LG Announcing Exit From Plasma (PDP) TV Business


After Panasonic and Samsung recently called it quits on the plasma flat screen television, it is now apparent that LG, the last big brand left standing in this segment, is following suit after they hinted that they are making the announcement very soon. This revelation was made after indicating further venture into the OLED business with the release of a 65-inch 4k OLED TV display. This really comes as no surprise as new technology becomes cheaper and better with every new model that comes out. The difference in performance has also been made somewhat irrelevant with picture quality of LCD and OLED now very comparable to quality churned out by plasma displays. For the plasma enthusiasts, it might be a good idea to grab one right now as prices drop even further as companies try to clear their final inventories. This isn’t the final death knell for this technology though as there are still some manufacturers, like the Chinese Changhong Electric Co., who will keep making plasma boxes indefinitely.

Read announcements:
Panasonic – http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/2013/10/en131031-8/en131031-8.pdf
Samsung – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-samsung-sdi-plasma-idUSKBN0F62W620140701


Add-on Warranty for your Flat Screen TV Purchase: A Good Idea?


fst-0000001I have never been a fan of buying extended or add-on warranties. We see them being offered almost everywhere you buy stuff— most especially electronic stuff— but I believe they aren’t a practical addition to any of your purchases. At least not most of the time. If you’re buying a flat screen LCD/LED/OLED TV from one of the top brands, I believe you are mostly covered from rare occurrences of any defect as they do offer some form of manufacturer’s warranty. In a 2012 report by CNET, it was indicated that the repair rate among the big brands stands at an estimate of only 4.3% to 4.6% for LCD and plasma units (data was based on Consumer Reports surveys from 2008 to 2012). An aggregate of all the brands (not just the top ones) brings it up to only around 6%.

What this tells us is that these devices are fairly robust and isn’t as fragile as some people think. And consequently, spending additional cash for extended or add-on warranty may be something you won’t need approximately 95% of the time.

The Exception

However, I do admit that, after getting an input from one of this site’s readers, my views have changed somewhat. There may be a good justification for spending a little extra to protect you from the unfortunate hassle getting a lemon entails.

In a previous article I talked about the emergence of inexpensive Ultra-HD 4K flat screen displays along with some newer brands most people have never heard about. One such brand is Seiki which offers large-screened 4K TVs that severely undercut big and popular brands like Sony, LG, Samsung, etc. If you are wondering how reliable these units are in the long run then I must welcome you to the club. Without any track record to base that judgment from, we’ll have to learn as we go with these new kids on the block. And if you’re too worried, one good way to mitigate any risks is to, well, get add-on or extended warranty for your TV purchase!

What is a 4k TV?

Justification: A 50-inch 4K model from Seiki costs just a little over $400 as of last check. Adding a 5-year extended warranty plan for an additional $50 seems pretty fair in this context and you still get to significantly undercut the cheapest of similar models offered by the top manufacturers. A 55-inch Sony 4k model is currently being sold for nearly $4,000!!! For the most practical folks out there, this simply is a no-brainer.


Repair Video: Olevia 42-inch Flat Screen LCD TV “Bad Caps” Repair


Here’s a quick video post tackling a very common issue in many aging LCD TV’s power supply board: the bad capacitor problem. This repair was performed on an 42-inch Olevia LCD flat screen TV (model 242-T11) that its owner picked it up as it was being discarded. Upon checking, it turns out that 7-8 capacitors may have been blown as they were showing bulges. One thing to note is that the repair guy (bunnspecial of Youtube) is an amateur electronics enthusiast with not much experience doing such repair. He said he has done one other successful similar fix before this video. Hence, this should be a relatively easy fix even for a beginner. If you are a beginner, don’t forget safety first.

You’ll need some soldering skills to get the bad capacitors out and then install the new ones. You could use a solder sucker to get those solders squeaky clean before installing the new components but that isn’t absolutely necessary.

Related: Where to buy replacement TV parts?

Cost of components is about $19 for getting all the capacitors needed for the TV unit model (Olevia 242-T11). You can order them online which is pretty convenient or just go to an electronics shop and look for TV repair kits available for the TV. You’ll notice though that bunnspecial only replaced the bad capacitors. One other option is to replace all the capacitors so all of them will be brand new.


A Wireless and an Almost Wireless LED Monitor from Samsung and AOC


Do you know that you can now do away with the clutter of cords and wire that usually comes with using flat screen displays with your computer or laptop? Well, if you’re like me who’s tired of all the ugly tangle of cord then you might appreciate what AOC and Samsung have come up for us. Yes, these two companies are currently selling a couple of neat LED backlit flat screen LCD displays that have eliminated this problem. Well, at least the Samsung has totally solved the problem with wireless technology while the AOC nearly got there. I will explain that one in a bit but let’s start off with the Samsung.

The Wireless Samsung C27A750X

This LED-backlit LCD flat screen monitor is basically a docking display and computer monitor rolled into one. It uses wireless technology to hook up with your laptop, notebook (or even desktop) so you can use it as a docking station and a display extension. This means you don’t have need to get a docking station so you could extend your displays. You just need this one Samsung! Definitely a boon if you use a small-ish notebook/laptop for your mobile needs but would want something bigger when you get home! It is 27-inch with a full HD (1080p) resolution so you’d get ample pixel space if you need it. Wireless connection for this unit is achieved using a USB adapter that you will need insert into one of your notebook’s USB ports. You could also hook it up via wired USB cable if any situation warrants so. And since it’s also a docking station, it comes with a sufficient number of the standard connectivity features like USB3, USB2, HDMI, etc. See following unboxing video for the Samsung C27A750X:

Related: Using a 4K TV as your computer monitor

The Almost Wireless AOC E1649FWU

If you’re not really looking a monitor with docking capabilities like the Samsung then the AOC E1649FWU might be good enough if you could get over the fact that it isn’t really wireless in the same sense as the Samsung. But it does have one very neat capability; that is, it does not require a power cord. It gets all its power from the wired USB connection to your laptop/notebook. It’s value is in its portability and it works well as a presentation device. Just prop it up on a table and you can run your presentation. It has an auto-pivot feature to re-orient image depending on whether it’s in portrait or landscape position. Resolution is 1366 x 768 so it should be nice for casual viewing or showing of images but feedback from users indicate it’s really not for high-quality image or video editing work so be advised. Well it’s also way cheaper than the Samsung so features should be limited.


Electrolysis-damaged Sony Bravia LED TV circuits can be fixed


This is a sort of a follow up to the previous video post we made on the water-damaged Sony Bravia LED TV based on an interesting comment from a reader who thought the TV could be repaired easier than what norcal715 thought, who suggested the unit may be headed to the landfill.

A commenter going by the handle Travis indicated that the unit could be saved from the landfill and be repaired but his method is nothing short of surgical (you literally need a scalpel) in nature so you’ll need some surgeon’s skill to be able to accomplish this.

Here’s what Travis suggests:

“To fix this isn’t as difficult as you think. Find an old pcb board that you don’t use anymore, old VCR’s dvd players etc. Find a thin piece of track that is close to the same size as the ones that are broken on your TV. Use a scalpel blade to first remove the solder mask from the track on the old PCB. Gently cut the track to the appropriate length and peel it off from the old PCB with the scalpel. This may take a few practice runs to get it right . Next, scrape the back of the track to remove all the glue . This is the hardest part, I cant tell you how many pieces of track that jump away on me never to be found. Now go to the TV and scrape away 2x the track thickness of the solder mask on each side of the broken track. Using flux, add a small amount of solder to 1 side of the track. use alcohol to clean any old flux and solder mask debris. Add a small amount of flux again and with a pair of tweezers solder one end of your track to the TV. Gently clean area again. You may have to reposition the track, now is the time to do it. Always add flux and clean. Once you have it lined up, use the tweezers to hold down your track and solder the other side and clean once again.”

Now, if you’re doing this professionally you’ll need to consider how much time you’ll need to accomplish this repair and charge for it so yes, you’ll need to be able to do a little cost-benefit analysis and advise the client accordingly. Based on your skill and experience, I think you might still actually make some money from this repair and make a customer happy (by keeping repair costs low considering materials you need should be cheap to find). If you’re doing this DIY on your spare time then I think it’s a pretty good learning experience to be able to do this regardless.

Here’s the video once again:


This water-damaged Sony Bravia LED TV is a hopeless repair?


Here’s a good tip: if you get your TV wet, rush it to a TV repair professional! Immediately unplug the unit and don’t ever turn it on until it’s certified fixed by a tech.

Unfortunately, this is a hard lesson learned by the owner of a Sony LED LCD TV owner who probably thought there was no harm done when he/she got his unit watered down. Obviously, he was wrong as the video by norcal715 of Youtube clearly shows. Unit is a 40-inch Sony Bravia, relatively new (manufactured in 2010) and looked like it. It’s an LED model which means it uses LED backlighting technology which makes it thinner and lighter and more power efficient.

Well, the expensive problem came about when the unit got wet but owner just kept using it. In truth, water seeped down to LCD panel circuits at the bottom of the unit and stayed there while the unit was used. And so they found out the hard way that electricity, water and circuitry don’t really mix as the continued flow of electricity through wet circuits produced a process called electrolysis. This corroded or ate up the copper in the circuits which basically destroyed the TV.

As norcal715 suggested, this unit is headed for the scrappers. You could probably replace the LCD screen panel but that would be a very expensive route. One option is to try and look for a “for parts” unit with a good LCD screen display and circuits being sold on eBay and the likes, and get a good tech to install it for you. I guess that’s one option worth looking into if buying a new one is currently not an option. Or you could buy brand new from a cheaper brand.

Read follow up post: Reader says this Sony Bravia can be fixed!

Watch video: