Combining a broken Sony KDS60A2000 and a broken Sony KDS50A2000 into one working TV?
December 12, 2012 10:35 AM   Subscribe

I recently inherited both a broken Sony KDS60A2000 and a broken Sony KDS50A2000 from a friend. They're both broken, but they're both broken in different ways. Can I cobble together one working television from the two of them?

Both of these models are infamous for having screens that turned green in a lot of units, leading to a settlement from Sony where the company basically bought everyone new TVs. That's how I ended up with friend got two different units and gave the old ones to me.

The KDS60 has the green screen issue. I've read through the online documentation so I know what's involved in fixing this. Basically, you dismantle your entire TV and replace the optical block.

The KDS50, surprisingly, doesn't have the green screen issue, but as near as I can tell from Googling around, it has a faulty lamp power supply. The picture, not the sound, cuts off for 30 seconds or more every couple minutes, but the green light on the front doesn't blink at all. It seems as far as the TV knows, everything's fine. One important wrinkle though is that when the TV starts up, I get the message that the lamp is near the end of its life. From my research, I don't think this is "lamp that's near dead" behavior, as the green light on the front usually blinks or turns red if it's a lamp issue.

So my questions are…

Are the lamps compatible?
Clearly my first step should be moving the lamp from the KDS60 into the KDS50 and see if that solves the blink. However, I have no idea if those two parts are interchangeable. Yes, I could have figured that out in two minutes on my own, but why do that when I can spend 45 minutes writing a super-long AskMe?

Are the lamp power supplies interchangeable? Are they removable? Is this process documented somewhere online?
One option would be to take the lamp power supply from the KDS60 and install it in the KDS50. I have no idea how feasible that is, however. I'm more worried about finding instructions than about doing the work: my girlfriend and I are both nerds who are well-familiar with the inside of a desktop computer, though admittedly neither of us have ever crawled around on the inside of a TV…

Are the optical blocks interchangeable?
Taking the optical block out of the KDS50 and putting it into the KDS60 would be the other option. Though this seems like an involved and time-consuming process, from looking at the guides online it looks pretty straightforward. And even though in abstract this process seems to be a bigger hassle than swapping the lamp power supplies, it's very well documented online with lots of pictures.

Is this even worth it?
If I could get a free or low-cost TV out of this in exchange for a little elbow grease, that would be great. But at the same time, I'm a firm believer in "it's only free if your time is worth nothing." If I'm going to spend the better part of a weekend on this, only to find out that it's not going to work out (or, worse, have a TV that's turning green three months from now), I'd rather just go buy a new TV and enjoy the rest of my Saturday.

Would it make more sense to just turn this over to a repairman?
I certainly don't mind letting go of money if that money is well-spent and saves me the hassle. But the thing is, nobody in my family watches a lot of TV, so we're unlikely to buy anything that costs much more than $600 (probably the Samsung PN51E450). No matter how much the KDS retailed for, to us it's just a $600 TV because that's what it's "replacing." The closer the repair bill inches towards $600, the less enthusiastic I'll be about the whole thing.

What in the world am I going to do with the carcasses when I'm done?
I mean, seriously. These things are huge. Do I take them to the dump? An electronic recycler? Or would I be able to sell them for parts, particularly if I decide that this whole issue is just more trouble than it's worth and don't even touch them? A working optical block and a lamp has to be worth something...
posted by Ian A.T. to Technology (4 answers total)
Response by poster: I realize this is a bit more technical than a lot of the questions here on AskMe, so I cross-posted the question on AVS Forums here. Feel free to comment here on any answers I get over there...
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:35 AM on December 12, 2012

Best answer: The lamps seem to be interchangeble. If the lamp is interchangeable, the power supply will be.

The optical block part numbers are different, as per a table on this page, so they will not be compatible.
posted by dobi at 11:08 AM on December 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the info, dobi...I'm going to try swapping the lamps and see if it clears up the blinking issue. I'm not terribly optimistic.

As I posted on the AVS thread, I think I'm leaning pretty heavily to "let's just go buy a TV" if changing lamps doesn't work; I don't even see IF the power supply can be replaced. I'm sure fixing it would be a fun weekend project--for some definitions of "fun"--but with the holidays coming up I either need to get one of these fixed or get them both out of my living room.

So, anyone have any ideas about how to sell these things for parts? Craiglist? Calling around repair shops?

Failing that, any clue how to just get rid of the things?
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:59 PM on December 12, 2012

Response by poster: Someone on the AVS Forums claimed that the optical block on the two TVs were identical, they just have different part numbers for...some reason. So we tried just swapping them and it worked!

I now have a 60" television after about three hours of work. Well, 45 minutes of work on my girlfriend saw me floundering around and snatched the screwdriver out of my hand. We just pulled the entire optical block out of the 50 and put it in, and it worked from the start.

We stripped the 50 of all parts, to keep as a backup just in case, and I've found an electronic recycler who'll take the husk.

We were helped immeasurably by this video, which is a step-by-step guide to removing (and repairing) the optical block. If you found this page through Google, I highly recommend it.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:43 AM on December 18, 2012

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