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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Guys,


I've just taken delivery of a new VT540K after returning two others due to dust blob problems and dead pixels.


This one is no different in that it has a dead pixel like the other two I returned. I had been told by the sales people that stuck on or dead pixels were rare. However after reading posts in this forum and from my experience of the two projectors I returned I now know better. Since I'm on my 3rd projector I wanted some advice on whether to return this one as well as I feel both NEC and the sales staff are losing patience with me. As a matter of fact NEC opened up this 3rd projector before sending it to me to ensure it was OK.


This 3rd projector has what appears to be a "dead pixel" when I set the projector to all blue screen I can see it as a black (or missing) pixel. This is not bad at all since I find I can't detect it when viewing from 9-10 feet on an 80" screen. In fact it appears to function properly when I go up close to examine it !!! BUT....after about 20 minutes of viewing movies, it turns bright blue and stays that way..it seems to warm up and then BANG stuck on blue which is quite distracting.


The pixel is located about 6" left of centre and about 8-10" above center, that is, it is very close to the center of the screen. Is there any way I can prevent this pixel going BLUE on me?? is there any way NEC can fix this (I doubt it) and finally should I return this 3rd one and ask for a fourth and risk that it may be worse it terms of dust blobs and number of dead pixels than this one I've got


Maybe I'm just too picky because none of my other friends seem to mind much.


Here in Australia we don't have access to INSTACARE but nonetheless NEC have been great thus far in swapping projectors, but I'd feel a bit embarassed returning this one given that NEC Tech even checked it out.


Your advice is most welcome and eagerly awaited.


Thanks,

Luke
 

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Luke

I have seen many LCD projectors and the incidence of dust blobs and stuck-on pixels is unacceptably high considering the cost of the projectors and what the extent of that cost means to an individual consumer. I have to think that if trouble-free LCD Panels were easily produced the manufacturers would make them. The everyday reality is that the overwhelming majority of these projectors are being consumed by businesses who do not care about pixels and dust-Chances are the person using the projector had nothing to do with the purchase and couldn't care less as long as it fires up and they make their presentation. For the home theatre consumer the exact opposite is true and we care a lot and want a perfect picture. I bought a really nice 1900 ansi lumen Sanyo a while back-It had a problem-I sent it in it came back not fixed. I sent it in again they fixed the problem but when I got it back the colors were way off and could not be adjusted. I had to then send it in again-they fixed the colors but when it came back it had a stuck on pixel that it did not have before. Since I had the unit too long to return I gave up and sold the projector. Regarding your purchase I can well understand how uncomfortable it might be to keep reporting problems but you really should make the effort to get a projector you are happy with. I think if they won't replace it again simply state you are unhappy, that you can't tolerate a stuck on pixel for home theatre use and you would like a refund and start over some where else. At some point if the dealer and NEC will hang in there with you until you get a unit that is acceptable then you will be happy and everyone can move on. The people certainly at NEC who are helping you owe their job to people who are having problems with their purchase. Dealing with problems is what they do for a living and if the problems went away they would have no job. NEC can easily absorb these returned units-repackage them as refurbs and still make a profit on them and perhaps someone will be happy to save some money. If you are buying new you deserve to be happy at least for a while if not for a period of years.

Lenny Eckian
 

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I agree and sympathize with you. I too sent in my LCD that was only 1 month old for a blue stuck pixel in center of screen. It's really noticeable and distracting on darker scenes. Sony VPL-CX1 is repairing it as we speak. They ordered 2 prism/panel units thus far and all had dead pixel(s). They ask me if it was acceptable before shipping it back and I said no way. I told them it better be perfect when it comes back or I'll keep sending it back. So they are ordering a third panel and I hope it's perfect (haven't heard from them yet). I like the better colors, sharpness, and lack of rainbows of LCD, but the dead pixel now or later are too worrysome and annoying. I'd probably sell mine and buy a LT150 (chancing rainbows but probably less annoying than these pixels). May be we're just too picky but after spending several thousands for these units we should get perfection !!!


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Huey ;-]
 

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I should think it would be obvious that after a few people have exchanged projectors for no other flaw than a stuck pixel, almost all of the service projectors available to swap for yours will have such flaws. The only exception would be a projector with some other flaw, which got repaired - but such a perfect panel will not likely return to the spare projector pool.


I bought a refurbished projector which proved to have one stuck pixel, also blue, but near one corner and not so objectionable. The other way of dealing with this is to approach the screen and note the exact size of the pixels, and then cut out a small piece of sticky note paper in the size of the pixel, from a note that has been shaded to dark gray with a pencil. After you paste this over the blue pixel, it will remain dark and less noticeable - it appears to be stuck "off' rather than "on".


I would also suggest that if you are this demanding, that you avoid ordering product off the web, and instead pay a local dealer's full retail price - the service I would then expect would be over-the-counter exchange for another brand new unit. Or you might find a web dealer willing to screen his inventory for a perfect panel.


The statistical reason this is happening is that 3-panel LCD projectors have 3 times as many pixels as 1-panel projectors such as DLPs. The three panels are actually an inseperable set on a single substrate - the yield of perfect panels is 1/3 that of single-panel designs as well as being much more costly. Single stuck pixels in a business presentation projector are acceptable - on a home theater projector, less so. Now you understand one reason the Sharp home theater XGA LCD projector costs over $10,000.


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your replies.


The concensus seems to be to exchange if I'm not happy with the blue pixel problem or keep it if I can put up with it.


I'm in two minds at the moment about exchanging it, since the picture is perfect for 20 minutes or so, after which time the dud pixel warms up and becomes blue steadily increasing in brightness becoming very annoying (especially given it's near the center). I live in the hope that the pixel will take longer and longer to warm up until one day it may not turn blue at all ! This would make me happy


Perhaps I could somehow keep the unit cool to prevent the pixel from warming up??


I know my chances of getting a perfect LCD panel are close to zero but my chances of getting one with a pixel closer to the edge may be better.


Has any one had any experince with a pixel that begins miss-firing once the projector is warm? I always thought if a pixel was stuck on blue it should be like this from the moment you turn the projector on !


Thanks Again

Luke
 

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Pixels are fairly unpredictable. That pixel you mentioned may fix itself or may stay stuck for good after a while. Chances are it'll will be permanently stuck. My first dead pixel started gradually and then became permanent bright green. It's not noticeable until you look for it. Yes, I'm anal but so are a lot of HT enthusiasts. That's what make us great :) It's only one out of 2.4 millions but when it's bright green or blue it's like a laser pointer on your screen (not that bad but you know what I mean). It can be distracting after a while. Once you know it's there you tend to look for it, unconsciously and consciously. It's only noticeable on gray or brown scenes and not on black or very bright scenes. If you can't live with this imperfection, you'd better return it which may means restocking fee. After a while you're stuck and can only pawn off to others with less stringent requirements (business presentations). You could keep it and then use their instacare warranty and they maybe able to swap out with new prism/panels. My projector is a Sony VPL-CX1 LCD and it's been gone over 2 wks as they keep having to order new panels as the "new" ones kept having defects (3 so far). I may, like you, decide to live with 1 or 2 defects as it beats not having one for so long :-( I'd probably sell this and take my losses to someone else less critical. I'd then get a DLP chancing the rainbows.


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Huey ;-]
 

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I purchased a new VT540 early this year. I had to return 4 in order to get one that didn't have any stuck pixels. NEC tech support (US - Instacare) was really nice about this -- they did warn me that small numbers of dead/stuck pixels were inside of "spec", but in each case very willingly sent me another one.


Each time, I had asked them to have tech support open the projector & check it for bad pixels prior to shipping it to me. They said that they would & the projectors were opened -- but in every case except for the last one, the projectors with bad pixels were shipped to me.


In any case, I now have a defect free VT540 & am glad that I was so persistent. I give NEC a lot of credit for doing their best to make customers happy (even if they have to go beyond "policy" to do so).


Regards

BB80301
 
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