For the past four decades, DataMetrics™ Corporation has been working closely with our customers in Arizona to insure that we provide them with their own specialized products. DataMetrics™ Corporation has been working closely with our customers to insure that we provide them with their own specialized products.
Top 10 PC Repair Shops in Arizona
"Should I buy a new printer or fix the old one?" I don't know how many times I've heard this question, but I wish I had a nickel for each time. Of course, if they asked a salesperson, he'd have a ready answer for them... always "yes". But as a technician, I like to analyze the question a little before giving an answer. The standard equation was always that if the repair costs more than half the machine, then replace it. But as printer technology advances, and smaller printers last longer, that standard is changing.
Just to give you an example, a $1,000 laser printer might easily last 150,000 pages before ever breaking down. When it finally does need repairs, a $500 maintenance kit (including labor) is nothing to wince at. It's standard almost. And the $500 will most probably carry you through another 150,000 pages. In a case like that, if you'd replaced that printer, you would have wasted $500.
So once we get down to the dollar for dollar, the modern equation has changed, even though the standard answer from printer dealers hasn't.
Of course, the question of repair cost and printer cost isn't the only thing to consider anymore. You have to consider down time, technological advances, and a whole mess of other things. In the end, you won't get a short, simple answer... but you can make a list of pros and cons taking into account each of the following:
Small Consistent Repairs - If a machine breaks down every other month, it's probably time for an upgrade... even if the repairs are cheap. They aren't supposed to break often. If yours is, then either the parts are getting old and brittle, or the machine itself isn't made for the amount of work you're giving it. An acceptable 'break free' period is four months.
Parts - With smaller machines, parts availability is usually the deciding factor when trying to decide whether to replace or repair. Especially with inkjet printers. As a matter of fact, the odds of being able repair an inkjet machine is very slim, because inkjet parts are usually not manufactured--the machine was designed to be replaceable.
Down Time - Sometimes it's not the end of the world when a machine sits in the corner for a week waiting for parts. Sometimes it is the end of the world. If your business relies on your machine, then you need to consider a few things: 1-Is the machine reliable enough to go for long periods without breaking? 2-Is the machine a popular model, and are there parts readily available when the machine DOES break? 3-do you have anything for 'backup'? If you answered 'no' to any of these questions, you ought to think about buying a good, reliable, POPULAR machine.
Technology - Hey--it changes, and it changes fast. If you're still using something with a parallel port, then it might be time to switch over. Yes, they'll always have things to help you convert from USB to parallel, but there are other software and memory changes that might make it impossible to use old printers. If you're thinking about upgrading your computer systems in the next couple of years, you ought to upgrade your printer as well.
Supplies - It's really hard to let go of an old printer when you have a whole stack of unused toner cartridges. Especially if you can't sell them to recover some of your cost. If the printer is costing too much to repair, then you end up spending a dime to save a nickel. However, some of the 'old reliables' can be used for bulk printer or for back-up printers, so it's not always a total loss.
While these are all good things to consider when paying for a printer repair, sometimes the final decision comes down to a simple budget consideration. The most important question might simply be: Do we have enough money budgeted for a new printer? Your technician can't help you answer that, but his experience can usually help you foresee the price you'll pay if you hold on to your old machine.
Laptop Repair and Upgrade
The FCC standard for HDTV broadcast is having a huge impact. The amount of information to be digested can be intimidating, even for the professional. The old hardware does not become obsolete, but it will require a tuner to convert from the new signal if you get your signal from a VHF/UHF antenna. If you have cable or satellite TV, this will be taken care of by the service provider.
However, this might be a good time to upgrade your hardware. The new standard offers a much better picture. In the current world of digital projectors, LCD, LCOS, Plasma, and DLP are the four different kinds of televisions that dominate the HDTV market. Each has unique advantages over the other. Plasma and some of the LCD screens can be mounted on the wall, although surveys find that few people do mount them on the wall. DLP and LCOS and some of the LCD units are both projector technologies. Rear projector units are usually the most cost-effective. The size of some systems is now less than 12 inches in depth.
o Video quality on the best projectors now surpasses that available in a conventional commercial movie theater.
SYSTEM TYPES:o Traditional TV: also called direct view, has the images displayed on a picture tube (Cathode Ray Tube).
o Rear Projection TV (RPTV): uses a combination of mirrors and lenses to project the image from behind onto the viewing screen. This enables the displayed picture to be significantly larger, up to 70 inches or more. This technique usually offers the best value (picture size vs. cost).
o Front Projection TV (FPTV): this is like a movie theater. The image is projected forward, to an external screen. But like a movie theater, a very dark room is required because the screen will reflect any light in the room. This technique is usually more expensive than rear-projection, but the footprint (the area consumed by the equipment) of the system is smaller.
CRT (Cathode Ray Tube):
The established standard for television displays; good value, picture quality. The maximum size of the screen is smaller with the technique. The technology is still a good choice where a smaller picture is desired, and bulkiness is not a concern.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD):
Thin design, but has problems displaying images in motion (sports), the images tend to streak. These projectors usually contain three separate LCD glass panels, one for red, green, and blue components of the image being projected. As the non-colored light passes through the LCD panels, individual picture elements (pixels) can be opened to allow light to pass or closed to block the light. This produces the image that is projected onto the screen.
Historically, LCD sets have had a problem with visible pixilation. This is less apparent on newer sets with higher screen resolutions.
Most LCD systems use a fluorescent backlight, to shine through the LCD screen. This type of backlight will need to be replaced every few years. Some manufacturers are introducing sets with LED backlights, with a 10X longer lifetime. Even though the initial cost may be more, the cost of ownership advantage can make this design worth a look.
o Better color saturation, more rich and vibrant
o Better sharper image, important for text
o More energy efficient
o Poor black levels and contrast
o Problems displaying images in motion (sports)
o LCD panels (mainly in the blue channel) can degrade, causing shifts in color balance
o Visible pixelation
Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS):
A type of LCD Technology, LCOS uses liquid crystal rather than mirrors to project (usually rear projection) an image on the screen. LCOS is a good value compared to plasma and LCD sets, but expensive when compared to all other rear projection television technologies such as DLP. This technique uses a chip like a DLP (see below) set does, but the chip is coated with liquid crystal, which reflects the image seen on the screen. LCOS based systems allow for higher screen resolution than an LCD display or a plasma display.
o Sharp, vivid colors, and deep black levels
o It does not slowly change over time as a plasma set does
o Dead pixels usually happen because the technology is partially reflective
o High Maintenance Cost: LCOS requires frequent bulb changing requirements (anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 hours, about 3-4 years with normal usage) versus 50,000 or more for most LCD or plasma screens. A replacement bulb will cost about $400
o Reproducibility: Image quality can vary greatly from machine to machine
Digital Light Processor (DLP):
The DLP is a Texas Instruments product that is manufactured in Korea. It uses a chip with many mirrors (can be more than one million mirrors on a chip of about one square inch) that can be mechanically steered to reflect the correct color. This technology offers excellent display, at a moderate cost.
In the best DLP projectors, like the ones in use at your local movie theater, there are three separate mirror chips, one each for the red, green, and blue channels. However, in the DLP projectors marketed for the masses, there is only one chip. In these sets, to define color, there is a color wheel that consists of red, green, blue filters. This wheel spins between the lamp and the DLP chip and alternates the color of the light hitting the chip.
The spinning color wheel used to project the image can produce a problem on the screen known as the rainbow effect, which is colors separating out in distinct red, green, and blue. At any given point of time, the image on the screen is either red, or green, or blue, and the technique relies upon your eyes not being able to detect the rapid changes from one to the other. However, not only can some people see the colors separate, but the rapid sequencing of color may be responsible for reported cases of eye strain and headaches. But the vast majority of the people cannot detect the rainbow effect.
Newer sets have the color wheel rotation speed doubled. Also, newer sets utilize a six-segment color wheel (instead of a 3 segment) that has two sequences of red, green, and blue. Because the wheel is at double speed, and because the red, green, and blue are seen twice in every rotation, the effect is a quadrupling of the rotation speed. This eliminated the visibility of rainbows for most of the people who previously saw the effect.
Samsung and other companies have introduced DLP sets with LED lamps and no color wheel. The lamp bulbs in the older designs need to be replaced every few years. The LED lamp should last the lifetime of the television.
LaserVue (Mitsubishi) is being introduced in the United States now in time for the Christmas season. LaserVue is a DLP system (Texas Instruments "Dark Chip 4" Digital Light Processor) that eliminates the conventional bulb and replaces it with a solid state laser. The performance of the video is outstanding, but the technology will cost you about $7000 for a 65" HDTV. The reliability/lifetime improvement may be better, but there is little data on this new laser. An Argon ion laser would be expected to have a lifetime of about 8000 hours (5-6 years of normal usage). The Mitsubishi LaserVue uses a laser system made by Arasor, an Australian startup company, made from lithium niobate (PPKN). Mitsubishi is currently performing accelerated stress testing, but has so far released no results. A LaserVue HDTV draws under 200 watts of electricity. That is approximately half that of comparable LCD HDTV, and less than a third of a plasma High-Def system.
o Small package size
o High contrast image with deep black levels
o Good value
o Less bright images
o Rainbow effect
o High Maintenance Cost: DLP requires frequent bulb changing requirements (anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 hours, about 3-4 years with normal usage) versus 50,000 or more for most LCD or plasma screens. A replacement bulb will cost about $300-$400. Samsung is using LED illumination instead of lamps. The LED should not have to be replaced.
Thin design, high contrast ratings, Size up to 60 inches or more; some display limitations: costly, older systems had a high burn-in risk (over time, a memory of what was projected was retained); This could pose a problem for those who like to play video games or watch taped movies. If you put the game or tape on pause for too long, this could burn an image into your screen.
o Exceptional picture quality: It can produce up to 8.6 billion colors, an accurate color reproduction and wide viewing angles
o Large screen sizes: Some Plasma TV units are now manufactured in screen sizes that can span up to 100 inches
o Lifetime: Plasma TVs are also known for their extended lifespan capacity of approximately 60,000 hours and great contrast (deep blacks)
o Less Expensive than LCD
o The displays are very bulky, heavy, and fragile
o Slowly degrades over time
o Energy inefficient
Coming Soon: OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) HDTV sets are now available, but it will be a couple of years before they warrant serious consideration. An OLED set is less than 1" thick. OLED has already used in digital cameras and cell phones with small panels, because of their energy efficiency, which is important in portable devices.
o NTSC Analog TV or Standard Definition TV (SDTV): The current system that is being phased out (National Television Systems Committee).
o EDTV (Enhanced Digital TV) : basically high-end Standard Definition TV: While these sets may be better than standard sets, the picture quality is not equal to HDTV. Technically, there is little difference between an SDTV and an EDTV (except for the higher price).
o ATSC Digital TV: This is the new system (Advanced Television Systems Committee), which is not necessarily High Definition.
o HDTV: is digital TV where the image is a wide-screen picture with many times more detail than is contained in current analog television pictures. Most consumers will see a huge improvement in image quality. HDTV has a better quality image than SDTV because it has a greater number of lines of resolution. The image is two to five times sharper because the gaps between the scan lines are narrower.
Any of the four technologies can be a good choice. The competition is intense, and all of the technologies will continue to improve. Buying a TV will never again be as simple as it was before HDTV, but the benefits can be worth the headaches.
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