Tragedy strikes

Yesterday, during a routine viewing of an episode of Transformers, my 5-year-old son Sam called to me from the screening room.  I came to his call, as is required of me, and he reported that the “picture had gone out” on the TV.

My son is quite keen to learn about remotes and my home theater system is complicated and persnickety, so I assumed that he had hit some button he should not have.

Closer inspection revealed that, in fact, the bulb had blown out on my projector.  Exploded even.  Its little housing filled with grains of shattered glass.

Well, no problem, think I.  I’ll mosey on over to my local home theater store and pick up another.

I call to make sure they have them.  They do not.  Nor do they think anyone in the area will have them.

They offer to order one.  They say they can have it maybe by next Monday.  Cool, says I.  How much does that run?


!  “Really?!”  Keep in mind, I did not purchase this home theater system.  Rather, it came with the house when I bought it.  I know nothing about its history, legacy or place in the hierarchy of home theater systems.  All I know is that I love it like I have never loved another collection of machines before.

Oh yes, the man tells me.  My projector, he tells me, was top-of-the-line 4.5 years ago (when the house was built and the theater installed).  The previous owner was a stickler for quality and he was willing to pay top dollar.  $635.00 might sound like a lot to pay for a light bulb (in fact, it’s more than I paid for my last TV set), but (the home-theater-guy continues) keep in mind that the projector cost $10,000.00 when it was new.

Now then.  Looking around my office, I’m seeing the stack of components that make up the rest of the system and doing some quick seat-of-my-pants math, and I realize that my home theater system probably cost more than my car.

Well now.  What can I do?  It costs what it costs.  I would have said the same thing if they were talking about a pacemaker.  What am I going to do, stop watching DVDs on a high-definition projector?
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7 Responses to “Tragedy strikes”
  1. craigjclark says:

    Here’s an alternative: Is it possible to replace the projector with something that’s not so high maintenance? Then again, that would probably end up costing you way more than the replacement bulb, so you might have to resign yourself to the idea that they burn out every 4-5 years.

    • Todd says:

      Heck, I don’t plan to keep my car for 4.5 years. I don’t mind the expense, it was just something of a shock to learn.

  2. eronanke says:

    Here my 2 cents:
    If you love the damn thing, spend the money to replace the bulb. And don’t feel bad about it, either.
    And second of all, ask the bulb-seller-guy if he’ll give you two for a grand. That way you’re getting a deal and you won’t have to talk to him again.

    (This is, of course, before you check Ebay, etc, for the same part- ask for the make and model – the internet is AWESOME for shit like this)

    • Todd says:

      Ebay, damn. I never think of these things.

      I don’t feel bad about the money. Like I say, I’d feel the same way about a pacemaker. Who says “well, can’t I just get by with a cheaper model?”

      I did consider asking for two, before I learned the price anyway. But chances are, by the time I need a new one there will be better, cheaper, simpler systems available.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What happen to the last homeowner?
    Maybe you should start a charity.