Anyone Tackled Blue Smear on Sony HS51? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I've got just under 3000 hours on a VPL-HS51 that I bought in December 04. Last month or so a blue smear has been growing from the bottom of the screen. Its most visible on a black background. I tried putting in my standby new bulb and that didn't change anything so at least some good news is that my original bulb is still going strong. I've read the horror stories about folks being quoted thousands of dollars to get it fixed by Sony as they replace the whole optical block. I'm wondering if anyone has tried tackling this themselves?

I snagged the service manual from here back when the unit was first being discussed so I have directions on how to get at the optical block and remove the polarizer plates. There's some nice pics of it in the Cine4home HS60 review.



I'm hoping I can clean them and get an improvement in the blue smear. Any idea on what I could use to do the cleaning? If that doesn't work and I can see damage on the polarizer(s) I'll try to purchase new polarizer plates. Anyone know a source for these?

I'll make sure to take lots of pics and put it all up on my website to help out the next poor sap. I paid over $4000 CDN for this unit and > $1 per hour just doesn't cut in my book. I'll be VERY upset if I can't get it fixed (for a reasonable price).

The PJ has been mounted in my finished basement which never gets warm and has the lamp running in low power mode to keep the fan noise minimal. Dust filters have been replaced at recommended intervals. Except for this recent development its been a pleasure to own and use.

Cheers,

Ronin
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post #2 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 09:21 AM
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I noticed this same thing about a month ago starting in the upper right hand corner of the display- it started around the same time that a warning message came on in the lower left corner that told me to replace bulb -so I assumed the smear was just a byproduct of the bulb going bad--your post that you switched to a new bulb with no improvement is disturbing to say the least--what is the root cause of this problem--is it widespread--I've had my unit about 2 1/2 years and this is my 3rd bulb

what did sony service dept say about this?

Clyde--404-314-4370
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post #3 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 01:11 PM
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I sent mine back to Sony under warranty, they ended up changing the blue polarizer.

They also swapped out the entire lens assembly. I only paid for shipping.
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post #4 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a Canadian unit. Warranty only lasted 1 year. This is approaching the end of the 3rd year. I don't think that service number will work from Canada. A fella on here sent his unit to Sony service, cost him $85, only to be told it'd be $2200 to fix.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...polarizer+HS51

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...polarizer+HS51

I would imagine most people are out of warranty on their HS51's so this may become a popular topic...

Here's a pic with my windows background set to black (I also set iris to off and lamp to high to accentuate the problem):


Cheers,

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post #5 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 04:59 PM
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This is where buying an extended warranty pays dividend.
I would try to buy the part and replace it myself. If it works fine otherwise buy a new unit.
I know 51a has new plates in them hopefully more robust.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

JVC & NEC 8" CRT with 106" wide Stewart screen. All NHT speakers driven by Pioneer Elite AVR and bluray

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post #6 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

This is where buying an extended warranty pays dividend.
I would try to buy the part and replace it myself. If it works fine otherwise buy a new unit.
I know 51a has new plates in them hopefully more robust.



I'm not sure how telling me that "an extended warranty pays dividend" helps when I've said I don't have one? Congratulations if you have an HS51A with an extended warranty. Go start your own thread so you can pat yourself on the back rather than using someone else's where you state the obvious, repeat comments from the original post and provide no help whatsoever.

It sounds like the internals of all the models in the last 3-4 years is pretty similar. Looking forward to hearing from anyone that has had one of these units apart.

Cheers,

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post #7 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 07:33 PM
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I was merely pointing out to those who read this thread and planning to buy a new unit.
No I did not buy the extended either.
I have been helping all HS series owner for a long time and surprised with your lack of knowing and uncalled aggressive tone.
No, internals of 51A is new compared to 51 i.e., panels &filters and some more.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

JVC & NEC 8" CRT with 106" wide Stewart screen. All NHT speakers driven by Pioneer Elite AVR and bluray

Custom dedicated 8 seat theater

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post #8 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if I upset you CaspianM. I've just read so many helpful posts on here that yours caught me off guard. As I mentioned in my original post if I can't clean it I'm looking for tips on sourcing the part and replacing it myself. If that works excellent otherwise I obviously need a new display unit.

I had heard about some of the differences but I was under the impression that for the purposes of dismantling they were all quite similar and so anyone who's been into their HS50/51/51A/60 might be able to help.

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post #9 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 07:56 PM
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I am sure someone will help.
There was someone who posted step by step changing the panels in Sony just about two three months ago.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

JVC & NEC 8" CRT with 106" wide Stewart screen. All NHT speakers driven by Pioneer Elite AVR and bluray

Custom dedicated 8 seat theater

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post #10 of 54 Old 08-07-2007, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Did some more searching and came across this handy page to get part numbers and ordering information for Sony electronics:

https://servicesplus.us.sony.biz/sony-parts.aspx

Looks like everything is in stock atm if I can't fix it with dust removal/cleaning. Here's the pdf showing the part numbers for the in-polarizers. A post mentioned they take more abuse than the out ones.

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post #11 of 54 Old 08-08-2007, 09:58 AM
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i called Laredo-Repairs 18002822848 described the problem with the Blue Smear polarizing panels and was told that even though my unit was out of warranty that SONY would fix for a flat rate of $135 which pays for parts, labor and the shipping back to me in Atlanta-- seems too good to be true since retail cost of parts alone is close to $240--but I think this is my route for now YRMV
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post #12 of 54 Old 08-08-2007, 10:08 AM
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Wow. Jump on it. It could have been a good idea to get his/her name.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

JVC & NEC 8" CRT with 106" wide Stewart screen. All NHT speakers driven by Pioneer Elite AVR and bluray

Custom dedicated 8 seat theater

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post #13 of 54 Old 08-08-2007, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceriiiga View Post

i called Laredo-Repairs 18002822848 described the problem with the Blue Smear polarizing panels and was told that even though my unit was out of warranty that SONY would fix for a flat rate of $135 which pays for parts, labor and the shipping back to me in Atlanta-- seems too good to be true since retail cost of parts alone is close to $240--but I think this is my route for now YRMV

Does the picture above look like the same problem that you have ceriiiga? That sounds like an amazing deal! Anyone know the Canadian equivalent phone number for Sony service?

Cheers,

Ronin
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post #14 of 54 Old 08-15-2007, 06:22 AM
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Can someone post the service manual for HS51 or post a link, please.

Thanks
Gireesh
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post #15 of 54 Old 08-15-2007, 01:22 PM
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It'll be a miracle to get any company to fix burnt polarizers for $135 shipped. Tech. support probably thought the panels need cleaning of dust blobs which can appear blue but in round blobs as well.

This is why organic LCD panels exposed to heat over 2 years+ will ALWAYS be inferior to SXRD and DLP.

Huey ;-]
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post #16 of 54 Old 09-08-2007, 01:08 PM
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So any further news from Laredo on your $135 fix? I'm about to ship off mine. I just found this thread and you certainly have my hope that this worked out. $2200 for a fix is exhorbitant.

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post #17 of 54 Old 09-09-2007, 09:12 AM
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My projector is 28 months old--just barely out of warranty and recently developed the blue smear----Frankly, I'm more than a little bit unhappy that an expensive piece of equipment uses panels that burn out at all, and I am doubly pissed off that it would happen this quickly, --I contacted Laredo and was quoted over the phone the $135 out of warranty repair-so I packed my projector up and sent it to Texas and after several days I received an email with a proposed invoice for repair that was $2200 with 2 options on the repair sheet--accept it, or ask to have it shipped back--needless to say I had them ship it back--------so I would love to know if anyone has had different outcome from Laredo with their blue smear problem--if you got it fixed and have the paperwork still available I'd like to followup via email to discuss details ---- ceratlanta@comcast.net
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post #18 of 54 Old 09-14-2007, 08:43 AM
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I started getting the blue smear at about 2.5 years, approx 3000 hrs (3rd lamp). Out of warranty, I sent it to Texas and got the $2200.00 repair estimate. I had them send it back with no repair. Now I sit with a spare lamp in the box, and a failing projector in a basement man cave/sports bar. I paid $3499.00 and am not too happy with Sony. I overspent my budget on the basement project and my wife is not too happy with me. I cringe to go down there sometimes because all I can look at is how the blue smear is evolving. It does seem to lessen after an hour and a half or so but then the whites seem to take on a yellowish tinge in cetrain areas. Not a happy cellar dweller with football season in full swing and baseball playoffs approaching!
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post #19 of 54 Old 09-17-2007, 03:51 PM
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I just sent me to Lardo and the out of warranty cost to fix this

"The estimate of $ 2276.83 for the Sony product you have inquired about is waiting approval for the repair"

WTF! That's more then I paid for it. Anybody else have any ideas?
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post #20 of 54 Old 09-17-2007, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Ask them to just replace the blue polarizer panel. Its "only" a couple of hundred $ and is reported to be the main issue. Its the first polarizer panel in the light path after the bulb and takes the most heat which is why it degrades before the other polarizers. Worth a shot if they already have it.

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post #21 of 54 Old 09-19-2007, 07:10 PM
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What happens when a white screen is displayed from the computer? Does it show all blue?
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post #22 of 54 Old 09-20-2007, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gireesh View Post

What happens when a white screen is displayed from the computer? Does it show all blue?

Nope. Its a lot harder to see the blue smear with a white background than with a black one as shown above.

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post #23 of 54 Old 09-21-2007, 07:42 AM
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I replaced mine on an older Panasonic model and it wasn't too difficult. I think I paid about $100 for the part. I've taken apart my HS51 before and the only tricky part is the connectors to the panel ribbons that connect them to the main circuit board. My HS51 is now sitting in the closet with about 2000 hours on the lamp since I've upgraded to the Epson 1080 . I don't recall seeing this issue on my Sony but the Panasonic showed it around this time. I would try to fix it myself or replace it since it's not worth sending it to Sony.
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post #24 of 54 Old 10-05-2007, 10:50 AM
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Hey,
I had the blue smear over 65% of my screen. It's warranty ran out in Dec. of '06. I had given up on it and was planning on buying another PJ. On a lark, I got a RMA from Sony's online site. I got A UPS label for $12 and shipped it to them on 9/7. I followed up and tracked the RMA on their site. On 9\\17 the site said it would cost me $2239.85 to fix my projector. I called Laredo and spoke to a nice lady on the phone and asked her about the charge. Okay everybody here's what she said. "Oh that's a mistake, we'll fix if for you under warranty" I asked how much she said.....wait for it...NOOOOOOO CHARRRRRRRRGE! When I could breathe again, I asked what about my expired warranty, she "No really, you pay nothing." I asked about shipping it back, She said you should have it by the end of the week......no charge. Lo and behold, UPS deliverd my projector on 9/20. Ladies and gentlemen, I highly reccommend, if your HS-51 has a case of the "Blue Meanies", jump on this ASAP, cause Sony has never been that known for it's customer service and this all may be a fluke. Any way YMMV but my PJ is throwing a beautiful image and I couldn't be happier.
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post #25 of 54 Old 10-05-2007, 12:06 PM
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My blue-spot is growing so fast, it's now 40% in couple weeks. Just waiting on sanyo to get the z2k on the street.

Now, this is good news, at least i could fix my hs51 for free then keep it for backup or sell it to get extra lamp. $12 is not much to try my luck. Hope the lady take my phone...LOL

I don't know the lady made a mistake about your warranty or that's a recall about this problem we don't know about... But you got it for free!! That's way cool, congrat!
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post #26 of 54 Old 10-05-2007, 12:15 PM
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dartinbout,

what is the telephone number for Laredo? thanks.
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post #27 of 54 Old 10-07-2007, 09:34 PM
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It was on the Sony Support website when the RMA was active. The only other number I have is 800-222-7669. Hope this helps.
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post #28 of 54 Old 12-09-2007, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Update, OK I really need to make a decision on what to do with this PJ. I took it apart today. Very straight forward. Click the pics for bigger versions.




You just need a Phillips 0 and 1 screwdriver. Magnetized is handy for the innards. 2 screws come off the back then a bunch of long and short come off the bottom. This lets you remove the plastic casing. Carefully removing the connectors and some screws lets you take the metal shield off. The connectors are all different sizes so I don't think you could put them back wrong. Next remove the ribbon connectors. The brown ones have a bit that flips up which lets you pull out the ribbon. The silver one you simply pull a clip out and then pull the ribbon. Once the board is out you can see the optical assembly with the polarizer plate housing. To take out the assembly there's 2 screws at the back, 2 at the front plus another 2 smaller ones at the front holding plastic tabs. Once you remove these you can lift out the polarizers as a unit. Only gotcha when putting back together was to watch the connector at the bottom left of the digital board (assuming the lens is facing you). The plastic sleeve it rides in should go outside not inside the metal shield.

Cheers,

Ronin
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post #29 of 54 Old 12-09-2007, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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While it was apart I took a look at the blue polarizer and I can see a different shade rectangle on it where I imagine it should be 1 uniform color. Unfortunately I saw nothing that would explain my pixelated lines that have appeared near the blue smear area (white, blue and grey backgrounds):




I can take it in to the local Sony service center and get it diagnosed for $100. If I proceed with a fix, that comes off the bill. If they tell me it'll cost hundreds of $ to fix and I decide to buy a new PJ I'm out another $100. I might try to take my laptop with all of these pics into the service center and see if they can give me a clue. I know $100 is a fraction of the $4-5K I paid for this PJ but its still $100. Has anyone had anything like this fixed by just replacing the polarizer? I'm thinking anything else more expensive wouldn't justify a repair vs just buying a brand new PJ. Again its out of warranty and we don't have anything like Laredo in Canada. I'm at my wits end trying to decide what to do. Thoughts?

To the folks looking at the newer Sony's, make sure you buy an extended warranty!!

NOTE: The smear and lines are usually lower left when ceiling mounted but I'd taken the PJ down and disabled the image flip to run it off the coffee table after checking out the polarizers.

Cheers,

Ronin
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post #30 of 54 Old 12-09-2007, 02:29 PM
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Ditto everything ronin said, tagging along.
Mine is now an expensive paperweight with a spare bulb.
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