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  • EEVblog #52 – Panasonic Plasma TV’s Suck

    Posted on January 2nd, 2010 EEVblog 47 comments

    Dave cuts loose on his Panasonic Plasma TV set that failed, yet still manages to give it the thumbs up.

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    47 responses to “EEVblog #52 – Panasonic Plasma TV’s Suck” RSS icon

    • I like the tape fix. I was about to suggest it, but you were quicker.

      For symmetry reasons you should also deactivate the driver on the left side and add some tape there as well. Heck, ‘upgrade’ it to 4:3 ;-)

    • And Panasonic gets the finger, gotta love it.

    • OMG I laughed so hard with the tape fix and the middle finger :D Dave you rock as a TV repairman !

    • Excellent vlog Dave.

      Maybe some friendly Panasonic’s engineers will do something for you after that ;)
      (well, at least a refund for the tape …)

      Cheers

    • After watching this I went and looked at some of the AV forums, Panasonic copped a bagging, but I have never had a problem with Panasonic Plasmas.

      I used to install Plasmas in Pubs (sports bars) casinos and hospitals. I have probably installed over 500 (from 42″ – 65″) and only one of them had failed as I left the company (I was there for over 2 years) the one that failed was behind a water fountain (stupid artistic architectural wannabes) It was not water damage from the running water more the extra humidity.

      I have a 46″ JVC LCD here, that will be back at the shop soon, it has a series of blue horizontal lines (about 1 pixel high) that come and go, and it locks up from time to time with no picture (just vertical couloured lines) when it is powered on with a HDMI source.

      Regards,

      Kat.

      • Good blog! The fix at the end was very funny :)

        I used to work in Consumer Electronics Repair actually. That’s how I started out in the Electronics industry after school. You learn good diagnosis techniques, which are useful later on in your Engineering career! :)

        I’ve heard loads of bad things about plasma TVs over the years, particularly with regard to premature failure, but this has always puzzled me because in the early days when all the large screens were plasma based and the LCD screens still had a lot of catching up to do, I noticed that a lot of big airports had the big plasma screens running and these things were on all day every single day – probably 24 hours a day come to think of it – and I never noticed a faulty one. I have often wondered whether there is any truth to the bad rep plasma TVs have had.

        I was thinking while watching this blog, that you might actually be able to get a significant reduction on that repair quote. I’m not sure what the consumer rights are over on your side of the globe, but I think that over here in the UK the consumer would be able to do something about your particular predicament. The manufacturer only ‘guarantees’ the equipment for 1 year, but still the consumer is given the right to expect a reasonable life from the equipment they have been sold. I’m not sure what that a reasonable life would be in terms of time, but I’m pretty certain that you’d expect a top of the range TV to last longer than two and a half years. Over here we’d complain about the premature failure, and if it is agreed that the equipment has not lasted a reasonable length of time, we’d probably be offered a reduction in the repair cost or perhaps money towards a new TV.

        It might be worth looking into what can be done about this your end? It is a load of hassle to got through the complaints procedure but hey… what have you got to lose?

        Brian

        Brian

    • Maybe the freak professor who stole some of your plasma, so he can travel to the future. LOOOOOL

      Ramzi.

    • Nice repair job, here is another way to repair a plasma TV:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKJcBx9cXKo
      Maybe it works for you as well. ;-)

      • Time honored percussive electronics repair. I remember the first time one of my coworkers came up and complained that her 15″ Samsung monitor was flickering. The guns in this particular model were known for it. I walked up and gave it an open handed kersmack that moved it about three inches across the desk. Problem solved. Totally freaked her out. She asked if I was worried that I would break it. I explained that we had 20 units, I’d already opened two of them up and determined that it was otherwise unfixable and the sooner we broke them the sooner we could get new ones. The smack usually worked for about three months. Took us five years to replace them due to eventual dimming due to phosphor burn out. If it hadn’t been for that, we’d probably still be smacking them to get rid of color gun flicker.

    • I have had this very same issue twice when repairing tv’s for family and friends. I had a Samsung 40 inch LCD in the workshop that was just over a year old which lost a segment of screen and Samsung would not touch it or help in any way or form. Same missing line as Dave’s with a few lines. Opened it up and took a good look at it and noticed one of the ribbon cables to the panel had a small chip that was burnt out. Could do nothing with it. New panel costs more than a new set. I wondered about changing the ribbon for one out of a scrap set but it’s blooming bonded to the edge of the glass panel so that was that out the window. When this fault happens your screwed unless you take out the rip off extended warranty.

    • Hey Dave!

      I am a long time lurker here and I really appreciate the videos! A big thumbs-up to you for doing this.

      Anyway, I can see a potential solution to the right hand side strip being lost due to the failure. If you happen to have a computer or a HTPC connected to the display, just scale the image such that it fits into the visible part of the panel.

      Bye,
      Kumar

    • I was going to suggest some black spray paint on the rear of the glass but I like your solution better!

      I had a laptop screen do the same thing. It was an LG LCD panel when I took it apart to see what the issue was I was faced with the same ribbon cable from hell… No way to repair it! I just sucked it up and ordered a replacement panel.

    • Hit with a hamer on top of the TV.. above the failing part ;)

    • Hey Dave, maybe you should apply some of Doc’s logic and give it the ‘ole 1.21 gigawatts and see what happens… :) Actually now that I think about it some posts on HV would be very fun to watch (with the appropriate safety discussion of course).

    • v., whined, whin

    • Love it!
      As the local ‘go to’ guy around I’ve had to fix lots of my mates electronics, but plasmas elude me, so far just by tinkering i’ve fixed:
      Sansui 5.1 system (about 4 damn times)
      Countless DVD players and remotes,
      Panasonic rear-Pro (cap blew out and caused colatteral damage
      Depth sounders,
      Mobile Phones

      Things just arent made to last these days unless they live in my home (ironic that my sammy Amp won’t work no matter what I do)

    • Give a quick call to consumer affairs in Australia… There is such a thing as an implied warranty… You actually may get some traction there… I can’t remember where I actually read about this, but basically there is such a thing that says that for reasonable use, a device is actually warranted (in some cases) beyond the actual period of the warranty.

    • Michael Thompson

      …and out comes the tape. You rock Dave!

      Always ALWAYS entertaining and informative.

    • You could repair it if you could find a scrap panel and cut the new chip out with scissors then mate (connect) it to your panels ribbon cable by sandpapering insulation and “silver ink”, I’ve done it before but not tht fine and quanity of traces.

      or (better) (maybe) buy two ribbon cable connectors, and somehow mate the new (reovered) chip using a custom PCB.

      alot of difficult work, to find out maybe the panel caused the chip failure, or be a shortlived hack repair.

    • I loved the ‘one finger salute’ to Panasonic! Funniest EEVblog moment yet. I think you should put your defective plasma to good use in the new EEVblog Destructive Testing lab.

      -Trent

    • You may have been hurt by the so called “bath curve”.
      So, when you buy a new gear, turn-it on and let-it run as long as possible because
      Manufacturers are now relying on end user to make the test!

    • Hey Dave,

      You keep talking about quality parts and construction. Occasionally, you’ll point out a particular part or layout feature that’s good or bad, but usually I just have to take your word for it. Is quality recognition something that can be taught? YouTube doesn’t limit you to 10 min anymore… ;)

      Thanks for all your time on here. Always an adventure.

      Jon

      • @Joh
        I’m aware that it’s kinda “take my word for it” video. I wish I had a bad example to show side-by-side.
        I might have to try and do that one day.
        But yeah, it mostly comes down to experience with components and construction. An experienced design engineer can tell when dodgy no-name components have been used, what care and thought was put into the PCB layout, or if they have skimped on overload protection or whatever.

    • if you get no luck with a panasonic, I would love to see if you could fix it somehow by the suggestion above.

    • Dave:

      I love when you do the in-depth hardware stuff, and I love the HD, but you need to build yourself one of these DIY steadycam rigs to help with your handywork: http://www.yb2normal.com/DIYsteadicam3.html

      Version 3 just came out and it works quite well for $14.

    • Panasonic Plasma TV also have a reputation of causing bad radio interference. This is a known problem to Panasonic, however they still produce TV’s with this issue which involves excessive radiation from the screen. However, Plasma TV’s are likely to be baned by the EU as their power consumption is way too high.

      S.

    • Dave, you never cease to amaze me. It’s nice how I kept anticipating the video while watching it.. When you showed the problem, I said “mh, shifted image, should be a capacitor” then you said that it actually was a missing column, and I was sure that it was one of the crappy flat cables that make a lot of lcd fail, then you TOOK IT APAHT! and blamed exactly that. I was just about to say that maybe the power supply to that chip was faulty or maybe there was a problem on the clock line or something, but your test with the cable detached quickly removed that option. Then I was just going to say “but he cannot throw it away, it’s still 93.75% working!!!” and then… damn, I laughed so hard in the end that I spit all over my rigol!

      Thank you Dave, thank you so much! I was going to get a t-shirt but I don’t really like these designs (sorry), also the guy with the white NE555 tee is like “WTF am I wearing???”. So I made a little donation.

      Wish you the best
      Mastro Gippo

    • perfect ending Dave.. I nearly p****** my pants..

    • Nothing (electrical) around here manages to make it to the landfill without being disassembled for repair first. I’ve repaired air conditioners, dryers, televisions, vcr’s (back in the day), cd players, etc.

      What strikes me in the video is how you mention “quality construction”, but then you don’t point out how bonding chips to flexible mylar is a fairly well known problem. Had the chip been on the circuit board, it could have been repaired for a lot less cost to both the consumer and the manufacturer. If you ask me, that’s NOT quality construction. It may have solved an engineering or production problem at the time, but it ultimately leads to a failed product in a landfill and should have been avoided. Besides that, for what that set cost, it’s hard to believe it couldn’t have been designed without that flaw.

      I like the tape fix. That’s probably the simplest fix you could have done and I think you’re very lucky it wasn’t one of the middle drivers that failed.

    • A sign of the times…either make it too cheap to be worth the cost of fixing, or simply make it unrepairable.

      My wife bought me a Panasonic wet/dry shaver ($80 several years ago) for Father’s Day. I wanted to take it back, but, it WAS a gift.

      I used the shaver for several months, then decided to take 3 months off to grow a beard. When it came time to remove the beard, the nicad batteries in the shaver were shot and wouldn’t take a charge. When I contacted Panasonic customer service, I was told that since it was out of warranty, I was out of luck!

      It seems that Panasonic simply replaces defective units under warranty. They neither repair shavers nor supply repair parts for units out of warranty.

      This just goes to show that manufacturers can suck at more than just one product.

    • Dell Amsbaugh

      Interesting site man Thanks

    • I used to work for a company a few years back, and we were authorized reps for Panasonic,JVC,LG,Samsung,Sony and a few others (we only sold to commercial/cooperate customers not retail). And I know its of small consolation, but of all those brands the Panasonic and Sony units had the lowest in warranty failure rates by far.
      Right before I left we sold a school 300 42″ LG sets, and I think we had 25 or 30 of them come back for repair or replacement in the first 6 weeks (Utter Crap!) Meanwhile, while I worked there we probably sold 5000+ Panasonic Commercial Plasma units and I can count the number that came back on my fingers and toes. We even sold a couple of their 102″ units that are massive and really heavy! And both of them are still in service several years later.

      I wish you lived in the USA, cause I could probably get the folks I knew at Panasonic to honor the warranty on that set of yours, but I don’t know anyone in AU. Sorry…

      BTW, all of the units we sold were the commercial sets with the extended life panels, so even the high end consumer grade sets may not have the reliability that they had. But they cost more… so its likely a wash.

      RMG

      PS, Just so you know…I still watch a Sony 34″ 1080i CRT set at home, and I likely will till it dies! But we have a projector for movies. No plasmas for me.

    • i think that plasma tvs are more expensive than LCD tvs and they are a bit heavier too ,,*

    • For once, I thought that you had the knowledge to administrator the correct repairs on this plasma-tv.

      Seems to me that you are just showing sh1t to the fanboys.

      First of all, there are high DC voltages in the plasma circuitry itself.

      Secondly, you know nothing about crt/plasma tv circuitry and you are slapping cheap comments in the entire video.

      ‘ I DONT KNOW WHAT THIS IS BUT THIS SEEMS HIGH QUALITY! I LIKE THIS! ‘

      Thirdly, you are showing negative troubleshooting practices that poor ‘youtube wannabees’ pick up, like using a metal screwdriver and running it around the entire circuit board. You are lucky sh1t that you did not get shocked.

      Please do not get your fanboys killed, for your misleading acts.

      You just want visitor-counts for your test-equipment marketing-business.

      1) Learn to put the appropriate safety precautions on your videos.

      2) If you do not have quality videos for your blog, then leave them out!

      *MIDDLE FINGER*
      Irresponsible dud!

      • I smell a “trained” “technician” with his foot up his ass. Go whine to the 30k+ youtube viewers who enjoyed watching this video if you don’t want to see more videos like it. Better yet, simply ignore the parts of the internet that confound and offend you and your training.

    • I have been servicing audio and tv for over 20 years, and in my experience I have never seen an actual screen go bad as described. First off, the problem with the white lines on the side is there whether or not you have that driver cable connected or not. This indicates to me that the actual problem has nothing to do with that driver at all and is somewhere else. It is only an assumption that the display is at fault here.

      This is a case where an actual service manual would be real handy in discovering where the real problem lies. I can tell you that in most cases, the problem is lack of solder causing a broken connection preventing the signal from reaching the display.

      As “nice” as the set looks inside as far as the quality, none of this will stop a set from going dead than poor solder joints. What something to complain about? Complain that ALL manufacturers of TV’s these days use wave soldering processes that fall short of providing the real good type of solder connections that will make a unit last the course of time.

      Pet peeve should be this: surface mount IC’s that have poor soldering techniques employed.

      Of course, this is all part in parcel with one main concept that all manufactures employ here:

      Planned obsolescence.

      All a company cares about is if it will last the warrantee period. After that they don’t give a rats ass.

      Sad but true.

      • I’m no engineerbut, this seems reasonable from what I saw in the video. When the two columns where unhooked you could still see the 2nd row, though the second row was incomplete. The first row and column where solid black the entire time. I do suppose the first driver for row one, could be damaged, but that seems unlikely to me.

    • Does anybody know if Panasonic is going out of business? I’m worried that my new TV isn’t actually keeping up with new technology. I shouldn’t have bought one.

      I bought what was supposed to be a “top notch” plasma TV at the end of 2011. It’s a “Smart TV” – goes on the internet plays multimedia devices — or so it purports.

      But the USB and SD card ports don’t play .AVI –one of the most popular video formats for the internet and cameras.

      This “smart” TV also won’t connect to the internet via my iPhone (unlike the 15 other devices which do so perfectly).

      I called Panasonic about this problem and they told me I “should have done more research” (and bought a Samsung or an LG apparently). I suspect they would sell a car without a motor.

      If Panasonic isn’t going to acknowledge people at home using Canon and Apple products and include them in their “multimedia” — can they survive?

    • Im trying to be the local tv guy dave. I admire the way u eliminated one of the potential problems but is there a way to replace the actual screen itself? People keep telling me to get a model number and find a display thats just as suitable but id much rather hear it from the Master himself ;-)

    • I have to agree. PANASONIC PLASMA’S SUCK! I have the same Tv in this video. I ran out of warranty a month ago. Turned it on this morning and it will not come on at all. Just a red blinking stand by light. Called Panasonic and got the “Sorry, it’s not under warranty” speech. This is the first and last Panasonic product I will ever purchase. Wish I had saw this video before I wasted my money on this junk.

    • Don’t feel bad i have bought a 55′ vizio led tv used about 3 month old. Worked great for a bout 3 weeks then it went GREEN. called vizio they said it was a software issue. found out it updated it’s firmware over the ethernet jack yes you read it right it has internet connectivity. The said i would have to wait for the fixed firmware. Well the fix showed up 2 and a half months later.

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