LG Announcing Exit From Plasma (PDP) TV Business

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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

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Packing more pixels into those flat screens with 4K!

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The race to cram more pixels into those displays isn’t only limited to smart phones, tablets or computer screens as it has also benefited the ubiquitous television. If you think we’re stuck at HD (high-definition) then I guess you’ll be happy to know that we’ve actually moved on from that by what many considers a big leap in pixel count— about 4 times more pixels, to be more precise, compared to the standard 1080p HD television.

Comparison of the different resolution standards

Comparison of the different resolution standards


What is dubbed as 4k television, otherwise known as Ultra HD (UHD) flat screens with resolutions of 3840×2160 to 5120×3200 depending on the aspect ratio (HD resolution is just 1920×1080), has actually been around for a bit of time but I’ve not really paid much attention to them since they’re really still pretty expensive (the way LCD flat screens were when they were new in the market). However, the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) has made developments in the 4k arena a bit harder to ignore with some cool demonstrations of head-turning TV displays that are reportedly bound for the consumer market— all of them packing some mean pixel firepower!

Take, for example, the stunning display of curves from Samsung and LG with their respective 105 in. curved screen TVs which they both claim are the world’s first. Both TVs sport Ultra HD pixel count levels with 21:9 ratio which makes it pretty wide indeed and will be a true centerpiece of any living space. These two same companies also showed prototypes of a TV screen that bends. Yep, bendable TVs may be in your living rooms sooner than you think, provided that you can afford them at their first mass market release.

Samsung's 105 in. curved TV (Image credit: TheVerge.com)

Samsung’s 105 in. curved TV (Image credit: TheVerge.com)


Another interesting development is the fact that companies are truly making them televisions smarter for a more interactive viewing experience by putting in more sophisticated operating systems (OS). LG showed off a new flat screen unit installed with a proprietary OS called WebOS (which they actually acquired from HP) which can make the TV access more than traditional TV shows as it can also show Internet content and can be used as a communication device as well (e.g. using Skype, etc.). Hisense also showed a TV installed with its own version of Google’s Android OS which isn’t really surprising as it isn’t the first non-smartphone device that got “Androidized” but is still, I think, a clever way to innovate more on the smart TV experience.

But the best news is yet to come as one of the best developments all in all is the price war trend developing among these top companies. Vizio beat them all to it by releasing the first sub-$1,000 unit which, incidentally, is also their very first offering on 4K! This is a 50-inch model which is indeed pretty surprising considering the current price levels of TVs of such size from the bigger brands (Samsung, Sony, etc.). While lower prices have been seen in smaller, relatively unknown brands, such trend creeping into the Samsung or Sony territory would be welcome development indeed.

Related article: 4K Ultra HD LED TVs Below $1,000

Electronics companies are obviously betting on the 4k as the wave of the future but is their bet well-founded? Is the market adopting? Reports indicate that it’s slowly doing so and that things are also slowly happening in other 4K-related devices as well. Some new set-top boxes are adopting 4K as well which bodes well for those wondering if 4K content will be supported well into the future.

Will you buy 4K anytime soon?

Also read: LCD vs. LED vs. OLED TVs: What’s the difference?

References:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/best-4k-tvs-ces-2014-1431723
http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/9/5291546/spec-sheet-tvs-ces-2014-curved-4k-flexible
http://www.eeweb.com

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Fixing an LG 55LV4400 LED TV that won’t power up

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Here’s a nice little video on how to repair an LG LED television that refuses to turn on. The procedure was performed by the flat screen TV’s owner who also happens to be an electrical engineer and he found out about how to solve the problem online. It turns out the problem was pretty common for similar LG units and that it is usually caused by a faulty chip on the TV’s main board. The video suggests that you can either replace the main board itself or simply replace the busted chip with a new one. Since a brand new main board costs approximately $200, he chose to just replace the chip which only costs less than $20 online.

What’s interesting to note is that the unit is just a little over 1 year old from its manufacturing date so it’s relatively a young unit that went bonkers. Goes to show the quality (or lack thereof) of components manufacturing companies use for their products.

Also read: Learn How to Solder (9-Part Video Lesson)

2 IN 1 SMD HOT AIR REWORK SOLDERING IRON STATION with 2 iron handles

2 IN 1 SMD HOT AIR REWORK SOLDERING IRON STATION with 2 iron handles

This repair will require a little bit of soldering skills so you will need a soldering equipment to achieve the results. In fact, you’ll need one that has a hot air blower like this 2-in-1 SMD Hot Air Rework Soldering Iron Station which you can get in Amazon as you will need the blower to remove the chip from its soldered mount. A replacement chip can be obtained online and the model name according to the video author is a Macronix MX25L6406 which is a flash chip that contains proprietary firmware/program required by the LED LCD television. You can buy a blank chip for a much cheaper price of just a little over $2 but you can also get ones that already contains the program needed by the TV for about $17. You may need to use an EEPROM programmer to backup the contents/program in the chip before you proceed as a backup. Other specialized equipment that you may need is a stereo microscope as the chip is really small and alignment is critical in the installation process.

Safety first, guys! Don’t do this repair if you’re not well-equipped and don’t know what you’re doing. Soldering equipment produce high amounts of heat and you can get yourself burned or electrocuted if you’re not careful.

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Plasma and LCD TV Repair Information: How easy is it to find them?

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If you’ve been scouring the internet for information on DIY television repair then you probably already know that it’s one of those things that are easier said than done. Sure there are lots of sites and TV repair forums that offer help on the subject but most of them offer bits and pieces of information that will be hard to put together most especially if you’re a non-technical person who’s looking to undertake a do-it-yourself repair project.

Of course you want to do it right and avoid mistakes that could cost you more. Hence, you set out to arm yourself with as much as information as possible so you go on the internet to search for them but finds puzzle pieces. Yikes.

We all know how it goes. You go to a forum and post a question and waits for an answer. If you’re lucky you get an answer quickly and one that actually helps. If you’re out of luck, days and months will pass while your plea for help gets stuck in virtual limbo. This poor fella waited one year for an answer to his plasma screen problem query. He probably gave up on it and just hauled the thing to a service center and got billed $600 for a problem that can probably be resolved with a careful soldering exercise. Or worse, he could have thrown the television out. Hopefully, he didn’t hurt his back carrying the thing out and thereby spent thousands more for physical therapy.

Looking for repair manuals and schematics? You will find online stores that are selling them per copy but if you wish to get more for many other brands and models then it will definitely be expensive. But there are these LCD TV training membership site and plasma TV training membership site that are offering repair manuals for over 400 brands and models worldwide for a small fee that would be equivalent to just around 4-5 manuals if you get them from those buy-per-copy sites.

Yes, you could get some manuals free as well but again, they will merely be pieces of the puzzle. The membership sites I mentioned above are actually giving out a free service manual for Sony LCD TV Model KLV-27HR3 and one for LG Plasma TV Model DU-42PY10X. I downloaded them but alas- I didn’t know what to do with them. If you’re a non-technical person like me, you’ll probably need more than just the TV repair manuals.

The two membership sites that I mentioned above have them all— basic information for beginners and detailed technical data for seasoned or experienced repair gurus. And here’s the kicker: They have visual troubleshooting guides which I definitely love!

They’re the ultimate repair forums where you won’t have to buy each and every manual. You pay a one-time fee equivalent to to a couple or so decent burgers and you will get all the information you need from, get this, from only one or two sites! You will also get access to new manuals and information that come out any time in the future!

See there’s no need to go sleuthing all over the internet for a wild goose chase. Get complete TV repair information now and quick!

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