''Light engines'', the fancy name for the bulbs, are rated at between 3-5 years. What you get depends on fate.
Lemon - Anything can break. In our store I put out the new Mitsu 73'' Diamond DLP rear projection. I connected it to a HD video source, it ran for an hour and died.
HD ready - integrated - means it has an ATSC (digital) tuner for OTA (Off The Air) channels. Nice if you don't have a HD satellite/cable receiver and have an antenna to receive local TV.
Cable card - removes the clunky cable box. Some cable companies don't offer the service, and those that do will charge you for the change out and a monthly charge for the convenience. The other down side is that you cannot use Pay per View.
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I have been researching all three types for the last 12 months trying to figure out which TV has all the features & longivity. I've read several opions on the Rear Projection Bulb having to be replaced anywhere from three months to three years. Looking for input from actual owners on how their uses are & how long a bulb really last. I know after several months of resesarch, the plasma & lcd seem to be the top of the line, but this is only based on reviewer's comments. Sometimes you get a lemmon & alot of owners never provide reviews. Another sticking point is in regards to HD ready & HD built-in. Most of the Cable & Dish Companies offer HD receivers, so is it really a must to have HD built-in. Every manufactures rep will tell you a different story. Also, is the cable card option worth looking at? Thanks