Question about Sony Grand WEGA KF50WE610 50" Rear Projection HDTV-Ready Television

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Faint blue "cloud" on upper left screen duriing viewing

I have a Sony KF50WE610 for the past 4 years. Great TV, but just very lately there is a faint blue "cloud" at the upper left of the screen that seems to come and go during viewing that is more noticable when only faces are on the screen. When the set is off, the blue cloud seems to stay in the same position, almost like one of the lights inside is still on. I had a projection bulb replaced shortly after the initial purchase in 2004 and other than that, no problems. I am connected to cable, no satellite.

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MisterSony is 100% right. Many early model Sony LCD projection sets suffer from UV deterioration of the color filters within the optical block. The xenon mercury vapor light gives off UV light which is supposed to be filtered inside the optical block, result, similar damage like that of sunlight on plastic. Some models exhibit blue discoloration or stars and others a yellowish green cast. The TV has to be completely gutted on XBR's to replace the optical block, anywhere from a 1 to 2 hour repair depending on the model. Another secondary issue is dust accumulation from drawing in dusty air, reducing the airflow and allowing the lamp and optics to heat up. Many of the sets have 4 fans, 3 of which cool the lamp and optics. Cleaning the lamp fans would likely require a trained Sony tech since some of the TV would have to be disassembled.

As for the warranty, most of the Sony extended warranties for the optical block issues have expired by now (11/2008). You can visit the Sony website, go to support and type in your model number too see what issues they are still supporting on your set. It's likely you will have to climb the customer service ladder to overcome the expiration. I can't say that owners who registered their warranty with Sony got notified of the optical issue. I assume Sony took into consideration how many units went out before they modified the optical block and how long it took for the problem to appear which is probably how they set the extended warranty time frame. If they won't accomodate your problem, you can always offer to split the cost of the repair, but beware the optical block could cost in the neighborhood of $1000 and about $450 for labor. This and other known concerns is why I will NEVER buy a projection TV again. I advise everyone to buy either LCD or (gulp) plasma.

One other tip. If your TV fails to come on, check the bulb (user replaceable) first before calling for service. Often times the lamp light won't indicate a failure, but the set will blink the red power light. The lamp capsule inside the reflector may shatter evidenced by a "pop" as you turn the set on. Other times the set may turn off unexpectedly and turn back on within 2 minutes and repeat this cycle as the lamp near the end of it's life. It could also show sings of picture darkening before it goes. If the lamp is two years or older, consider getting a spare so you don't have to go without when the lamp goes. Don't touch the lamp glass, ever!

Good luck!

Posted on Nov 09, 2008

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I hesitate to tell you this for fear of a bad rating from you, but it is likely the optical block is the source of your problem. Sony was covering replacement of the optical block for this unit until June of 2008, but that warranty extension has expired. I would suggest you contact Sony customer support at 800-222-SONY to see if they will allow for some type of accommodation to cover either the parts, the labor or some portion thereof. Sorry!

Posted on Nov 07, 2008

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