on December 20, 2005
It seemed like a great deal, but I offer potential buyers some words of caution.
In short, this is a HDTV monitor that would be great if only it worked reliably, and was supported by more than a shoestring staff.
The only way I would advise anyone purchase the LCT50HV is if they know someone at Syntax that can get them free replacement bulbs for life.
Since a dead TV is useless, regardless of its specs. The best I can give this monitor is 1 star.
I was thrilled when I got my 50 Syntax LCT50HV LCoS RP-TV for a fraction of what other brands were going for. It has darn near every input option on the market (and all that I needed, including a VGA input, component, composite, S-video), a reasonable form-factor, and a great picture. Sure, the cooling fan was a bit louder than any other RP-TV I've ever been around, but my media center PC sits near it an is loud too, so it did not bother me much. It appeared to fit my needs nearly perfectly.
Then the supposed "10,000 hour" bulb died after about 500 hours of use (4 months).
After a real hassle getting through to Syntax tech support they sent (via slow UPS ground across the US) a replacement bulb for me to install. I am fairly mechanically adept, so that didn't bother me. Although my wife commented that she certainly would not be comfortable replacing the bulb. Syntax offered to send a technician to replace the bulb, but that would take around 3 weeks.
With the bulb replaced, my problem was solved, right? Just temporarily. About 500 hours later (4 more months...TV is now ~8 months old) guess what happened... you got it, the bulb died suddenly.
Once again, tech support is nearly impossible to get through to, but eventually I did, and they are shipping another bulb.
The tech support folks don't want to look into the possibility that mine is a defective TV, so I am left to assume that this is normal actual bulb life... not to be confused with advertised bulb life.
I've searched the internet and found NOBODY that has replacement bulbs (based on the TV model or the numbers on the Philips bulb itself), so it looks like the only option is to call Syntax for replacements for the life of the TV. I'm afraid to find out how much that will cost, once my 1 yr warranty runs out.