DLP's and "white dots" Stuck mirrors. Post all here - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
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In the past year or so I have seen what seems to be a increase in the number of posts & threads on "white dots". As these sets get older, it's not unusual that problem develop. Anyone that goes under the foolish belief that mass produced consumer goods shouldn't break, needs a reality check!

These are nothing but stuck mirrors on the DMD chip itself. They can't be cleaned. The manufactures repair policy usually would be to replace the entire light engine since these shouldn't be repaired in the field due to the lack of a 'clean room' environment, the lack of training and delicate nature of the part. This varies from manufacture to manufacture, but past practice was to swap the LE's and send the 'dud' back to a repair service that specifically rebuilds these assemblies. Members have reported replacing them on their own or having the manufacture replace it if it is under warranty. Just as automobile service shops do with many larger or complex parts, send them back for rebuilding;

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=926204

A little background for those late comers to DLP's.
DMD's (Digital Micromirror Devices) have been around since 1987 developed by Texas Instruments;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Micromirror_Device
http://www.dlp.com/default.aspx

The following are FAQ's on the principales of DLP (Digital Light Processing);
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Light_Processing
http://www.dlp.com/technology/how-dlp-works/
http://www.dlp.com/technology/dlp-faqs/

Two problems with all of this are:
1. A lamp will eventually need to be replaced. Just like slide, movie, overhead projectors have had for the past 50 years, these 'projectors', any 'projector' that has to have a light source (including CRT's) will eventually need it's 'light source' replaced.
2. Since these are only single chip DMD's unlike three chip front projectors, there has to be a way to produce the three primary colors. This is done with a color wheel which is problem two. It will eventually fail since it is mechanical either do the bearing going bad or the 'vanes' of the wheel breaking and flying apart.

Samsung solved both of the above by introducing a 'LED' driven DLP four years ago, but through their stupidly, yes stupidly, discontinued them in favor of their power hungry LCD & Plasma flat panels.

What is happening is, these "micromirrors' get 'stuck' either in the on position (white dot) or the 'off' position black dot. Off is preferred since it is harder to see a black dot that a white one. Just like 'pixels' on LCD panels get stuck open or closed, the same thing happens here.

I did a search for "white dots" and it returned 500 hits. Some of the more prevalent threads are here;

Mits;
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1279379 (Defective Mits thread)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...s#post20168235

Sammy;
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1107926 (DMD board replacement)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots (warranty replacement)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=white+dots (this example is one of the worst)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...s#post19064778 (well into the owners thread, only certain models)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...s#post19253640
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...s#post19250339 (class action suit)

Toshiba;
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...s#post20473476
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...s#post19206043

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post #2 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 06:17 AM
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I like the idea for this thread. It may help pinpoint a specific time when the defective chips were being used. I agree that the DMD will (should) eventually fail in all DLPs, but it's strange that this problem is showing up NOT in the earlier produced DLP products. Seems only the 1080p models are suffering from this, so hopefully there was a bad batch and the life expectancy is actually much, much longer. At first I thought that the wobulation was causing it, since each mirror works twice as hard (or does it?). But my 720p wobulated model is still working fine, though it honestly doesn't get much use. I haven't seen any reports of 720p wobulated sets suffering from this problem.

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post #3 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


At first I thought that the wobulation was causing it, since each mirror works twice as hard (or does it?).

I also was considering that, but since I sort of forgotten the exact principle of this 'trick', I can't say.

Before someone asks, remember Sony & JVC sold LCoS sets, Sony also sold LCD RPTV's, but neither sold DLP's. Hitachi and Panasonic were smaller players with DLP's. If I remember correctly they also sold LCD versions.

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post #4 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 10:08 AM
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The bad DMDs with stuck mirrors are of a certain generation of chipsets. While there may be some 2007 or later DMDs with stuck mirror this seems to be a 2006 and earlier model year issue.

People made huge dollar investments in those sets.. sometimes $4k or more. Manufacturer's don't want to pay any out of warranty dollars to repair these sets so that will generate a log of anger, and a lot of typing. Many of the folks who bought these sets have CRTs that ran 20 years without any service so their frustration is understandable.

I don't see how this situation is relevant to modern DLP sets, other than ill will that floats around as a result of these failures. I bought a 4 year extended warranty on my 82" DLP for about $250. I considered it part of my initial cost and it is amortized over the coarse of the TVs service life.

BTW, I own 2 2006 DLPs.. One I parked in the Mother-in Laws living room (56 Sammy_. It only gets part time use, works perfect. The second an HP 65" DLP is in my spare bedroom and gets occasional usage. I have a 2008 Samsung Lamp based 72" on permanent loan to my brother and it has never had any service and is used everyday. It is the center of a very nice home theater.

My main display is a 2009 82" Mits DLP with some 4000 hours on it, I put a $99 lamp in it.

I will likely buy a 92" and I will buy an extended warranty based on the initial cost of the device.. The only set of the bunch that was rough from a reliability perspective was the HP. HP only made DLPs for about a year. They were innovative but between poor thermal management and the not so robust DMDs of the day, it got a lot of work under warranty. It works fine now and has not had any service since early 2007. I have a lamp on the shelf which cost a small fortune back in the day. I would guess that most people who paid HP $5k for that set and had one hell of time would not ever consider DLP again. That experience is not representative of today's rear projectors but it takes forever to get a bad taste out of some people's mouth.

I have seen the big Sharps.. they are only average and they are only 70 inches. Yeah I know the Elites are coming but the pricing sounds crazy and for me 82" is still too small. I have a 14' viewing distance.

With initial costs being much lower than they were in the past on per inch of display basis and reliability being way up, DLP still represents a unique value propposition. If you don't need a screen bigger than 70", then look at LED or Plasma, if you need bigger, DLP is still really the only game in town. Despite all these legitimate gripes about pre 2007 DMDs and the sets based around them.

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post #5 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 11:23 AM
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Well, I too have been a DLP fan from the start. Once the black levels improved, I was sold. I watch the 'defective DLP' threads with interest, as I fear my Mits WD-65736 will someday suffer from a bad DMD. I hope you're right, and it's only a problem with previous years. Enjoy!

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post #6 of 26 Old 09-08-2011, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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People usually only post when there is a problem. As anything gets older, the chances for problems increase.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-17-2011, 02:28 PM
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I have a Mitsubishi WD-73833 that was purchased in September 2007 that now has about 10-12 white dots. 1st white dot began about 3 months ago.

Mitsubishi consumer relations has offered to provide a new DMD chip at its expense, a 165.50 cost per my TV repair service. I will have to pay 215 for labor. I do not have an extended warranty.

I wonder if I would be better off to ask Mitsubishi to provide me with a discount towards a new 73840 instead of a chip. I will likely need a new bulb soon as my current bulb is about two years old and probably near the end of its lifespan as this TV is on quite a bit. So I could avoid the cost of a new bulb as well with a new TV.

Does anyone know whether 73840 has significantly better PQ over the 833 series? Has anyone had any luck getting a manufacturer discount under these circumstances?
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-18-2011, 06:23 AM
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I had a 65833 that developed both white and black dots. I emailed Mitts and they called me. I had to pay for a service call, get a repair estimate and fax that estimate to Mitts. Mitts said the TV was not worth fixing they offered me a great discount on a 65838; I asked if I could apply the discount to a 73838 they said ok. The brand new in the box 73838 was delivered a week later by the local dealer with no delivery charge.

I did not have an extended warranty. This was one of the best customer service experiences I have had with any company, no yelling on my part, no asking speak to a supervisor, just customer service as it should be.

Things do not last forever and things sometimes break before they should. From my perspective I do not expect perfection; I do however expect a company to stand behind it's product make reasonable accommodation. Mitts more than lived up my expectations
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-18-2011, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Post that in the defective Mits thread.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-18-2011, 08:46 AM
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4 year old Toshiba 65hm167 developed white dots right at the 4 year mark.

Toshiba no help - out of warranty.

Had extended warranty and they replaced light engine.

Dots gone and pq back to the way it was right out of the box.

Getting parts was difficult - from Toshiba.
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-01-2011, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlottesailor View Post

I had a 65833 that developed both white and black dots. I emailed Mitts and they called me. I had to pay for a service call, get a repair estimate and fax that estimate to Mitts. Mitts said the TV was not worth fixing they offered me a great discount on a 65838; I asked if I could apply the discount to a 73838 they said ok. The brand new in the box 73838 was delivered a week later by the local dealer with no delivery charge.

I did not have an extended warranty. This was one of the best customer service experiences I have had with any company, no yelling on my part, no asking speak to a supervisor, just customer service as it should be.

Things do not last forever and things sometimes break before they should. From my perspective I do not expect perfection; I do however expect a company to stand behind it's product make reasonable accommodation. Mitts more than lived up my expectations




Do you keep the bad TV? Or did the service guy take it away?
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-01-2011, 05:39 PM
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I had the white dot problem and ordered the DLP chip for my 73833 over the Internet for a few hundred bucks. Replaced it myself in about 30 minutes. Pretty easy. Installs much like a computer processor on a motherboard.

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post #13 of 26 Old 10-02-2011, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Iam74Gibson View Post

Do you keep the bad TV? Or did the service guy take it away?

The service guy took it away; he said they were sending back to Mitts as they wanted it back.
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post #14 of 26 Old 10-02-2011, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I had the white dot problem and ordered the DLP chip for my 73833 over the Internet for a few hundred bucks. Replaced it myself in about 30 minutes. Pretty easy. Installs much like a computer processor on a motherboard.

Someone who has done this needs to do a detailed write up with even more detailed pics of the process.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #15 of 26 Old 10-02-2011, 07:13 PM
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Come on! Google isn't that hard to use...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZDbUClKtWs

I watched this video, and the company I ordered the replacement chip from sent me a PDF file with instructions. It's pretty easy.

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post #16 of 26 Old 10-02-2011, 07:14 PM
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BTW, the video shows the light engine removed from the TV.. I did mine in place, without remove the light engine.

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post #17 of 26 Old 10-03-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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samsung is repairing all out of warranty dlp's with this issue for free. you just need to call and speak with the ecr department. i have bought a bunch of those off craigslist for like $10, had the chip replaced for free then resold them at a nice profit for a few hours of my time
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post #18 of 26 Old 10-17-2011, 10:12 AM
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Well my WD-73835 developed a white dot in the center of the screen yesterday. Now it has two. Very distracting. I really can't live with it and the set is only 3 years old.
$1000 per year is a lot to pay for television. I certainly won't be buying another Mits.
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post #19 of 26 Old 10-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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YIKES!!!! Not what I wanted to hear! I own a 65735 and I was hoping that the defective chips were all used up by the time this model year rolled around. Looks like that may not be the case.

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post #20 of 26 Old 10-17-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

$1000 per year is a lot to pay for television. I certainly won't be buying another Mits.

How did you come up with this number?

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post #21 of 26 Old 10-17-2011, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Well my WD-73835 developed a white dot in the center of the screen yesterday. Now it has two. Very distracting. I really can't live with it and the set is only 3 years old.
$1000 per year is a lot to pay for television. I certainly won't be buying another Mits.

If you can find the chip number, they aren't too difficult to replace. Should be well under $200.

I have a Toshiba 65hm167 that used a Samsung DMD chip. It went bad (white dots) after 4 years of use. Repair company did chip replacements on Samsung sets that had the white dot problem, but did entire light engine replacements on my brand - with the same chip.

Reason? Samsung only paid for the chip replacement under an extended warranty on their sets. Toshiba did nothing for their customers, and the light engine was less work for the repair guy - although 4 times the cost.

I had an extended warranty on the set, so they paid.

There are videos on Youtube, showing how to replace the chip on a Mitsubishi set. No tools other than a screw driver needed.

I know the particular chip # in my set was also used by Samsung and Mitsubishi in their sets of that time period.
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post #22 of 26 Old 10-17-2011, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiffee View Post

How did you come up with this number?

Price paid divided by years of life = cost per year
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post #23 of 26 Old 10-18-2011, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
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Price paid divided by years of life = cost per year

Gotcha. Well your set isn't DEAD. It just needs it's DLP chip replaced. It's $299 online and can be replaced in about 30-45 minutes at home. Not ideal by any means, but it works.

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post #24 of 26 Old 01-18-2013, 10:53 AM
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I've got the problem with a 61" Samsung TV which Samsung conveniently explains was not covered in a white dot settlement they made a couple of years ago. Their advice, "get it fixed and pay for it yourself". Nice!
Anyone out there getting the same treatment from Samsung interested in creating a little fuss over it perhaps in a class action lawsuit? Count me in if you want to get Samsung's attention for a blunder they've created and won't fix.
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-19-2013, 08:35 PM
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I just got my first white dot on my Mitsubishi L65-A90 barely three years after purchasing it. I'll try calling Mitsubishi first to hear what they have to say, but I suspect that I'll be shelling out a couple of hundred dollars for a replacement DMD and replacing it myself.
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-31-2013, 06:12 PM
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I got white dots on my WD65C9 several weeks ago. Due to all the great threads here and youtube,I bought the chip from ShopJimmy and changed out the chip. White dots gone and I cleaned the "light engine" while I had it out to change the chip.TV is as good as new.
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