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Pioneer Warranty Problems / Issues with a Kuro Elite PRO-151FD

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I purchased a Kuro Elite 151FD, open box from Best Buy in January of this year. The panel had display issues, and was replaced under warranty by Best Buy/Pioneer. They ended up replacing the entire panel, since there were no more 151FDs available.

I noticed the new panel was a -lot- brighter than the old panel, and that darks were a bit bright, but I hoped calibration would resolve this issue.

In May this year, I had UMR (Jeff Meier) of Accucal HD come by and do a calibration on the set. He measured the contrast ratio at ~11,000:1 after calibration, and his light meter readings showed the set was 3x brighter than it should be; there was no way to fix it.

I called Pioneer and asked them if there was anything they needed to change in service mode. They sent a tech by who supposedly was an expert - I showed him the glow of the screen with no content on it, and he agreed it was not correct. After 3 hours of him fumbling through his manual and changing one setting, we both agreed that there was no change in the glow of the set. He shrugged and said, "I'll have to get back in touch with you and see if there is anything else we can change."

He never did.

I emailed him asking for status and received this response:

Quote:


I spoke with Pioneer yesterday, and explained to them what I had performed in adjusting the panel voltage, since it is a new panel.
What was performed is what is done after replacing a new KURO panel.
Pioneer sees no further action to be taken in this matter. Pioneer doesn't believe that there is a problem.
You may still choose to contact Pioneer customer service.
Your case#*******

Shane

A problem clearly remains. The black level of my Kuro is unacceptably high. If it was a cheap, uncalibrated no-name LCD, fine, but this is a Kuro Elite. I went to Pioneer, who informed me that their decision was that the set was okay, and there was no more work to be done.

I asked if they had light meter readings. "No." I asked if they had anything scientific to show that the set was in or out of spec. "No." They based this opinion solely on the opinion of a contractor who admittedly had NEVER been into the service mode to adjust for a new panel before. I appealed to management.

Management took nearly a month to get back to me. Their response is that, once again, they believe the set is fine. In their opinion, they are doing me a favor by even letting me appeal; they plan on sending the same rep out to look at the screen and see if it is "within spec" and refused to divulge any tools they'd use, or if it would just be subjective. They continue to insist that they believe the set is fine, in spite of Jeff Meier's readings (and what you can plainly see), and act as though they owe me nothing, in spite of nearly 1.5 years of warranty remaining on the set.

I plan on recording Pioneer's Tech's visit to my home/evaluation of the set, to post here so that fellow Plasma enthusiasts can see the type of evaluations that Pioneer does, and what, if any tools are used.

For those curious, my calibration report is available here: www.lionsblade.com/kurocal.pdf

Any advice/suggestions are appreciated. It's a poor precedent to permit a company that makes(made) enthusiast-level displays to decide whether or not a display is within "specs" without divulging the supposed specs, or even performing any sort of scientific evaluation, especially when it comes to something as sensitive, and in my case, expensive as black level on a TV named "Black Elite." A monitor like this isn't a small investment, and as-is, my panel is worth nothing to an enthusiast since it doesn't do the one thing every Plasma enthusiast expects.

Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 12
Do you know what the part number of the replacement panel was?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't have the part # handy, but IIRC, it's the latest version that supercedes all original versions of the panel.

Also, the panel has ~700 hours on it right now.

-Geoff

A little addendum. This if from Pioneer's "expert." Note the part where he believes my complaint is that the contrast ratio is "too high." Jeff told me ~33000:1 is "normal" vs my ~11000:1.

This is the person who's opinion Pioneer is trusting:

Quote:


Hello Geoff,
I have been working on your case, and I have discussed the matter with Pioneer and this KURO model does require a panel adjustment(s)
after the replacement of the Plasma panel, unlike previous, non KURO models. It is a matter of scheduling a service call, this week is hectic
and these are my clients and customers that I had scheduled while I was in Colorado. I can schedule a call for Wednesday June 2nd, you pick the time.
To my understanding Jeff found out that the contrast ratio is too high, you had mentioned 11000:1 vs. 3000:1 as Jeff would
have expected. You also mentioned that the unit is too bright, that in a dark room you can spot the TV you used the word "Glows". Do I understand this case correctly.
(emphasis added)
Please confirm the scheduling

Good day
Shane

This was prior to him visiting. He, in person, re-iterated his belief after seeing the set, that the contrast ratio looked "too high" to him, and he would see if adjusting the panel voltage would lower it. I asked if he had any tools to measure contrast ratios or a light meter; he said he had neither.
post #4 of 12
Ahh the new pdp modules. You might want to protest and have them install one with the original part number on it. I can't go into details as to why, I just ask you trust me on this one.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

Ahh the new pdp modules. You might want to protest and have them install one with the original part number on it. I can't go into details as to why, I just ask you trust me on this one.

The problem is that they won't. They're likely just going to send the same guy out, who'll turn the TV on and say, "It's got an image, it works."

If you read my post above, it doesn't seem as if Pioneer gives a damn about what I would like or more importantly, fact vs. opinion.
post #6 of 12
I have no "insider info", just my speculation using common sense.

Seems like to me, since Pioneer is no longer in the plasma business, but they still have warranty claims, replacement panels could be "outsourced." I wonder if Pioneer even made the panel in your TV.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel78 View Post

I have no "insider info", just my speculation using common sense.

Seems like to me, since Pioneer is no longer in the plasma business, but they still have warranty claims, replacement panels could be "outsourced." I wonder if Pioneer even made the panel in your TV.

Not sure, but everything else in the calibration, per Jeff, was typical of a Kuro..except the one thing that makes a Kuro a Kuro.
post #8 of 12
prob a panasonic panel.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

Ahh the new pdp modules. You might want to protest and have them install one with the original part number on it. I can't go into details as to why, I just ask you trust me on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel78 View Post

I have no "insider info", just my speculation using common sense.

Seems like to me, since Pioneer is no longer in the plasma business, but they still have warranty claims, replacement panels could be "outsourced." I wonder if Pioneer even made the panel in your TV.

It sounds to me, that if the panel component of the Pioneer plasma becomes defective, the warranty could very well be worthless; with the exception being that if one deals with them for many hours/days/months, one has small chance of getting a proper panel, but it doesn't look like he will, at this point. I wonder how abundant the supply of original panels are anymore?
(If one has an extended warranty, the case would very likely be the same, since they typically go by the assessment of an authorized manufacturer tech.)

I guess the silver lining for others is that the Pioneer panels rarely become defect, AFAIK. Other components could have issues too, but, less likely, I would think. No consolation for the 'Thread Starter', regardless. I hope he is able to get a proper panel replacement.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm going to do my best to make Pioneer prove that this new panel is within the specifications of the original one. It'll be difficult, but I'm not going to get put in a corner over this.
post #11 of 12
Did this ever get solved?
Edited by somelogin - 6/23/13 at 3:29pm
post #12 of 12
As his avatar suggests, the OP has since transformed into a lion, and is no longer able to make posts on AVS.

I'm interested in knowing as well.
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