Question about Samsung HCN4226W 42" Rear Projection HDTV-Ready Television
Is this something I can resolve by just replacing a component myself. I am a tech on Semiconductor equipment, I should be able to handle the R&R of the part or component. Where can I get what I need? Or would it be easier to remove the PCB and swap it with a repaired one.. Any idea on cost?
As a gift to my parents, I
purchased a Panasonic Rear Projection Television in the summer of 2001. I paid approximately $2,200 and thought I was
getting a great deal as I had always thought of Panasonic as one of the leaders
in consumer electronics.
About 2 to 2 ½ years into owning this TV, the red convergence started to malfunction. I contacted Panasonic and was told that my limited warranty was exactly that, LIMITED. It did not cover convergence problems. So I took this issue into my own hands and called for repair estimates. The cheapest estimate for labor and parts came to a whopping a $350.
Reluctantly, I hired a TV repairman and agreed to pay this exorbitant amount of money. He checked various components inside the TV board and proceeded to replace 2 convergence amps plus the associated resistors. There was some soldering involved and the whole process took about 2 hours. Finally, he adjusted the convergence and other data with the remote and the TV was back to normal. I was satisfied.
Fast forward another 2 years, my green convergence is out. Now, the cost of parts and labor are up to an average of $400, I’ll blame that on inflation. I bite the bullet and hire another repairman because I was too cheap to throw this unit away and buy a new TV. I should have just invested a little more money on a brand new TV set, but hindsight is 20/20.
This time, I ask the repairman a lot of questions like a student and watch his work like an eagle. He was very sympathetic and tried his best to educate me on this issue. I learned that these particular convergence amps (also known as IC’s) get very hot and blow out after a few years. He also noted that over 80% of rear projection TVs will have convergence problems due to this faulty convergence amp. The problem has become so prevalent that many repairmen are using an upgraded version of this part. The original installed part number is STK 392–110; the upgraded part number is STK 392–180. Apparently, the STK392–110 lacks in thermal performance. Simply put, they get too hot and finally they blow. Another thing he mentioned was that when this part was originally installed by Panasonic, the folks at the manufacturing plant were not applying the thermal compound grease on these ICs efficiently, thereby causing more heat to build on the IC and again causing it to blow.
Fast forward to February 2008. My horizontal blue convergence is out! I’m not paying anyone to fix it! I want Panasonic to take some responsibility and remedy my situation. On a whim, I googled my TV’s model number on the internet, PT47WX49E. There were hundreds, if not thousands of others with the same problem. There were way too many posts and forums regarding this issue. I was appalled to find that the convergence was blowing out on average of 2–4 years. It wasn’t just my particular TV model; several other Panasonic models were having the same problems. Now, would I have purchased this unit for over $2,000 if I knew that it would have problems after 2 years? That would be a definite NO.
I’ve called Panasonic at 800–211–7262 several times to absolutely no avail. Though they were somewhat polite, they were not helpful at all. In fact, I felt as though I was talking to a recording each time. The so–called reps knew nothing about the products they were selling to the public! All they could say was that the TV was no longer under warranty or there are no known recalls on this particular model or something similar in nature. They suggested I hire an authorized Panasonic repair technician!
I am well educated, but I am not wealthy by any means. I don’t have the luxury of paying $400 every 2 years to maintain this faulty TV. Even if I did have the money, this is principally WRONG on every level! This is purely a manufacturing defect. Panasonic used a faulty part. No one buys a TV with the expectation of it lasting less than 2 to 3 years. I feel terrible inside. My parents are out of a TV for the third time. They are in their 70’s, and this is pretty much how they get their source of news and entertainment. I just can’t afford another TV or another repair for that matter.
At this point, I am at my wit’s end. Has there been a class action suit against Panasonic yet? Or is it in the works as I write this? I refuse to sit back and take this from Panasonic. Who wants to file a class action suit against them with me? I’ve spent way too much time, money and energy on this issue. We need to be compensated.
Posted on Mar 13, 2008
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