Repair plasma television or get new TV?

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seppatown
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by seppatown »

OP, I had the exact same TV as you until four months ago. 2020 Plasma crew checking in.

Due to a home move, I gave away the TV (still in perfect working condition) and purchased a 65" Sony X950G. To be clear here, it's an LED TV, not OLED.

I'm more than happy with the change. A couple specific talking points:

-Motion: I highly prefer to watch content at its native framerate and absolutely hate the interpolation function on modern TVs. New, high-end TVs don't have any issues with motion at either 24 or 30 fps. There's been absolutely zero reduced performance compared to plasma, which as you know, doesn't really refresh at 600Hz anyways.

-Brightness: I can now watch TV at any time of the day. Peak brightness is pushing 1000 nits, and I'm more than happy around 500 in the daytime.

-Resolution: 4k offers real, tangible benefits at standard viewing distances. You'll notice and enjoy the difference. All the big streaming services offer native 4k content, so content availability is no longer an issue anymore. The upscaling is also very good on this particular TV, so your 1080p content will look a little sharper on a 4k vs 1080p TV.

-OLED vs LED: At the high end, there's way less of a difference than people imagine. Shop display units always run screen-saver like animations on OLED for a reason - putting vivid colors against pitch black looks very nice. Problem is - this kind of color contrast never occurs in live content, and is still rare with animated content. There's generally going to be a color/luminosity gradient - except with title shots against pitch black - that cancels out the benefits of OLED. Title shots are the only time I notice "bloom" on my LED.

It sounds like you are happy with your plasma, and there's no compelling reason to change at this point - but don't fall for the fear that the post-plasma world is inferior. It couldn't be further from the truth.
Figuring_it_out
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Figuring_it_out »

I'm a EE and at 2 years and 2 months (2 months outside the extended warranty) my $3000 2008 58" panny plasma died. In 2010, the repair shop folks wanted $750 "bench fee" just to open the TV in the living room to see what the problem was. If the parts and labor added up to less than $750 there would be no additional charge (Gee thanks).

My EE pride would not let me go that route so I took to the internet and found the shop manual for the TV. Diagnosed the blink code on the power button LED, Measured a few terminal voltages then went to ebay and shopjimmy.com and found some boards from TVs with broken screens.

First choice was the power supply. It turned on then immediately off so I could not run it continuously. First replaced all bulging power supply caps (~$40). Nope. Then replaced the board (~100) nope..... Replaced the digital input board (per the debugging guide in the manual)..($60) nope. Rubbing my back pockets now..... Then I inspected the few remaining boards and saw some burn marks on one of the transistors. Not obvious but definiately darkening the fiberglass board when the other transistors didnt have that. Bit the bullet on a final try and change the side power distribution board. Voila!!! Came up. Tested a few voltage setpoints and adjusted according to the manual. Put the back on and reinstalled in the cabinet. All in all it figure it took about 20 hours of my time (researching testing measuring, ordering, installing etc.) plus ~$200 in parts.

Even if I pay myself $15/hour (burger flipping money now-a-days) I'm in for $700. :?

That was 10 years ago and she's still kicking so it worked out for me. I will not repair it again of it starts doing what yours is doing. I cant wait for it to croak so i can step up to an OLED.

Love the picture but hate the heat. It is in the flow path to my AC return and when it is on the rest of the house is freezing because it tricks the thermostat. When the TV is off, temps are even through the house. :/

I figure its throwing off 500 watts of heat by the way my LED lights on the same circuit will flicker when the scenes on the TV go from dark to light. I also cannot run the vacuum on the same circuit or I get to make a trip to the breaker box. :/

Beautiful technology but its passed its prime. This will be the old Vinyl Albums vs CD sound quality arguments.

Live with it as long as you can then treat youself to a OLED.
02nz
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by 02nz »

ossipago wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:37 am
bubbadog wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:58 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:22 am
rob wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:44 pm I wish I had never downgraded my plasma.... I still have it in another room and it's FAR better than the OLED. Your never going to repair it but don't expect a better picture from OLED.
With respect, because I loved my plasma screens also, but I think you posted with your heart rather than your eyes (or perhaps you have a very early OLED). Plasma can’t compete with OLED with 4K, HDR, etc.
I would agree with TomatoTomahto. I have both. I have a 77 inch LG OLED downstairs and a 58 inch Panasonic plasma upstairs. With 4K content, the OLED picture quality is much better than the plasma. Although, I still prefer my 10 year old plasma over most lower tier new LED TVs.
Yes, it's true there is no plasma with HDR and 4K. But there is also no TV technology that matches the smoothness of motion that a plasma offers. In my use case, 4K offers little benefit due to lack of content and viewing distance, and HDR looks unnatural except for certain video game content.
I have both a top-rated Panasonic plasma and an LG OLED. There's no competition. Maybe the plasma has an advantage for motion, doesn't seem to matter for the stuff I watch. But OLED's advantages are huge especially in daytime/bright room viewing. Plasma cannot get bright enough under those conditions and won't look as good as OLED (leaving HDR and 4K completely aside). Also, I experienced some light burn-in on the plasma even with careful use, no issues with the (2015-era) OLED.
Paul78
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Paul78 »

If you like sports repair the plasma! Plasma is the best (I even like it better than the OLED) for sports.

If you are primarily into movies/shows replace it. You can get relative cheap TVs that will look better with movies/shows than your current plasma tv.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Paul78 wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:01 pm If you like sports repair the plasma! Plasma is the best (I even like it better than the OLED) for sports.
I don’t watch much sports any more, but there’s something to be said for Formula 1 on a 77” OLED. I don’t know what max size on plasma was, but I think max was 55”
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LadyGeek
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by LadyGeek »

I have a 63" plasma, which was the largest I could get in 2009. At the time, it was a downsize from my 67" DLP (Digital Light Projection) TV that it replaced.
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azanon
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by azanon »

I have a flagship Panasonic Plasma I bought in 2012 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0075 ... UTF8&psc=1 that ended up needing a repair about 2 years later - I want to say it cost about $250, and replaced a major board. But since the TV cost me $2000 (and that was on sale from $2500), I thought it was worth it. It's worked great every since so 8 years and going since that repair.
hnd
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by hnd »

that series panny was effectively the pioneer elite television with panasonic branding. loved those tvs.
Paul78
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Paul78 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:16 pm
Paul78 wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:01 pm If you like sports repair the plasma! Plasma is the best (I even like it better than the OLED) for sports.
I don’t watch much sports any more, but there’s something to be said for Formula 1 on a 77” OLED. I don’t know what max size on plasma was, but I think max was 55”
My plasma was 64 inches. But yes there is still a huge difference between 77 and 64. So if you factor that size OLED could pass up plasma for sports. But if you compare the same size I would take plasma every time.

I bought a 55 inch OLED (back when a 55 inch cost the same as a 77 inch one cost now) after someone destroyed my plasma. Was disappointed with how much worse sports looked on it than my plasma. I know technically OLED is suppose to have a better picture but to me it is just a less "natural" picture. So returned the expensive 55 inch OLED and bought a 1k 65 inch tv. This one is terrible for sports (pretty good for movies/shows). But now I am use to the terrible quality so when I buy an 80-85 inch OLED in 2-3 years I will be both get a nice increase in size and sports picture quality (instead of the disappointment I had last time buying an OLED).
JBTX
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by JBTX »

hnd wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:23 am I have 2 Panasonic Plasmas in our house a 60" S series in the basement for the kids and a 46" V Series in the garage. both are well over 10 years old and eventually were relegated out of the main tv spot. the Vseries had an issue where i had to take it in. since i considered this tv the cadillac of tv's i took it to get repaired. the guy was like we dont' repair a ton of tvs and have expanded into other repair services (phones and what not). it was 500 bucks for some small thing to get repaired. the tv still runs so the repair was worth it, but that guy is out of business. I bought a 6 series TCL on a black friday and i've never been happier.
We have a Panasonic plasma, probably about 13 years old. Still going. When it dies, I won't try to fix it
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rob
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by rob »

02nz wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:54 pm
ossipago wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:37 am
bubbadog wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:58 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:22 am
rob wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:44 pm I wish I had never downgraded my plasma.... I still have it in another room and it's FAR better than the OLED. Your never going to repair it but don't expect a better picture from OLED.
With respect, because I loved my plasma screens also, but I think you posted with your heart rather than your eyes (or perhaps you have a very early OLED). Plasma can’t compete with OLED with 4K, HDR, etc.
I would agree with TomatoTomahto. I have both. I have a 77 inch LG OLED downstairs and a 58 inch Panasonic plasma upstairs. With 4K content, the OLED picture quality is much better than the plasma. Although, I still prefer my 10 year old plasma over most lower tier new LED TVs.
Yes, it's true there is no plasma with HDR and 4K. But there is also no TV technology that matches the smoothness of motion that a plasma offers. In my use case, 4K offers little benefit due to lack of content and viewing distance, and HDR looks unnatural except for certain video game content.
I have both a top-rated Panasonic plasma and an LG OLED. There's no competition. Maybe the plasma has an advantage for motion, doesn't seem to matter for the stuff I watch. But OLED's advantages are huge especially in daytime/bright room viewing. Plasma cannot get bright enough under those conditions and won't look as good as OLED (leaving HDR and 4K completely aside). Also, I experienced some light burn-in on the plasma even with careful use, no issues with the (2015-era) OLED.
All fair points... It depends on viewing conditions and content. In my case the main room I watch in is darker (even in daytime) and most of my content consumption are nowhere near 4K (unfortunately). While I have fibre, it's the greedy Verizon version so 720P - maybe. Most shows I watch from streaming are 1080P but rarely 4K and are more "cinematic" rather than sports. The real issues are the blacks, the lack of color richness and lack of contrast on the oled. I've played around with the various "best" settings on the internet etc but none are close to the plasma to my eyes. It's not memory as I still have the plasma and will watch sometimes in the other room - I'm often taken with how much nicer the picture is to my eyes. Never had issues with dead pixels or burn in on plasma. It's fatal flaw is the size is only 42" compared to basically double that with the oled.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
AllMostThere
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by AllMostThere »

I totally get the love of Plasma. I have a Panasonic VIERA TC-P65ST50 65-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV that I purchased in 2012 for $1600. I love the picture and nothing better for watching sports. It does throw off some heat that you can actually feel when near it, so not the most energy efficient. I have read that these Plasma's often have board issues, probably from the prolonged heat and usage. I have had zero issue with it, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before an issue comes up. When this happens, the Engineer in me (like another poster suggested), will push me to the internet for repair ideas that I can do myself (yes, I have background in soldering as a Tech, so I have the experience and appropriate tools). Being there is new technology available, if I could not repair for ~<$200 I would opt for a new larger flat screen. Really, no way to get someone to fix it for you less than this price point, so unless you can fix it yourself, best to move on. Op, you indicated you may have a local tech at a reasonable price point. Please don't leave this thread hanging with no update. Let the BH community know what direction you took to help others that may be facing similar decisions in the future. Good luck. :beer
Lee_WSP
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Lee_WSP »

Can you rent an oled and see what it looks like in the house?
Kagord
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Kagord »

Another try and fix it yourself vote.

I have two 1080P Panasonic plasmas from 2010 and 2012. I've done 2 board fixes through EBay, $35 and $50, scouring the internet for the blink code and common issues for that blink code. This is cheaper than my time to get the components and do a board repair myself.

Both are still working, I'm one for throwing $50 at something before it goes to the landfill. My 2 cents, no harm in trying, $50 is a learning expense with the potential feeling of accomplishment, and keeping the superior technology for the time going (OLEDs are better now). Engineering is not needed here, just good research skills on the web, and maybe a $12 multimeter. You don't need a 100Ghz scope for this ;).

I value my plasmas, I can't stand cheap LCD panels. And quite frankly, I really disagree with just throwing something out that's a quality thing that could have a potential cheap fix.
Monsterflockster
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Monsterflockster »

I really miss my old Sony Bravia plasma TV. But the diss decided to throw a tow one day and that was the end of that. Now I got a TLC Roku TV and cut the cord (added a Bose sound bar) and are happy. But nothing came close to the colors, blacks and refresh rate of that old Plasma.
bhsince87
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by bhsince87 »

I just went through this a month ago. 58" Samsung plasma crapped out. I too am an EE, so I tore into it myself. I replaced 4 questionable capacitors, but still had issues.

I found entire boards on ebay for $100-$150. What folks recomend is you replace one board, and if that doesn't fix it, you return it and try the next board. There were 4 boards in mine.

In the mean time, I researched new TVs. I went and looked at a few, and was very impressed with what I saw. So I abandoned all repair attempts.

I had my heart set on an OLED. But in my research, I found that they are even more susceptible to screen burn in than plasma. And since I tend to have a news channel on for hours a day, that was a concern for me.

So I eventually settled on a 65" Samsung QLED. Not quite as much contrast as an OLED, but it is brighter.

And I have been blown away! It is soooo much better than the plasma. 4K makes a huge improvement, even for lower res content. Everything looks better on it than on the plasma. And I'm a pretty serious videophile.

And I also saw a drop in my electric bill. The plasma pulled 700 watts, the LCD is around 75 watts. It ways half as much, so it's much easier to move around.

I'm extremely pleased with it,and I'm kicking myself for wasting a month trying to fix the old plasma.
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finite_difference
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by finite_difference »

seppatown wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:52 pm OP, I had the exact same TV as you until four months ago. 2020 Plasma crew checking in.

Due to a home move, I gave away the TV (still in perfect working condition) and purchased a 65" Sony X950G. To be clear here, it's an LED TV, not OLED.

I'm more than happy with the change. A couple specific talking points:

-Motion: I highly prefer to watch content at its native framerate and absolutely hate the interpolation function on modern TVs. New, high-end TVs don't have any issues with motion at either 24 or 30 fps. There's been absolutely zero reduced performance compared to plasma, which as you know, doesn't really refresh at 600Hz anyways.

-Brightness: I can now watch TV at any time of the day. Peak brightness is pushing 1000 nits, and I'm more than happy around 500 in the daytime.

-Resolution: 4k offers real, tangible benefits at standard viewing distances. You'll notice and enjoy the difference. All the big streaming services offer native 4k content, so content availability is no longer an issue anymore. The upscaling is also very good on this particular TV, so your 1080p content will look a little sharper on a 4k vs 1080p TV.

-OLED vs LED: At the high end, there's way less of a difference than people imagine. Shop display units always run screen-saver like animations on OLED for a reason - putting vivid colors against pitch black looks very nice. Problem is - this kind of color contrast never occurs in live content, and is still rare with animated content. There's generally going to be a color/luminosity gradient - except with title shots against pitch black - that cancels out the benefits of OLED. Title shots are the only time I notice "bloom" on my LED.

It sounds like you are happy with your plasma, and there's no compelling reason to change at this point - but don't fall for the fear that the post-plasma world is inferior. It couldn't be further from the truth.
Black levels and pitch black do matter in my opinion during movies and video games. Not necessarily an issue for cable news or sports though.
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ossipago
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by ossipago »

OP here. I am 95% certain that this is a power board failure. My plan is to pull it, send it to one of the online repair shops, and see if that fixes it. It's less than $75 all-in and seems worth it to me. It'll be a few weeks before I can update on the results.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

ossipago wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:55 pm OP here. I am 95% certain that this is a power board failure. My plan is to pull it, send it to one of the online repair shops, and see if that fixes it. It's less than $75 all-in and seems worth it to me. It'll be a few weeks before I can update on the results.
Good luck!

Regardless of outcome, when you post a follow-up please include the name of the shop (if within the rules of this forum) so that others of us who may face the same issue can have a data point about the shop's service.
Kagord
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Kagord »

Take pictures as you disassemble, have a pillbox or something for the screws and note where they came from, it will be a lot of screws.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Kagord wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:40 pm Take pictures as you disassemble, have a pillbox or something for the screws and note where they came from, it will be a lot of screws.
Cell phone pics work well IME. One of my Panasonics also had some "hidden" screws that viewing a YouTube prior to proceeding helped me with.
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LadyGeek
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Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

Post by LadyGeek »

Be sure to calibrate your beloved plasma every once in while - especially after a board repair.

Get a good test pattern DVD and put it through its paces.

Those into high-def home theater can search AVS Forum for their model's calibration settings. They have a dedicated Display Calibration forum.
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