Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV

We have owned the Hitachi 50V500A Ultravision rear projection LCD TV (boy, that’s quite a long name for a TV, I know icon smile Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV ) for about 3 years now.

We purchased it in our prior house and placed it above the fireplace mantle.

In our current home, it is placed on it’s custom stand (which we purchased through eBay for all of $25 last year) to the left of the fireplace in our family room.

hitachi ultravision Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV

Now, about 6 weeks ago or so I noticed what seemed to be in the extreme upper left corner a light blue haze. This was only visible when the TV was displaying a picture that used all of the display area. Typically this would be watching a sporting event broadcast in HD (High Definition).

hitachi ultravision with blue corner Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV

In the picture above, look closely in the upper right of the screen and you should see a light blue triangle. It almost looks like a shadow.

hitachi ultravision with blue corner closeup Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV

While much harder to see, I also started to notice what looked like a very light green band vertically along the left side of the screen. It was about the same width of the black border when the screen is displaying a non-wide screen picture. Depending on the resolution of your computer monitor you might be able to see it in the above closeup.

[We will discuss the extended warranty which we happened to purchase at the same time as the TV in tomorrow's article.]

In using Google’s standard Internet search engine, I came across more than one home electronics discussion boards where others had my same issue.  Actually, most had it worse. At least I could still see most of the TV picture. Some had not a small blue haze in the upper corner but over the majority of the picture. Another had it moving to different areas of the picture.

The bottom line is this.  Apparently is is a known defect; known to Hitachi and known to many television repair shops (at least to the store who fixed our TV) .  The cause is a defective part known as the light engine. This part is the guts of the TV.

hitachi ultravision light engine defect1 Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV

Currently, Hitachi is said to be providing a replacement part at no charge. This part from what I understand is very expensive; in the range of $600 to $900. Good for Hitachi.

However, from what I read on the various Internet electronics forums Hitachi is not reimbursing the TV owner for the cost of a TV repair shop to remove the defective light engine and install it’s replacement. Hitachi executives, if you are reading this and I am incorrect, please email me or add a comment to this article below.

If this is the case, it is a policy that I do not agree with. Most home owners will need a TV repair specialist to use the replacement part to repair the TV. Replacing the light bulb, which has a limited life, in the TV is sufficiently tricky in this unit for most home owners. I know it was for me. There is no way an average or above average home owner can replace the TV’s light engine.

To repair the TV the TV repair shop said that they needed to bring the unit into their store. They agreed with what I had discovered on the Internet as the likely cause, saying that they had seen this situation time and again. They also indicated that it would take 4 to 6 business days to order and receive the part. I suggested they order the part and once they receive it in their store that they then come to pick up the TV, rather than it sitting in their store all this time; they agreed.

They called when they receive the part, picked up the TV the next day and two days later our TV was back good as new.

Actually, better than it had been in a while. Apparently, this defect also deteriorates the picture slowly over time. We had not noticed this previously. However, when the TV was returned the picture was sharper and more clear than it had been in quite a while. Now when I watch my favorite football team’s golden helmets shining in the fall afternoon sun it is quite a sight to see. You know the team to which I refer. icon smile Hitachi Ultravision Rear Projection LCD TV

So, that is our experience with our wide screen television defect.

Tomorrow, we will talk about the extended warranty purchased from the retailer that sold us the unit.

To read the related article on Extended Warranties as they pertained to our above situation, simply select this link to Extended Warranties.

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Comments

  1. Service Care says:

    Wow, I’m really sorry you’re having this issue. It looks like you’re not the only one, based on a little web searching I just did.

    Did you ever get it repaired?

  2. Dan says:

    The above article says that we did.

    Dan

  3. Randy says:

    We are dealing with this issue right now, haven’t called a repair shop yet- realized last night after wondering for a while why we had a blue haze in the lower part of the screen I did an internet search and found this and other websites about the issue. Funny they don’t tell you this stuff when you buy a tv.

  4. Dan says:

    Hey Randy,

    We had ours for about 3 years when this happened. If your TV is not under warranty from the retailer, be sure to press your case that the light engine is not to cost you anything; however, you will need to pay for the labor, unfortunately.

    I mentioned this to the repair shop we used and they knew exactly what we were talking about.

    Dan

  5. Tim says:

    I am the owner of a 50V500A. I am on my 6th year and had purchased the warranty (5Year) from the Store. During the warranty period the main board went and it was replaced and repaired for free ($900 part). However recently I’ve noticed a decline in the quality of the picture, I have never replaced the bulb and I do not have any blue shadowing. Does Hitachi replace this defective part regardless of the age of the TV? Also knowone mentioned the cost of the labour to replace this part. Please reply
    thx

  6. Dan says:

    Hi Tim,

    Regarding your question “Does Hitachi replace this defective part regardless of the age of the TV?”, yes, that is my understanding. When I dealt with Hitatchi customer service on this they did not even ask if it was under any type of extended warranty.

    What the extended Future Shop warranty did cover for us was the labour from the TV repair folks to take out old and replace the new part.

    Again, that is my experience. I have no idea what the labour charge would have been. I suggest you ask these questions of Hitachi directly.

    Yes, the entire picture quality improved, not just the blue and green shadows disappearing with the new part.

    Dan

    • FRANK says:

      i REPLACED MINE THREE YEARS AGO… HITACHI SEND ME THE PARST AT NO COST. AND LABOR WAS 200.00.. HERE IN CALIFORNIA L.A… EVERYTNING SINCE THEN I HAVE NO PROBLEM….I LOVE MI HITACHI…3238161255 IF ANY ?…

  7. Larry says:

    I am having blue haze in lines around th escreen . In trying to adjust the convergence it will not adjust. Is there anyway to go in the back of the tv and do this?
    Thanks

  8. Dan says:

    Hi Larry,

    You have got me stumped.

    I wonder if this is a symptom of something more?

    I suggest you call up Hitachi’s customer support directly and ask them as they would / should know their products better than I.

    Good luck to you,
    Dan

  9. Faye Bischoff says:

    When I called Hitachi they gave me my local service repairman and when I called it would cost at least $400 to fix a 7 year old tv

  10. Dan says:

    Hi Faye,

    In your situation I would purchase a new one.

    Prices have come way down and improved picture quality.

    Dan

  11. Homero says:

    Well I bought my Hitachi Ultravision 5 years ago. After 2 years the picture went bad. I read your comments and the rep said that Hitachi is not replacing the light engine at no cost. He indicated that I was badly informed.

    • Dawn says:

      I’ ve had my Hitachi Ultra vision for about 12 years now and I have not had a problem with it at all but now I also have a blue area on the upper left side of the screen. Is it cheaper to fix it or just buy a new TV?

      • Dan says:

        Hi,

        I would say you have received a lot us usage from your Hitachi. It sounds like it is the light engine which is expensive.

        Yes I would say its time for a new TV. You will be amazed, as I was, on the improvement in picture quality with today’s flat screen LCD TV’s.

        I hope that helps.
        Dan

  12. Dan says:

    Hi Homero,

    Well, all I can tell you is that this is what we experienced, this is what our local TV repair company told us, this is what I have seen others have experienced from other sites. As far as I know, it is a known product defect.

    I would search the internet for other sources and go back to Hitachi directly. Of course, this assumes that your Hitachi is the same model as mine. It may not be the case with other models built at the same time.

    Dan

  13. Scott says:

    I have had a red tint on my set for some time now. Recently the blue thing started at the bottom center and has just about consumed the whole screen now. I bought this set through Sears and they told me to contact Hitachi with my issues. I was wandering if I just got a “BAD SET” or what. This set is a few years old but doesn’t have many hours on it because the picture is not worth watching. Any help with this would be greatly apreciated.

    Scott

  14. Dan says:

    Hi Scott,

    The red tint might simply be adjusting the colour manually.

    I would raise your issue up both the Sears and the Hitachi chains to get the service you deserve.

    A product defect is a product defect.

    However, if you cannot send them in any pictures of the issues with your TV’s picture, you might have to pay for a service call.

    Or, if your blue tint in like what we experienced, feel free to reference them to the pictures in this article.

    Dan

  15. Carol says:

    We have a nearly 4 yr. old Hitachi 57 in rear projection tv. Recently the screen has a black strip on the top and a black strip on the bottom. The picture in the middle is ‘squished’ and looks about 8 inches tall now. Similar to a mirror in the funny house at the fair! I have been told it cannot be fixed…but I think that may not be correct. Could you direct me, please. Thanks

  16. Dan says:

    Hi Carol,

    I suggest you need to contact Hitachi Customer Service directly as I have not experienced that on our set. It could be any number of things.

    Sorry I can’t be more assistance,
    Dan

  17. Kevin says:

    Dan,

    I own the 55VG825 and the light engine has been deteriorating for quite some time. I contacting Hitachi, just as my service company suggested, and Hitachi refuses to cover the cost of the part. I talked with several representatives, including managers, and they all gave me the same song and dance, out of warranty, out of luck! Very disappointed that a manufacturer’s defect is not being honored and will never buy a Hitachi again. Terrible customer service, terrible defect in TV! On to a Sony Bravia for me.

    Kevin

  18. Anonymous says:

    Out Hitachi UltraVision Digital TV is about 7 years old, It developed a blue line across the top, seems to be getting worse. Do you think it is the light engine? How expensive would it be to replace?

  19. Dan says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    Shy, aren’t you? ;)

    I am not a TV repairman or anything like that.

    It could be the light engine or it could be the main bulb.

    The only way to be sure is to have a qualified repairman check it out.

    Dan

  20. justin says:

    hi i have a 55in ultravision that keeps turning itself off after being on for approx 10 minutes. i have pulled it away from the wall thinking the vents were not getting adequate air to them but that has not worked either? any ideas other than its overheating????

  21. Dan says:

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks for the email. As we have stated previously, I am not a TV technician at all … just an average home owner.

    However, are you sure that the fan is actually running (I know, I know…sort of like ‘is the toaster plugged in’ if one morning it is not working)?

    I agree is sounds like something is overheating.

    Perhaps, however, it is just a symptom of something wrong with the internal components / wiring. You might consider contacting a Hitachi customer service representative for their thoughts.

    Do let us know how things turn out for you.

    Dan

  22. Rob says:

    I have an ultravision too. This morning it shut itself off. Now when I try to turn it back on, it tries but NOTHING and it turns itself off again.

  23. Scott says:

    This symptom is typical of a power supply problem. This often occurs during a power outage or when there is a power spike. Depending on the design and warranty status, it can be relatively easy and inexpensive to repair or cost more than the TV is worth. Only a repair center can tell you for sure and you’ll be charged a fee if you choose not to repair it.

    Scott

  24. shane says:

    Having difficuty hookng up bell express vue to tv. Does it only require the cable from the express vue box or do i have to also have it hooked to an input?

  25. Dan says:

    Hi Shane,

    I don’t remember having to use any extra cables to hook it up, but it was a while ago now.

    Dan

  26. twaan says:

    where could i buy a power supply for a hitachi 50v500a this unit has givin me trouble for quite some time!!!!

  27. Dan says:

    Twaan,

    You might try contacting Hitachi’s customer service group; I would think they would know.

    Failing that, your local TV repair shops, or possibly eBay.

    Dan

  28. Mary says:

    I have a 42″ Ultra Vision that is less than 5 years old. The bulb went out during the 4 year extended warranty, and was replaced at no charge. Now that the warranty is up, I have a large yellow circle in the center of the screen, all the way to the bottom. Could this be the same defect you talked of earlier? Is this something Hitachi will take care of, or should I get a new TV.

  29. Dan says:

    Hi Mary,

    We did not see any yellow; however, when a light engine starts to fail I have seen from others that it can project different colours in different areas of the screen.

    My suggestion would be to call the company who would service your TV, ask them and then take it from there. Depending on how much they say it would cost to repair, with prices dropping on TV’s these days you might be better off purchasing a new one.

    I hope that helps,
    Dan

  30. Kevin says:

    I also have the same Hitachi 50V500A Ultravision rear projection LCD TV and it has the creeping blue screen mentioned in the above article. It was made in december of 2004 making it 5 years old or so.

    My wife just purchased a flat panel tv as our christmas gift to ourselves and I was planning on giving the Hitachi to my brother and his family. At least I hope I am able to after reading this.

    His father-in-law repairs and builds computers, home theater systems, and also tv’s at his electronics shop. After talking to him tonight and explaining to him the creeping blue-screen issue, he is sure he can get the parts and fix it. My fingers are crossed! :)

  31. Dan says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the note. I hope our father-in-law can get a deal on Hitachi parts as some of the more recent comments above indicate that Hitachi is no longer providing a replacement for the acknowledged defective part.

    Keep us posted!
    Dan

  32. Leon says:

    Our tv is the same model as yours. It is approximately 4-1/2 years old and began to develope a read haze in the center of the picture. At first is was very small but has not progressed to 80% of the screen over the last 3 months. The extended warranty expired on 8/4/09. The tech said the problem is with a part similar to the old picture tube and will cost appproxmiatley $700 to replace.

  33. Dan says:

    Hi Leon,

    If you can’t get the part free from Hitachi, assuming it is the same defective light engine issue that we had, I’d suggest buying a new TV altogether.

    Dan

  34. john says:

    have exhausted Hitachi on trying to get a light engine for my 50v500a set. THEY WILL NOT and further told me they are out of the LCD business. This set I have is am absolute design nightmare – It has a screen filter on the fan unit that gets clogged (can’t service it) and then overheats the optical engines filters and RGB lenses. NEVER BUY HITACHI AGAIN, John

  35. Dan says:

    Very dissapointing to hear, John.

    Thanks for the update.

    Dan

  36. Steve says:

    I also have a hitacji ultravision 50v500 and have replaced the bulb 4 times now had the repair shop out 3 times to adjust for shadows and the light engine has also been replaced… now the light engine is going again…. I was fortunate to have had all previous repairs done un der warrenty but now it is out of warrenty and I don’t think this tv is worht that kind of investment… I will definately NOT be buying another Hitachi

    Steve

  37. Miguel says:

    I have a Hitachi 60A500V and have a major red glow and tint due to faulty light engine. I called Hitachi last year when I first noticed and they would not help. Now I am done with it and planning to buy a new set. But before I do I will give Hitachi one last chance to repair their reputation. If they fail, they will pay ten-fold because I will spend the next 10 years telling the story and warning others to stay away from anything Hitachi.

  38. Bev says:

    I have the 50V500 and first had a problem about 2 years ago (TV was 2 years old). Bought it at Sears. Their repairman said the problem is the light engine overheats. He had a repair/replacement kit and installed it. Cost me $200 labor but problem was cleared up. Now I have the blue screen problem. If the replacement light doesn’t correct the problem I’m junking the set.

  39. michael says:

    dear dan,

    iv got the same problem with my 57 inch hitachi tv and i was considering scraping it, could you tell me any reasonable price that i might get for the screen and anyother parts?

    that would be greatly appreciated thanks

  40. Dan says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m not ‘in the business’ … I only write about my own experiences or what I know about.

    I have never had to try and sell any TV for parts, etc. so I have no idea.

    However, you might try seeing what is out on Craig’s List (not that I recommend Craig’s List), of Kijiji, or even eBay just to get an idea.

    For information which is more local to you, you might want to call a few of the TV repair shops in your area.

    I hope that helps,
    Dan

  41. Randy says:

    I have a Hitachi 62VS69A that I’ve replaced 4 bulbs in and about a year ago had a blue tint on the left side of the screen.Now as of about a week ago all but about a foot circle in the middle of the screen has the blue tint.I called a service rep who was a total a/hole to say the least.I know there are several class action lawsuits as this was a known issue and Hitachi continued to sell defective units.After speaking with the tech and the treatment I received I plan to pursue this if it hair lips the govener.In fact I’m thinking maybe a boycott website may get thier attention or at least save several people (maybe several thousand people) some bucks and not be duped as many of us were.Just for starters.I know they(Hitachi) pay huge bucks to be represented so some payback may be the order of the day here.

  42. HG says:

    My son’s 5 yr old rear screen projection Hitachi has had the creeping blues from the lower corners but all of a sudden today the screen has 5 inch wide vertical green yellow and blue stripes. If you look between the yellow and green stripes you can see some of the image. What a disappointment!

  43. Dan says:

    Hi HG,

    Sounds like its the light engine to me.

    Dan

  44. PeteC says:

    Anybody know if this can be replaced without any special equipment. I’ve fixed a lot of TVs in my day.

  45. javier says:

    hitachi ultravision 50″ rear projection tv has been a bad 6 year experience for me… (multiple bulbs, blue screen.. ect. had had it all.) now looking for a nother set… and it will definately not hitachi.

  46. K. Berry says:

    I have a Hitachi model #50V500A and have a defect in my light engine. I just got off the phone with Hitachi who said Oh I’m so sorry you will have to write to the appeals commitee. (A committee in California) who will respond in a few months. (What?) I am livid and am trying to join a class action lawsuit against this company. Hope you all follow.

  47. Ned says:

    I Have the same Hitachi Ultra vision Silver 50 inch.And the problem is it doesn’t turn on anymore.When you turn it on the 3 lights are blinking constantly and then it turns of by him self.No idea what is going on.Can you please give me some advise or help me.

  48. Dan says:

    Hi Ned,

    Personally, I have no idea as this has not happened to our unit…. yet ;) Did you check the owner’s manual or contact Hitachi directly?

    Dan

  49. Ned says:

    Yea i contact it the Hitachi and their costumer service sucks big time.Ill never gonna buy Hitachi anymore.By the way thanks for the replay.Take care Dan

  50. Mike says:

    I to have had to send my case to Hitachi appeals board been over a month and no word. Hitachi will never get another dime from me ever! If I look at anything for sale with the Hitachi name one it that’s an automatic NO! as to if i am interested in buying it.

  51. Hollis Galloway says:

    My 60″ Hitachi Ultravision Picture Is Going Bad About 6″ Down From Top. Picture Cut Off Top Of People Head & Can Not Make Out Anything Need Help. Thank Hollis Galloway hollisgalloway@cox.net 504-394-5730

  52. Clint says:

    Update. Just spoke with Hitachi Customer relations. They will not provide a free part on TVs that are over 6 years old unless you can show that you have had to have it replaced before. recurring problem. SOL

  53. Dan says:

    Hi Clint,
    Thanks very much for the update.

    I can understand Hitachi’s perspective in that they only warranty their TV’s for a certain duration (what ever that is) and if the original part lasted 6 years then it really wasn’t defective.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with that approach; simply that I understand.

    Dan

  54. Keith says:

    Well I have a 65xWx20b ultravision paid 6000.00 lasted 8 yrs no problems . not to bad .. BUT NOW THAT i NEED PARTS , cant seem to find any parts or they are on back order for 2 yrs?? maybe we all can scrap our HITACHI’S TV’S and make at least one good one to share? all that is needed is the tubes this house will never Imean never have Hatachi product in it My 6000.00 going somewhere else…….

  55. Alice says:

    We have Hitachi Ultravision 50UX52B, 12 years old, and has been a wonderful TV. The only problem we have had, very infrequently, is the powering on-off by itself. This was very easily corrected by unplugging TV for a minute and plugging back in. Completely interrupting the power source seems to work. Just had an unfortunate accident with a Wii controller and the TV screen. Now have a not too noticable split down the center of screen. I personally prefer this TV to three LCD’s in the household and will continue to watch it until it fails completely.

  56. Jarv says:

    I have the Hitachi 55VS69A 55″ rear projection LCD. I started seeing the blue haze on the set about a month ago. I purchased the set in Sept. 2007 and actually bought the warranty because the sales person said it covered the bulb, which was about the same price as the warranty. Glad I did, I’m covered through 9/15/2011. Funny thing is I bought it at Circuit City, which went out of business and is now a strictly online store, but when I called they were able to find my warranty information and a tech is coming over tomorrow. Can I really be this lucky, I will update this later.

  57. Jay says:

    I too have a Hitachi 50V500 with a beautiful blue tinted screen. production date Sept 2003 and purchased in Spring 2004 with the accompanying $500 custom stand (not $25 on ebay, I should have waited, lol) Mine started to go bad in 2007. First I had the blue haze which was followed with what looked like blue ‘veins’ running the length of the right hand side of the screen. I have been living overseas for quite some time and not in areas where 50inch tv’s were commonplace so since I could not find a local repairman who knew anything about it I just told everyone it was the new Blu Ray technology. I still have the TV in a spare room and when I turn it on it looks something like what you see at the planetarium… a black sky full of little blue twinkling lights. Now I just tell people it is a movie about outer space. WIsh I had read your review back in 2008 when hitachi was still giving out new light engines.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Jay,

      Would you believe that Htachi now out of the TV business…..at least according to Best Buy.

      Yet, you can purchase original aor secondary market parts via the web (but no I do not have any trustworthy sites from my own experience).
      Dan

  58. John says:

    The turning on and off symptom was the bulb in my Hitachi 55 LCD…it was fairly easy and inexpensive to fix….but as of today I too have the vertical lines and it looks a new tv must be planned for. Relatively trouble free for the first 3-4 years, but particularly bad in the last two.

  59. Holly says:

    I own a hitachi 55″ ultra vision digital tv model 60v710 . We have replaced the lamp about a year ago because the picture went completely out. Now we have picture but the over all pic has bright yellow and/or green tint….like theres no blue in the colors at all….do i need to replace the lamp again…or is it a separate bulb?

    • Dan says:

      Hi Holly,
      I am no TV electrician, however this sounds like it could be the light engine.

      As the light engine is not longer covered by Hitachi, and Hitachi to the best of our knowledge had stopped producing TV’s, this will be a very hard a nd costly part to now obtain.

      With the price of flat screen TV’s coming down all the time, you might want to consider simply purchasing a new TV.

      Dan

      • Al says:

        I have the same tv you have showing on the website page, my tv is doing exact same thing, where can i purchase a light engine i would like to repair my tv i love my 65 inch it’s fanastic. Al

        • Dan says:

          Hi Al,
          I wouls suggest doing a search around stores in your area and if you cannot find any then go to the Hitachi web site itself.

          Dan

  60. kyle says:

    hey dan I have a 60 inch rear projecter ultra vision and it seems like my screen keeps fading with a yellowish tint to it, could this be a symptom of the light engine

    • Dan says:

      Hi Kyle,
      It could be nothing more that the much less expensive bulb vs the light engine. Yet, please remember I am not a TV repair person. You might want to call your local tv repair shop or even go onto the Hitachi web site.

      Sorry I cannot be more helpful,
      Dan

  61. brenda sullivan says:

    i have the 60v500a tv and my picture is going out where can i buy the part for this tv?

  62. brenda sullivan says:

    i heard the part is about 800.00 dollar. are you kidding me hitachi needs to refund me my money back for this piece of shit.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Brenda,
      FWIW, I am disappointed that, per my understanding and someone please correct me if things have changed, that Hitachi has discontinued as of about more than a year ago it former policy / practice of providing a fee or very low cost replacement for the light engine.

      Dan

  63. Roy Munson says:

    My Hitachi 42v710 has had picture issues for a few years. About a month ago it went completely black and white. Then over the weekend, the picture went out completely and my lamp light was flashing on the front of the television. I ordered a replacement lamp and changed it out, with little issue. I expected everything to be fixed. I got a picture back, but it’s still in black and white. Any idea what causes this and how to fix it? How expensive will it be?

    • Dan says:

      Hi,
      I think its like the ‘light engine’ part which is a known defect in these entertainment units….yet a while ago Hitachi stopped providing them free. They are expensive to buy (several hundred dollars). So I would say its time to purchase a flat screen for yourself.

      Dan

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