welcome to the Samsung Dlp tv nightmare. Well atleast you know now why it was dumpster bound.
I have the same exact set that I paid $1900 for in 2005, I only got 1 good year of it actually working like it was suppose to and then another 3 years of having to fiddle with it every time I wanted to watch tv then the bulb finally blew and its been sitting in my storage shed ever since.
Im debating on throwing it away or getting a bulb since bulbs are down to $35 presently for it.
If I remember right, we had a Comcast installer over for some reason and he connected the cable box in a way that it was working pretty reliably for the last 2 months before the bulb burning out. I recall he connected it to analog inputs, Id try that. Maybe you can get your moneys worth out of the bulb.
Me and my family have boycotted samsung over this. I avoid there products at all cost! Jesus I wish I had that $1900 to spend on a tv today!