The China Conundrum (Part One)

So its time to replace the lamp on your high definition DLP television set? You do quick Google search, compare prices on Amazon, and go with the cheapest vendor. You process your credit card and sit back and smile because you found a replacement DLP lamp for half the price of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. It’s a slam dunk right? Not so fast, before you purchase your next DLP lamp there are some things you need to know.

Over the last few years Chinese counterfeiters have dumped an abundance of knock-off DLP projector lamps on the market via websites like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. These counterfeit DLP projector lamps can present health, safety, and monetary risks to the unsuspecting customer. So how do you know if you just purchased the real deal or a cheap knock-off? Well, lets start at the beginning…

When you need to purchase a replacement DLP lamp you have one of two options. You can either purchase the DLP lamp directly from the manufacturer or you can purchase the DLP lamp from a reseller. Because manufactures are in the business of selling high definition television sets, and not their parts, it usually makes more sense to purchase from a reseller. A good reseller can give you a broader perspective, a better price, and great customer service.

But not all resellers are created equally. There are currently four types of DLP lamps on the market and before you buy your next DLP lamp you should understand the pros and cons of each. Only basing your decision off of price can present health, safety, and monetary risks. The four types of DLP lamps being sold are; original brand name replacements lamps, OEM replacement lamps (Original Equipment Manufacturer), imitation replacement lamps (i.e. knock-offs), and blatant counterfeit replacement lamps.

Lets talk about the first two options; original brand name replacement lamps and OEM lamps.

The original replacement lamps are the exact lamps that your high definition television set came with. They are typically a common name brand such as Sony or Phillips. These lamps typically provide the best option because they were hand picked by the engineers who designed your television set. The original replacements are usually the more expensive option.

Next there are OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacturer, lamps. Despite their name these lamps are not the original replacement lamps. They are however licensed by the original manufacturer to create and brand their own replacement lamps. As such these lamps are built according to specification and tested for quality. While not as good as the original brand name replacements, these lamps are far from shoddy. These are a little bit cheaper than the original brand name replacement.

So if our Google search provided us with a original brand name replacement lamp or an OEM then we have a good reason to be proud of ourselves. But buyer beware because what you think is an original or OEM could in fact be a cheap imitation or counterfeit posing as a legitimate product. In our next article we will show you how to avoid these fakes.

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