I think there is something in old projectors being more reliable. And as for ours being looked after - nope! They are on all day every day and as I said, I rarely to never clean the filters. Newer ones just dont have the clout I dont think.
I think I might go for the Casios
If its a new install you might try Epson.
We have one epson with the built in IWB and it seems really good - way better than having to aling the board every few days....
We tried an Casio but the staff hated it ( might have been duff but the color and resolution was pants. I have been using NEC for their warranty ( machine fails - I make call - chap arrives and swaps out device - even brings his own ladder) however their USTs suck (U250x - horrible to install)
I didn't think the U250x were that bad to install, fitted 2 here - I found fitting the projector first then the whiteboard was better - pretty chunky kit tho I admit.
Epson warranty is great, ship bulbs out same day etc, Benq was good also , had a replacement projector within 24 hours.
I had mine 'professionally' installed and they ended up in a weird position which turned out to be because NEC didnt even supply the distance/size chart with the machine so had to get it from NEC support as an excel document after the first event. It was so badly installed it had to be zoomed to fit the screen - and lost the setting everytime it was switched off. I have had three replacements now as it is apparently a dusty room. Installed an epson and two Hitachi's which have been fine. Not needed to call customer service on them or Epson but NEC are really good on support.
Yep the screen projection info was buried in a pdf file on the supplied CD I admit :) Ideal for the rooms I fitted them to tho.
We've got Epsons throughout (only 10 rooms total!). Despite the fact that I clean the filters every 2 to 4 weeks, the bulbs keep blowing. I lost track of serial numbers as sometimes they replace the bulb and sometimes the projector, plus I move them around when one fails to keep lessons going. We've had 9 bulbs replaced in 2 years which I think is pretty poor, but Epson do just keep sending a technician with bulbs next day, so it isn't costing me anything. We decided that the cheapest way to improve resilience was just to buy a spare projector. Being similar models, they're compatible mounts so step ladder and Allen keys and 5 minutes is all it takes to swap and set up. We've always had EB series but I worked out we don't use the features, so this time went with the advice from here and bought an XB-11 for under £300 including 3 yr bulb warranty and 5 yr hardware. I'm convinced it's brighter and sharper than the more expensive ones we've had before.
From usability point of view, I reckon short throw would be more beneficial than the extra life of the LED projectors. Try standing in front of a standard projector for hours at a time and the bright light is pretty irritating. Our SMART boards are all 10 years old, so I'm trying to put together a business case to replace them with interactive flat panels when the time comes. Smartboards plus UST projector is approaching the same cost.
I use only Casios now, fitted 8 over Christmas to go with the 18 existing ones we have and all have been excellent servants, just gone back to the A series got the A131s at Christmas for my lower site and every one has just bolted onto the old mount and been perfect for the current IWBs and the replacements we will be fitting. We just give them a dust down once a term and keep an eye on them and staff certainly like them. Our science team love them as all the labs have them and they are a breath of fresh air compared to the old NECs they had so much brighter and nicer to use and they look very stylish in the new labs. We have used both the A and M Series and bar the focal length they have both been great products and we like using them both.
Casio do make a short throw unit was launched at BETT last year in the same range so they can be got if you want a Short Throw model.
TCO is the key thing, as has been said 20,000hrs is what they claim so when you work that out with an NEC unit and lamps (assuming the NEC lamps make it to the hrs suggested) the Casios were cheaper than them (assuming the Casio makes it to 20,000hrs).
Pixie Pros I fit loads of as well, got some more to do still actually must get around to that.... but ours have been great and no trouble for us and mean no more cursed lost remote controls in rooms. Although I do have a few AMX panels about now as well but they are in large public areas and controlling electric screens and other options so you need more buttons than an entry level pixie and they are much smarter looking IMHO and shout designer / style / posh which is the effect that we have to portray based upon what on-high asks for (all fur coat and no undergarments is a phrase often used of late.....)
To throw a spanner in the works I was told Panasonic have a LED Projector that is as good as the Casio so my friend told me, not seen it myself yet but they had Panasonic out to see them (he works at a university and had a LOT of Panasonic kit) so wonder if that will be around at BETT perhaps as a few suppliers I've spoken to haven't heard anything about it yet...