Total Cost of Ownership and Projection Devices

Now that every teacher on-site has a laptop, we plan to purchase a projection device for each classroom. Having survived a printers-with-no-ink fiasco a few years ago, we want to plan ahead for hidden costs for the projectors. What do we need to take into account?

There are three things you need to keep in mind as you plan: the projection display surface, regular cleaning, and light bulbs. The first item may seem obvious, but it’s not. Make sure that each classroom has a screen or other appropriate surface for projection. Consider purchasing whatever may be needed. Second, projection devices are cooled by outside air drawn through filters, designed to protect the electronics from dust. However, if the filter becomes clogged with dust, the projector will overheat and can be damaged beyond repair. Filters may be cleaned either with canned air or with a handheld vacuum, something else that will need to be purchased. Finally, projector light bulbs generally need to be replaced after 2,000 to 3,000 hours of use, and at $200 to $400 each, they’re not cheap. Some projectors now offer modes that can extend bulb life by as much as 2,000 hours, so you’ll want to shop carefully, and budget for replacement bulbs. Of course you will also need to check with the manufacturer of the projector you select to learn about additional maintenance recommendations, which may also result in ongoing costs.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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