AV Electronics News
Audio repairs being discontinued - 06/26/2012
As of 06/22/2012 we will no longer be accepting audio/radio equipment for repairs and will be limiting our focus to high end units and select commercial items. Our audio technician and co-owner, Ron, has left the business to pursue other interests. Ron did all of the in house audio repairs and with his departure our other owner Jim, will be the only other tech on staff with audio experience. Due to the fact that Jim is also our primary road technician and chief in shop tech, he will have to limit what audio work we can accept to items that are more expensive to repair than replace, which primarily consists of high end amplifiers and receivers and some particular commercial audio items. If you have an item and are not certain if it falls into one of these categories, call our office and speak to Jim for a consulation on what would be the best course of action for your piece of equipment.
Cracked LCD and Plasma Screens - 03/29/2012
We have been seeing an increasing number of people call in that have cracked screens on their flat panel sets. Most of these reported cases are because of the set being physically struck, or falling off from where it is sitting. There are however, rare cases where cracks develop in a screen through a manufacturer flaw - although this is exclusively limited to plasma televisions. In order to understand how this happens and what the repair costs are, this article will explain what happens when your screen is cracked, and what this means for your wallet.
Most of the reported cases we are seeing are broken LCD screens. The one main drawback on LCD and LED televisions is that the screen itself is very fragile. It won't take much more than a hard bump and the screen will be permanently damaged. When this happens, you will typically see a spider web looking pattern, or what appears to be broken glass. What you are seeing in fact, is the glass layer that is inside all LCD and LED televisions that has broken, usually with the impact point clearly visible. This kind of damage is only repairable by replacing the entire display screen. Unfortunately, this is the single most expensive part in the set, with the display panel itself costing hundreds of dollars. By the time additional costs such as shipping and installation labor are added, repairs will almost always exceed the cost of a new set. The only cases in which a damaged LCD or LED television screen would be economical to replace, would be if the set is a very expensive ($2,000 or more), or exclusive model. We have seen in rarer cases where some screens are gouged or scratched, but not cracked. This type of damage is not as catastrophic, sometimes resulting in the set still being watchable, but the result is the same....the display screen would still have to be replaced to eliminate this. Also, it is important to keep in mind that this type of damage is NOT covered by any manufacturer warranty. They consider this to be physical abuse, whether it was intentional or not. Extended warranties also will not cover this type of damage.
Plasma televisions are generally a little more resilient when it comes to screen damage. They still can be cracked though by direct impact, falling, or improper transportation. Most of the time when a plasma panel is cracked, it will cause the set not to have a picture (but sometimes still have sound), or not to come on at all. Types of plasma screen damage seem to vary, but the visual clues seem to follow one of two patterns. Most damaged plasma screens that have been struck will exhibit a star like pattern, roughly 1 to 2 inches in diameter. This type of damage will nearly always lead to a no picture or even no power symptom. The second most common type of damage is a stress crack, which usually happens when the set has been overly flexed, by improper transportation, or as a result of an impact that chipped the glass, but did not crack it. When this happens, usually the set will be watchable for a time, but the normal cycle of the panel heating during use, and cooling of during down times will cause the impact point to eventually crack. Regardless of how the damage occurs though, the only way to repair this type of damage, is to replace the plasma panel itself. Similar to the LCD and LED sets, this is the single most expensive part in the set which would make a repair not cost effective. While the cost of replacement plasma panels have come down, they still cost hundreds of dollars, and when you consider that the the price of new plasma televisions have come down a lot in the last few years, you can begin to see why it is not worth it to repair these sets when this kind of damage has happened. Like the LCD and LED televisions, unless your set is very expensive, or a limited model, they are not cost effective to repair for a cracked screen. This type of damage is also not covered by any manufacturer or extended warranty as they do consider this physical abuse.
There are limited cases we have seen on some plasma sets, where there is a glass plate, or filter in front of the plasma panel itself that could be cracked. In these cases, the set still works and has a picture, but has a crack in front of it. This type of damage is repairable as long as the glass filter is available from the manufacturer, and is usually economical to fix. However, in nearly every case we have seen where the filter glass has been struck, the plasma panel cracks first simply because it is under more surface tension than the filter glass. In situations like this, we recommend calling in to speak with one of our techs to determine if this is the case.
The DLP white dot issue - 10/12/2011
Samsung was one of the first companies to come to market with a DLP projection television and other companies soon followed suit. Currently there are still a lot of DLP televisions out there and one common issue that we have been starting to see a lot of is the so called "white dot" issue. This problem results in there being one or more white specks on the screen that are present regardless of what channel you are on and what video source you use. What is actually causing this issue is the DLP chip itself which is what actually displays the picture on your screen. The chip is composed of thousands of tiny mirrors that turn on and off to varying degrees to display a picture. When the mirrors are in the full on position, they turn white. What is happening is the mirrors are getting stuck in the on position and causing the white specks on the screen. In later model Samsung sets (HLR, HLS and some HLT series sets) it had become such an issue that Samsung has decided to fully cover the cost of repair to replace the DLP chip. Now we are seeing more of this problem on other brand sets. Toshiba and Mitsubishi DLP sets are starting to show this problem. However, Samsung actually designed their sets so that you could replace the DLP chip by itself. Toshiba did not. To date, Toshiba has not made any concessions to assist customers with repairs on this issue. Mitsubishi DLP sets can have just the DLP chip itself replaced to repair this issue, and in some cases they are covering all or part of the cost of repair. If you have a Toshiba or Mitsubishi DLP with this problem, call us and we can explore what service options you may have. If you have a Samsung DLP with this issue, contact us and we can arrange through Samsung to have your unit repaired.
Mitsubishi added to our service lineup - 08/01/2011
As of August 1st of 2011, we have been confirmed as a new Authorized Service Center for Mitsubishi. We now service the full line of their 3 Diamond display products including their popular DLP Televisions.
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