Sony themselves (Sony's Prime 'Professional' support, as this isn't a consumer unit) wanted £100 +vat +shipping both ways just to look at it & provide an estimate.
It would have been sent to the Central Service Center in Pencoed (UK) for its diagnostics.
I would have expected the repair costs to be in the hundreds just for an adjustment, if parts need replaced, it could easily go into the thousands considering the original retail price of the unit.
That wasn't an option then, considering the current value of the unit.
I stripped the top half of the projector down, then the optical block, then finally the lens section (5 or 6 separate lenses including the dynamic iris).
I can't find the cause for the issue, the optics block lenses all appear to be clean, nothing out of place, nothing burned/damaged/discoloured or otherwise looking suspect.
I cleaned some tiny bits of dust & grease from some lenses, again nothing suspect.
I found pdf's of the following manuals on Sony website and the service manual through Google:-
- User Manual.
- Marketing specs blurb.
- Dimension drawing.
- Protocol manual.
- Service manual.
Had a good look in the Factory Mode & Service Mode, looked through values & compared to the service manual default values.
How to enter Service Mode / Factory Mode:-
Service Mode on Sony VPL VW-100
"The service mode is accessed by pressing on the remote (enter) (enter) (UP arrow) (DOWN arrow) (enter), then (UP arrow) when it asks "do you want to enter the service mode?"
"The factory mode is accessed by pressing on the remote (enter) (enter) (LEFT arrow) (enter), then (UP arrow) when it asks "do you want to enter the factory mode?"
I managed to connect to the Ruby through Ethernet (just put ip address in browser), but the options just match those of the built-in menu.
What would have been really useful was to connect via Ethernet to the Factory/Service Mode - but the ip address listed in the service manual doesn't work.
This would have allowed looking at the error log ("Event Trace"), as well as the firmware update section (although you need the driver tool & firmware files).
Normal menu connect ip: Read from the individual projector menu, in the 'Installation Menu'.
Supposed service mode ip: 169.254.50.50 (didn’t work for me) (may need to use subnet mask 255.255.0.0).
I did notice what appeared to be high values for the panel temp sensor, which got better when I realised they were likely to be readings in degrees F, rather than degrees C :-)
I did check the separate fan for the cowling around the panels area of the optical block anyway & it was running fine.
My thinking was that if the fan had been dead, the over-heating could have caused panel issues - but unlikely the blurry results I'm seeing anyway.
According to Sony SXRD panel rear projection TV failures, the panels normally just die when overheated (search YouTube for examples).
If you are a Ruby owner & have an earlier unit with problems igniting lamps, search the forums for portions of this quote from another thread for more information:-
---Depending on your Ruby S/N, you will need either the:-
---full $707 Hard Start Mod Kit Assy (A-1206-459-A) [for S/N 2000001-2003986]
---or only the $199 Igniter Assy (A-1206-462-A) [for S/N 2003987-2005136]
What am I left with?
The cause of the issues seen 'could' be related to the driving electronics in some way - but that seems highly unlikely for this 'blurry' fail mode.
There could have been alterations made in the firmware service mode at some point, but who would do that to a 220hr £8k projector.
Besides, again, that seems highly unlikely for this 'blurry' fail mode.
I even wondered if one (or all) of the SXRD LCOS (like LCD) panels themselves have some issue - again, that seems unlikely for this 'blurry' fail mode.
All that’s left as a likely candidate is what I was looking at - something unusual & difficult to see in the optical block.
I tried to get another spares/repair Ruby from ebay, but for obvious reasons (given the bulk & weight of this monstrous beast, plus delicacy of optics alignment & lamp) he was unwilling.
If I could have swapped parts out from another unit I could have narrowed down the root cause - but rarity, cost & size make this very difficult.
And to be honest - I've now had enough of this projector anyway.