I hope that somebody out there can help me with this decision.
I bought my Samsung HLN507W DLP set back in 2003 and it ran beautifully for 2 1/2 years. Then last November, I got the dreaded 3 light blink and no picture. I ordered a new lamp from Samsung and replaced it, and everything was fine until December, when the color wheel began to squeal. So I ended up buying a new wheel and a manual from Samsung, took one look at the complexity of pulling out the light engine, and called in the serviceman to replace it. Problem solved.
In March I got the the 3 blinking light problem again, but with variations. The set tried to turn on, but would reset twice before I got the blinks. OK. I called Samsung and, big surprise, the second lamp is out of warranty (60 days) so I ordered another one, installed it, and uh oh, no picture. Consulting our beloved forum once again I discovered that some of you said that there was an occasional poor connection to the lamp. So I tried both other bulbs. Nothing. Then through another set of threads I learned that leaving the set unplugged sometimes helps. BINGO! I put the second bulb back in, left the set unplugged for a while (anywhere from 20 minutes to a day usually works) and the set works again, although I must go through this procedure about once a week.
Yesterday, about 5 minutes after I turned on the set, I started getting a piercing, monotonic sound (maybe 1 KHz) from the set. Everything else works, and the sound is coming from the opposite side of the set as the color wheel. It also starts suddenly, like a switch being thrown, unlike the previous sounds that the color wheel made. The sound is always gone when I turn on the set, but returns after a few minutes. It's so loud and piercing it drives me out of the room. It's not affected by any of the controls, modes, or attachments or volume settings.
So here's my dilemma. I have a set that provides beautiful pictures when I get it to turn on, that emits a piercing sound, and that I've sunk about $650 into repairing so far. In other words, it's effectively useless. I don't want to pour any more money down the tube on this one, so as I see it, my options are,
1) Trash the set and go buy another. Perhaps this time the HLS5679W that doesn't suffer from the lamp and color wheel problems.
2) Try to sell it, being entirely truthful about it's deficiencies, and buy something else.
3) Bite the bullet, try to get it fixed for an unknown but large $$$ and end up with a set that may fail again and still needs to be unplugged all the time.
Does anybody have any better suggestions? I'll even take suggestions for replacement sets that are 1080i, similar size, and can handle PC inputs. Or if anyone has someone other than the useless customer support line at Samsung that I can contact, that would be greatly appreciated too. Heck, who am I kidding? I'll take any suggestions at this point.
There is a possibility that the cause of the problem is the ballast.
Replacing the ballast would be a gamble though, the problem could be something else entirely.
Which problem would it fix? The one that has me unplugging the set before it will turn back on? I know that some people on the forum think that that might help, but no one is sure, and it would cost me about $300 to find out. My own opinion is that that problem is related to a capacitor on the power control board (I checked the manual and there really is one) that must be there to prevent lamp overload problems. I think that it won't discharge/reset properly unless the plug is pulled.
But given that I don't want to gamble with another few hundred dollars, are there any alternatives?
I have this same set, and I had to replace the ballast, lamp, and install a new fan in the thing. (I have posted a do-it-yourself on this forum somewhere).
As the prices of this technology have fallen like a brick lately, I would not try to fix the thing at this point. The ballast/lamp kit costs 500+ now (last time that I looked on samsungparts). That's a lot of money to sink into a television to maybe get the thing to work. Then again, it may not be the answer to the problem.
The ballast may well be bad. Is it a Toshiba ballast? They are not too good, from both rumour and experience.
You can get a better set for under $1000 (Fry's has a special now and then on a Mitsu 52 dlp for 997).