In July of last year noted AVS forum member/HDTV recording guru Gridleak (aka Roger) posted this
thread outlining how one could repair his own Panny TU-DST50/51 STB. A month or so after Roger's post I purchased a used Panny TU-DST50 off of eBay. Alas this unit had the dreaded "blue sparkly" syndrome, but miraculously Panasonic agreed to replace my blue sparkly model with a refurbished unit that had no such problem and ran a lot cooler to boot. I soon added a Panny PV-HD1000 recorder to complete my setup.
All was well the first month or two I had this equipment. Then I started having video/audio dropout problems on the CBS-HD feed, but noticed no such problems on the DISH demo, HBO, or Showtime feeds. Since no one else was reporting problems with the CBS-HD feed off of 61.5, I began to think that there might be a problem with either my DISH modulator or perhaps the DISH 5000 receiver. I pretty much was resigned to the fact that CBS was going to be a problem for me and that I would just have to be satisfied that I could record HBO/Showtime content. Then, about 2 months ago I started noticing random pixelation on my HBO HD material, both live and watching recorded movies. These symptoms were exactly as Roger described in his thread, so yesterday I managed to work up the courage to pop open my TU-DST50 case and attempt to reseat the eprom chips and main board connectors. I was easily able to unseat and reseat the 4 eprom chips with a chip puller. The main board connectors were a problem though: I was able to unseat/reseat the lower transport stream connector with little difficulty (again using the chip puller-Roger's paper clip suggestion didn't work for me). However I absolutely could NOT
budge the remaining 5 main board connectors. I swear those Panny punks in Elgin fused them to the MB! :) For the connectors that I could not unseat I used the chip puller to rock them a little bit and I then pushed them back down very firmly.
The results of my labors? I watched a couple of hours of CBS-HD and HBO last night and did not see one instance of pixelation nor did I experience any video or audio dropouts on the CBS-HD feed! It would seem that Roger's "slapping around" is a good thing!
Roger if you see this a couple of questions:
1) Does the copper tape attached to the back panel have a specific function? In my unit the end of the tape that was supposed to have been attached to the back panel had become dislodged. The techs had used some kind of waxy material to attach it.
I used a piece of electrical tape to reattach it
to the back panel after I had finished the unseating/reseating dance.
2) In your thread from last July, at the end of the thread you mentioned that one more installment
was going to follow...guess you never got around to that. What was that installment going to discuss?
Many thanks again Roger for your incredibly useful and helpful posts! :)