rueful buyers out there consoling themselves with the thought that it was a pipe dream to expect to get anything better for the throwaway price. This is not true. Higher spec reputable brands are available for similar prices. The difference is that they are covered by warranty and won't fall apart. However the cost of replacing lamps will be much higher which is why we can only hope that the Chinese keep plugging away at it until they get it right. Of course, once they do they'll have a brand worth protecting- i.e. the price will immediately go up to reflect the genuine value they are adding.
Till then, however, the pitfalls of buying such products outweigh the promise.
Finally, I should mention, whatever Ebay policy may be, where two parties to a trade are resident in the E.C. the contract between them is subject to European law. Thus unwary purchasers of 'Hd ready projectors' which turn out to be no such thing do have legal redress. The problem is that the cost and inconvenience of litigation will put off most people as sellers well know.
Update- buyers caught by this scam should complain to trading standards- or go to the Consumer Direct website. They should contact the seller and demand the return of their money with p&p & insurance to be paid by the seller. Many sellers will of course disappear overnight. The advantage of reporting the matter is that you can recover from the Credit card company or Pay Pal as the transaction was fraudulent. A persistent offender is David Liu- mybesteshop and a number of other such identities. He is a bully but don't be afraid of him. Incidentally he reckons he's a bit of a poet- so here's a rhyme for him- David Liu- frauds 4 U! Coming soon to a Jail near U! But seriously, the guy is a bad joke. Google his company Digitronix and see what his sat nav tat was like. He was investigated by the Sunday Express last year, but weaseled his way out of it. Trouble is, us patient ebayers tend to believe the best of everybody.
'Hd ready' projectors with low cost lamps- pitfalls
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21 March 2008
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