How to fix a dead pixel on a LCD TV

October 9, 2007

When I first got my 60 inch Sony LCD TV back in 2004, I was introduced to the reality of dead pixels. I had 1 green dead pixel in the lower left quadrant of the screen. The only time I could really see it was if the screen was dark, but psychologically it was always there.

I began a quest to rid myself of this pixel, but all to no avail. But little did I know that I had already solved the problem even before I bought the TV. So, if you are struggling with that stubborn dead pixel, you too can have relief from the psychological strain that comes with said pixel.

In my case, the solution was named “Luke”. He was born in April of 2004 and for roughly two years he was completely incapable of helping me with this issue. But as soon as he became able to reach the TV screen, that dead pixel seemed to be completely insignificant. I was now introduced to the world of greasy little handprints. Every time I sat down to watch TV, I no longer fixated on that green dot but instead the sea of those little handprints.

In my case I only needed one child to solve the problem. Depending on the amount of dead pixels and their location on your screen, you might need 3-4 children of varying height to properly solve the problem. Fortunately my son’s reach was just enough to cover the area where my dead pixel was located.

Problem Solved.

Comcast Tivo Box at CES

January 14, 2007

Comcast showed off the new HD Tivo box they’ll be offering to their customers come spring 2007.  I should note that it’s not actually a new box, but it’s the same hardware box that Comcast currently uses, with Tivo software instead of the current software. You’ll supposedly be able to just go through a download process that will upate your existing Motorola 6400 HDTV box with the new TV software.

They noted that it will not support KidZone, remote scheduling, or home network capabilities of your standard Tivo boxes on the market. I like the home networking capabilities that I have with my Series 2 Tivo,  so that’s a bit of  a disappointment.  I have been putting off buying a Tivo HD while waiting for this Comcast Tivo, and now I kind of have mixed reaction.

I was hoping that the Tivo box would be a completely new unit with more storage, the current hardware only supports about 10 hours of HDTV recording, which is simply not enough. But they also have a newer version of the 6400 box,  the 6412, that has increased storage. So I will probably request to swap out my box for a newer one.

I didn’t see any definitive reports on the responsiveness of the new Tivo-style remote. Easily the most annoying thing about the current comcast box/remote is the lag between pushing a button and the actual function being executed. Sometime they even queue the presses up and then just as you are cursing the box for not reacting at all, it then executes all of the presses consecutively — and more cursing ensues. If this turns out to be a hardware issue, and therefore isn’t something that can be fixed via the Tivo software, it’ll be a huge disappointment.

Do we want a Dual Format HD Disc ?

January 10, 2007

Warner Home Video announced the release of a dual format HD Disc that supports HDDVD, and Blu Ray. Kind of irritating that they try to sell this as a solution, when the real solution is consumers making a choice about which format best fits their needs – capability/price. I still ask the same question I did in an earlier post – Do we want two formats ?

Warner mentions that less store space would be used by retailers since only one disc would be needed. So I have to ask, “What about the players ?”. If we support two players, isn’t there going to be more shelf space devoted to the various HD DVD and Blu Ray players ? Seems that it’d be cheaper for retailers to have to only sell players for one format.

This dual format would also require mastering for both formats, so that is another extra cost as compared to one format.

Bottom line is that this dual format is an attempt to solve a problem that should solve itself when a format is chosen by the masses. Buying into this concept only costs you more money because a % of money goes to supporting a format whose player you don’t even own.

Do we really want another format ? Dual format players and media is not the answer in my opinion. I personally think the next logical step is content being streamed to us via our Cable/Satellite/Other TV provider. Look at the music industry as an example. What has downloadable content done to that industry ? I don’t think I’ve bought a single physical CD in over a year and I am more satisfied with the convenience of buying music via download. I think the masses have spoken on that already as well.

Also, Do we really need an ugly dual-color case that constantly reminds us that we are supporting two formats with our purchase ?

Comcast OnDemand as an alternative to Blu-Ray / HD-DVD

January 8, 2007


I’m not sure why Comcast hasn’t expanded it’s OnDemand service even more than it has already. Given that I’d say I believe most would actually prefer it over Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. I already get some HD content via OnDemand, just not a large enough variety to make it comparable to renting/buying a HD format disc.

I believe that if Comcast cuts the right deals, they could really take a huge chunk of this market based on convenience alone. I don’t want to download to my PC, go out and rent, or even use a NetFlix service. I would much prefer to sit on the couch with my remote and just choose what I want to watch.

I’ve already seen very high quality HD content on my HDTV via comcast, so I don’t feel like I am getting any more quality out of these new media formats. If Comcast delivers variety to go with the convenience, I don’t see the sense in buying one of these new players.

JScreen – Fixes stuck pixels on LCD/Plasma screens.

January 8, 2007

I have a stuck pixel on my 60-inch Sony LCD TV, and I’ve run across this program called JScreen that claims to fix them on computer monitors. I think you basically burn a DVD with this random pixel color generator that makes all your pixels flash. They say it should work in about 20 minutes, defintely worth a try. I guess I can also test to see how resistent I am to epileptic seizures just for the hell of it.

Oh, and it’s FREE!!!

There is also a DVD product called Pixel Protector that claims to improve your picture and extend the life of your LCD screen. This one is $39.95, not bad if it does what it claims. I guess it’s supposed to fix stuck pixels too.