About Troubleshooting the Pioneer Rear Projection TV

This is important information about some Pioneer rear projection TVs that were manufactured from 1999 through 2001. Models affected are the Pioneer Elite PRO 510/610/710HD and Pioneer Elite PRO 520/620/720HD series and their non-Elite counterparts, the Pioneer SD 532/582 /642H5 and 533/583/643H5 series.

These Pioneer rear projection TVs (RPTV’s) are all fantastic systems, and if you own one you know it wasn’t cheap. It was creme de la creme among videophiles at the time and continues its fine tradition today, 15 years later.  Mr Bob wants to encourage you to protect your investment and hold onto your set.  Retailers want you to buy new, they constantly spout, “Out with the old, in with the new!”  They want you to scrap what you have and buy their stuff, for the benefit of their own bottom line.  If you care for their families more than you care for your own – or yourself – then of course you should do what they say.

 

Don’t do it without reading this. These Pioneers are a superb line of rear projection TVs and they are still delivering a dazzling high-definition picture when their owners have been maintaining them properly.  Video testimonials by the owners of these and other fine sets, each shot live and on location, can be found at Mr Bob’s YouTube channel, MrBobBigScreen.  When it comes to having sets that last, nothing built today even comes close to exceeding the longevity of these sets, and how long they are lasting.  These days owners are lucky to get 3-4 years out of their brand new display before something happens to it that will total it.  These Pioneer Elite CRT RPTVs just keep going, and going, and going…

The Pioneer rear projection TV models mentioned above typically have one problem that needs to be addressed, and it’s been happening since 2004: their power supply boards were too-thinly soldered by Pioneer at the factory. This means that years later cold solder joints form, in the form of a “halo” of fatigued solder circling the leg of the device in question (resistor, capacitor etc.) where it’s been soldered to the pad, eventually going full circle and causing that connection to become incomplete, to “let go”.  This is affected by expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature, and causes problems such as fluctuating brightness, intermittent operations and the infamous “Blue Flash”. It may even turn off suddenly but then come back on once cooled down a bit.

If even ONE of those things happens, unplug your set and shut it down! Do not allow it to warm up to normal operating temperature again, even once, until it has been fixed properly and permanently. Otherwise this high-performing projection TV with classic lines that include the Elite Series signature high gloss piano black lacquer finish with gold trim – Pioneer’s top of the line trademark – is likely to become a huge boat anchor.

What is the fix? Properly re-soldering the joints on the power supply board. This is all that needs to happen, but can be a daunting task for the uninitiated and should not be attempted by any but the most thoroughly seasoned service technicians and assemblers, adept at “good solder technique”.  Luckily it’s the only board that needs to be re-soldered, even though there are many boards in these sets.   And not just the solder joints that are bad now; the entire power supply board on these projection TVs need to be re-soldered, or the symptoms will return. This is so the joints that will inescapably go bad later – as the aging continues inexorably, and the heat/cold – expand/contract cycles go on and on, with each power up/power down – don’t.  In other words, future proof  your set! If you have a professional do the job for you, make sure they understand they must re-solder the entire board.  If you do it yourself, be sure and ask yourself if you REALLY want to take on that responsibility.  One neglected “solder bridge” left in there by accident, and who knows what would happen?

If you want to be sure it gets done right, send it to Mr Bob directly.  The costs are reasonable – more than reasonable based on the TV’s original cost – and after testing it directly, Mr Bob will cover you with his lifetime warranty on that resoldering work, so you will never again have to worry about your set being affected by this issue. Contact info for Mr Bob is below.  If you want more info, Mr Bob’s YouTube channel contains a 13 minute video on specifically this issue.  Search YouTube for this title:

How To Fix Your Pioneer Projection TV and Protect It From Damage While It Is In Unstable Condition

Pioneer’s rear projection big screen TV line is designed very nicely, and most importantly built to last. With the power supply’s solder joints intact, and calibration performed by a seasoned professional, there is no reason the display shouldn’t produce dazzling HD, that rivals and stands tall with any of the new short-lived systems sold by retailers today, for many years to come.  View the testimonials on YouTube, they speak for themselves.

______________________

Robert Jones is a Professional Level II ISF Calibrator. His special talent lies in using the Image Perfection protocol as the final and most crucial step in the ultrafine tuning of High-Definition Home Theater and Front and Rear Projection TV systems. He optimizes and extends the working life of Projection TVs to 20 years and beyond.  Bob started the popular “Don’t Dump Your CRT-RPTV!” thread in 2006. It has over 13,000 posts spanning more than 400 pages and its readership hit the million view mark last year. Over 9,000 posts written by Mr Bob about Home Theater and High Definition – answering questions and giving out free professional level technical advice – can be found at www.AVSForum.com under the handle “Mr Bob”. Informational videos, including the 13 minute video mentioned above dedicated specifically to this issue, can be found at his YouTube channel MrBobBigScreen. You can reach Bob directly at 510-278-4247(LL), 650-333-4808 (cell), or bob@imageperfection.com. Though Bob specializes in Pioneer and Mitsubishi projection TV’s, he repairs and maintains Flat Screen and Flat Panel systems made by most manufacturers.

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52 Responses to “About Troubleshooting the Pioneer Rear Projection TV”

  1. I have a pioneer sd-p62a3-k tv when you turn main power on it goes into stand-by but when you turn t.v on it clicks and the stand-by light goes to green then goes back to red and will not come on. Is this something you might be able to help me with by pinting me in the right diriction.

    Thank You
    Tim

    • Since it’s the SD-P series I must assume it’s pre-HD. The Pioneers of that vintage had many problems with cold solder joints. It could be in your deflection board or your power supply board. If you’re lucky that’s all it is and can be taken care of fairly straightforwardly. Or even your convergence board, tho that board had different issues.

      I am available for paid phone consultation and coaching if you wish, my rates are very affordable. Just contact me directly by phone or email.

      Otherwise you’ll probably have to get a local technician involved.

      b

  2. thanks

  3. Hello,your video about solders on the powerboard of an SD532H5 seemed to imply you can resolder these boards pins if they are mailed to you?

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  5. Hi Bob, I have a Pioneer RPTV model PRO-720 HD in service since 11/1/2001. Several months ago the TV started what I call, spark snapping, but only once in a month or so after being ON for a while. Then about a week ago, it started shutting off standby power while watching the TV for a minute or so, after which it come back ON and stay ON the rest of the evening. Last night, it would not turn ON at all. Main power is ON and standby power flashes green for half second and goes immediately to red.
    After watching your video, I removed the main power supply board which was mounted VERTICALLY to the main chassis. My first inspection did not really show any obvious cold or cracked solder joints using a light and magnifying glass (for 76 year old eyes). I have build Heathkit Color TV in my youthful days, and worked in Electronics field all my career, so I can handle re-soldering and parts replacements as required. No fuses are blown on the PS board, and none of the parts show any visible signs of damage.
    What advice do you have for us. Being retired on fixed income, my wife is not in love with spending big bucks to replace what has been a wonderful, excellent quality TV.

    Thank you in advance,

    Dick

    • Sorry this has taken so long to get to my attention, but this site is not heavily traveled.

      If you are qualified and still have the eyes for it, you can do the resoldering yourself. Or you can send it to me and I’ll do it and lifetime warranty my work on it. Email me at bob@imageperfection.com or call at 6503334808. Don’t EVER partially resolder this board. ANY connection that directly connects with anything else in there needs to be resoldered. It’s not for the faint of heart.

      Call me –

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  8. Im grateful for the blog article. Cool.

  9. I have a Pioneer Elite RPTV PRO-730HD. As you know it weigh over 300lbs and is quite bulky. My mission is to get it out of my basement, up a half flight of steps. It was a bear to lower it into the basement, took five sweaty huge adults to do so, but we did have the benefit of gravity. This time, the issues are moving it carefully so it misses woodwork, plaster walls, etc.

    Is there any information that shows how to disassemble the cabinet to make the unit less bulky? I know that the bulk of the weight is on the bottom third or so. The weight would be a lot more manageable if the unit was half or more than half the height. I’d prefer to not try to disassemble it blindly. I’m sure anything done will require a total alignment after assembly. Better than possibly losing this unit if it comes crashing back down the steps and maybe hurts someone in the process.

    Any help?

    • The main weight of the set is in what we call the light box, which comprises the lenses, picture tubes and electronics. Some brands make getting all that out simple as pie – Mit for example not only makes their light box removable very directly, but also allows their bigger sets to split in two, where you can remove the upper half from the more weighty lower half.

      Unfortunately Pioneer did not design this into their sets, so if it is to be done at all, it has to be done manually.

      I have a lot of experience working with the insides of these Elite sets, since I have done many shimming operations, where we raise the CRT array a couple of inches to resize the picture to more appropriately fit the screen. Overscan reduction is what it is called, and it allows you to see what you’ve been missing all these years.

      Where do you live? If not close by, we can always confer over the phone, I do a phone consultation service specifically for such issues. It is not expensive, owners and I get on the phone all the time to do things like clean the optics, to give you back a punchy, sparkling picture again like when it was new. There are 28 optical surfaces in there, 10 of which get incredibly dirty because of the high voltage. Cleaning them again restores the projection path to brand new, BRIGHT, sparkling condition.

      Removing all the heavy parts of the unit and leaving it a relatively empty shell will make it TONS easier to move up a flight of stairs.

      Whatever you do, don’t try to remove the slanted back of the set up above, where the mirror is. Disaster will result.

      Call me, let’s talk about this before you do anything! 650-333-4808 cell, bob@imageperfection.com.

      Send me your phone number so we can continue this live –

  10. Hello Mr. Bob!
    My name is Mikhail, I live one year in California, I from Russia.
    I have a TV the Pioneer Elite Pro 710 HD which I bought together with my house.
    When I its first time included, it worked 10 minutes, and was disconnected.
    Then I could include it for 3 minutes next day.
    Now I can’t include it in general.
    Light is, but on the button I can’t turn on the TV not from the remote, not when pressing standby power a finger.
    Advise, please, there can be it a standard problem, and there is a way how to repair?
    I sent the copy with pictures to your mail.
    Thanks, best regards, Mikhail Fridman

    • These are magnificent TVs, they last forever, and they deserve the finest of attention. Thank you for contacting me.

      Your set is suffering from weak solder connections on the power supply board, and some of then are starting to go critical. This is an issue that has been plaguing these sets since they were 4 years old. It has a very simple solution, but you need someone who is willing to go the distance – and make NO mistakes – to do the job. Anyone who does not make that grade can total your set, so don’t just look in your local neighborhood. Those techs will just fix it for now and later it will all start happening again, and it will keep happening until something downline from it is damaged and is possibly irreplaceable. Send your PS board to me. Once the situation has been corrected, I will extend to you my exclusive lifetime warranty on that work.

      I have made a 13 minute video explaining exactly what’s going on in there and exactly what has to be done.

      https://youtu.be/I_VerYFt6Y8

      You can also reach me at either of my phone numbers: 510-278-4247 or 650-333-4808 cell.

      Mr Bob

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    • WordPress comes very highly recommended. I would use it if I were you, it is free but very capable as well. Some of the biggest marketers – far bigger than I will ever be – use it and love it. They also recommend Vimeo if you need pictures and videos that don’t require royalty payments.

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  23. I liked the post, but please increase the amount of information. More steps and hints would help.

    • You appear to be a real person, so I will answer this one.

      I do not keep this blog up really, it’s more of a general info blog and you can contact me directly for further data.

      You can find untold amounts of this type of info by searching out posts by Mr Bob at http://www.avsforum.com. As Mr Bob I have posted nearly 10,000 times there and will continue to do so. Please let me know if going there helps.

      This blog has become very popular in certain circles and has been hit by more than 10,000 comments so far. Most are spam and individuals looking to get their name in front of someone for search purposes. I have ceased trying to regularly police it because it is too overwhelming to try and sift thru the chaff for the wheat. I decided to do so today, but don’t anticipate doing so again anytime soon. If you want my attention, please contact me directly or post on http://www.avsforum.com, where they usually notify me that someone has posted on one of my threads.

      robert
      bob@imageperfection.com
      510-278-4247 LL
      650-333-4808 c

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  25. Hello Bob, thank you for providing good information.

    I own Pioneer SD-643HD5, purchased in May of 2003. Because I was having two of RGB channels going out in 2011, I had one of local repair shop resolder them. Now in 2016, I am beginning to lose red channel once again.

    The symptom is such that red channel goes out, comes back on when room temperature is warm (like > 75ºF) and goes out when it’s cooler (like in upper 60s).

    Thinking this might be something I can address, I started searching for solutions and came across you. What would you infer the cause of the problem? I still have opened the unit myself so do not know if dust accumulation is a problem.

    Should I able to remove RGB board(s), can you work on them?

    • Would love to help you out on this. Sorry this has not gotten answered sooner, WordPress threw me a curve that I am just now noticing, so my earlier reply never got published.

      Send me your contact info so we can continue this live –

      Robert
      bob@imageperfection.com
      510-278-4247 LL
      650-333-4808 c

  26. I’ve been through this!

  27. Has anyone thought of ways to upgrade the inputs on the Pioneer Elite PRO-730HD rear-projection CRT TVs for HDMI cabling connections?

    • The model 730 has different models of HDMI involvement. One has the HDMI input, another has the DVI input. If yours has the HDMI input you’re home free. If yours has the DVI input, you can get your HDMI content using a simple passive HDMI->DVI converter for under $30 at Radio Shack. With RS gone you’ll probably need to go to a Best Buy now. You’ll lose the audio, as DVI has no audio while HDMI does, but that’s not a big deal in home theater. For the audio just go straight from the player to the audio system in your viewing room or the stereo inputs on the back of your TV.

      Anyone who needs the capacity to convert HDMI into component, which applies to the 710/720 series from the years before the 730 series, contact me directly and I’ll set you up with it. It’s not expensive and you don’t need to give up your Pioneer 510/610/710 or 520/620/720 HD ready set simply because it has no HDMI capacity. Keep your set, we have workarounds for that. Contact me and I’ll bring your set up to the standards for which it was created and designed.

      Even at its present age.

  28. I love this website – its so usefull and helpfull

  29. Dear Bob, i own an pioneer 1150hd pro elite tv.im having problems with it turning off every few minutes iseen ur youtube video and was hoping you can fix my power board.please feel free to contact me

    • Nice talking with you on the phone, Rich. We’ll be in touch.

      I welcome inquiries about the work I do. However there is a wrinkle – overabundance of extraneous comments, comments that have nothing to do with this blog here.

      Anyone who wishes to connect with me on this type of subject should contact me directly rather than inquiring on this blog and expecting a response here. For some reason this blog is fetching huge numbers of comments, most of which are spam; to date over 10,000 comments have come in so far, again 99% of which are spam. That’s simply too much. I don’t have time – nor inclination – for policing it.

      Please contact me directly at:

      510-278-4247 landline
      650-333-4808 cell
      bob@imageperfection.com

  30. Superb website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Appreciate it!

    • Great to hear from you, glad you stopped by.

      The best site I know of to get info like this is http://www.avsforum.com. They have a myriad of topics and issues related to HD and Home Theater. I am approaching my 10,000th post there myself, and others there have done even more.

      If you want to check out my posts there, search out Mr Bob. That’s my handle. One thread I started, “Don’t Dump your CRT RPTV!” has been going strong since 2006. It hit the million view mark a couple of years ago. I am very proud of it. Another, about an anomaly in LG’s OLED sets, has been very well attended also.

      Feel free to start a free account and make a comment on somebody else’s thread there if you wish, or even start your own thread. The members there are always eager to help each other out.

  31. Hi Everyone,

    I have a pioneer elite PRO-610. The screen is getting dark. Any suggestions on how to repair?

    Thanks

    Brian
    drkeyboard@bellsouth.net

    • Absolutely. To see any shadow detail you are probably having to run your Black Level up at +12-+15. Some owners have had to turn it all the way up and are still not seeing adequate shadow detail.

      This is caused by a combination of the optics having gotten incredibly dirty over the years due to the high voltage, and voltage/current alignment issues involving how the energies are set up on these units, to deliver those voltages/currents to the end product/the picture tubes. Luckily, Pioneer seems to be the only brand suffering from this alignment malady. Even more luckily it is very readily cured once you know exactly what to do. But don’t try it on your own. Your set could go into a shutdown it may not recover from. This is a highly technical operation, so please don’t be a cowboy out there. Allow me to guide you through it rather than trying to do it yourself and possibly damaging your set.

      These Pioneer Elite CRT RPTV sets all go dim over the years, reasons why are unknown and really don’t matter. All that’s needed is a recalibration of the energies getting to the guns (picture tubes). With restored clean optics – there are 28 optical surfaces in there, 10 of which get incredibly dirty on a Pioneer Elite, making sure you have been seeing a bleary, blah, non dynamic picture for years – with restored clean optics, that electronics realignment restores the bright and dark light levels to normal, such that your Black Level can then be set at its midpoint again and reveal full shadow detail. This is where it was calibrated for at the factory, which drifts off over the years, resulting in the dimness you see.

      After these 2 operations your set will become brilliant again and have all its dynamic punch again, just like in the Grindle scene in one of my YT videos. That video was actually shot in the daytime, as you’ll see at the end of it.

      I would be glad to usher you thru the process of getting that realignment done on the phone, I have a phone consultation service for such things that is very effective and very instantaneous. It is also very affordable compared to any of the alternatives.

      Would love to help. These sets just keep going, and going, and going…

      Here’s how to reach me. Please get me your contact info so we can continue this live –

      Robert Jones
      bob@imageperfection.com
      510-278-4247 LL
      650-333-4808 c

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