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Chuck Williams
Chuck Williams, Technician
Category: TV
Satisfied Customers: 3810
Experience:  Over 25 years of experience servicing AV electronics to component level, ISF and THX Cert.
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I have a Vizio 42Inch Plasma tv that is 4 yrs old and the picture

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I have a Vizio 42Inch Plasma tv that is 4 yrs old and the picture has gone out.
The costco concierge service helped me troubleshoot and thinks that the lamp/bulb is out since their is no light emitting from even the vents on the rear.
Is this a potential repair that I can handle being somewhat handy or do I need to call an actual repairman?
Also, is this a pricey repair or is it better to replace the TV? I figured that you guys knew a lot more than an 18 yr old at best buy!!!!

Hi, Lloyd!


A plasma TV doesn't have a bulb. More than likely, what you have is a defective Y Sustain or Z Sustain board. These are located on the left and right sides of the panel. The problem is that there is no easy way to determine which is causing the problem.


But if you are comfortable taking the back off of the set, there's one quick and dirty method that's worked well for me many times. Take the back off, power up the set, let it run for 10 minutes, and carefully feel the various heat sinks on these two boards. All of them should be at least moderately warm. If you find one that's cold, there's a good possibility that that board is where the problem is.


And instead of trying to order brand new ones, consider contacting PTS Corp. and see if they can rebuild the board for you.


Hope that helps, thanks for using JustAnswer!



Chuck Williams and other TV Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Are these types of components very expensive? Do I end up trying to take apart the tv and have to express mail them the part?

The boards usually retail for about $300, but you can certainly find them for less, especially if you go to PTS, as I mentioned above, or also Tristate Module. And sure, if the part is in stock from whomever you buy it from, it can be sent by any expedited menas that you'd like.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for all of your advice.

Delighted to help, let me know if you have any other questions!



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I ordered the ZSus board since it was cold, it was 90 w shipping from tristate, only 5 screws held it in . I'll let u know how it works. Thanks again.

Very good. If the Y Sustain board had warm heat sinks, but the Z Sustain didn't, I'll bet that will fix it.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.


I don't know how many questions I can ask but I'll be glad to tip well if we can fix this TV. The Z board came in today from Tristate and I hooked it up but still no luck and it doesn't get warm either like the Y board. Do you just keep ordering the boards until it is fixed or can I use an ohm meter to see if one is not getting any power?

The big board in the middle that feeds both the Y and Z gets a little warm except for 2 of the radiators on it. Is their a diagnostic tool I can buy somewhere like tristate to figure out which board is bad or is that getting too expensive?

What should I try next?




Lloyd, does the new board act (and feel) the same as the old board?


And you're pretty sure you got it installed OK, especially the ribbon cables on the edge of the board that go to the plasma panel?


Do you have a voltmeter? If so, set it to read DC volats in the 200 volt range, put the black probe on ground (the back of the plasma panel is fine, and measure the VS and VA voltages coming from the power supply. You might have to hunt for them, these voltages will be on connectors that feed the Y and Z Sustain boards. But VS should be in the 190 volt range,, and VA sould be in the 60 volt range. Do you have that?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I'm at work now but yes the board does not warm up at all. I do have a volt meter at home so I'll check it later on this evening.


OK, just let me know, but if the new board doesn't get warm at all, but the old one did to some degree, that almost makes me think the new board is bad.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, the old Z board never got warm either they just feel the same. I even know the old board was getting power since my hand brushed one of those live diodes and gave me a little shock and I wasn't willing to touch the new board but I'll dig up the volt meter tonight I just didn't know what to be touching with the tester.

>>I even know the old board was getting power since my hand brushed one of those live diodes and gave me a little shock<<


I'll bet that was the VS voltage. If you have both of those voltages, then I'm afraid my trick of feeling for a cool heat sink didn't work (it doesn't always), and you have a defective Y Sustain. I really doubt that it's the power supply if you have those 2 voltages, and the set otherwise turns on and off with the remote.