The China Conundrum (Part Two)
So, it is time to replace the lamp on your high definition DLP television set or projector and we found what we think is a smoking deal on a replacement. But before we start boasting we need to make sure that we did in fact find a deal and not a cheap knock-off posing as a legitimate product. As we know, there are four types of DLP lamps on the market; original brand name replacements lamps, OEM replacement lamps, imitation replacement lamps, and blatant counterfeit replacement lamps. We have already discussed original brand name replacements and OEM replacement lamps in our previous article.
Now let’s talk about imitation lamps and blatant counterfeit lamps.
These are often times the most misunderstood part of replacement DLP lamps. Imitation lamps are lamps that companies have reverse engineered and then reproduced to look and perform like the original replacement lamp. These companies then sell these lamps under their own brand name. Because reverse engineering a patented product is considered theft of intellectual property these companies cannot ensure that they are building the product to specification. These lamps are by far the cheapest but their defect rate is much higher than both the original brand name replacement lamps and the OEM replacement lamps.
The final lamp on the market are the blatant counterfeit lamps. Again these companies have reverse engineered and then reproduced their lamps to look like the original. Unlike the companies producing imitation lamps, these companies are putting the original brand name on their fake product despite the fact that they are not affiliated with the original manufacturers in any way, shape, or form. These companies are not only infringing upon the original company’s patent but they are also unlawfully using registered trademarks. These lamps are often sold as originals meaning that you will pay full price for a sub-par product.
If you are going to purchase a replacement lamp you want to make sure that you are purchasing either an original brand name replacement lamp or a licensed OEM replacement lamp. You should avoid imitation and counterfeit replacement lamps at all costs. Imitation and counterfeit lamps are not only bad for the patent and trademark holders but they can be dangerous to the consumer. Counterfeit and imitation lamp manufacturers are in it for the money. Therefore they will cut corners on safety mechanisms to ensure a pretty profit. DLP lamps operate under high temperatures, with high pressure, and around other expensive electronic devices. You do not want to take chances with an faulty and unverified counterfeit or imitation lamp manufacturers.
So how do you know if you are purchasing an undesirable lamp?
First, you want to make sure that you purchasing from a reputable company. Read their reviews and testimonials. Do you hear stories of their lamps “popping” or “blowing up” inside of devices? If so this is a tell-tale sign that your vendor is selling cheap Chinese lamps.
Second, you want to communicate with the vendor. Give them a call or send them an email and ask them if their lamps are authentic. If you don’t receive a response or you aren’t comfortable with response you receive then move on to the next reseller.
Third, know how much the authentic should cost. By having a realistic baseline price for the authentic lamp you will know whether or not your sale price is too good to be true. Remember, skimping today to save $30 could lead to having to purchase another lamp at full price tomorrow.
Now that you are in the know – make sure that you don’t get left holding the bag when an imitation or counterfeit replacement lamp goes bad.