For myself, due to the high number of failures and poor performance, I read many "user" reviews before purchasing a consumer electronics product, especially a TV. For the most part, the more expensive name brands have a much better track record. The less well know and off brands are usually have many bad reviews from those who owned. Another good source is Consumer Reports. I have not been disappointed by my three Sony LCD TVs.
One thing you could try just to make sure it is your remote. Point the remote at a video or still camera. Look through the view finder when you press the buttons on the remote. We can not see infared light but through the view finder of a camera it shows up.
Yeah, except. He said FUNAI as well. Funai is the actual manufacturer for many, many companies. No different than LG or just about every OEM there is. How are you going to avoid buying from a particular OEM?
I have a "Polaroid" large screen TV in my living room. It was in the lobby at my wife's work and had "stopped playing sound" and had a loud buzzing sound. They were going to put it in the trash. My wife instead asked if she could have it. Long story short, one of the switching power supplies in the thing (it has three) had electrolytic caps go bad. As soon as I heard what was wrong I knew what the problem was. I replaced the caps and the thing has been working going on 4 years.
I have many (6) Viewsonic monitors of a particular model. After 5 years they start "blinking on and off". As it turns out, this is a common problem with these monitors. Same deal; bad caps. So a couple of dollars for new caps and a bit of bench time and they're still going. I could say "I won't buy Viewsonic monitors" but I can't; for the money they are a great deal.
The true root of this problem lies with the consumer. The manufacturers give us what we want; the instant gratification of being able to walk in the big box store and leaving with what "should be" a big ticket item, within a budget most can afford. So they had to skimp on "good caps". They used plastic clips and snap the thing together instead of using more screws. So what, you got what you wanted. Try telling someone that product "X" will last twice as long but will cost 1/4 more and see what the reaction is. If this wasn't the problem Walmart wouldn't be selling big screen TV's.
Good thought as well, though I do it a little differently. I use a toothbrush and (drum roll) liquid hand soap running under hot water. I've found that the liquid hand soap that "foams" when pumped out of the bottle works amazingly well (I haven't researched what the "foaming" agent is; some kind of surfactant). I do this on SMT boards examined under a microscope - as good or better than the fancy system we had for cleaning semiconductors in a clean room. On FR-4 boards (epoxy resin/fiberglass) you can get away with drying them with compressed air (from a grounded system). On phenolic where the board wil absorb some moisture put them in the over at 100 degrees F for half an hour. Cleaning any board can be done this way, as well as drying out any electronics subjected to water (phones dropped in a toilet can be fixed readily if the battery can be taken out fast enough - so much for the convenience of having a built in battery, huh?).
I thank the originator for including the brand--Emerson--in his post. I will conscientiously avoid them in any future purchases. Abandoning a major piece of electronis after just 3 years is unpardonable. I have gotten help from legitimate companies on equipment more than 40 years old.
Great tips--same as I would have offered. Here's one more.
Take a brush with fine brass bristles and brush the pins of any surface-mount IC that has fine-pitch leads to remove any tin-whisker shorts that may have developed. Use a brass brush, not a toothbrush or other polymer to avoid static discharge. Blow the board clean orally or with compressed air to remove conductive fragments.
When this fixes the problem, have a drink and blame the silly Europeans and their worse-than-useless RoHS act.
Do you think that lead-free solder can actually propagate across the distance between two IC leads and short them? Yes, it actually can span great distances. Search the internet for scary pictures.
It may be small consolation, but I suspect that it's the TV, rather than the remote, that is bad. The problems started with the storm. Very likely there were power spikes as well as drop-outs. The TV, being connected to the power line, is much more likely to have been damaged by this than the battery-powered remote.
If it were mine, and I cared enough to try to get it working, I would look for a hard reset pin, jumper, or button hidden somewhere on the PCB. Or if there was an identifiable commercial CPU on the board, I'd look up its data sheet and find out which pin was its reset pin. But failing that, there's no telling how the engineers designed it, and so there's not much chance of reverse-engineering it with any reasonable amount of time and effort. Of course if you're like the guy who took apart an LED light bulb and figured out now to get into the microcontroller's serial port and reprogram it, you may have a different definition of "reasonable" than I would. Still, I think the problem is in the TV, not the remote.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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