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Sony VPL-VW50 Trying to Repair

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm having an issue with my Sony VPL-VW50 projector. It is out of warranty so I can't get it repaired for free.

My problem is the image is beginning to "yellow" in the lower left and lower right of the projected image. I've been looking around and I see many have talked about having their blue polarizer go bad after about 4000 hours. I'm pretty sure I am over the 4000 hour mark. I know this is a problem with all LCD projectors and not just Sony's.

Anyway, I've tried to find parts to replace the blue polarizer but have had NO luck I even tried to call Sony parts. They could not replace just that part. The referrred me to a local service center to have them look at it to see what the issue is.

This is where it gets interesting. I called the service center (Electra Sound) and they will NOT work on Sony projectors. They work on other brand projectors and workon Sony rear-projections and the like but not Sony front projectors.

I called Tech Support back and they were amazed they would not look at it.

Not having a part number or idea on where I can get it fixed, I asked them what my option is. They said I could send it to one of their repair centers to have it fixed. I wonder how much that is going to cost?

I went ahead and opened a work order with them since I had them on the phone. I'm not sure if I should send it in or buy a new projector (It will be a DLP!). I'm afraid how much they will charge me to fix it. It will cost me enough just to send it to them.

Anyone have suggestions on how to get a blue polarizer for a VPL-VW50? Any ideas on who could fix it for me if I can't get the part?

Not sure I will ever buy a Sony projector again!

post #2 of 16
My assumption would be that this would require replacing the whole optical block (read: not cheap.)

I'm sure someone with more knowledge than I will chime in soon...

Depending on how handy you fancy yourself, you might be able to purchase a dichroric filter to replace the one that is failing. But you'd have to be able to remove/re-mount the new one correctly.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
That is what I'm afraid of. Replacing the entire optical block. I'm not sure what that cost would be. I could not get a price or part number from Sony online. I don't think they sell those to consumers, just their service centers. To make it worse, I could not get a price from them just to have them look at it.

I may just buy a new BenQ W6000 for $2,400 ($1,900 for a refurb).

I don't mind trying replacing the dichroric filter myself if I could buy the part.
post #4 of 16
Check Newport or ThorLabs.


Forget that, here is the cheap route. Blue Dichroic filter.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
That DOES look promising!

I will have to take my projector apart to see which part may work. It will be worth trying as I was just told a new optical block would cost $3,500! That is more then I spent to buy the projector 3 years ago!.

I still have an open question with them on if they would repair a part inside the optical block. Even so, it would be worth spending $35 to try to fix it myself.

Thanks for the link! I'll post back here with any updates.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
No they do NOT replace parts inside the optical block. Looks like I'm hosed

I will take apart tonight to see if I can replace what is inside the optical block. That is surely where the problem is.
post #7 of 16
THIS should be an interesting read for you. Even though it is mainly speaking of LCD panels, it does go into how it relates to SXRD panels and their associated filters/polarizers.

I'm trying to find a good picture of the SXRD block to see how the filters are arranged. It will make a difference as to the need for either a filter (for beams following a straight path) or a mirror (for beams that need to travel at angles).


First you'll need to determine WHICH part is failing: the panel, the polarizer or the filter/mirror. Then we can look for a part replacement. Dichroic mirrors will be a bit more spendy...
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've seen that webpage. My brother, who owns a WEGA, is getting a deal with Sony. Currently it doesn't cover projectors but I'm contacting them to see what they will do.

I took the projector apart but I can't tell if any of the mirrors or filters are the issue. I could not see anything on them that would make me think there is an issue. If it is the SXRD panel, I'm not sure I even want to mess with it. Assuming I could get that part, aligning it up to match the others will be nearly impossible.

Thanks for your time but I may give up trying to fix it myself. I did notice when I took it apart that part of the plastic at the end of the optical unit had deteriorated so much that it was creating dust and it was breaking off to the touch. I may be able to get away without replacing that but I would not be able to buy a part to fix it since it is part of the optical block.

Now what to do with the parts. Should I even attempt at putting it back together or just try to part it out if anyone needs anything.
post #9 of 16
I don't want to make a statistic based on anecdotal evidence, but I have a VW50 that clocked over 8000h, going on my fourth lamp. I don't have any deterioration of the blue polarizer you have, so it's not a problem inherent to this model, nor a problem with sxrd panels.

Your mention of the optical block being burned to ashes is a good indication that the optical block was overheating way out of specs. It could be a worn out fan bearing or bushing, an obstructed or dirty filter, a failed temperature sensor, or something else that cause the block to overheat. That's what you need to find out first if you want to repair it. If you don't diagnose the actual cause of the problem, you will have the same burnt parts later.
post #10 of 16
Yeah I agree. Though this issue has appeared in previous times, it is still a very small minority of devices that experience it. I wouldn't count out Sony based on this one issue (though I agree it does suck).
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I hear you. I'm not sure where I'm going to stand with Sony on future purchases. I do know that my next projector will be a DLP (Looking at BenQ 6000) and Sony does not make that type of projector.

There seems to be degradation problems with SXRD and LCD projectors. Since the projector is my main TV, it gets ALOT of use.

I'm trying to get Sony to allow me to purchase a new LCD TV at a discounted price that I can use elsewhere in the house. I'm not sure I will follow through with it though. Just seeing what deal they can provide.
post #12 of 16
Yeah Sony is in the SXRD camp for front projection. DLP's do have their advantages, but the key is to make sure you don't have any issues physically with them (headaches, rainbows, etc...).
post #13 of 16
I've read many threads complaining about this problem with LCD projectors, I had it happen to my Sony HS10. I think this one is the first I've ever read about someone having it happen to an LCOS model.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jason Turk View Post

... but the key is to make sure you don't have any issues physically with them (headaches, rainbows, etc...).

We shall find out. I bought the BENQ W6000 as the replacement. It displays a much brighter picture with ambient light than the Sony projector ever did.

BTW, if you EVER have any problems with a Sony product, try contacting the Sony Listens team. I contacted them through a facebook page (don't have the address handy - something about I have a defective Sony) and you will get a MUCH better deal for out of warranty products. They offered to buy back my out of warranty projector since they could not offer a similar projector for a discounted price from their sonystyle webpage. I can't complain about that!
post #15 of 16
Enjoy your new projector.
post #16 of 16
Power glitch took the projector down for a couple minutes. Upon restoring power HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 inputs seem dead.

I have a Panny BD60 that I plugged direct into the HDMI inputs and I
get a U73 error.

Anyone know what that might be a symptom of?

Thanks in advance!

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