I recently purchased a 50v500a that has a crop circle
. 1.5 in diameter, green, only visible against dark background, left-center of screen. I cannot return the set, so I enlisted the help of the top-notch Hitachi service network, who showed up at my house last week to work their magic
. Their initial diagnosis was that there must be dust somewhere in the light path. I was somewhat encourage by this, since this is what the consensus opinion is on avsforum. So, I was fooled into thinking they might know what they were doing and might be able to help. It was all downhill from there. My v500 was the first one they had worked on, so their next step was to scratch their heads and try to figure out how to get inside the tv. So they popped off the front cover and started taking screws out with a manual screwdriver. I could not take the agony of watching them loosen dozens of screws by hand, so I offered my power screwdriver. This lessened the time spent in agony, but believe me the agony was still there. They took off a dozen or so screws from the front and tried to get the screen off. This didn't work, so they did some more head scratching and started taking screws out of the back. Repeated the head scratching and screw removal process a couple more times until they had 40 or 50 screws removed
. If this was not my tv, I would have been laughing my a$$ off, but since it was my tv the humor was smothered by the anger and exasperation. It was obvious that they did not have a clue, so I recommended calling Hitachi tech support to see what they said. Of course this bruised their egos a bit, but they went ahead and made the call. Without much questioning or hesitation, Hitachi recommended replacing the light engine.
I had hoped that the silver lining in this cloud would be that, by not being able to return my set, we might finally determine a reasonable fix for the crop circle problem. Unfortunately, the solution is still to replace the light engine. This is of course no comfort to the v500 owners out there who are worried about getting a crop circle a year from now when the set is out of warranty. Will the fix still be to replace the light engine???
The service manager I am working with locally said that they just don't have enough experience with these sets to know how to fix this problem. Everyone who has the problem is either sending it back under an exchange policy or getting a new light engine under warranty. He felt that within the next 3-6 months they would have more experience with this technology and would know how to fix them. Obviously, this is no help to those of us who want the answers now.
So, now I am making calls between the service rep and Hitachi to try to expedite the process. The service tech said they could buy the light engine for $1700this is considerably less than earlier reports of $4000, but still a huge chunk of change.
Mattysan was going through the same process about a month ago. Last post I saw was that the new light engine was at his house and the tech was coming the next day to install it. Never saw a follow up post to tell if the new light engine solved the problem. Mattysan, if you're out there, an update would be appreciated.
Also, is there anyone out there who has the service manual in pdf format that is willing to share? That way, the next time I have a service call, I can show the tech what to do
I will update as things develop.