Official Sony Bravia LCD Uneven Backlight/Cloudy Thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Does your Sony 46" XBR LCD suffer from an uneven backlight or cloudy background?
YES, clouds can been seen when dark colors are displayed or when switching inputs 1,294 69.05%
NO, my screen has a perfect, fully even, backlight 580 30.95%
Voters: 1874. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-19-2006, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I called and talked to a tier 2 specialist. They were aware of the problem and said there were a couple sets on the engineers bench.

I offered to send pictures and they gave me some generic email. Since I was within 30 days they told me to exchange at the store.

Now I am on my second unit with the same problem. I just had it lying down for a couple hours and am warming it up to see if there was any difference.

What was your technique on laying down the panel on its face?
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I called and talked to a tier 2 specialist. They were aware of the problem and said there were a couple sets on the engineers bench.

I offered to send pictures and they gave me some generic email. Since I was within 30 days they told me to exchange at the store.

Now I am on my second unit with the same problem. I just had it lying down for a couple hours and am warming it up to see if there was any difference.

I'm wondering if I need to let it lay flat for more than a few minutes since I can't seem to get rid of some stubborn clouds in the right side of the screen.

kontai69 is correct about how sensitive the screen is following this treatment - don't touch it afterward or else the clouds return where it was touched/bumped.

Perhaps I'll make the plunge and let it sit on it's face over night and see what happens. I won't be happy until I get a almost perfectly clear screen.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:58 PM
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Mine was made in September 06 and has some serious clouding issues. Im very interested in how many people have had luck with laying their tv flat to destress. I will give it a try tomorrow.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:52 PM
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How are you guys grabbing the panel when you lay it on its face?
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by diegoborgh View Post

I'm starting to get fed up with Sony's unresponsile behavior, and to ignore us after spending so much on a defective panel. I'm going to contact a consumer lawyer and see what are the options. Anybody up for it?

What did Sony say when you contacted them to get labeled as having "unresponsible behavior"? Wondering what their take is on this problem.

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Old 11-20-2006, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sauron256 View Post

kontai69 is correct about how sensitive the screen is following this treatment - don't touch it afterward or else the clouds return where it was touched/bumped.

True. Here is what I hypothesize to be the reason for this...

At least on my 32" Sony, the LCD panel substructure also doubles as the main internal framework of the TV. In other words, the LCD panel substructure also serves as the backbone of the TV. The pedestal beams actually physically attach directly to LCD panel substructure. The front bezel also attaches to and is supported by the LCD panel substructure. I noticed all this when I popped open the back cover of my set, heh-heh. I'm sure your >40 inch panels are similarly constructed.

Therefore, it's easy to imagine how any force exerted at the pedestal beam/LCD substructure junction will directly transmit "stress" to the LCD screen, which likely is causing the clouding. I picture alot of users pushing against the bezel to slide the TV into its final location on the stand. Some users maybe grabbing the TV by the pedestal and bezel as they lift it up, causing alot of torsional stress. I personally did this when I picked up my TV by myself and placed it on the stand. I think the manual recommends carrying the TV only by the lower bottom corners of the bezel. In retrospect, I should have gotten someone to help me. With this in mind, I suggest having someone help you carry, lay down, and stand the set upright during the destressing procedure, if you are not already doing so. Otherwise, you may be undoing the destressing. Alot of stress may also be occuring during shipment.

Of course, if my hypothesis is proven, then you could easily argue that Sony should have made the LCD substructure stronger.

Anyways, just some of my thoughts. Let us know how the destressing goes.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:55 AM
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Hmmmm......I'm thining about putting the panel back in its shipping box, and laying the panel down on its face for a few hours while in its shipping container. Good idea?
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swizzir View Post

I did a test last night turning both the backlight and brightness to zero. I could still see the problem areas. Would this prove that it's not the backlights but the panel itself? Try it on yours and tell us what your results are.

If you contact Sony again you don't have to open a second ticket. Ask the customer service rep to transfer you to a technical specialist (I got a group in San Diego). If you've already received a ticket number from a previous contact you can reference it. They'll be able to look it up. The guys I've talked to on the phone have been very nice and easy to deal with.

I e-mailed the two pictures you took to them as well se they've seen yours.


dont email them someone else's pictures, email them your own. If sony gets the same picture again and again, they're gonna think its some potential customer who is complaining about the problem, and not a true owner.

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Old 11-20-2006, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlite View Post

Hmmmm......I'm thining about putting the panel back in its shipping box, and laying the panel down on its face for a few hours while in its shipping container. Good idea?

That's an excellent idea. I wish I still had my box to do that with my panel.

However, I did lay my panel flat over night. The results are mixed. My panel is now mostly clear with only very minor improvement from my previous laying flat events. There is still very minor cloudiness on the lower right-hand side of my panel. Pretty much the only time I can see it now is during a very dark - almost black scene where the camera pans (i.e., the scenes after the Star Wars marching intro ends and the camera pans from black space to a planet).

The problem is that laying the screen flat doesn't seem to fix the cloudiness completely. I would say it brings it to where most people could probably live with it. But the fact that I know it's there will still annoys me.

Perhaps I'll give Sony a call. One more voice complaining won't hurt.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:30 AM
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I think I've found the official name for the problem we're all seeing - Mura effect. See below for a definition I copied from http://www.orbitech.com.tw/doc/app-7.pdf.

DESCRIPTION: Mura (moo-rah') is a Japanese word meaning blemish that has been adopted in English to provide
a name for imperfections of a display pixel matrix surface that are visible when the display screen is driven to a
constant gray level. Mura defects appear as low contrast, non-uniform brightness regions, typically larger than
single pixels. They are caused by a variety of physical factors. For example, in LCD displays, the causes of mura
defects include non-uniformly distributed liquid crystal material and foreign particles within the liquid crystal.
Mura-like blemishes occur in CRT, FED and other display devices. This section describes means of detecting and
classifying mura defects in flat panel displays.


In other words - it's a defect in the panel. Based on a few other web sites, mura defects cannot be fixed. You need to replace the glass since it's the glass that's defective to start with - non-uniform liquid crystal or the presence of contaminants in the glass.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:47 AM
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I tried the lay-down method for a couple hours. It did make an improvement. Please not that the camera does make it look worse, but the clouds are still there.

This is another unit from my other pics.

I just don't know what to do. I am thinking of getting the xbr3 as they seem to have had better QC.

Before:


After:
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sauron256 View Post

In other words - it's a defect in the panel. Based on a few other web sites, mura defects cannot be fixed. You need to replace the glass since it's the glass that's defective to start with - non-uniform liquid crystal or the presence of contaminants in the glass.


I agree. After seeing quite a few pics of this issue, I would have not hesitated on returning my set if I was experiencing this issue.

However, we all know that retailers are suppose to return items back to the manufacturer for service; that are defective or have "technical issues"- that may not the case 100% of the time. What would be interesting is keeping a pole of serial #'s of members that have/are returning these panels - to see if someone else gets the same set back. I wonder how many panels are being recycled back into new inventory that have issues, especially during the hot Christmas season.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:00 AM
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I need some suggestions as to what I should do please.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I tried the lay-down method for a couple hours. It did make an improvement. Please not that the camera does make it look worse, but the clouds are still there.

This is another unit from my other pics.

I just don't know what to do. I am thinking of getting the xbr3 as they seem to have had better QC.


The XBR3 has better QC? Is that fact, or rumor?

The people that lay their sets down and say there is improvement, what about when the time comes you move and have to move the set. I can't imagine these LCD's are meant to be so touchy when transported, etc. You should be able to touch your TV! Just a couple issues that have crossed my mind. Sony needs to take reponsiblilty..and believe me, I AM a Sony fan.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:08 AM
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Rare1

You bring up a great point here...

General public are paying a premium for XBR3 panels - that's a flagship product, substantially less for V series. Perhaps those panels spend a few more minutes in the Final QC audit of production? Splitting hairs? Hard to tell at this stage.

In any event, like peanut butter this is going to spread - As well it should. That's gotta be a real frustrating experience to go through the hassle of returning and setting up a replacement panel, only to find the same damned problem. Not good for the brand name either...

The serial# a-go-go that Rlampke brings up is a good one too. It would indeed be interesting to see if product is being recycled.

I was <> this close to dropping the hammer on a V2500 just two weeks ago before this issue came up and I subsequently saw it in person at a local retailer. Now I'm looking at the Mitsubishi. Sucks because that extra 1.5" of real estate you get on the Sony 40" definitely makes a difference.

I suspect this issue will float up. How soon, how fast and what the resulting outcome will be is anybody's guess. I doubt they'd want to have a recall anytime between now and the Superbowl...

We'll see...?
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertmichael View Post

The XBR3 has better QC? Is that fact, or rumor?

The people that lay their sets down and say there is improvement, what about when the time comes you move and have to move the set. I can't imagine these LCD's are meant to be so touchy when transported, etc. You should be able to touch your TV! Just a couple issues that have crossed my mind. Sony needs to take reponsiblilty..and believe me, I AM a Sony fan.

I said "seem"

We have not seen any pics of a defective xbr3 as of yet.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I need some suggestions as to what I should do please.

I'd take it back and get another - if the new panel exhibits the same behavior I'd ask for a refund - but that's just my opinion. If you cannot be provided an issue-free panel by them, time to look elsewhere IMO.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I said "seem"

We have not seen any pics of a defective xbr3 as of yet.

I just ask as I would love to jump in and get one...but not as long as the backlight issue but I am afraid to with this backlight issue so many people seem to have. For the amount of money they are they should be perfect....I don't understand why some are fine and some are not. I wonder what the percentage have this defect? Am I right that the 40xbr2/3 don't seem to have this as such a big issue? Can it be something predomintely to do with the 46inch? The things is...I WANT A 46 XBR!
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:44 AM
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At first I thought there could not be too many, but myself and sauran both getting back to back sets with issues leaves little confidence.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:02 AM
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Just finished talking to sony and they tried to tell me it was "how the tv was made" and that other people have called and it was just their settings.

I almost freaked on him. So they want to have a tech come look at it, which will be pointless. GRRRRRRR.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

Just finished talking to sony and they tried to tell me it was "how the tv was made" and that other people have called and it was just their settings.

When you say you talked to Sony, who did you speak with? Customer service or a tech specialist? Don't waist your time with customer service. A tier 2 technical specialist is where you want to go. I don't think they'd every tell you it was how the TV was made. At least I hope not.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by swizzir View Post

When you say you talked to Sony, who did you speak with? Customer service or a tech specialist? Don't waist your time with customer service. A tier 2 technical specialist is where you want to go. I don't think they'd every tell you it was how the TV was made. At least I hope not.

It was Tier 2 for sure.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sauron256 View Post

In other words - it's a defect in the panel. Based on a few other web sites, mura defects cannot be fixed. You need to replace the glass since it's the glass that's defective to start with - non-uniform liquid crystal or the presence of contaminants in the glass.

Very interesting find. I've thought all along that it's a panel defect and Sony should recall and replace all affected sets. I respect the attempt people are making laying their sets flat but in no way do I think any end user should have to go to such extremes to make their set look marginally better.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I need some suggestions as to what I should do please.

Rare1:

I think both you and I have come to the conclusion that this problem probably exists with most of the sets built after Sept. 2006.

Returning your set for a new one out-of-the-box is probably futile since it's very likely built in Oct.

What I have also learned with my second set is that the cloudiness is much more bearable than on my first set. So the degree to which this problem manifests itself has different intensities. My theory is that the late sets have this issue far worse than the older sets based on this forum's survey and my two sets (first one built in Oct, second one built in Aug).

If I were you, I would try to trade your current set for a store display model which is likely to be built in July or August. That's what I did to get a set built in August.

Don't expect perfection since you and I are too picky to ever accept any amount of cloudiness. But, the degree of cloudiness should be much improved and you might find yourself willing to accept just a little bit of cloudiness.

I'm actually waffling between just returning this set and buying a different display technology or keeping what I have because LCDs still fulfill most of my viewing requirements - bright display, low reflection, and no burn-in issues.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swizzir View Post

Very interesting find. I've thought all along that it's a panel defect and Sony should recall and replace all affected sets. I respect the attempt people are making laying their sets flat but in no way do I think any end user should have to go to such extremes to make their set look marginally better.

What sucks is that the literature I've found on the web about current LCD manufacturing QC processes seem to agree that today's automated QC methods are not sensitive enough to catch these Mura problems. It would appear that only the Eye-ball (Mk. I) is good enough to catch this problem.

Though, it would appear that development of methods to detect these defects are in the works.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by sauron256 View Post

What sucks is that the literature I've found on the web about current LCD manufacturing QC processes seem to agree that today's automated QC methods are not sensitive enough to catch these Mura problems.

My biggest problem is that LCDs exist that do not have Mura defects. Even some of the XBR2's don't. So why not ours? I've seen some beautiful XBR3 pics and I just can't get over the fact that if some panels don't have the problem then they should be able to identify the cause and fix it. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:31 PM
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Am I right that the 40xbr2/3 don't seem to have this as such a big issue? Can it be something predomintely to do with the 46inch?

nope, my 40xbr2 has the cluodiness problem, too.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:43 PM
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I would love to keep it, but I will just stare at the clouds. Even last night I was watching "My name is earl" and the light were on in my room and I could still see it.

I might just go the sxrd route.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rare1 View Post

I would love to keep it, but I will just stare at the clouds. Even last night I was watching "My name is earl" and the light were on in my room and I could still see it.

I might just go the sxrd route.

Go w/the Panny Pro or Pio. If I did not already have a HT room and had more light control, I definitely would have went w/ the Pio or Panny Plasma. I do have an SXRD projector for the HT room, but I did not want a rear-projection [or projector] for the GreatRoom - hence the LCD/Plasma decision.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:28 PM
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I had my original KDL40XBR2 replaced with another (same model) for an entirely different issue. However, on my first tv, I noticed the cloudiness issue even before reading about it on these forums. It was noticeable, but I didn't think much of it at the time since I figured I just needed to lower the backlight level (unfortunately I never got around to trying it). On my replacement set, I noticed the same thing except the cloudiness only appears on the topleft and topright corners. For a while I thought maybe my newer tv had a defective backlight on the two lower corners because I couldn't see those 'clouds' at all compared to my original tv, lol. But now I realize those upper clouds really shouldn't be there at all.

Anyway, in summary, two more xbr2's with the cloudiness issue:
KDL40XBR2 ser#8005xxx manufactured in Mexico, Aug 2006
KDL40XBR2 ser#8008xxx manufactured in Mexico, Aug 2006
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