Hi, everyone! I'm a newbie so be patient, OK? I bought a Sony Bravia 46" 1080p LCD HDTV in October of 2009 from Costco (model#: KDL46VL160). Today when I turned it on, I noticed a black "splotch" on the screen that starts in the middle and blacks out and/or distorts the image all the way to the right side of the screen. A good friend of mine says he's afraid the LCD Panel is going bad. I've called Costco and Sony and they say I have to call a repair shop and since the warranty has expired, they will not cover any costs. Can anyone here explain what happens when an LCD panel goes bad and what else I should do...besides never buy another TV from Costco and not buy a Sony again?