Plasma repair ripoff? Either way this sucks! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Plasma repair ripoff? Either way this sucks!

Hi guys first post and I'm pretty upset here. My 3 yr/o Panasonic plasma recently developed a verticle black bar like I've seen happen to others in the past. I'm thinking, "well this is inconvenient but no biggie." On a friends tv back home we were able to fix this by re-seating the ribbon cable on the lower buffer board (so I've read that it's called). This didn't work in my case so I decided I would just have it fixed. I decided to go with a bigger name company here for the repair because, well, that's my favorite tv! For $90 they come out to the house and pick it up. When the work is done the $90 comes off the bill. Now here's where it gets frustrating: Today they call me with their estimate of about $1200. That's right, new panel. According to them "the boards are fine the only problem he could find is a cracked panel." As I type this I feel like my head is going to explode. Of course I'm talking to a secretary who can't answer any of my technical questions. After she quotes the price to install the "cheapest panel we could find" I say that I realize that panels aren't worth replacing especially when the tv was cheaper than the part they want me to pay for. She says "I know, so do you want us to just deliver it back out to you on Tuesday?" I guess she was expecting me to say that. Sigh...

Now, for the last year I've been having a strange issue where occasionally upon powering on I will have a distorted color like red or blue in the bottom right corner of the screen, but then it fades away after a little while and things look fine after that. Back then I read that bad screens can cause similar issues but since there was nothing I could do about that I just ignored it. It wasn't distracting b/c it didn't always happen and it would go away after a few minutes of use.

First question for you guys: Is that even POSSIBLE? I've heard of a cracked pdp causing colored lines and distorted colors but a black bar typical of a loose ribbon cable? Could the fix have been cheaper than the $90 refundable delivery fee so they just made something up that they knew I wouldn't go for? OR second question: Is the screen really cracked based on that color issue I mentioned? Did it finally just go and the connection to the buffer board was severed?

Sorry for the long post but I'm kind of stressing out over this. Plasmas are expensive and I am NOT a rich man. What do you guys think? Are they lying/telling the truth? Should I pay for another estimate to possibly hear the same thing? Or just pay for another tv? Please help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 12:50 PM
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I was a regional manager for a car audio franchise and worked closely with audio/video repair and installation techs for several years. The cost of labor in this industry is very high and since most TV's today are getting cheaper, if you can't replace the part yourself, you're probably better off buying a new set.


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post #3 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 12:54 PM
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 01:01 PM
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It is possible for a cracked panel to cause this effect, however it is extremely rare on plasma displays and the bar will usually travel in both directions of the screen (like an LCD.) This only happens when the damage is very minor, such as a little too much pressure applied to the screen. In most cases cracking the screen causes no picture whatsoever.

What the company may be confusing you over is that in most cases, a vertical bar does require a new panel because it is a panel level failure. I am not sure why they think $1,200 is a reasonable price given the age of the TV, unless you're talking about a 60"+ panel but even then it's too expensive.

Last edited by tom669; 07-03-2014 at 01:08 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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It's a 3 yr/o 46". Yeah no way I will pay more than the cost of a new tv for repairs. I think the pdp they found was about $850. The labor w/ tax came to $1,1XX so I just rounded up. They also said it was the cheapest they could use. I thought ALL panels were manufactured by Samsung, Panasonic, and LG so I'm wondering exactly what they were going to put in if the TV itself only cost $780.

Thank you guys for responding so quickly. Now I know what direction I'm going in: new tv. I think I'll try Samsung next as I've heard good things. I've also heard that Panasonic is out of the plasma game.

Just out of curiosity, could that color issue I mentioned be the result of a bad screen? Or that a logic board like the Z sustain perhaps? I would just like to know for the future. Thanks again!

Last edited by Static-C; 07-03-2014 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Forgot to address the repair price.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 04:37 PM
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Could you supply a picture of the fault?
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-04-2014, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom669 View Post
Could you supply a picture of the fault?
Once the tv is delivered back to me I can and will, yes.

Off topic: Are plasma tvs being phased out or something? I've been hearing disturbing things...
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-04-2014, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Static-C View Post
Once the tv is delivered back to me I can and will, yes.

Off topic: Are plasma tvs being phased out or something? I've been hearing disturbing things...
Yes they are being phased out. Panasonic stopped making them in March and Samsung have announced they will stop making them in November. LG will be the only manufacturer left (along with ORION-PDP, but they only make advertising displays.)
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-04-2014, 02:52 PM
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Yes they are being phased out. Panasonic stopped making them in March ....
Actually Panasonic ceased Plasma production on all models in the first week of December 2013. They had to have all of their manufacturing plants and assembly plants dismantled and emptied before March 1st when their fiscal year ends.

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post #10 of 10 Old 07-04-2014, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
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Actually Panasonic ceased Plasma production on all models in the first week of December 2013. They had to have all of their manufacturing plants and assembly plants dismantled and emptied before March 1st when their fiscal year ends.
I was waiting for you to say that.


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