Times I feel terrible: How to get a HD screen super cheap

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by mattCR, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Ok, I will admit, some may see this as really not-nice. But, the reality is, the person who sells has always been happy, and I have always been happy, so who loses?

    This weekend, I needed to add a TV to a room, and my father needed a new TV for a room. So, rather then go to the big-box stores, etc. I knew that this wouldn't be a primary TV, and I could likely find something "very cheap" via Craigslist. How cheap? Cheap as in "it's broken, selling for nothing" type cheap. I've found two ways to do this... I look for one of three types:

    Samsung LCD (not LED or newer technology) 52/55/60, or a WD-60735 or 65735. (60 or 65"). The trick is pretty simple:

    In every Samsung LCD I've ever encountered, it always boils down to caps.. about $9 in caps or so and you're fixed. But the new thing I've stumbled across is this: On WD DLP HD Screens, the new lamps run at a higher temperature then before.. and the default setting of running a lamp "on high" causes the unit to power off after about 10-20 minutes. Solution: Go into configuration, change lamp mode to "low power" (no impact at all on picture as far as I can tell) problem solved. Unit behaves perfectly, no issues what so ever (I have, in many cases though, added or supplemented a small fan on the back, which does add about $5)

    This weekend, I picked myself up a 65" DLP WD HD set for $140, and my father a 60" for $160. The seller is always happy; to them it's junk that it doesn't stay on (and in both cases, when I got there, they had already bought LCDs or Plasma sets). For me though: PERFECT basement or alternate room set for almost no cost. $140 wouldn't get me a 65" set anywhere... meanwhile, the 55" LCD Samsung in my bedroom that kept clicking rather then turning on? I paid less then $200.

    Who says great entertainment or HT has to be expensive?
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It sounds like Samsung has a serious product quality problem it's customers aren't aware of: replacement lamps cause TVs to fail. People are wasting thousands of dollars because of a manufacturer defect? I wonder if this is a class action in the making?
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The Samstung capacitor issue has been know for 8 years.
    http://www.samsung.com/us/capacitorsettlement/
    And yes, I call them Samstung.
    The capacitor issue is still not resolved. It has been estimated it would cost Samstung $.11 (yes, 11 cents) to fix the problem at the source. Whenever I have a client pick a Samstung, I call a shop for them and have the shop come to the house and replace the capacitors before it is ever turned on. The shop I use for installs does it "as included" if the TV is mounted on a wall. The repair takes less than 15 minutes.
     
  4. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    I wouldn't feel guilty at all Matt. The original buyer is getting some cash back and will probably learn to research similar purchases a little more carefully in the future. If it were a close friend or neighbor, I might feel different and earn a little money or barter something in trade to fix things.
    You've also got to factor in that you could be buying something that's been abused, improperly handled or just a flat out lemon. You're also taking a gamble on things.
    No different than buying a used car. You've got the skills and know-how about how to fix things so you get a good deal. The owners don't, they just want a little cash and want to unload their TV.
    It's not as if you're sneaking into their homes at night, breaking components and then swoop in for a cheap purchase. Plus as you mentioned, the seller is happy, you're happy, so no harm done.
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    You would find a thread on the exact issue by me here a year ago or so. In fact, my father got the class action lawsuit snail mail a few days after I took it and fixed it for him. He didn't bother to claim the $6 (including shipping) that I paid to get new capacitors so he chucked the letter and now has a Sharp LCD whereas my sister who needed a new TV now has my father's Samsung,,
    Jay
     
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Yep. It's such a common problem. Every so often I snag one.. I don't feel that bad since the person is happy - he had already bought a new TV.. but it is terrible that people invested so much money into these and then feel as though they got scammed. Worse, the capacitors I bought online are significantly higher quality.. and I, some goofball, bought the capacitors for my bedroom samsung for less then $3, not counting shipping. Something very wrong with that. It tells me they got cheap in building these "expensive" screens
     
  7. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    I'm pretty good with the techie type problems, but no experience with what you are doing to fix these TVs.
    My home theatre upgrade budget was trashed the past few months because of a broken tooth and having to buy a new laptop after my Dell finally croaked. So I'm temporarily back in a holding pattern until the budget situation improves.
    Wish I were more familiar with what you're doing, I'd love to get a barely used HDTV for those kind of prices plus a few minor repairs.
     
  8. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think a part of it, besides perhaps cheap parts is bad design. The caps at least on my father's power supply board was right next to a heat sink and that it could of contributed to the cap's failure as the caps are rated for a certain temp, at least when you look at spec sheets for replacing them...
    Not a EE so I can't really comment on it but it sounds logical that bad design may have a thing in this too, not just cheap parts..
    What is nice is that my fathers was obvious what the problem capacitors were as the caps were "popped" but not to the point of leaking...
    Jay
     
  9. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    There are plenty of youtube videos out there on how it's done. I think I've posted a few here before
    This is a good one
     
  10. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Had no idea this was such a well known problem, thanks for the video. Do you have a link to Part 2?
    Looks like a fairly easy repair, a bit tedious, but the type of thing most people would be afraid to attempt. I was a bit lost when he was pointing out the three bad caps, saying the others were fine. Maybe just my eyesight, but was there something really obvious between the good and bad ones I was missing?
    Only other question I have is where do you get the replacement caps and know you've gotten the correct replacement parts?
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Capacitors are a lot like batteries...except batteries keep a charge, till they lose it all. Capacitors get a fresh supply of juice when the juice they have is used...
    Think of a cap as a "buffer" more or less.
    A "bad cap" is obvious cause it is "blown out". Either the sides are blown, or the ends are blown.
    The caps are bought based on the requirements of the TV. When you have a schematic, you can order them. However, on the "real popular sets", occasionally you'll find an Ebay seller with a "kit" of the caps you need, for $15...when they cost them all of $5. They went through the grief figuring it out for you.
     
  12. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    With my father's set, the bad caps were obvious as the tops (end) of the cap was bulging out to the point the "+" on the top of the cap had a good gap in it for it's size. Once I took it out, you can read the sides of it to see what kind of capacitor it is, i.e. it's rated for a certain voltage and temperature and has a + and a - lead so don't put it in backwards.
    I checked out the ratshack and found they don't carry crap so if you have a electronic parts store near you, all the better. I wound up buying my replacements from DigiKey. You can buy a capacitor with a higher voltage capacity and temperature but they will generally be larger in size and I was worried about making it fit nice and neat. I replaced mine with the same rating and temp. cap. You do need to buy the same kind of cap which the ones that I replaced are eletrolytic caps as there are different types of capacitors, but that shouldn't be hard, the places online have pictures of it anywyay.
    Jay
     
  13. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Part #2 as asked
     
  14. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Thank you Matt. Now I just have to shop around and see if I can find a model that has those problems and matches the specs.
    Looks like Apple's $1B win against Samsumg's smartphones could definitely cause more problems with Samsung, not just their smartphone but their entire product line. I've never owned anything from Samsung, but might be a brand to stay away from (other than the HDTV models you mention which seem to have an easy fix).
     
  15. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    You can also try to find out the problem with it. My father had the exact problem with the TV that's all over the internet.. The relays would be clicking and the TV would take longer and longer to display a picture. Then eventually none at all...
    I googled it, found a gazillion sites about it and decided to fix it myself...
    Jay
     
  16. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Yep, it's terrible.. but I have three TVs in my house.. the one in my main theater, which I did pay a bundle for.. and then in the bedroom I've got a 52" samsung that ran me $180 and looks perfect, and now a 65" DLP in the front room that ran me $140 that's perfect. Find that model of WD DLP is so easy that I just scour craigslist (the most common problem with that isn't caps, it's that when people replace the bulb, the newer bulbs will keel over on 'high' or 'bright' mode, causing the TV to shutdown for heat.. get a fan to keep it running for a while, and turn off bright mode.. and you're perfect.. it's an error in the replacement bulbs that are always brighter, they dont' need the setting which just over-juices them)

    *shrug* saving money a little here, a little there.
     
  17. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Are there slightly smaller models that also are easily fixed? 52" I could probably do, but the bigger screens would overwhelm my living room/great room area. That whole eye to screen ratio math, I'd end up much to close to the screen.
    Then again, if I could find something at that price, I'm quite sure I'd move a lot of furniture and readjust things.
    p.s. I'm a single guy and have four TVs in my house, so nothing to feel terrible about. Two are used a lot, but I've got one in my "office" and another in my mini-gym that are old CRTs dating back to the mid 80s. They still work fine and even with their age, are perfectly fine to watch, especially during a workout. Keeps your mind in a kind of drone mode and time flies by.
     
  18. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    On LCDs, it impacted all that were 40" and up. I just never bothered to snag any of the 42" or 47"s, but they are out there
     
  19. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Matt, this sounds to good to be true and is a month old posting, so probably long gone. Not being a Samsung you mentioned, plus if this would only cost them $16 to fix, something smells awfully fishy here.
    Just curious what your opinion is.
    56' Panasonic HDTV, model PT 56HX41E. Nice TV, has BBE High Definition sound.
    Turns on, but it has a convergence chip that needs to be replaced ($16 part). It could *possibly* just be the soldering that needs to be redone, but we haven't looked at it yet, so I'd assume it'd be the chip.
    Here's a video on how to replace it:

    It's a really nice TV, we just haven't taken the time to order that part.
     
  20. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think my father's was a 42" that i fixed and now my sister has it.
    Jay
     

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