Frequently Asked Questions

Our Tech Support team tackles tough technical questions every day. Here is a short list of questions and answers to common projector problems. Click a category below to view related FAQs.

Projector Frequently Asked Questions

Lamp Problems - Lamp not lighting, replaced lamp still not working, and more.

Lamp Problems

Although it is sometimes called a projector bulb, the part of the projector responsible for emiting light is actually a bulb and housing in one, and is better known as a projector lamp. A projector lamp is more like a car headlight than a regular light bulb. Projector lamps, like air filters, can often be replaced by the owner. Check your owner's manual or call or email our customer service staff for more information.

Q:

My projector seems to be functioning properly but the no light is produced.

A:

Remove the lamp from the projector. Ensure that it has no cracks, discoloration or "smoky" appearance. It may have blown out.

Projector Lamp Problems

Q:

My lamp looks fine but the projector does not light. I notice a "clicking" sound coming from the projector when I turn it on.

A:

That could be the sound of your lamp ballast attempting to ignite the lamp but is unable. It is recommended that you try removing and reseating the lamp, or to try another lamp.

Projector Lamp Problems

Q:

I just replaced my lamp but I am still not getting any light from my projector.

A:

Here are a few things to try:

  • Reset your lamp timer. Most projectors have no way of knowing if you physically have replaced your lamp. They rely on the user resetting the lamp timer.
  • Pull the lamp back out of the unit, give is a brisk shake and reset the lamp. Occasionally there is some buildup on the lamp contacts or filament during manufacturing.
Projector Lamp Problems

Q:

I was watching a movie last night and I heard a loud pop! After inspecting my projector, it seems my lamp has shattered. There is glass inside of the projector itself, what should I do?

A:

It is not entirely uncommon for lamps to fail prematurely in an abrupt manner. This is commonly due to a weakness in the glass, caused during manufacturing, and would typically cause the lamp to explode within the first few uses. It is recommended that you place your projector on some newspaper or paper towels on your table or workbench. Carefully remove the lamp housing and place it in a small box or sturdy paper bag. Flip the projector right side up and gently shake it from side to side over the paper towels or newspaper to get all the small glass fragments out. One or two small pieces left in the projector usually will not cause any future problems. If your lamp has failed in this manner, it may be covered under a lamp warranty with the manufacturer. At your earliest convenience, call the customer service group at Projector Service Center to verify if a warranty exchange is available.

Projector Lamp Problems

Q:

My projector seems to be working properly, and I can even hear my fan running, but the lamp does not seem to illuminate. Do I need to replace my lamp?

A:

There are a number of reasons why a projector will not ignite a lamp even if the lamp is still 'good'. Here are a few things to check

Image Problems - Image not square, black bars, noise in image, and more.

Image Problems

Projector Image ProblemsQ:

Why do I see green, blue, or red "smudges" or "blobs" on my projected image?

A:

More than likely, what you are seeing is dust on one of your LCD panels. Try pausing your image so that these abnormalities are clearly visible (see image). Then simply de-focus your projector in BOTH directions. (see image).

You should see these blobs actually become a solid object either in the form of a string of lint or a spot of dust. To avoid dust blobs from occurring, it's important to perform routine maintenance on your projector. Cleaning of the filter with a vacuum on a monthly basis will help reduce accumulation of dust buildup. .

Projector Image Problems

Q:

My image isn't square or rectangular, it's more of a trapezoid shape. What could be causing this and how can I correct it?

Projector placed at angle to screenA:

Make sure the projector isn't placed off to one side of the screen or turned to face the screen at an angle (as in the illustration to the right). Place the projector directly in front of the screen, centered, and ensure that the projector is facing the screen squarely.

Projector that needs keystone correctionA:

If the diagram to the right better represents your image, a simple keystone adjustment (if available on your projector) can correct the image.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

I have adjusted my keystone correction so my image is square with the screen but when I shut off the projector, the settings are lost.

A:

Check the menu of your projector. There is a good possibility that you need to enable a "Save" feature for the keystone. This is common in many Epson projector models.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

There is a strange "flickering" only on one side/corner of my image. This happens regardless of my input source (computer, DVD, etc.). Is my lamp going bad?

Test flicker by inverting your imageA:

A quick test to determine the cause would be to invert the projected image. Many projectors have what is called "rear" projection mode where the projected image can be reversed depending on installation. Simply change the mode of your projector from front projection to rear projection. This will cause the image to be reversed on your screen (see diagram). If the "flickering" remains locked in the same location, then the defect would probably be with your lamp because the lamp wouldn't be physically reversed. However, if the flickering changes sides, the problem is more likely a defect developing within the projectors optics.

Projector Image Problems

Black bars on widescreen projectorsQ:

Why do I still see black bars on the top and bottom of my projected image when I am using a "16x9" projector watching a "16x9" movie?

A:

Your wide screen projector has a 16x9 LCD panel or DLP chip inside of it creating the image you see. Since the 1950s, Hollywood has been shooting film in various "widescreen" formats. The aspect ratio of the widescreen DVD or VHS tape you are watching will vary depending on the camera used to film the picture.

Common aspect ratios which will display black bars on a 16x9 (or 1.77:1) projector include 2.35:1 (Examples include Scream, Lawrence of Arabia ), and 1.85:1 ( Examples include Ace Ventura; Pet Detective, Almost Famous ).

Click here for a list of DVD movie aspect ratios from the Internet Movie Database.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

I am experiencing an awful lot of 'noise' in my projected image. It is primarily noticeable in darker movie scenes. I have changed my DVD player and my cabling. What else could it be?

A:

Projectors sometimes pick up and magnify (due to large screen sizes) 'noise' in an image resulting from interference or grounding problems. Try disconnecting all inputs to the projector and connect just the projector to a different wall plug or circuit in your home/office. If you see 'noise' in just the startup screen on your projector, there could be a problem internally with the projector. If you do not, there is a problem somewhere in your theater setup.

Try reconnecting one piece at a time while the projector is on. There should be a point where you notice the 'image noise' returning. The last connected component will be the source. Spacing the cables being run to the projector, upgrading the power cord to a higher quality 'home theater grade' cable, installing Electromagnetic / Radio Frequency Suppressor sheets and installing PowerWraps on your power cords are all options to correct the problem.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

My computer's projected image is either missing information from the top/bottom, compressed from left/right, or doesn't appear at all. What's wrong?

A:

In most cases, to get a matching image, the computer's resolution must match the projector's native resolution. To configure the computer's external video signal resolution, follow these steps:

  • Connect the projector to the computer using the appropriate cable and turn on the projector before the computer.
  • In Windows 95/98/NT, select "Control Panel" --> "Display Icon" --> "Settings" --> "Desktop Area" to adjust the resolution to 1024 x 768 (XGA) or 800x600 (SVGA).
  • In Windows 3.1, select "Windows Setup" from the "Main" program group, and change the display driver, eg. SVGA (800 x 600).
  • Configure the computer/laptop to display video only on the external video port. This is usually done through a combination of keystrokes (such as FN+F4) or a hardware setup program (consult your computer documentation for details).
  • You may have to restart Windows for the changes to take affect. Also note compatible refresh rates, for example 56Hz or 60Hz for SVGA signals, between your computer and projector. Most projectors can manage a wide range of refresh rates.
Projector Image Problems

Q:

I have a new Compaq laptop and the projected image is too big for the screen -- how do I fit it?

A:

Your laptop may have a separate control for external display. In Windows, go to Control Panel, Display and click on Compaq, Advanced, CRT. In the CRT settings, change the display to either 800x600 or 1024x768 to match the projector.

Input/Signal Problem - Image only on projector or laptop, remote mouse not working, blue screen, and more.

Input/Signal Problems

Q:

During my business presentation, my projector lost the computer signal after 15 minutes.

A:

Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of this is the laptop computer running off batteries. Your laptop will know that it only has limited resources while running on batteries, thus, will disable all "unnecessary" connected hardware (i.e. your projector). Simply plug the power cord into the laptop and restart.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

I have my projector connected to my new laptop but have been unable to achieve 'dual display.' I have tried toggling my FN plus the F8 keys (FN + combination varies by laptop manufacturer, refer to your specific users guide) and am still only seeing a "No Input" display on my projector. What could be wrong?

A:

Some newer laptops have been shipping with advanced video card capabilities which could override the FN + F8 toggling combination. Enter the Advanced Display properties in your laptop and look for a tab, which would resemble the image below. You may need to activate your external VGA port via this method.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

My S-video cable from the DVD player is connected to "Input 3," but all I see is a blue screen. What could the problem be?

A:

In many cases, you must manually select the TYPE of signal being sent into specific inputs of projectors. See image for a screen shot typical of many (not all) Sanyo models and some Proxima models.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

I just purchased a brand new DVD player with a DVI output. It seems to work fine when I connect it via component cables, but not via DVI. What could be wrong?

A:

The first thing you should do is verify whether your DVD player and projectors DVI port are HDCP compatible. If your user manuals do not address HDCP, a simple call to Projector Service Center and the manufacturer of your DVD player should answer the compatibility question. The next step would be to verify that the DVD player is set to output a digital signal via the DVI port. Most current DVD players with DVI output need specific settings adjusted to output via the DVI port.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

My presentation has embedded MPEG video/DVD video, which I would like to display. However, when the movie/video begins to play, I am only seeing a black box on the projected image where the movie should be playing. What could be wrong?

A:

In most cases, Windows will lock out the ability to display motion video in two locations simultaneously because of the excessive resources needed. To bypass this, here are three options:

  • You can toggle off your laptop screen entirely so the projector is the primary display device.
  • The other option would be to open a generic Windows media player prior to opening/starting your presentation. Windows will lock focus its lock on that one player, thus freeing up all remaining resources to display your true video/presentation.
  • Most video card manufacturers offer frequent driver updates. Search the manufacturers web site for updated drivers to your video card. Often there are new options included that can override the Windows lock.
Projector Image Problems

Q:

I have recently upgraded my home theater cable receiver to supply my projector with HDTV signal (ex. 1080i), so why I am receiving "No Input Detected?"

A:

In some cases your projector can only receive this type of signal through the VGA (15-pin Computer) input port. Simply give our Technical Support department a call (800/639-3010 ext. 2666) and we can quickly verify if this is the case with your model.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

My projector is not getting a signal or displaying a picture. Why?

A:

When setting up your equipment, it is very important that you turn on the projector first. You will see a blank projection image, now turn on the computer.

When using a laptop computer you may need to disable your computer's display screen. To do this, locate the "function" key at the top of your keypad that reads "LCD," "CRT," or it may have an icon that resembles a computer monitor. By pressing the "FN" key and the corresponding "function" key you will be able to display the image from the projector only. This is known as "toggling" the image.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

With the Mac PowerBook, how can I display both internal and external video at the same time?

A:

The method of controlling whether the internal screen works in addition to the projector is called "video mirroring."

To control video mirroring, in Control Panel, PowerBook Display, set Video Mirroring to ON for both internal and external, or OFF for image on only the external panel or only the internal, depending on monitor selection in Monitors.

If running Mac OS 8.0 or higher, set your Powerbook display to 800x600 or 1024x768 at 60 hz.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

How do I set up the remote mouse?

A:

Most projectors can emulate a mouse when connected to a computer using one of the remote mouse cables (serial, PS/2 or Mac ADB). Refer to the projector user guide too see if remote mouse is available.

  • Connect the mouse cable between the projector and the computer/laptop. Note: If using a PC laptop, the best choice is the PS/2 style connection. On a Mac, use the ADB cable.
  • Check the mouse driver in Windows:
    • Windows 95/98: In Control Panel, click on Mouse and check the driver. The driver should be set on either Standard PS/2 or Standard Serial depending on which cable is used.
    • Windows 3.1: In Windows Setup, the mouse driver should be set to Microsoft or IBM PS/2 mouse (when using either the serial or PS/2 remote cable).
  • Turn on equipment. With the Mouse Cable and Mouse Driver setup, turn on the projector and restart the computer.

If the steps above do not activate the remote mouse, follow the troubleshooting steps below:

  • Verify that an external mouse works in the same port that is used for the projector's mouse. (Example, if using the serial port on your PC, test the port with a 9-pin serial mouse, etc.)
  • Verify that the non-computer control functions on the remote work. (eg: Can it bring up the projector menus?) If not, try replacing the batteries.
  • If unable to operate the remote mouse, power down the projector and wait one minute (leave computer powered on). Turn the projector back on. The remote mouse should now work.
  • MacIntosh: Try loading the MacIntosh without any extensions loading. Verify that AppleTalk is disabled. If necessary, disable any modems.
Projector Image Problems

Q:

I get an image from my projector, but my computer screen has gone black. I need to see images on both displays, what do I do?

A:

For Laptop PCs: If you are seeing what you want on your laptop, but not your projector, you will need to activate the external monitor port on your laptop. Typically you will find this on one of the function keys labeled LCD/CRT or an icon that looks like two monitors.

f you see the image on your projector but not on your laptop you more than likely need to toggle the laptop in the same way mentioned above. If the laptop will only display the projector or the LCD panel on the laptop individually, that indicates that the video card in the laptop will not support dual display. Most, but not all, laptops support dual display.

Projector Image Problems

Dead or Stuck Pixels

Q:

I think I may have a dead/stuck pixel on my LCD projector, what will it look like?

A:

The stuck pixel will appear to be a very small dot which will remain the same color. The color of the dot depends on which panel (red, green, or blue) has the stuck pixel.

Projector Image Problems

Q:

I think I have a dead/stuck mirror on my DLP projector, what would it look like?

A:

Here is an example of what a stuck DLP mirror will look like when projecting. Like a stuck LCD pixel, the stuck DLP pixel will appear as a very small dot on the image.

Effects on image quality due to keystone correction

One thing to consider when installing your new projector is the effects keystone correction will have on the projected image quality. The first thing to understand is that when you adjust your projector's keystone settings, there are no parts in the projector that physically move. The projector is actually altering the image digitally. As with any digital intervention, you would be opening the door to possible distortions in the image.

This is most specifically noted when attempting to display in native resolutions of video signals.

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