Hi gang. I had to sign up just to contribute, so that hopefully others will be better informed by learning of other people's experiences.
I bought a Sony rear projection TV in late 2008 for $1350, optical block problem caused blue spots/ Dirty Screen Effect. Sony offered me a KDL-50R550A for $550 which I accepted. When I received my TV last week, I was disappointed to discover white spots that can be seen against any light, even toned background, another Dirty Screen Effect. I like the picture, but the DSE is quite horrid.
My TV also has the flashlighitng issue, and what concerns me is that it is inconsistent, worse on one side than another. Making sure contrast and black levels are high and reducing brightness settings, controlling room luminance, does reduce the effect, except for one spot where it is excessive, and always shows a large, light grey semi circle when viewing at night.
I asked Sony tech support as well as the exchange customer service, if the DSE was a known problem. They denied it was, yet they didn't ask for any detailed information, proof or anything else. They told me go ahead and ship either your old projection TV, or the new LED, and we'll ship you another once we see it is enroute.
I'll update how it turns out, but sufficed to say I'm disgusted with Sony's lack of quality assurance. Spending $1900 in the last 5 years for two TVs with spots on them seems absurd to me.
Bottom line, these TV are disposable, and it's more cost effective for Sony to inconvenience the minority of people that even notice these subtle visual flaws with multiple shipping exchanges than to invest in quality inspections.
If my next TV isn't flawed, I will be content. Otherwise, I may just commit hara-kiri.