Print 64 comment(s) - last by Sailor23M.. on May 28 at 9:55 PM

The last Samsung product I'll ever buy.
Quality is dead. Samsung killed it.

My story begins quite innocently, in the autumn of 2007. A young couple that recently struck out on their own was gearing up to make their first big purchase as independent adults.  

After much debate and web browsing, they settled on a Samsung 42-inch plasma HDTV from Best Buy. The store was running a financing offer -- three years, same as cash -- and the monthly payments were well within the couple's budget.

For three-and-a-half years, the TV was a stalwart member of the family. It saw the couple get married, adopt its first dog, and purchase its first home. (And, unlike the dog, the trusty TV never made a mess and always responded when called.) 

Then one day, something changed. During a regular daytime broadcast of The View, or E! News, or whatever other ungodly programming the young lady watched when her husband was not around; the dependable television turned itself off in protest. The girl looked around, bewildered. But the TV could not bear to see the girl suffer without her programs, so it promptly turned itself back on without much pause. But for the first time, the TV tasted freedom -- unshackled from the invisible chains of a remote control.

Things only continued to get worse. The TV began acting as if it were possessed, sometimes during a Detroit Red Wings playoff hockey game, other times interrupting The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (which was creepy enough without electronic equipment controlling itself). And the acts of dissent intensified. It would take longer and longer for the TV to give in to the mewling of its adoptive owners. It would incessantly click on and off for twenty-minute intervals.


That's where the fairytale ends. The reality was much more upsetting. After a few quick Google searches, I found out that Samsung HDTVs power-cycling themselves is not an uncommon phenomena. After a little more digging, a picture of the situation began to emerge. From 2006 until 2009, Samsung (and others, I'm sure) used cheap Samwha capacitors that, according to comments on the forum (I know, not exactly an "expert source" or anything), were known to be poor quality and blow out quickly. Further research also concluded that, left unattended, the problem could fry the entire power supply.

Taking the issue to Samsung led nowhere. They simply gave me the address of a company that could fix it on the other side of town, and told me that I was on my own. It was well out of the one-year manufacturer warranty, and even if I'd purchased an extended warranty, they only offered a three year warranty at the time. 

(Side-note: A colleague of mine had purchased an extended-warranty on his Samsung LCD, where they offered to refund a certain percentage of the cost of the warranty if it went unused for the entire warranty period. Of course, his caps went bad two years in and Samsung sent a tech out to replace them. Because he'd used it, he would not be receiving any kind of warranty refund.)

I took my grievances to Facebook, just to vent. In addition to the comments from friends discussing how quality in pretty much every manufactured good is non-existent, I also received additional anecdotal evidence of just how widespread the Samsung problem is: "My Samsung just crapper too. Only 4 years old," one friend wrote. "
Our samsung did something funky like that earlier this year, and it was only about 2 years old. WTF!," wrote another. 

After mulling over the prospect of replacing the caps myself, I decided to take it to a local TV-repair shop known to be the best around (in terms of price, quality of work, and customer service). I called to get a ballpark estimate of the cost of repair: $100-$125, if it was limited to bad caps.

(Another side-note: I'm a writer, not an electrician. I would have had to order parts, wait for them to come in, take the TV apart, buy a soldering gun, and then try not to damage the power supply myself. I wanted to be sure that everything that was damaged would be replaced, and replaced correctly.)

When I dropped the TV off the next morning at Northern Television Appliance Co. in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, the owner's story wasn't too far off from what the commenters on the forum had said. For a few years, a number of TV manufacturers switched over to using cheap Chinese capacitors, he said. Then, some time in 2009, they switched back to higher quality ones made in Korea and Japan, although some lower-end manufacturers still use the Chinese ones. 

Either way, he'd have an estimate for me in a couple of hours, and could have it fixed by the end of the day. 

I got a call around lunch time. As suspected, four capacitors were fried, along with two transformers. The total cost would be $150, and I could pick it up before they closed that day. I did, and I'm happy. (Final side-note: I can't praise Northern TV and its owner/operator enough for his courteousness, honesty, swiftness, and quality of service.)

It could have been much worse, and it wasn't really all that bad to begin with. It's just the principal of the whole scenario that got to me (added to the fact that the tie rods on my wife's five-year-old car were found to be in dangerously bad condition on the same day). When you shell out a thousand bucks on a piece of equipment, you hope that it will last longer than three years, and that the company that made it will stand behind its work. If it knowingly used faulty parts in its products, it should be up to the manufacturer to resolve the situation. That's what recalls are for. 

That's my sob story, and I'm sticking to it -- by never buying another Samsung product again!

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Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By ol1bit on 5/7/2011 8:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
So you didn't take the 3 year warranty, and since you bought at Best Buy I know they offer a 5 year more most items...

And then on top of all that it only cost $150 to fix.

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By adiposity on 5/7/2011 11:01:35 PM , Rating: 3
Hell it cost me $150 to replace the bulb in my SXRD. What a whiner.

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By bdschuler on 5/8/2011 12:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
I so agree. I read and reread the article to see if I missed something. I actually started to feel sorry for Samsung because even though they offer a warranty.. customers expect items to last forever without ever needing repair. And if they do need repair and the person didn't buy the extended warranty, they will badmouth them all over the internet. How is that fair?

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By zzeoss on 5/9/2011 2:01:40 AM , Rating: 3
you all kindof missed the point.
i blame it on planned obsolescence.
it'll hit you sooner or later.

had similar problems with a Viewsonic proffesional LCD PC monitor.
- few months after the warranty, the caps died (heat and compact design doesn't help), replaced them.
- 3 months later the soldering started to crack, fixed that too (as much as it could be fixed).

they can plan the obsolescence in crazy detail these days.
do i need a tin foil hat?

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By TheDoc9 on 5/10/2011 10:45:01 AM , Rating: 3
No you don't need the hat. I don't know why you're rated down. Apparently the kids on this site aren't old enough to remember when products actually were engineered properly and companies stood behind their work.

It's sad that many of the posters here are so brainwashed that they are defending these actions. I've purchased a few Samsung products over the years. They've all been shady although not totally dead yet. My Sony PS3 died recently after approx. 3 years.

There's one sure way to solve this, and thats to buy the replacements from other companies.

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By BarnabusFig on 5/12/2011 2:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh yes, when quality of workmanship and customer satisfaction was job #1.

When America, Japan and Germany battled for the crown of most reliable product.

These days cheap, faster and more are the corporate mantras. Oh well, in another 50 years nobody will be left around to remember that quality was a priority and we'll march on with our disposable, commodified and service oriented lives constantly paying for things over and over again.

By jtemplin on 5/20/2011 8:12:28 PM , Rating: 1
Why worry about that? Thanks to the internet, I can learn exactly where/how to spend my $ to get the quality I demand of certain products (toilet paper for Although now we have to wade through a chin-deep torrent of bullshit spewed by marketers : /

Quality is alive and well! And thanks to DIY manufacturing and scaling down of startup costs, quality parts/products are here to stay IMO. For example, some guy laser cuts bicycle chain rings made of high grade aluminum--out of his garage. If anything, I expect stratification of the quality spectrum continuing to occur--with a very FAT mid distribution (+/-1 SD from mean).

By priusone on 5/9/2011 11:13:42 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, some of you should go to other countries where the warranty expires the second you walk out the door.

Your TV lasted three years and only cost the equivalent of $50 a year to fix, that's awesome.

I bought several PS2's because the lasers kept going out on them. The third was a slim design and never had any problems with it. I'm glad that Samsung, and Sony, learned that using junk components will impact consumers perception of the brands quality. That said, a trucker buddy of mine bought a cheap 32in LCD off brand Wal-Mart TV almost 4 years ago. The thing have over a million miles and countless hours and still works; proof that once in a while you get more bang for the buck.

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By MrBlastman on 5/9/2011 2:15:46 PM , Rating: 5
Last forever? Lets see, dropping over a grand on a television and wanting it to last more than three years sounds _very_ reasonable to me. It is obvious Samsung went to cheaper parts and they really could care less if their consumers suffer as a result.

Problem is, if I were a consumer and paid for a product and it stopped working like the author's did--I also probably wouldn't buy another product from that manufacturer again. The free markets will eventually decide their fate.

But--you really should get more than a few years out of something you buy... many more, actually. I am still using a Sony TV (tube) that I got back in 1996--works great. I also have a working computer PSU from... 1990 and it _still_ works great (classic gaming PC). There are plenty of products that will stand the test of time.

The ones that don't... and their manufacturers, will ultimately not.

By Wolfpup on 5/10/2011 11:06:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well I think it's an interesting article. As it happens...I bought a Samsung TV in 2009, instead of Sony, since at the time Sony didn't offer LED backlit models.

At least now I won't be surprised if mine starts doing this!

I'm really surprised that this can even be repaired though-or that there are any repair places left. We used to have them around here-places that had been in business for half a century...and they've all closed in the last 10-20 years :-/

By jms102285 on 5/15/2011 3:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to me the writer of this story left out the part where he called Samsung support and demanded that his TV set be replaced for free immediately, threatening to write a scathing story about them on tech news sites if they didn't bend to his will.

Cool story bro, but honestly this isn't remotely close to Journalism, this is just plain sad drivel posted up in rage. I hope DailyTech takes it down, it doesn't belong on their front page.

RE: Seems like a pathetic vent to me...
By bigboxes on 5/17/2011 7:23:31 PM , Rating: 3
1. Those who purchase the extended warranties are idiots. Retailers that sell them do so, why?, because they make MONEY. In fact, easy money. Why? Because most never use them. Save the money you'd otherwise use on the extended warranty and put it towards your next purchase. Electronics depreciate over time until you'll want the newer model anyway.

2. Many don't remember the quality tv sets of the past that periodically needed maintenance with new vacuum tubes and other adjustments just to keep them working properly. Heck, my friend is continually cursing his DLP purchase that requires him to purchase $150 bulbs on an annual basis, not to mention the other costs to fix the overheating issues.

3. Samsung should have used quality caps, but $150 to repair the unit seems reasonable unless you just have to have the latest and greatest. In that case just purchase a new set.

By Skywalker123 on 5/7/2011 10:40:51 PM , Rating: 4
Never had a problem with Samsung.

By Gzus666 on 5/9/2011 9:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
Same here, have had multiple Samsung monitors and they have been nothing short of awesome. Just bought a new one in fact and it is absolutely gorgeous.

By frobizzle on 5/11/2011 10:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
Never had a problem with Samsung.

Neither have I yet, however...

I have been using Samsung hard drives and been pleased with them but I will not buy another Samsung (branded) drive after Seagate bought the drive division out!

By StanO360 on 5/24/2011 12:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding? I've had problems with Maxtor, WD, but never Seagate. I've never bought Hitachi or Samsung, it's never been worth it.

Truly, who has problems with hard drives in the last 10 years? The problems I did have were on something like 250mb drives!

By FITCamaro on 5/24/2011 4:14:22 PM , Rating: 1
Yup. My first LCD monitor ever from 2003 is a Samsung still works the same as it did on day 1.

I actually trust Samsung more than I do Sony. Mainly because the shit is largely the exact same thing and Samsung is cheaper.

By tng on 5/11/2011 8:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
I noticed after buying a LCD set from them a couple of years ago that it is much less sophisticated than the much older Sharp LCDs that I have at home.

Also Samsung has a habit of patent infringement if you pay attention to the news. They started their Plasma TV line by ripping off Pioneer, started their LCD TV line by ripping off Sharp, who knows what else they do...

I certainly will not be purchasing another Samsung product.

By TerranMagistrate on 5/7/2011 1:42:28 AM , Rating: 4
I like Panasonic.

RE: Panasonic
By YashBudini on 5/9/2011 9:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about lately but they used to make all their components.

RE: Panasonic
By Flunk on 5/9/2011 10:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Panasonic TV that after about a year refused to turn on unless I totally unplugged and plugged it back in. No other problems, when consulting a TV technician he suggested that the power supply might be acting up and possibly needed replacing.

After looking it up on the internet I found out that there is a firmware update that corrects this exact problem. I found out that the TV has a "service use only" SDCard slot in the back that can flash the firmware. I quickly loaded the firmware on a regular SD Card and flashed the firmware ( fingers crossed) and it fixed the problem entirely. I'm lucky to be a very technical person but I can't imagine that the majority of people would even realise that a fix like this is possible.

The whole point of my story is that every single manufacturer has quality issues. Some worse than others.

RE: Panasonic
By kake on 5/15/2011 11:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
All 70 lbs of our space heater/42" plasma has been one of the most reliable electronic devices I've ever owned, and it's on 12+ hours a day.

To boot, 1080p Panasonic plasma is gorgeous.

RE: Panasonic
By FITCamaro on 5/24/2011 4:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 50" Panasonic Plasma 1080p TV. Love it. Read a bunch of reviews online. It wasn't the best or most expensive. But bang for the buck was quite high. Doesn't have any fancy internet features but I didn't need them.

Yours must be older too because even after its been on for an hour, my TV is barely warm.

You get what you pay for!
By jnemesh on 5/9/2011 1:34:53 PM , Rating: 1
Customer gripe all day long about price, they shop and shop and shop for the cheapest set with the biggest picture size...then, when the product inevitably fails, they blame the manufacturer! This is UNREAL!

If you are only willing to pay for the cheapest possible product, that is what the manufacturers will provide! I have seen the build quality of flat panel sets plummet over the past 5 years, as every year we see lower and lower prices for larger and larger sets. The average customer doesnt ever look at things like the quality of capacitors or the quality of the power supply when making a selection at the local "Big Box Mart", they are too concerned with the color of the bezel or the shape of the remote control!

In short, dont blame Samsung, blame American consumers.

P.S. That 5 year warranty option is looking pretty good now, isnt it?

RE: You get what you pay for!
By kitonne on 5/9/2011 5:49:50 PM , Rating: 4
Actually.... NO! For TVs, washing machines, AC and heating units, as well as fridges, the expectations were set many years ago, by similar type objects purchased by your parents, friends and relatives. People grew up expecting specific household items to have 20+ years life spans, regardless of their (much shorter) warranties.

My new water heater had a 1 year warranty, but I expect 20+ years of service out of it. Same for my dryer. When I moved into my first apartment I purchased a 20" Quasar TV (Motorola) which was already 20 years old at the time. I used it for 5 years, then gave it away still in perfect working order. I am aware of many TV sets from Panasonic, Sony, Zenith, Phillips, etc. which were still working fine 25 to 30 years after their purchase date.

To say that TVs are OK to fail shortly after their warranty expires is simply wrong. Car manufacturers offer free fixes for manufacturing defects long after warranty lapses. I see no reason not to hold all providers of long-use house hold devices to the same standard. When the legal system fails us (no legal remedies available in the US past warranty in most cases), rants like this make people aware of which manufacturers stand behind their products, and which do not.

I have seen Samsung TVs fail after a couple of month in the field, and this points to a process quality issue in their design and manufacturing flows. When the failure is due to a known component issue, and Samsung does not fix it for free (specially in a high dollar item as a TV), they deserve all the bad publicity coming their way. I (may) understand refusing service for a random issue, but when the problem comes from a known and well documented snafu at the manufacturing end, they have no leg to stand on, and loosing future sales from past customers is their just reward.

RE: You get what you pay for!
By Freddo on 5/13/2011 7:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree there. I have 2 TVs that are about 20 years old, and they still work. And my parents have a TV that is about 35 years old, and it still work too.

If I buy a TV I expect it to work for at least 10 years.

Honorable Mentions
By xeno81 on 5/12/2011 8:29:22 AM , Rating: 3
Let's not forget the Galaxy S phones my family has. Out of 5 of them, 1 regularly shuts off on it's own, and 2 others shut down occasionally; every other day or so.

And let's not forget our Honorable Mention of Abandonware, known as the "Samsung Moment". A phone so terrible and flawed in design, that they not only stopped selling them sooner than most Android phones... they stopped acknowledging they existed, stopped supporting them, and just... became the stuff of legend. I suffered through a few of said phone, before I just bought a used Optimus S off Swappa.

Despite those two simple examples, Samsung has been known as a manufacturer of "abandonware" with smartphones being highest profile.

RE: Honorable Mentions
By sxr7171 on 5/13/2011 1:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Galaxy S and yes it is pure abandonware. Barely used it and went running back to my closed iPhone 4 that at least has support. I would never buy a Samsung phone again and just stick to Moto, HTC and Apple. But it also is a major Android problem with fragmentation and carrier whores creating variants that get different updates and ROMs. Can I just buy mine unlocked/unsubsidized?

That having been said this article is a dumb rant that I wouldn't expect to read on a tech blog. I expect that writers in the tech world would be a little more savvy. I have seen lemon products from Sony also but I haven't stopped buying Sony products. Bad caps happen to all manufacturers, and it just comes down to how they service and support the product. From what I read here Samsung handled the issue at least the same as most companies would and better than Sony would have.

lame vent
By tastyratz on 5/7/2011 9:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
Really? You had a problem that most manufacturers had at that period for most devices, and you blame Samsung one of the many for your out of warranty failure? Bitter misplacement on your easy fix. In warranty and you can complain, out of warranty it is pretty clear you are on your own.

RE: lame vent
By inaphasia on 5/9/2011 6:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Very true. I did hours of googling last year to fix my old 17inch LG monitor made in 2007. 2 bad caps costing 50cents each and a borrowed soldering iron from a friend was all I needed. Most people recommended changing the two transformers as well, but it's been working for almost a year without 'em:) It really was an easy fix, and the only one I've made in my life.

"...a problem that most manufacturers had at that period for most devices". So yeah, I know that looks like a sweeping statement but it's quite accurate.

Extremely Common
By mindless1 on 5/9/2011 1:50:33 AM , Rating: 4
This is an extremely common problem. So much so that I am generally surprised when a TV or computer monitor lasts more than 3 years if it is ran several hours daily.

It's not limited to certain brands or certain time periods, practically ALL products that don't advertise having Japanese capacitors can be assumed to eventually die prematurely from it.

You are best off either doing the repair yourself OR having someone who gives you details and options do it. If repaired well there will be high quality, top brand Japanese capacitors used, not just someone's "favorite" (because that is what it is cheaper for them to stock).

If you don't go top shelf you can expect them to fail again. Trying to shrink down the size of everything and having the PSU in a metal shielded passively cooled enclosure turns it into an EZ-Bake oven, even if low quality capacitors were used, a humble fan to exhaust heated air would suffice but in the quest to raise profits almost everyone only builds to last the warranty period today.

Get a soldering iron, practice using it. The skill will serve you many times in the future and besides the mental block some have of not doing it themselves, it is also great when you can repair something the same day, even same hour it broke so you aren't left doing without the use of the product for any longer than necessary, and ultimately when you count the amount of time to find a repair center or box it up to ship, plus driving time, plus gas, repairing things yourself starts to look better and better. Oh, and it's GREEN (lol I should stab myself in the eye with a fork for writing that).

Welcome to the club
By Breakfast Susej on 5/7/2011 12:50:41 PM , Rating: 3
The bad capacitor epidemic affected quite a lot of different electronics.

We used to use a great deal of D-link 3526 managed switches at work. Almost every single 3526 we ever purchased had a power supply with bad caps on it. Like clockwork you could pop them open and see the telltale leaking caps on the power supply.

D-link to their credit stood behind the product and would just send out boxes of bulk power supplies.

Eventually we converted every switch we have to DC power by modding the connector and feeding them direct 12v power through a converter from our main 24v power in our application, for battery back-up purposes. They are bomb proof at that point. And of course now the 3526 has been retired for another product that we use in the same way.

I had bad caps on the motherboard of one of my systems in the 00's as well.

Like I said above they were quite a plague. Very very easy to change if you have a soldering iron that is. Easy to get a hold of electronic replacement parts like that too. I get all my mod parts and stuff of the like from, I recommend it highly.

But that's the world of consumer electronics. The cheapest component wins. Two cents saved on a crappy capacitor for a million unit production wins out.

you're kidding right
By Burned on 5/7/2011 5:37:08 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't matter what brand of electronics you buy, they all went thru this problem of bad capacitors. That is why you now see manufacturers advertising they use long life Japanese capacitors.
I love my Series 6 650 Samsung TV. The picture is awesome.

By Masospaghetti on 5/8/2011 5:40:17 PM , Rating: 3
...we sell ourselves out to a low price.

Can't have it all, either you get good quality or low prices, not both. I remember the tiny 15" Toshiba tube TV I bought back in 1990 cost $600, which was a lot for 21 years ago. But that TV worked for a long time and wasn't made in China.

Likewise, my Sharp TV from 1993 and Sanyo from 1996, both made in the USA, still work like the day they were built.

It's hard to even imagine these goods were ever manufactured domestically considering what you find in Walmart these days.

Terminology change required
By Galcobar on 5/10/2011 4:07:50 AM , Rating: 3
Economists use a term to describe products such as televisions, vehicles and appliances: durable goods.

The implication is that they endure for a significant length of time. It would seem that term might be obsolete.

Sadly, I disagree with the premise of the article in blaming a brand, but do agree with the overall decrease in the durability of goods.

My parents had a dishwasher that was installed when their house was built, in 1970. It died a couple of years ago. Think about that, a home appliance lasting some 40 years. Their refrigerator and stove/oven are still going. They design commercial buildings to lower life expectancies now.

Would you have ANY expectation that similar appliances purchased today would last half as long?

Nothing new
By lowsidex2 on 5/6/2011 7:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'll never buy another __________ product again!
(insert name of manufacturer here)

Everyone has one of these stories. It's the era we live in. Price is everything and quality is nothing with disposable electronics. Not that many would consider a $1000 TV disposable but $500? $300? I'll admit to being one of those people who just doesn't want to screw with trying to get justice or fixing it and will just go buy a new one. Path of least resistance.

easy fix
By mmichii on 5/7/2011 4:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
its an easy fix. costs a few bucks in capacitors and maybe 30 minutes of your time. supplies found easily found at radio shack. i checked the caps on my own ln40a750 from time to time looking for the telltale bulge. Those of you who don't know go to avsforum or just google or youtube it. many many tutorials. Even if the power supply is dead skip the repair guy and just get go to Swap it out yourself and send back the old one to recover your core charge.

i understand what your saying but vizio is way worse. in this day and age very few companies do right by their customers. the only one i can think of is panasonic known for their excellent service. However their plasmas are known for their rising black levels among other faults. their lcds use ips panels known for great viewing angles but poor black levels.

By vazili on 5/7/2011 10:17:31 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that why these companies offer protection services? I do it all the time.

Agree, no Samsung for me.
By BadBiscuit on 5/8/2011 2:03:01 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. A monitor and/or TV should be expected to last 5+ years without repairs. It sounds like Samsung (and some others) gambled on low cost parts that turned out to be faulty. Sure they can point to their limited warranty and stick the consumer with the cost, but correcting the flaw at no cost is the right thing to do. Choose to buy an extended warranties if you like, but I prefer to buy from manufactures known to produce quality products and stand behind them. Based on this, mine and the experiences of others Samsung will not be on my list for future TV purchases. Let your wallet do the talking.

By bug77 on 5/8/2011 7:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
When you shell out a thousand bucks on a piece of equipment, you hope that it will last longer than three years, and that the company that made it will stand behind its work.

So, what did you think that 1 year warranty was all about?

I agree
By Pessimism on 5/9/2011 10:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
Its getting to the point where they should just start labelling the capacitor brand on the packaging, marketers would have a field day with it. I have a 3 year old Toshiba 32AV500U LCD TV with a blown HDMI input, and it sometimes decides to take 5-10 attempts to turn it on. Internet says.... BAD CAPACITORS. TV Shop took one look and gave up and said use it until it dies competely then throw it away... not worth a repair.

I can't...
By Aikouka on 5/9/2011 4:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can't really blame him... it's our mindset that we don't want to spend a ton of money on something to find out that we've been "cheated" by the company cutting corners to save a buck, and pretty much ignoring the problem that their greed causes.

I own a 46" Samsung DLP, and after I had to spend around $200 to replace the DMD panel in it, I'm not sure if I'll buy a Samsung again either. What takes it from a non-issue to a personal boycott for me is if this is a widespread issue, and the company doesn't care outside of a unit that is still under warranty.

If you look up "Samsung DLP white spot" on Google, you'll see that DMD panels going bad is not an uncommon issue with Samsung DLPs around my year. I would still probably consider Samsung again, but I would put a lot more consideration into it and probably look for issues plaguing the units in question. My last TV purchase was actually a Mitsubishi DLP, which has been working fine for me.

I seem to have bad luck with technology though, because I own 2 Dell UltraSharp 2709W monitors (~$800 retail) and both of them are flawed by what I assume is the design. If you Google "dell 2709w goes black", you'll see a decent amount of people with an issue where the monitor will suddenly lose its signal for a second and then get it back. This happens on both of my units, and I'm more worried about getting replacements with dead pixels (which Dell will not replace unless it's 5 or more I believe) than randomly dropping a signal.

I'm wondering if it could be a heat problem... those Dell monitors get *hot*.

By YashBudini on 5/9/2011 9:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
Over at

You haven't seen a bad cap until you read some of the reviews posted on this site.

Wait . . . what?
By SurreDeth on 5/10/2011 10:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
You didn't already know Samsung is crap?

Samsung Fixed Mine Out of Warranty
By Xaussie on 5/10/2011 4:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
I had this problem with a three year old LN52A750 and called Samsung. They sent out a technician who took less than 20 minutes to replace two electrolytics. All covered by Samsung. He mentioned to me that LG Philips had the same issue but their customers were having to pick up the cost themselves. Maybe it depends what area you live in but in my experience Samsung gets maximum kudos for their support.

Warranties and QC
By wallijonn on 5/11/2011 11:56:32 AM , Rating: 2
Before buying I will always look at the warranty period. If the manufacturer has no faith in their product why should I buy it? I don't buy any product unless it has a 3 year warranty. Or I buy an extended warranty. Doesn't always work, though. Even with a 2 year extended warranty my XBox360 died a week after the warranty expired. When it came to HDs I only bought Seagate drives because of their 5 year warranty.

The plain fact is that some manufacturers engineer their products to fail after the warranty period. I have repaired over 200 CRT monitors for pop-corning caps. Each cost $2 to fix. Only 1 unit failed under warranty.

I didn't buy an LCD HDTV because of the trouble it takes to replace blown LCD fluorescent bulbs. The LED bulbs hopefully will last longer. Can you imagine replacing the LCD bulb(s) on a 52" TV? No, thank you. It's hard enough doing it on laptops.

If I pay $2000 to $3000 for an HDTV it had better last longer than 3 years.

Samsung Treated me right.
By jpdrums on 5/11/2011 3:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
Same thing happened to my Samsung TV earlier this year. It would take over a minute to turn on and it would cycle back and forth. I called Samsung and they arranged for someone to come out to my house free of charge within a few days. At that time the tech replaced the capacitors and it's been great ever since. Maybe your support agent was having a bad day.

By jfelano on 5/11/2011 5:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
Monitors only come with a 3 yr warranty. You don't cry on some forum when it dies in 4 yrs.

You buy a tv with a 1 yr warranty, it lasts 3.5yrs and your whining about it? Your lucky it lasted that long. You get what you pay for.

I bought a Panasonic plasma, it came with a 5yr warranty, which is expiring this month. It still runs perfect. (knocking on wood)

Your math sucks.
By Smilin on 5/11/2011 5:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
The store was running a financing offer -- three years, same as cash -- and the monthly payments were well within the couple's budget.

If you have to *borrow money* to buy a TV then I don't think you know what a budget really is.

replacing them yourself
By ilostmypen on 5/11/2011 7:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
I had a problem just like this and just ended up buying a solder gun and doing it myself. Including the gun it cost me about $22. Knowing that modern products are as trashy as they seem to be it would do you some good to learn a bit of soldering. It'll save you quite a bit of money.

Samsung quality sucks. Period.
By mxnerd on 5/11/2011 10:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a Samsung monitor probably 5 years back. I also purchased 2 DVD Writers in that year.

All of them went kaput just over one year. I made promise that I will never buy any Samsung products again.

Today, I still stick to my own promise.

By MrJustin5 on 5/12/2011 3:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
Now lets get something straight: I've been a fan of Samsung when I first started to see their products in early 2000's. I strongly advocated their products to others. I got 2 of their CRT monitors and loved them. They were true flat screen, professional CRT's. Since then I've been buying a number of their products over the years. Until I noticed my brand new Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb started to take a crap. Files were unaccessible. I used Kroll OnTrack to do an extensive diagnostic and the drive came up bad. So I used OnTrack to grab what files I could off of the drive. I sent it in (within just a few months of the warranty expiring, I think it was only 1 year) to Samsung. The swapped it out within a few weeks. This new one hasn't given me problems... yet. I have an additional 2 Samsung 1TB F1 and a 1TB F3 (super fast) and I hope they hold together until its finally viable and affordable to upgrade to SSD. I'll never buy a Western Digital HDD again as on average 3 out of 5 drives failed for me and my customers. I cant afford loses like that. Anyhow: THE FINAL STRAW. The DREADED SAMSUNG MOMENT ANDROID PHONE BY SPRINT!!! What a nightmare. I had the phone replaced 6 times. 7 if you count the defective one they gave me that wouldn't update, at the store, so they gave me another one on the spot. I have been to sprint stores 16 or 17 times regarding this phone. Each time its: Hard reset. I leave and return after it goes bad again. The order a new one. Then I have to go pick it up. Thats 3 store visits to get one return. After spending maybe 8 or 10 hours total calling Sprint and complaining and then spending about 24 hours of my life wasted going to the sprints stores, they finally gave me a Samsung Transform. I put an add on craigslist for $300 and some guy visiting from Chicago bought it. I went back to craigslist and got an HTC Evo (I will NEVER buy the Samsung Epic) and I cant be happier.

Reading this article scares me. My girlfriend and I live together and she purchased a Samsung UN55C7000 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D LED HDTV. It was zero % interest for 2 years at Sears and it came with the bundle. 2 pairs of 3D glasses and a 3D Bluray player. Its an edge-lit LED and so there is some "clouds" when its a super dark scene, other than that... I hope that baby holds together. It was retail $3,200 for the TV alone, but $2,000 on sale with the 3D Bundle included. Anyone had problems with this particular 3D TV?

Talk about being a whiny sad dude
By BZDTemp on 5/12/2011 6:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
I expected a real horror story and instead it's just whining plus a waste of time for us readers.

By kshong on 5/13/2011 2:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
This issue does not only affect Samsung products. Anyway, good luck with your anti-Samsung propaganda. Samsung produces a lot of computer chips. LOL!

What you talking about Willis?
By JakLee on 5/13/2011 7:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
I have to say, I am more than a little surprised at the responses from the "it's out of warranty you whiner" crowd. The consensus there seems to be that since the warranty was only 1 year that 1 year was all it was expected to last. A warranty is just a guarantee that during X period if anything goes wrong the company is going to cover it because NOTHING should be wrong during that time. It does not (or rather should not) mean that it is expected to die when that time is up. If so, how many of us would buy a car with a standard 3 year/50k or 5 year/100k warranty? How many of us are driving a car that is more than 5 years old? How many of you would be happy with a car that fell apart completely before being 6 years old?

Per wiki (yeah I know but the link to where they got the data is good) in the year 2001, the National Automobile Dealers Association conducted a study revealing the average age of vehicles in operation in the US. The study found that of vehicles in operation in the US, 38.3% were older than ten years, 22.3% were between seven and ten years old, 25.8% were between three and six years old and 13.5% were less than two years old. According to this study the majority of vehicles, 60.6%, of vehicles were older than seven years in 2001.

That means that approx 51 million vehicles would be removed from the roads if we could expect no vehicle to last more than 10 years.

My point is just this, even if this is an easy fix, even if the warranty expired, the fact that a company used purposefully cheap material to get ahead is not the consumers fault. And if a company I was purchasing items from did this I would forgo that company until they proved that they took this issue seriously. And while I could afford to buy a $1k TV, I shouldn't have to do so every 3 years.

And on a side note my grandparents have a zenith TV (32 in I think in a cabinet) that still works. The picture looks awful compared to TV’s today, but it is still working. Pretty sure it's warranty period is over....

By jiffylube1000 on 5/17/2011 7:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
I will start by saying that I sympathize with the article's author. 3 1/2 years is really too short for a TV to last, and I would feel a bit ripped off if that happened to me too.

With that said, you really need to do your homework when buying a new TV. When buying a Plasma TV in 2007, an extended warranty (3-5 years) was a must - there was already strong evidence of burn-in issues on Plasma TV's, and user complaints of Plasma TV's of that era not lasting very long. Plasma TV's of that era were hot, power sucking monsters and it's not really until the "neo-PDP" panels of Panasonic in 2009 that you start seeing Plasma Televisions with much lower power consumption and higher rated lives. Since ~2006 I've loved Samsung's LCD panels but I much preferred Panasonic for Plasma. It's only very recently that the power consumption of Samsung Plasmas has come down, and I'd still go with Panasonic as a more reputable Plasma brand. Samsung is great for LCD, though, especially their 6-series and above.

Plasma was generally cheaper than LCD in 2007; however the flipside was that reliability wasn't particularly noteworthy. My family went with a 52" Toshiba DLP TV in 2005. After reading reviews, we felt that an extended warranty was a must. We went with a 4 year extended warranty. Sure enough, the TV became very dim after a couple of years, and in addition to a new bulb, needed a new light engine and colour wheel. These were covered by the extended warranty. The DLP was thousands cheaper than a comparable Plasma or LCD, but had we not bought that extended warranty, it needed $1000 in parts after only two years.

To the comment "I'll never buy another Samsung again" - that attitude is absurd in the consumer electronics field. Everyone has had a bad experience with one brand or another. Read professional and reader reviews online before buying your product, and really taking a trip to a forum like to look up issues on a specific model of TV could save you a lot of time and aggravation down the road.


When I bought my current TV - a 46" Samsung LN46B630, for about a grand a year and a half ago - I felt that the LCD technology had matured enough that an extended warranty wasn't necessary anymore; even if the TV died in 3 years, the $100-200 spent on an extended warranty would be better served as part of a new 46" LCD, which would probably be around $500 by that time anyway.

By KOOLTIME on 5/19/2011 6:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Car had a flat tire, guess im never going buy that kind of car again, i had to pay for towing OMG such a crime these car companies impulse upon its victims.

The way the economy works
By ConnyG on 5/21/2011 5:28:32 AM , Rating: 2
Let's face it, it is the way the economy works these days. It is all about selling more and earning more. Our whole economy is based on consuming.

I had my previous TV, a CRT, for over 10 years until I upgraded and there was nothing wrong with it. I could probably have used it for many more years if I didn't want a HDTV.

Having a TV last 10+ years is great for the consumer, but not for the company selling it.

You don't earn more money by using expensive components to ensure the TV lasts longer.

You don't earn more money/sell more by making TVs that work fine for over 10 years.

As a company you probably want them to be "good enough" so that people want to buy them, you make a nice profit and you don't end up with class action lawsuits or bad-will due to poor quality components and mass failures. And in order for people to continue consuming and buying a new TV every several years they need to be reasonably priced.

Because selling more and earning more means your share price rises, the bosses get their fat bonuses and the investors are happy.

By KilgoreUSA on 5/21/2011 11:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
Everything has a life expectancy, but as a consumer, I would hope that the product that I just purchased would has a sufficient longevity to justify the purchase price.

I just brought an TV and I am hoping to have the use of this items for years to come. Not just till the warranty expires.

Consumers need to demand a higher quality product and those manufactures that listen will exceed their expectations of sales and loyalty.

We, need get away from the disposal society and the expectations of things break. They do break but it should be the exception not the norm.

I think of the auto industry and the perception of which manufacture is the most reliable. It recent years some the US manufactures have exceed the laudable Japanese manufactures in reliability, per JD Powers survey. But, our perception is that all Japanese manufactures exceed the domestic manufactures in reliability.

Read up some more....
By rdhood on 5/26/2011 5:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
You'll find that nearly all brands had this problem... along with flashlighting/backlight inconsistencies, and a host of other problems.

CRT had 50 years to get it right. LCD TV has only been at it for about 5. Your best bet is to spend that $150 up front on a 4 year in-home warranty.

PS. I had a similar problem with my 2005 Syntax Olevia 37" TV. It started to not turn on 11 months into a 12 month warranty. It was fixed under warranty, but I learned my lesson.

Same Issue with Capacitors
By Sailor23M on 5/28/2011 9:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
I had the same issue with my Samsung 46" LCD TV, opened the frame to reveal busted capacitors. Replaced them frm Radio Shack. Soldered them myself, burnt my hand in the process as I have not Solder before. But the TV now works fine.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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