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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,


I have a 2 year old 55" Hitachi Plasma screen, Model 55HDS52. It's been a great set but months ago it started acting up. From time to time we'd lose the picture and / or sound. We were told to disconnect the power and all cables and see if that would correct it. Generally, that would fix the problem.


The problem is now solid. We have no picture, but we do have sound.


I had a repair company send someone out and, without doing any diagnostics, decided that my "X-Sustain" and two buffer boards were bad. My impression was that the guy was taking a shotgun approach.

Cost to repair: $1100.


I contacted another company and asked them to diagnose over the phone. (Why spend $85 when there are no other symptoms and they don't do any hands-on diagnostics?) Anyway, their approach seemed a bit more educated in that they said that the buffer boards were not bad as there would be specific symptoms for that. The didn't know if it was the "X-Sustain" or "Y-Sustain" that was bad, but said they'd bring both out and replace whichever was bad. $480 for the X-board and $500 for the Y-board, plus $380 labor.

Cost to repair: $860 - $880


My questions:

- Since my set is apparently an "old generation" set at 2 years old, is it worth repairing for a cost of $1000?

- Do these circuit boards really cost $500?

- Is there some place I can buy the boards and fix it myself?

- If this set is worth salvaging, is there a better way / place to get it repaired?


Thanks in advance!

Rick
 

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Ask yourself if you would buy a used 55" Hitachi plasma for $880.


For twice as much you could get a new 50" 1080p plasma. You would lose 5 inches but gain higher resolution.


For three times as much you could get a 58" 1080p plasma. You would gain 3 inches plus the higher resolution.


It all depends on what you want. If you repaired the 55" Hitachi for $880 could you sell it for more than this amount? Then it might be worth fixing.


Are you confident if you spend $880 to fix your Hitachi there won't be more problems?


If you can get the boards for less money and fix it yourself then I think it is 100% worth doing so.
 

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If you enjoy the quality of the set then I would fix it. But, what makes you think it will not go out agian once it is fixed. Tough choice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickjackson /forum/post/14336941


Hi All,


I have a 2 year old 55" Hitachi Plasma screen, Model 55HDS52. It's been a great set but months ago it started acting up. From time to time we'd lose the picture and / or sound. We were told to disconnect the power and all cables and see if that would correct it. Generally, that would fix the problem.


The problem is now solid. We have no picture, but we do have sound.


I had a repair company send someone out and, without doing any diagnostics, decided that my "X-Sustain" and two buffer boards were bad. My impression was that the guy was taking a shotgun approach.

Cost to repair: $1100.


I contacted another company and asked them to diagnose over the phone. (Why spend $85 when there are no other symptoms and they don't do any hands-on diagnostics?) Anyway, their approach seemed a bit more educated in that they said that the buffer boards were not bad as there would be specific symptoms for that. The didn't know if it was the "X-Sustain" or "Y-Sustain" that was bad, but said they'd bring both out and replace whichever was bad. $480 for the X-board and $500 for the Y-board, plus $380 labor.

Cost to repair: $860 - $880


My questions:

- Since my set is apparently an "old generation" set at 2 years old, is it worth repairing for a cost of $1000?

- Do these circuit boards really cost $500?

- Is there some place I can buy the boards and fix it myself?

- If this set is worth salvaging, is there a better way / place to get it repaired?


Thanks in advance!

Rick

You know I always hear that when I have to make a $1000+ repair on my car that I should just buy a new one. But I always say $1000 is way cheaper than buying a new car. Can you fix the set? Forget it. If you don't know what you're doing, you're likely to waste money on those parts. Even with me being an electrical engineer I wouldn't venture to ever open a flat panel. It would probably be pretty hard to find the parts unless you know the right person. $1000 bucks won't get you anything near 55" of that quality. At least you have somewhat competent technicians that can come and fix it.
 

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At those prices, it's time to look for a new plasma. My general rule of thumb is if the repair cost is more than half the cost of a new item, get the new item.
 

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Make sure the panel is TRUELY dark black. If you get any sustain voltage, you will see the entire panel illuminate to a very dark grey when it comes on. THen you may have a bad main board. If it's totally black, it's probably the board on the right: Y sustain. (called the X sustain on most other plasmas) Try PTS in Indiana. They sell rebuilt boards, which you can replace yourself. Tritronics, Inc. may also sell you the boards.


Check for open fuses on the X and Y boards. If open, that board is bad. Or check by disconnecting the power supply to the X and Y boards. Carefully check the VS voltage on the SMPS board against the value printed on the sticker. You may only have a second or two before it shuts down. If the voltage comes back when you unplug the Y board, that board is bad. You could replace both X and Y boards, just to be sure.

Y board part # FPF31R-YSS0032.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks very much for the recommendations on where I may be able to get replacement boards, as well as your diagnosis. I'll try to see how much I can get replacement boards for. Hopefully, they don't cost $500 each like the two companies were trying to charge me!


The screen is truly black, so it may be the Y sustain board. Interstingly, the first comapny that took a shotgun approach decided that it was the X sustain board and buffers. The second company was going to bring out both boards as they didn't know.


Thanks again for you knowledge and recommendations.


Rick

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkinn /forum/post/14340550


Make sure the panel is TRUELY dark black. If you get any sustain voltage, you will see the entire panel illuminate to a very dark grey when it comes on. THen you may have a bad main board. If it's totally black, it's probably the board on the right: Y sustain. (called the X sustain on most other plasmas) Try PTS in Indiana. They sell rebuilt boards, which you can replace yourself. Tritronics, Inc. may also sell you the boards.


Check for open fuses on the X and Y boards. If open, that board is bad. Or check by disconnecting the power supply to the X and Y boards. Carefully check the VS voltage on the SMPS board against the value printed on the sticker. You may only have a second or two before it shuts down. If the voltage comes back when you unplug the Y board, that board is bad. You could replace both X and Y boards, just to be sure.

Y board part # FPF31R-YSS0032.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've decided to scrap the TV, as I can't justify paying someone $1000 to come out an fix it, and I don't have access to dealer cost on the circuit boards which list at $450 - $500 each. (X-sustain / Y-sustain)


I don't know how much dealer cost is on the boards, but a dealer could clearly pay far less than list.


Does the set have any salvage value? Is there a market for a broken set like this? Seems that a Plasma dealer could repair the set and sell for $1000 or so?


Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickjackson /forum/post/14349861


I've decided to scrap the TV, as I can't justify paying someone $1000 to come out an fix it, and I don't have access to dealer cost on the circuit boards which list at $450 - $500 each. (X-sustain / Y-sustain)


I don't know how much dealer cost is on the boards, but a dealer could clearly pay far less than list.


Does the set have any salvage value? Is there a market for a broken set like this? Seems that a Plasma dealer could repair the set and sell for $1000 or so?


Rick

Oh yeah it does esp if it doesnt have a cracked screen. Another option is to look for one of these tvs on flebay that does have a cracked screen and buy it for cheap and or have them just send you some components from the guts of tv for cheaper shipping. Def check flebay though and see what other people are selling this unit for broken
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE: I contacted Hitachi again and they agreed to cover the cost of the parts to get the set repaired. I think this is a great PR move on their part, and ths will save me at least $500.


Thanks for all the advice and recommendations.


Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickjackson /forum/post/14395516


UPDATE: I contacted Hitachi again and they agreed to cover the cost of the parts to get the set repaired. I think this is a great PR move on their part, and ths will save me at least $500.


Thanks for all the advice and recommendations.


Rick

Keep us posted on the repairs. Do you have a time line?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickjackson /forum/post/14395516


UPDATE: I contacted Hitachi again and they agreed to cover the cost of the parts to get the set repaired. I think this is a great PR move on their part, and ths will save me at least $500.


Thanks for all the advice and recommendations.


Rick

Wow! That is great. I have a 1.5 year old 55HDT79 that just went into an endless on-for-8-seconds/off-for-8-seconds loop, and have seen others had this in the forum as well... I am convinced from other AVS forum comments that the main digital board needs replacement, and I have found new replacements to be $450 online (I bought a service manual download online for $15 to find this out), or I can get guaranteed working used replacements from 55HDS69 (same set but no USB, TV guide, or power swivel control) for $100. I'm going to chat with Hitachi about the compatibility of the two. My set came apart incredibly easily, and everything inside is brilliantly laid out, far cleaner/easier to work with than any old CRT TV (and a bit less dangerous current). Dont suppose you can put me in touch with who you spoke with at Hitachi, as I would just be happy to get confirmation from them about the HDS69 board working in an HDT79 (or, best, a way to reset my board to factory that does not involve on screen menus since the set is fully up/responsive for less than a second so those menus are not navigable). Any names/hints/pointers would be most appreciated!


Cheers,


Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #15
UPDATE: The saga continues and I still don't have an operational TV! Once Hitachi agreed to pay for the boards I contacted and made arrangements for one of their authorized repair companies to come out and do the repairs.


Based on everything I had relayed to them they ordered an X-board and Y-board. Three weeks later he comes out and replaced the X-board with no progress. He then noticed that the box for the Y-board was in fact a power supply board for some other set. While troubleshooting he noticed that there was no 90 volts coming from the power supply board, so he ordered one of them and a Y-board.


He came back with a Y-board and power supply, but this time the box for the Y-board had an X-board in it. He replaced the power supply, but no change. He then gets on the phone with Hitachi and they determined that the power supply is not receiving the command to power up, so it's likely the main digital board as Bruce suspects in his post. (Sorry, Bruce I don't remember the name of the person at Hitachi.)


Hopefully, in another 3 or 4 weeks I'll have an operation TV set! I'm frankly shocked at how hard this seems to be to fix, as well as the lack of knowledge in the two repair guys that have come out. They clearly have no knowledge of how THIS particular set works and very little knowledge about these sets in general. Back in the days when I was a technician working on NCR systems, we called this a shotgun approach or blind troubleshooting.


Also, while this set is nicely laid out for maintenance, there doesn't appear to be any Level 0 diagnostics or sanity tests on the boards or even a port that can be connected so that it can be queried about what ails it. Seems to be a completely dumb product. Given the general lack of knowledge of how these things work, it would seem to be so much easier to repair if it had some of these things designed in to it. Maybe due to the fact that these technologies turn over so quickly and the products are essentially disposable after a year or two that they no longer bother with those types of basic maintainability issues.


I'll update again in 3 or 4 weeks when he comes out a again. For now we're watching a 19" 1980's era CRT-type Toshiba TV!


Cheers!

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleveland Plasma /forum/post/14638338


when they are splitting the bill sounds liek you will have to be pacient.

Agreed. However, the repair issues would likely be the same regardless of who is picking up the tab for the boards. As far as being patient, we used to watch 19" CRT TVs in the old days! I can do it for another month.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would have never thought that I'd still be without a TV since I started this process in July, but that's the case. The repair guy has come out to the house 4 or 5 times with various boards and has not been able to figure out what is wrong. The company that supplies the boards for Hitachi has sent him wrong boards almost every time, and I think he's generally not up to speed on Hitachi plasmas. About 6 weeks ago I took it to their shop.


I dropped the TV off at the shop and Hitachi is helping them with the repair. Hitachi has been great in their offer to pay for the board(s), but I think it's going to be a complete TV replacement at this point. The last word I got was that they wanted to swap out the logic board, but the entire panel is probably required to fix it. I'm sure the logic board has been replaced at least once before, so I have no hope that will fix it. The word is that Hitachi will turn it over to another ciompany to provide me with a replacement set.


Lessons kearned here? Hitachi seems to be behind their product and customer focused. The TVs are generally considered throw-away and don't seem to be designed for mauintainability. Finally, the repair shop (at least the one I'm dealing with) doesn't seem tb be up to speed.


I hope to have a TV by Christmas.


Cheers!

Rick
 

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I haven't been very active in the repair forums lately but I was an authorized Hitachi (and Sony, etc) servicer for 20+ years. (major manufacturers have cut loose many of the small servicers) This is pretty typical of repairs on the latest TV designs. When they went to board replacement, rather than board repair, they destroyed traditional troubleshooting methods. "Best Guess" is now the order of the day. Another local servicer once put $4000 (at cost) worth of parts into an Hitachi Plasma before it worked again. (It failed again in the exact same form a year later.)


Hopefully they are using new boards as opposed to rebuilt boards. At 2 years they may be no new boards available and successfully rebuilding a digital processing board is practically impossible, despite what PTS thinks. I wouldn't blame the servicer for the limitations placed upon them by the manufacturer. They will be several months getting paid for all of the boards they are putting into the set and if it ultimately gets replaced, they might never be fully reimbursed.
 
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