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Sony 51hw40 flicker...to fix or not

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Mark, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Dave Mark

    Dave Mark Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 30, 2003
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    Purchased my Sony KP51HW40 in May of 2002 at Rex's. Had been very happy until about 4 weeks ago when I noticed some flicker on my direct TV. Didn't think too much of it until I noticed it on a DVD. Checked the internet and it seems that my problem is the infamous Sony Flicker Bug!!

    Had contacted Sony at Your service and they seemed fully aware of these problems. Told me they would contact a service rep and I would be contacted within 24 hours. no response. Waited four days and called back. They said they had dealt with the service rep and didn't know why they wouldn't call me. Finally got a call yesterday. In the meantime, I haven't had another flicker problem in the past ten days.

    My question is this: After reading all the horror-stories about the CRT repairs done on these TVs (e.g. convergence issues, sloppy picture, the "in-home" vs. "out-of-home" debate), should I get the TV repaired if I'm not currently having the problem. My serial number (## 90XXXXXX) is in the infected range but didn't know if anyone had the problem but then it went away. My main hang-up is that I don't want some local shop (who didn't even call me back for several days) to open up the guts of my TV and mess around when my set seems to be working OK. I guess I'm hoping Sony will issue a proper recall (which they should or offer to replace my TV.

    Should I try to get it replaced at Rex's? I don't have much faith in the reapir shop Sony suggested, but it's gotta be better than what the retailer (low bid) could provide.
  2. Jim Lenneman

    Jim Lenneman Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 7, 2000
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    You can try to get Rex to give you another set, but I suspect that they would insist that you attempt a repair first.

    The "fix" for the flicker problem is to replace the 3 CRT's and some resistors. After it's completed, the tech will need to do a mechanical and electrical convergence and a host of other things in the service menu. Sometimes (if you get a bad tech) the results aren't too good. Protect yourself by not signing off on the repair unless the picture looks good. It might also be a good idea to use a digital camera to take a shot of the picture if it doesn't look good. Having the tech pose in shot with his work would be even better. This helps prevent problems with the tech claiming everything was fine when he left and you must have tweaked his settings.

    I doubt Sony will do a recall, party line is this problem affects less than 1% of the units. The good news is that Sony has extended their warrantee to cover "flicker" problems since it normally takes several months to show up.

    Jim L
  3. David I

    David I Auditioning

    Jul 25, 2002
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    I experienced the exact same thing. The flicker began on January 1 and persisted intermittently for about a week. Sony got me a 3rd party repair shop but by the time the appointment came around, the problem had stopped. The repairman said he had seen the problem before but he couldn't fix it unless the problem was actually occuring - anyone know if this is true? Hence, he left without fixing the problem but was nice enough to do some fine tuning of the picture geometry.

    About 10 days ago the problem cropped up again and now it's a lot worse. I'm going to call another repairman to see if I can get this fixed. I don't think Sony is goin gto do a recall. FYI, I also have the infected serial #. The set was built in May but purchased in July.

    David I.

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