Saturday, September 12, 2009

How I fixed my DLP TV

A year after the warranty expired, lots of little dots started appearing in my Samsung DLP TV. I did some research and found it would be around $500 to have it repaired. I also found I could repair myself for around $150. That seemed worth risk. Here is how I did it. Click the pictures to enbiggen.parts and toolsI started with the following supplies left to right in the photo above:
  1. Latex gloves  -  So as not to get finger oil on any of the sensitive parts – lens or dlp chip.  Also, they provide some insulation against electric shock.
  2. High quality heat sink paste – the (probable) reason the dots appeared in the first place was that the heat sink wasn’t properly melded to the chip, and it got too hot.
  3. Needle Nose pliers
  4. Replacement DLP Chip from samsungstore.com.  My TV is the HLT5675S, and this is the part that fit my model.
  5. Screw Driver
  6. Disassembly instructions from the “Disassembly Reassembly.pdf” document found here.

back of tv exposedI started by removing the back panel.  The whole thing comes off including the lamp cover area.  tray almost outThis metal tray holds the “light engine”.  To the left is the power supply.  I had to remove a screw from it to move it up and out of the way to let the tray slide out.  Now is a good time to put the gloves on.tray out shroud offThe tray is out and I’ve removed the shroud that encloses the lens.  The bulb is on the right behind that fan.  Just to the left of the bulb assembly is the color wheel housing.  The DLP chip is behind that heat sink.  Be careful not to touch the lens.heat sink tape WTHUse the needle nose pliers to lift one end of the metal band holding the sink.  The band should come off easily.  The heat sink will probably take a bit of a twist and pull to come off.   Look what samsung put on the heat sink – tape!  That’s the worst. 

When I put the heat sink back on, I scraped all the tape off first.  I cleansed it with rubbing alcohol to get all the gunk off.  Then I applied some thermal compound to it. shield offThe heat sink is off, and there are just a few screws to remove the metal shroud.  There are four screws around where the heat sink is – those have to come out to get the circuit board out.  Do not ever turn the yellow/green screws in the picture below (in the above picture they have white half circles around them.)  Those are alignment screws, and it is very hard to re-align the TV once it’s screwed up.board separatedThis is the circuit board taken off and leaning forward.  You can see where the light is projected through that hole onto the chip.specksClick the picture to enlarge so that you can see the dead pixels clearly.  When the chip is at rest, the normal pixels are in the black position.  The dead ones are permanently stuck in the white position.socketIt just takes a little prying to get the chip out.  I didn’t worry too much about bending the pens because the chip is kaput anyway.

There’s only one way for the new chip to go into the socket.  Re-assembly pretty much goes the same way but in reverse.

I didn’t go into great detail because the pdf I linked to above does that pretty well.  The components in my TV were only a little different than the pictures in the manual – so I made this post for other people with TVs like mine.

Special thanks to the people that contributed to avsforum in this thread.

31 comments:

David Watson said...

Nicely Done...
Watson

Terence said...

Incredible! Without this blog, my TV would still have white & black dots all over it! I downloaded and viewed the actual disassembly / assembly at drop.io, but it was all really too much information... This blog summed everything up, and I was able to basically just take the back off and get right to where I needed to go... Thank you so much! Really! Thank you so so much, I'm still in disbelief the problem is fixed!

Anonymous said...

About to jump into the same problem with my DLP. Thanks for posting! How long did it take you guys from start to finish?

Matt said...

I went pretty slow - checking the less than perfect instructions every minute - and it took me around 90 minutes.

I could do it again in 30, I think. if I were you, I'd plan for 60 if your TV is exactly like mine, otherwise 90.

Jim Kane said...

Thanks very much for posting these directions. They enabled me to swap the chip out in my dot-infested HL-S5686W with only an hour or so of head scratching. Now I have encountered a different problem and I'm wondering if you might have experienced it. I swear on a stack of bibles that I touched none of the three NOT TO BE TOUCHED adjustment screws. With that said, when I turn on the TV now it appears to be incredibly out of focus. Blobs of color are all that can be discerned on the screen. This affects menus as well as regular inputs. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what it could be. Nothing appears to be labelled "focus" in the service manual and my Google searches have been futile. Has anyone else run into this? I will probably visit avsforum next but I wanted to start here.

Matt said...

I'm sorry, I don't know how to help you. There may be something in the drop.io dump that I link to in this post. There are a lot of documents in there that I haven't gone through.

Also, I would try posting in the avsforum thread I linked to.

Anonymous said...

How do you apply the thermal compound to the heat sink? Do you put a thin layer on the heat sink and also do you reinstall the sink while the compound is wet?

Matt said...

How do you apply the thermal compound to the heat sink? Do you put a thin layer on the heat sink
Yes. I put a small ball about the size of a BB (3-4 mm) on the heat sink, and smush it on the chip giving it a twist to spread it around. Then I pull the sink back off to check that it spread evenly and wipe excess from the edges. Then I put it back on smushing it and giving it a twist or two.

and also do you reinstall the sink while the compound is wet?
yes definitely. On a computer, you're supposed to leave the PC on for 24 hours to allow the paste to cure from the heat. I didn't do that with the TV. Instead I watched it for 4 hours or so.

You definitely want to put the heat sink back on with wet paste.

John said...

Thanks for the post Matt. No more spots. The DLP swap worked like a charm. The Samsung sites insinuated replacing the entire light engine was the probable fix. Obviously not so. I agree with you that the chip failure was probably due to a heat management issue. When I removed the old chip the heat sink tape crumbled into dust. When anyone tries this fix make sure the new heat sink compound is making full contact. There is a little flange on the chip face of the heat sink that seems to interfere with contact so I would apply the compound, squish the sink on to the chip turning it a little, then check to make sure it made full contact before the final assembly.

Once again Thanks Matt!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Matt for all this info & step by step guide. Noticed you don't live far from me & was going to see what you would charge to replace this part for me. I am female, and need to know if I need to hold some kinda software degree to do this or if it is simple? My TV is about 2 1/2 years old & dots are growing drastically & want to replace prior to having hundreds. Please let me know what you would suggest.

Matt said...

Noticed you don't live far from me & was going to see what you would charge to replace this part for me.
I would want to see it first to verify the model and the problem are the same. You could send me a couple of pictures - one of the problem, and one of the model number.

I would want $125 to come to your house and fix it. The part is around $160 with shipping. So you would be out a total of around $285 if I did it for you.

is it simple?
It is fairly simple to do. If you have ever taken anything apart and put it back together again, you can probably do this.

Please let me know what you would suggest.
I would invite a good friend over for dinner or something, and have them help you by keeping track of screws and cables, and/or keeping place in the directions.

Also, take pictures as you go. When you put it back together, you can check your pictures to see how things were arranged.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this blog. Just fixed mine this weekend. Took about 1 1/2 hours & $160 part. Hope I don't have to do this again in 2 years!

Joe

Stacia said...

Sweet, just fixed my white dots but now my sound does not work, any thoughts?

Matt said...

Sweet, just fixed my white dots but now my sound does not work, any thoughts?
Go into the menu and make sure that the speakers are turned on.

If they are, then I would take the back off and maybe the tray out, and look for loose connections. Maybe one of the ribbon cables didn't get seated properly?

If there's nothing obvious, then I'd seek out the technical manual (maybe at the drop.io link above,) and find out exactly which wire is responsible for speaker out put. It's probably loose, broken, or not seated well in the socket.

AdamL said...

I just want to say thank you for the directions. I had determined from other blogs on the internet that the white dot problem was due to the DLP chip. I spent $150 on the chip and with your directions I was easily able to replace it. This has saved me hundreds of dollars and countless hours of frustration trying to figure out where the chip is located. I have a different model TV, but it was still very simple to follow along. 1 hour and 40 minutes
Thanks again
Adam

Anonymous said...

"got my parts yesterday from UPS. installed it following this instruction." success!!!

mahalo matt!

DavidF said...

Matt
I want to thank you for having done such a great job of explaining the steps. Following your instructions I was able to fix my Samsung in about 2 hours, going slowly step by step. Thanks so much!

Edwin said...

Great job. My turn now. Drop.io is now gone. Do you by any chance have a copy of the PDF.

Matt said...

I put the document on my skydrive, and I updated the link.

tommarin said...

Great instructions. No more white dots, but now have a black line across the bottom of the screen. This appears to be the tilt adjustment.

What are the steps to do the adjustment on the tilt?

Thanks

Matt said...

but now have a black line across the bottom of the screen. This appears to be the tilt adjustment.

What are the steps to do the adjustment on the tilt?


I'm afraid I don't know that. I would suggest requesting help the avforums thread - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=ddf609f6ba97a3391dda775bf23ca3c0&t=1107926

Anonymous said...

After bitching at Samsung until I was blue in the face, I sucked it up and bought the DLP chip and fixed it myself. (Mine cost me $239 probably because my TV is a 61" model.) I work on complex electronic equipment for a living, so I wasn't scared to give it a try. However, since I know nothing about TVs, your step-by-step instructions were very helpful. It took me a little over an hour to repair. I also had to clean the small mirror by the DLP chip since it was covered with a thin layer of dust. I was disgusted that Samsung used nothing more than a piece of tape for heat transference. For all the thought that goes into such a complex piece of equipment, this is what they came up with? The picture is like new now and I can concentrate on the program instead of the dots. Thanks for the help!

Mark
Acworth, Ga.

Mike said...

Matt (OP) and last poster Mark,
I can't thank you two enough. I have a 61" HL61A750 that exhibited the same starry pattern white dots. Contacted Samsung and received the same extremely bad service. Finally decided to tackle this fix myself due to this post and the many comments. I recommend anyone with little experience with assembling there own pc or even replacing or upgrading memory can confidently fix this issue. I am no longer purchasing anything with the samsung label. I have recommended and explained my issue to all my friends and family and encourage they also not purchase Samsung products in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I was looking for confirmation that the chip was the issue and then instructions to replace it. Found this site and took care of it. My TV is now functioning again!

Douglas said...

I am searching for the disassembly assembly pdf that is no longer available at drop.ok.
Could someone post an updated link to this file?

Matt said...

@Douglas it's actually linked in this very post. just ctrl-f and search for dissambly

Anonymous said...

I so wish i had found this post before i went in and removed the "DO NOT TOUCH" screws - now my picture is skewed lower and to the left...this is going to be soooooo much fun.

Maybe i can run the tv with the back shell off and the metal shroud...and just wind those screws to see what happens.

HAHHAHAHAH - yeah i actually am planning on doing that.

Anonymous said...

following up - i did re-align the chip by taking out the 3 screws and had my wife watch the screen while i tweaked the position of the board assembly - got it lined up and carefully screwed them back in - moved the tv back into position and viola!

TheAngryPenguin said...

Thank you for all the work you have put into this post, including replying to many of the comments. I just wanted to let everyone know that Samsung is now replacing the DMD chip free of charge. I just finished up a chat session with their support and they're going to send out a technician to replace the chip within 2 business day. The only caveat is the following excerpt from the agent (which is likely taken directly from a script, as the wording has also been quoted on AVS):

"If your unit exhibits white dots appearing on the screen on all sources and channels, Samsung will provide a onetime courtesy repair to replace the DMD chip. However, should the issue not be related to the DMD chip, you will be offered an estimate for repair and be responsible for the trip charge. Do you consent to these conditions?"

The agent was unable to answer my question about how much the trip charge would be if the root cause was something other than the DMD chip. All in all, it took approximately 30 minutes of my time to get the "courtesy repair" set up.

Hopefully they send the same technician/company that they partnered with to replace the bulging capacitors on my Samsung LCD as a result of a class action lawsuit.

Casper42 said...

Not sure what TV Angry Penguin had but I went through Support Chat and was told to open a Support Ticket. After going through that process all it told me is the setis out of warranty (duh) and I was going to be responsible for ALL Repair Charges.

I have a HLT-6189SX

PS: I found there is a Class Action Lawsuit settlement for certain Samsung DLPs
http://www.samsung.com/us/dlptvsettlement/

Anonymous said...

Thank you!
you helped me decide what thermal conductor i shuold use