So I come home Friday after work and grab my dog to take her for a walk, as I normally do. Leaving through the back of the
building as required when exiting with a pet, I came out of the door nearest the trash. There, sitting amongst the discarded foodstuffs and mixed recyclables, I spied a 56″ Hi-Def Samsung DLP TV resting next to the empty box of a new 36″ LCD TV. Pausing for a second, I quickly deduced that someone’s TV had broken and they decided to purchase a new one. Normally, I wouldn’t give this any more thought, but I happen to own a Samsung DLP (a 46″ incher that I love) and know a little bit about them. So, I continued to think about it as I accompanied my dog Penny as she took care of business.
As I walked with my dog, I thought about what could be wrong with the TV that someone would just discard it. I arrived at three conclusions. Either there was a power surge and the electronics were fried, which made it worthless; the bulb had burned out, which is easily replaced; or the color wheel had gone bad, which can also be replaced, but not as easily. As I walked back into the building, I decided to investigate further.
I parked Penny back upstairs, grabbed my folding hand-truck and headed back to the trash heap. After much struggle, I was able to wrangle this bumba back in to my condo. I plugged into the wall and fired it up. To my surprise, it turn on and the lamp lit up, so no, it wasn’t fried and the bulb was still good. Then I heard the loud humming and grinding sound that is the tell-tale sign of a bad color wheel. So, I shut it down and did a little research.
After a little spelunking through Google, I found this website that not only sold the replacement part, but also gave step by step instructions on how to install it. I also stopped by my friend Scott Jangro’s site, where he put up an awesome article on diagnosing and fixing Samsung DLPs. The part was a little over $100, so I figured I’d take the gamble and see if I could make this work. But then it occurred to me: already having a Samsung DLP, I wondered if the same color wheel could be used in both units. A little more Googling gave me the answer: yes, they were the exact same part!
I woke up bright and early Saturday morning and began my mission: removing the bad color wheel from the ‘trash’ TV and replacing it with the salvaged one from my current TV. I followed the instructions that I found online and, after about 40 minutes, had made the transplant. Now, the moment of truth. I plugged the TV, flipped it on, and what do you know? I had a perfect picture! I successfully resurrected a 56″ Hi-Def TV from the grave and gave myself another ten inches to watch football with.
To put a capper on the story, my dad is going to pay the $100 for a new color wheel to put into my old 46″ and he’s going to upgrade from his 36″ CRT. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved… well, except for the person who tossed what turned out to be a perfectly good TV!