When our Sony Bravia LCD TV developed a permanent case of “double-vision“, we realized that we had nothing to lose by taking a peek at the guts to see if we could find what was wrong with it. If we were lucky, we might even be able to fix the problem for good. Our guess was that one of the edge connectors of the LCD panel had somehow gotten loose. If we could locate the bad connector, perhaps we could find a way to tighten things up. Of course, it was a completely wild-ass guess. Still, the only way to know is to take the Sony apart and look at the connectors.
Removing the metal frame of the LCD panel to expose the edge connectors can only be done from the front. In order to have access to the frame, we had to remove the rear housing and the front frame. Both were held in place by screws in the back and there were a lot of them. Once we located and removed them all, the two pieces came off easily. The same was true of the metal frame around the LCD panel.
With the frame off, we now had our first good look at the edge connectors. They were on all three sides of the LCD, but only the top connectors were attached to circuit boards. We don’t know if the ones on the left and right sides had any functions, but touching them had no affect on the display. However, we did notice that when the frame was touched in such a way that it moved the top circuit boards, the picture cleared up (see the video). This is not conclusive evidence that the problem was with the boards, as other things may have moved as well, but it made us hopeful that it was possible to locate the exact sweet-spot which would have the desired effect.
We carefully pressed on the various part of the circuit board, the LCD panel, and places where we thought would not short out anything. When we lightly touched the foam piece on the top right of the edge-connector circuit board, the ghosting disappeared! Knowing that the foam piece could not be the source of the problem, we look a bit closer at the board. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but lightly pressing on the board definitely did the trick.
What we have found is NOT the root cause of the problem, but perhaps if we add a piece of foam to give some extra pressure to the board, it would be a way to keep the problem from happening. This extra-padding solution is no less “magical” than flexing or tapping the screen. So there is no guarantee that when we put everything back together the TV will not still have a problem. In order to have some confidence that our “fix” will work, we turned off/on the TV a few times to see if the picture would come back on properly. Unfortunately, the problem was still hit-or-miss.
After two days of trying, we are sad to report that we were not sucessful in finding a fool-proof way of stablizing the picture. There were a lot of random successes, but nothing which gave a better clue as to what is happening. We did discover that having the large screen on the floor was actually quite comfortable a way of watching TV. However, a partially disassembled TV on the floor does take up a lot of space. As an interim solution, we decide to remount the LCD panel back on the wall without the front frame. This will give us easy access to the LCD panel when we need to fiddle with things.
Now that we have had some hands-on time with the guts of the Sony Bravia, we have some new theories as to what may be causing the problem. We still have hope that we’ll find a permanent solution. However, if we have to get a new TV, one thing that is for sure is we will not be paying a premium to get a high-end set. It is likely that we’ll go with a less expensive brand like Vizio. We may even consider getting the extended warranty, something which we have never done with any electronics in the past. Just kidding…extended warranties are total ripoffs. At this time, our recommendation is to consider the LCD TV to be a 2-3 year consumable and make the buying decisions accordingly. Wonder if it would be possible to lease a large screen TV?