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LG: Lesser Goods

Three years ago I bought this LG 47″ FullHD LCD TV.  I do not watch TV.  I needed a good flat panel for graphic work on my computer.  Of all competing technologies available back then, S-IPS, used in the Apple Cinema Display and other high end devices, had the better color rendition.  Due to the very high cost of building TFT factories, there are only a few of them for large display panels.  I did my research and found out that all IPS panels back then were produced by the same factory, an LG Philips joint venture.  So I bought this display for a fraction of the cost of an Apple Cinema Display and with a panel of similar quality.  I was very happy with its color rendition.  Until it lasted.

A few months ago the TV started to show signs of fatigue and last month, shortly before leaving on a trip, the display stayed black.  Unacceptable on a device that is barely three years old!

LG’s support referred me to an authorized repair shop:  $99 to come and see the device on location; $275 flat fee to diagnose and repair it, plus parts – probably a board that goes for $150 on eBay.  Sum it up and it was clear that this money would go toward a new display.  If I was to shell out that much.

Before continuing, the usual disclaimer:  don’t do this at home.  If you do, it is completely your responsibility.  What worked for me may not work for you.  You may hurt yourself or damage property.  You have been warned.

I decided to attempt the repair myself.  On removing the plastic cover it was immediately apparent that one capacitor had leaked and a second one had a bulge ready to burst.  Tired or dead capacitors are easy to recognize:  either they have a bulge on top, or they have already leaked.  You can identify the two tired capacitors in the picture above.

After removing a metal shield I found two more.  I ordered replacement capacitors for $2.50 (there were lower prices too, but I did not want to end up repairing the repair).  Returning from my trip the capacitors were in the mail.It takes a few basic tools to do the job, depicted above.

Within a few minutes, the four bad capacitors are removed…

The picture above shows the empty spaces.

Another few minutes to solder the new parts in the empty spaces…

Then a quick visual inspection by the supervisor and we’re ready to go.  Mount the repaired board quickly and plug the display in.  It worked.  $500 saved!

One Response

  1. I just did my second Optiquest 19″ monitor today, $5 worth of parts saved us $100 worth of monitor.

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