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Checkpoint: KDS-50A2000 Yellow Stain Edition

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Update #6:

It’s December 8th, 2009 and the replacement KDL-52V5100 LCD HDTV has arrived!

Update #5:

I received a call from the delivery company today, December 1st, 2009. Good news! The replacement will be delivered on December 8th, 2009! The saga is drawing to a close!

Update #4:

I just noticed that Sony Customer Support charged my credit card for HDTV replacement on November 25th, 2009.

Update #3:

I received a Canada Post delivery notice on November 18th, 2009. I had no idea what it was. I thought it had something to do with my indeterminate employee status for work. I went to pick it up the letter and to my surprise, it was Sony’s offer letter.

Sony is offering a KDL-52V5100 as replacement for just under $400. That’s a pretty damn good offer in my opinion. In exchange for this offer, I absolve Sony of any issues concerning the KDS-50A2000 and its yellow stain issue. In other words: Sony is offering this a settlement of sorts and wiping their hands clean of it all. I think I’m going to take it.

I was considering calling them back and negotiate an upgrade to the KDL-52Z5100, but that would mean calling them, talking and a whole myriad of potential problems. And it’s not like this HDTV they’re offering is terrible. It reviewed well, it’s a 120 Hz display and it will cost me $400! That’s the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I was expecting them to knock $400 off the price tag!

Needless to say, but I’m pretty stoked about this offer. As soon as I sign and fax in the documents, they will deliver it within 14 business days. (Free of charge, of course) Now I just need to figure what the hell I’m going to do with this yellow piece of junk. It still works, just not very accurately. Hmm…

And I need a new HDTV stand as well.

Update #2:

I contacted the local Sony repair shop today, November 16th, 2009. I wanted to know what was going on with my situation. The yellow stain problem has become much more apparent as time passed. Certain Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer maps are highlighting this problem a lot.

This repair shop could not do much for me. They simply stated that I had to wait for Sony to contact me about an “up-sell”. I wasn’t sure what it was and neither was the woman on the line. All she told me to do was wait for Sony to contact me and I wasn’t willing to do that so I insisted that I was provided with a number to speak with Sony directly. She gave me their toll free support number and a reference number for my case.

I called Sony customer support and the gentleman on the other side indicated that they had until November 25th, 2009 to get back to me since they received my documents concerning the optical block problem on November 11th, 2009. (That’s a week after I sent the documents to the local repair shop.) The support person confirmed the fact that my case was being reviewed and that an offer should appear via e-mail by November 25th. I received my reference number and thanked him.

So now I wait. I wait and speculate on how much Sony offer me on this up-sell. I’m surprised by the notion of an offer as this is a known problem which others have received replacement optical blocks before. Why would they offer an up-sell now?

  • Is the optical block replacement insufficient?
  • Is it too costly to replace the optical block?
  • Did they stop making these optical blocks?

Many questions with no answers. I don’t know what to expect, but I hope it’s at least 25% off the cost of a new HDTV. That’s the least they could do in my opinion.

I did learn one important lesson though. I should have contacted Sony directly. The local repair shop is terrible with communication.

Update #1:

I gave the local Sony authorized repair shop a call on November 3rd, 2009 to confirm the receipt of my info and photos. They confirmed it, however it would have been nice to get an e-mail acknowledgement upon receiving it. I asked how long it would take for Sony to give them a quote and they said Sony has 14 business days to get back to them. That’s a long time. Can’t say I’m completely satisfied with the support thus far.

Original post:

So my very first HDTV, the Sony KDS-50A2000, has succumbed to the dreaded “Yellow Stain” issue which apparently plagues a wide range of Sony’s SXRD line of HDTVs. I had heard of the problem back then, only under its other name. I also looked into many impressions from people who purchased their A2000 sets and came away satisfied — no one complained about such problems at the time.

This “Yellow Stain” issue actually goes by other names such as the “Green Haze/Blob” issue and gained prominence with a class action suit filed in the U.S. The root cause of the problem is the optical block which Sony later recognized and extended their warranty for. Others have gotten their sets repaired under warranty or via the extended optical block coverage in the U.S., but what about Canadians?

For me, the problem didn’t manifest itself until recently. That’s nearly 2 years past my warranty and with no info on whether or not Sony extended the optical block coverage in Canada, I decided to place a call. I contacted the local Sony authorized service center asked for a quote. The lady on the line gave out a standard rate for diagnosing a problem, but I then asked: “What if I already know what the problem is?”. I proceeded to explain the “Yellow Stain” issue and then she cut me off and told me a list of things I needed to provide including photos of the receipt, photos of the issue and all the other vital info pertaining to my HDTV set. I was pleased by that.

It sounds like a known problem to me.

Hopefully that means this repair won’t cost me a small fortune.

Those of you who are curious about the problem, I’ve attached some the photos I sent over to the service center. I’ve also included reference photos from my brother’s LG 32H40 set. The Sony KDS-50A2000 is on the left while the LG 32H40 is on the right.

KDS-50A2000 - Gray Calibration Pattern - Yellow Stain Problem LG32H40 - Gray Calibration Pattern - Normal
KDS-50A2000 - Grayscale Pattern  - Yellow Stain Problem LG32H40 - Grayscale Calibration Pattern - Normal
KDS-50A2000 - PS3 XMB - Yellow Stain Problem LG32H40 - PS3 XMB - Normal

As you can see, it’s not an easy problem to ignore.

Do I regret purchasing this screen? Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t? With the same info I had back then I would have made the same choice. At the time, this was the first 50″ true 1080p screen at reasonable price. It served me well and I’m sure it’ll continue to serve me well after the fix. When working and calibrated properly, it produced a very pleasant image — not too bright, not too punchy. It was just right.

If I wasn’t going to pick up this screen, I would have waited for the next true 1080p screen to show up. Instead, I was able to experience high definition gaming on a big screen in 2006. And because of that, I have no regrets.

I’ll be documenting the repair process as information arrives so stay tuned.

2 Responses

  1. Robocrotch
    | Reply

    That sucks =(

    • No_Style
      | Reply

      It does, but it could be worse.

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