Thursday, November 3, 2011

Infocus 3114 Projector Review

Scroll to the bottom for an update
Our old projector died when somebody tuned it off without letting it go through the cool down cycle so we decided it was time to find a new projector.  We wanted something bright that would allow us to throw a large image in our training / conference room that would be visible with the lights on, which our old projector could not do.  We found the Infocus 3114 which is quite bright at 3,500 Lumens and seemed to fit the bill so we ordered it.

We ceiling mount our projector and the process was fairly straightforward.  The bracket that held the old one up had the right layout to also hold the new one so it was simple.  Upon turning it on it was of course upside down, and finding the menu to configure the projector for upside down mode became a chore.  Unfortunately it's not an easy to find option, you have to open settings, and then scroll through several pages worth of options before getting to the Ceiling Mount: On/Off option.  For ease of use I would like to see this option on the first page, or be a question on first boot up along with language.  The ultimate cool factor would be for the projector to be able to figure out if it were upside down or right side up, but that would add additional cost for added hardware, so simplifying the process in software seems acceptable to me.

The projector has a ton of features, if you plug a laptop in to it via USB it can emulate a second display by installing drivers and allowing you to use it without needing the right HDMI/DVI/VGA cable, etc.  This is a feature we have yet to try but are planning to in the near future.  It seems intriguing and if it works well it could be fairly handy.

The projector throws a great image in our training room with all of the lights on, so we're quite happy with it.  Unfortunately a week or so after we got it we noticed it would flicker every once in a while, and then come back.  We figured it was a cabling issue and reseated all the cables but unfortunately it kept doing it, but it wasn't a huge annoyance.  After 45 days or so it did this one day, and then simply shut off.  Upon turning it back on it made an interesting noise and didn't boot up but displayed a couple warning lights on the button array.  A minute later I tried again and it did boot, and worked great for another 10 or 15 minutes before shutting off.  This cycle has been repeated several times now, so I called CDW where we bought it and unfortunately it's been too long so we can't exchange it through them.  I was given the support number for Infocus and sent their way.  I called Infocus and was told 10 to 15 days for them to process and return it, excluding shipping to and from.  No advanced replacement option.  Ugh.

It's 2011, it's a $1,300 business projector, and they don't offer advanced replacement?  What am I supposed to do in my training room for the next month?  Fortunately our CDW sales rep suggested we purchase a new unit from them, RMA the old one, and return the new unit back to CDW once we got the broken unit back (within 30 days to avoid restocking fees).   Thankfully CDW is accomdating and understanding that Infocus is terrible.

I went ahead and tried to submit an RMA, but the form they emailed me me kept saying my email address was invalid and I couldn't submit my RMA.  Turns out the propulated address they used (my gmail, which was entered properly) couldn't be used for some inexplicable reason. "You have entered an Invalid Field Value for the following field: email."  I used a different address and their system decided that address was valid and let me submit my ticket.  I submitted this bug to them, hopefully they fix it.

Finally I got the packing instructions,  but I find it interesting they don't service their projectors in house, they use projector doctors!

Even more interesting they don't insure the projector when they ship it back to you, if you want that you have to contact them for pricing.

**Update 1/17/2012**
It took 4 weeks to get our projector back.  It worked for about a week, and then died again.  We ended up sending our old one back to Infocus directly and they sent us a replacement, although it was delayed a couple weeks because they were on back order.  It was nice of them to replace it directly, but would have been nice had they told me how long it would take.  This may be the last Infocus projector I purchase.  We've owned it somewhere around 12 weeks and has been in our possession and worked for about 1/4 of that.

Infocus apparently changed their replacement policy to send refurbished units rather than repairing your old projector in order to expedite the process but it wasn't done in time to save us from having quite the ordeal.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Great!.. I want to Buy Projector Wall Mount.. So that I can be more easy in that for my meetings. Thanks for sharing.