Counterfeit lamps DO exist… and they are presented in a number of different disguises:
- Generic lamps sold online by a number of vendors today should be considered counterfeit when sellers deliberately mislead consumers with claims to "OEM" or "Genuine Original" when in fact the are knock offs. There are many of these generic lamp e-tailers popping up daily… it’s a disease that needs to be stopped! We will show you the questions to ask and how to confirm you are receiving a genuine product!
- Brand name lamps, marketed and sold, again, as the “original” lamp for your particular TV. Just because an aftermarket lamp has a brand name stamped on it does not qualify it as an original part number for your TV. Your television was engineered with consideration from the ORIGINAL lamp supplier and the TV manufacturer. Engineers from both companies worked hand in hand to fine tune your picture. What does all this mean?
EXAMPLE: lets use for example a Samsung DLP TV, model HLS4666W TV. The original lamp part number is BP96-01472A. This part, when purchased directly from Samsung at about $199.99 includes the plastic case (sometimes referred to as the enclosure, assembly, housing, etc.) and the actual lamp. The lamp this TV originally shipped with out of Samsung’s factory was manufactured by Philips. The replacement part number BP96-01472A shipped from the Samsung Parts Factory is also a Philips. There are vendors out there that claim to sell the original lamp for your TV at deep discounted prices… this is a sign something is not right.
- The competition is hot and it’s only heating up higher. Generic companies are trying to figure out ways to gain a piece of the market share and there is nothing they will not consider to get it! As are copies of brand name sunglasses, watches, purses, and so forth, copycats have realized the market potential of replacement lamps (more on this below). What’s stopping a third party lamp manufacture from stamping “Philips” on their lamps and introducing them into the marketplace? Nothing really. Philips doesn’t have a world police as every dock examining every product that’s shipping off international ports. If the clothing industry cannot prevent fraud and copycats I would imagine lamps would have similar problems. All the more reason to purchase lamps from authorized and legitimate distributors, not just a fly-by-night company with the best price working out of their garage importing generic product!
Where do these bogus vendors sell?
- eBay is a common breeding ground…as are fly-by-night brand-spankin’ new ecommerce stores. They claim to ship you original parts at deep discounted prices, often times over $100 less than the manufacturer! For a part that retails less than $200, something is wrong when an e-tailers claims this folks, watch out.
- Heavy marketers – some of these fly-by-night merchants are investing literally thousands of dollars a day on advertising [to be blunt] their crappy merchandise. And they really do need these advertising campaigns to trick uninformed consumers into their scams. Search for Samsung BP96-01472A lamp, you’ll see a lot of these scammers on paid google search results. These guys are battling out through pricing competitions on a daily basis…ultimately they will lose any credibility if they’ve had any when consumers realize what is going on.
What do these bogus vendors sell?
- More often than not, cheap, generic lamps. These are made by a handful of manufactures, mostly in Taiwan and mainland China. Factories seem to be popping up as these realize the market potential of this industry.
- Branded lamps – Venders often claims they are selling an Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) product. While a lamp may be OEM for one product, this does NOT make it an OEM product across the board! I.E., if a Samsung lamp is manufactured by Philips, that does not necessarily mean that a different Sony TV’s OEM lamp is Philips (in this case, both Samsung and Sony depend on Philips as the OEM, but that’s beside the point). There are third party lamp manufacturers that are insisting to sell original lamp by marketing them as OEM. This is a lie and deceitful!
Why do consumers need to be wary of these third-party and counterfeit products?
- Rear Projection TV’s (RPTVs) were manufactured by collaboration efforts between many different companies. Texas Instruments (TI) was instrumental in creating the DLP Technology and the DLP chip that spawned this revolution of TVs and Projectors. Philips has been a huge part of the movement as the inventor of the UHP lamp technology used across the world today. With these two main partners are the OEM product manufactures, such as Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, etc. It is collaboration through these companies that resulted in RPTV and Front Projection (FT) projectors.
As this is the case, these companies have spent countless hours perfecting their innovations to work together seamlessly. These companies have spent millions upon millions of dollars on Research and Development (R&D) to not only created and perfect their technologies, but to mesh all the this technology together.
When a third-party manufacture enters the marketplace, there are a lot of disadvantages at play…and that is a whole other discussion there…
- Often times third-party products (including lamps) can VOID your manufacturer’s warranty and lead to premature failure of other components inside your TV set! Your DLP is “driven” or powered on by a “lamp driver” or a “ballast” This ballast has been engineered as the bridge between the TV manufacturer (Samsung for example) and the lamp manufacturer (Philips for example). To ensure proper ignition, continuous voltage, and a healthy long life, the ballast and lamp are matched together.
- With a generic or third-party lamp, you are committing yourself to buying an inferior product! Spending $5, $10, or $15 extra on an original part versus a generic/third-party should be a no-brainer when you’ve got a lot more to lose than a few bucks! More on this to come, this has already become longer than it should be.
What should consumers do to protect themselves?
- Always buy from reputable, AUTHORIZED dealers.
- Check to see how long the company has been in business.
- Check affiliations
- Compare pricing with competitors (if you see a vendor that’s extremely cheap, but has limited quantity, that’s a red flag)
- Call the company to check them out and ask questions