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Can an ISF tech comment on my new TV situation please? (LONG) (1 Viewer)

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
Two and a half weeks ago, I got my first RPTV -- a Hitachi 43UWX10B widescreen. For the first two weeks, it was perfect. I'm talking... calibrated with Avia, checked the convergence grid, dead-on perfect with no geometry or convergence problems. So then, I notice that the corners are looking kinda' fuzzy. I check the convergence patterns on Avia, and notice that in two of the corners the grid lines are really fuzzy and starting to bend upwards (moreso on the right side, which makes the geometry look odd at the top edge). So after tinkering with it a bit myself, I call Circuit City and have them send a local tech out to fix it.

This morning, this guy from Universal Electronics here in Mobile, AL who must have been 70 shows up with nothing but a clipboard. He sits down, looks at the screen for 30 seconds and asks what's wrong. So I put on THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE so he can see how a black and white movie looks with blue corners and a red stripe down the middle of the screen. This guy tells me:
1. The convergence is within tolerance levels for Hitachi, which is 85%.
2. When asked what 85% tolerance means, he said (not joking) that it means that 85% of people wouldn't notice the problem (to which I told him that I'm part of the 15% who expect a $2,000 TV to work as it's designed to).
3. He says that I'm expecting too much from a rear projection unit and that I should reconsider and get a tube.
4. When asked if the corner focus can be adjusted in any way, he said that there are no service menu adjustments.
5. When I asked him to show me the TV's built-in convergence grid, he didn't know how to access it (even though I do).
6. When I asked to see the service manual, he said "I glanced at it on the internet last night, and there isn't anything that you can adjust."
7. When I asked if he was ISF certified, he had no clue what the letter stood for.
8. He told me that I would just have to learn to live with it.

I finally told the guy to get the hell out of my house because he was wasting my time. It's obvious that this guy's a moron... but am I expecting too much from a RPTV? I mean, for two weeks this thing looked brilliant! White screens were completely white! Now white screens have blue corners and a sepia-toned stripe in the middle, and this guy says that's normal for a RPTV.

I'm gonna' call and get Circuit City to bring me a new TV. But it's disheartening to know that their contracted RPTV service tech is such a buffoon. Or am I wrong? Am I just being too hard on the guy? Is this really just what I should expect from this TV?
 

Jack Briggs

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 3, 1999
Messages
16,805
Be cool, Jeremy. The convergence on RPTVs drifts, though two weeks is a bit soon. Some friends of mine have to reconverge their Tosh 56H80 every month.

Have you moved the set at all? Just moving the unit can knock the CRTs out of alignment.

But let me see if I can hunt our dear friend Gregg Loewen down for you--and he is a certified ISF man.

Basically, you seem to be okay. Just go through that dog of a convergence routine again. And beware "techs" who've never heard of the ISF.
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
I did a full manual convergence, hoping that would fix things... That isn't the problem. Even on the convergence grid, the lines in those two corners get really fat and distorted. The other two corners are perfect. I know convergence drifts, but I don't think that's the problem here.
 

Bill Slack

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
837
Gregg is on his way down south as we speak.

You should email him; maybe he could fit you in. Though getting it ISFed so soon might not be the best idea...

Can you fix the problem yourself in the service level convergence? The convergence will drift, especially in the first bit of use.

The edges on every reasonably priced RPTV I've ever seen have some corner geometry problems (especially on higher resolution signals.)
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
I tried to fix it using the DCAM mode, but here's the problem: On any of the other lines on the screen, the white grid is nice and tight and you converge it by lining things up to that grid so that there's no bleedover on the edges. But in those two corners, the white grid lines are almost twice the width of the lines on the rest of the grid. It really just looks like it is way out of focus, making it hard to see if you're converging the colors worth a damn. Also, the uppermost square on the left side is not a square at all! The top left corner of that square is stretched toward the top of the screen... which is odd, because on regular viewing material, the image seems to be slightly squashed in that corner (instead of elongated like one would think). That square also has a nice blue spike stretching toward the top of the screen and there didn't seem to be any way to move it even with the edge mode in the DCAM.

Oh well... CC is getting me a new set, so perhaps I'll have better luck the second time out. After it has been broken in a bit, I imagine I'll convince some poor ISF tech to swing through here and hook a brotha' up. I'm still dumbfounded by the service guy they sent to my house though. Maybe I should complain to Circuit City. The guy was just downright rude and didn't seem to know anything. Maybe those guys make less money on contract work so they don't care.
 

Gregg Loewen

Founder, Professional Video Alliance
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hi guys!
im in charlotte tonight :)
Jeremy, almost all service techs are not ISF. I am glad CC is taking care of you (it sounds like a service issue to me )
Take care,
Gregg
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
Gregg, I didn't expect an ISF tech to show up at my house... but I did expect a minimal amount of competence, which I didn't get. I'm feeling kinda' burned on the 3 year warranty I paid for because of it.

Oh well... live and learn. Perhaps I'll have better luck with the next one.
 

Martin Edwards

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 31, 2002
Messages
4
Unfortunately, I see a lot of that around here. It's easy to get a guy to come to your house for collect his $40 for a warranty service call, but more often than not, he hasn't a clue how to fix the problem or, as in your case, can't even see the problem for himself. I hope the new set works out better for you.
 

Robert P. Jones

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 18, 1999
Messages
289
The last Hit I cal'd co-operated grandly, I had no geometry problems that were unsolvable. It still didn't have the crispness of pic I am used to when I calibrate RPTVs, but that is not a geometry issue.

If the lines in any pair of corners are fatter than they should be, perhaps Scheimpfluge error is the problem. This is mechanically fixed in RPTVs, but can be corrected in many of the higher grade ceiling projectors, and the lenses in RPTVs can be shimmed to compensate and correct it. I have a writeup on that I will post here if requested.

If this happened after awhile, I'd have to agree with Gregg that it's probably in need of repair. Fortunately you are under warranty, but of course you're getting a new one anyway...

Mr Bob
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
I spoke with Hitachi today concerning the behavior of their "authorized service technician." They were as unhappy as I was. They said they were going to make note of it and possibly investigate further. The gentleman I spoke with told me to call him directly if I have any problem with the new one, and informed me that there are 5 other authorized service centers nearby who could help me. He also said there were several things he should have at least tried. So there ya' go...
 

Christopher a

Stunt Coordinator
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Nov 4, 1998
Messages
107
I sympathize immensly, Jeremy. I have never met a "service rep" who actually knows what he/she is doing. Anytime I have a problem on a RPTV and have a service tech look at it, it's always "You'll have to live with it" or "I don't see a problem" or "RPTV's wern't designed for high resolution like tubes". I mean, come on. How have TV repair men gotten away with it for so long?

Chris
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
Well, my story continues... They picked up the TV and dropped off a new one. The new one looked WAY better, and I was happy. I calibrated it with Avia, checked it all out, then left the house.
4 hours later, I come home... and I'm watching TV when the Hitachi decides to turn itself off. I turn it back on again only to see a completely unconverged screen with diagonal white lines. 5 seconds later, the TV turns itself off again. Bottom line -- I got a bum TV! So now they can't bring me another one until Monday! I have to take off from work AGAIN! It'll be worth it in the end though... I hope. :frowning:
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
Messages
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Well, I'm on TV number three now and so far, so good. The picture on this one is quite a bit better than either of the others. There's a slight blue convergence problem on the far left edge, but nothing overly distracting. I'm not going to try to tweak it any until I've run the set for 100+ hours. I did dial it in with Avia (28 contrast, 51 brightness, 40 color, tint two notches toward green, 30 sharpness, warm with all SVM/auto color/black enhance off) and so far I'm pretty happy. Maybe the third time's the charm...

If this one screws up, I think I'm going to ask them if I can move up to a larger one. But if it keeps working, then HOORAY!
 

Michael Silla

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 27, 2001
Messages
313
Boy, I am frightened to hear the troubles you have experienced with your set. I have had my 53UWX10BA for 3 1/2 weeks now - so far so good. The only thing I have noticed is a slight red tinge on white text - something which I hear is common.

Perhaps in the next 3 months I'll consider getting a ISF calibration.

Michael TLV and Mr Bob - do you have a reccomended set of basic services that are performed on a routine visit?. I went to the ISF website to find a local tech. I want to make sure that they perform all that is needed.

Thanks,
Michael.
 

Robert P. Jones

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 18, 1999
Messages
289
Good luck. The ISF website is virtually useless in looking for fullscale calibrators with stem to stern calibration capabilities like those of Michael and myself.

Most people have to fly us in, there are so few of us.

Mr Bob
 

Robert P. Jones

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 18, 1999
Messages
289
PS - If you want to know more about what is covered in a stem to stern - and how much it costs - send me an email and I will fire off a return emailout to you that I keep at the ready. It is quite detailed, not appropriate for sending in here to this venue.

Anybody else who in interested may do so also.

Mr Bob
 

Michael TLV

THX Video Instructor/Calibrator
Senior HTF Member
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Mar 16, 2000
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Michael Chen
Greetings

Places like the keohihdtv site are also a good place to start for calibration lists ... what to look for ... from the basics to full tune ups and beyond.

Go there ... look and learn and then come back here to ask questions.

Regards
 

Robert P. Jones

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 18, 1999
Messages
289
Mr. Silla -

A red tinge indicates a pink greyscale. Very inaccurate. Clean greyscale delivers soft creamy white - not dingy white, nor superblue white.

At medium contrast. At full contrast it could easily be calibrated correctly but turn dingy, because blue cannot typically keep up with red and green in the whites, as the contrast is raised well over optimum.

That's one reason calibrators turn down the contrast when doing the white balance section of the greyscale.

Some never turn it up again. I do, to make sure the client has the maximum light level promised by the manufacturer - knowing all the time, however, that most of my clients already realize before I ever get there that the contrast has to be at halfway point or below when they are watching it, for maximum crispness and fidelity to the director's view of the color scheme.

A red "fringe" would indicate blooming, which is defined as one color out of focus when the rest are in focus, so that that color's image surrounds the general image.

Mr Bob
 

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