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Just got a Sharp 26 inch with a backlight problem, help! (1 Viewer)

Charles S

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Ok, I took the plunge and finally decided on a Sharp 26 inch, LCD flatscreen. (model# LC-26SB24U) I got a really nice deal on it, and while it would have been nice to get a 32 inch like I originally planned, I decided to go with a name brand, rather than one of the 2nd tier names like Magnavox etc... So I went with Sharp, and yes, I know....it's not as good as a high end Panny, or even and Aquos but money was the biggest consideration....anyways, I'm happy with the way it shows, got great colors and picture, and blacks are good enough for me. Well, except for one thing...I think it has a serious backlighting issue.

I'm all new to this HDTV, LCD, flatpanel stuff, but it's seriously messed up. I noticed watching LOTR, and Raiders of the Lost ark....in dark scenes the sides a MUCH brighter than the rest of the screen. I'm calibrated pretty well with VE (not DVE I realize but good enough for now) and I had some serious issues with that because of this problem. I then did the THX thingy on the star wars DVD, and black level/brightness was set, but contrast is all "guess work" because the white patches NEVER blend together. But alas, that's another story....

My black lighting problem is really funky and I copied a pic from another site that gives an idea of what it looks like, never done attatchments before so hopefully it works.

But it basically looks like that pic, except the left and right sides of the screen are much more white looking. The blueish color is about right, but maybe not quite that blue...

Any ideas what this is? Can it be corrected, or do I need to exchange the thing? I bought it online so returns might be a problem. (I know, i know, always get it in store, but the deal was good, and I figured with sharp I wouldn't have these problems)

The side lighting effect is so bad that I even notice it on 4X3 material, which tells just how bright the sides are. Ughh...

please help if you've got any advice.
 

Charles S

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Apr 13, 2000
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Well I've decided to exchange it, because it's just unwatchable in dark scenes. The online retailer was really great about the whole thing and didn't give me any trouble. The exchange method is a little complex, but by doing so, I'm getting a 10% further discount on another, so I might have to go a few days without a TV, but as long as the new one works, I'll be happy.

Side note, I called Sharp before I called the store, and they told me to take it to their local service center for REPAIRS (repairs? the TV is brand freaking new what is there to repair?)....well it turned out it was the same place I once took my Pioneer LD/DVD combo player where the disc drawer wouldn't open. I took it to those guys 3 times and all 3 times they said, "their is nothing wrong with it", well each time I took it home, lo and behold the thing wouldn't open. (maybe once it opened a couple times, then would lock up again). They had NO idea what they were doing, and I suspect they never even opened the thing up to fix what should have been a minor fix. I ended up calling Best Buy due to their lemon law enforcement, but couldn't get an exact replacement because Best Buy no longer carried combo players...(ended up with a NICE DVD player though, and a few DVDs since I got in store credit back, and the DVD player was cheaper than the combo)

Needless to say when I found out Sharp was using this place I wasn't happy, but called, and they told me "oh it sounds like it was dropped which will void out your warranty, bring it in and we will fix it in 2-3 weeks"....yeah right. Just beware that not all officially recognized service centers know what they are doing. Anyway that prompted me to call the retailer this morning, and they couldn't have been nicer, so as long as the new TV works, I'll be happy! Cross your fingers.
 

Gregg Loewen

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you are describing light leakage which is quite a common problem on LCD panels (especially cheap ones and computer panels).

Glad you were able to return it...this is not a fixable problem.

Gregg
 

Charles S

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Apr 13, 2000
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Gregg, thanks for your reply.

I figured it wasn't fixable, and certainly not by the place I called. I just don't get why so many LCD's have so many problems. Even a "cheaper" one is between $300-$500, and anytime I pay that much money for something I expect it to work. (call me crazy) If it hadn't been for this one issue, I'd have been totally satisified, and in fact, the picture and color was even better than I had hoped (after calibration)...except for the "light leakage." (now that I know what to call it)

Anyways, thanks for your reply, and as long as the new one works fine I'll be more than happy, even with the extra hassle, because it really is a fine TV.
 

Charles S

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Apr 13, 2000
Messages
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Just in case anyone was curious, the replacement came yesterday and the old one is being shipped back today, and the new one is GREAT! I watched the Chronicles of Narnia: LWW and it was great experience. I didn't realize just how messed up that first one was until seeing one that works.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif


It may not be as good as a $1500 model, but it's watchable (more than watchable) and I'm happy with it and that's all that matters. Glad Santa could bring me a working one this time...lol!
 

Charles S

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Apr 13, 2000
Messages
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Well, my excitment for my working LCD was short lived. That first night it DID look good. Then the second night, I thought I noticed a little bit of leakage here and there, but not too bad. But the 4th night, watching LOTR: ROTK, oh man....the picture was a bloody (bluish-white) mess. In fact it is identical to the first set, (from what I can tell/remember). i think that's why I didn't notice it on the first set at first either, because it wasn't an issue....now after 6 days this one is leaking/bleeding or whatever it's doing in the EXACT same places as the first set. Anyone ever here of this? I almost am beginning to wonder if Sharp doesn't even manufacture my model and just slaps their name on it or something. All I know is, ROTK was unbearable as Frodo kept having whitish/blue hair whenever he passed the upper middle part of the screen...(the cave sequence with the spider was simply aweful)

I tried cranking up the brightness but I had to get to the point where everything was SO bright that the whole scene was washed out. I realize this is a budget model, and I'm willing to accept limitations in the technology, but this was some truly aweful viewing. Even with the backlight way down it was still noticeable, in a room with a Christmas tree lit up with 3 strings of lights.
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I wonder why it gets worse as time goes on though? Is there a chance it will actually correct itself after the thing is kind of "warmed up" or broken in? Or should I just exchange it again and switch brands? I've always had good luck with RCA TVs my whole life, still got a 20 year old model (19 inch) that still works, except for the tuner...(you have to run it through a VCR but the picture tube still works fine), and another RCA that is at least 10 years old and works fine. Are their LCDs any good? I know, I need a $1,500 Panny or something, but that ain't happening right now....

I'm not so much a freak about spot on perfect colors etc...but as a scifi geek this mucked up dark background thing is something I cannot live with.

I've thought about leaving the set on for a couple days to see if it continues to "get worse" in hopes all the lights/bulbs etc will even their output out....there are no imperfections in the screen from what I can when it is off, (I called Sharp and they asked me to look, when I told them it looked perfect the guy seemed in a big hurry to get off the phone from that point on)....

If getting a budget LCD is it just better to get a budget name, since the name brands probably don't put any effort into QC with their budget sets?

Any ideas/advice would be great
 

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