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Sony Recants on Dead Pixels (Sort Of)

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the god-i-want-a-psp-bad dept.

Portables (Games) 490

Ayaress writes "As reported on Gamestop, Sony will now warranty PSP units suffering from dead pixels. Sony still insists that dead pixels are a common problem in all LCD displays, saying "A very small number of dark pixels or continuously lit pixels is normal for LCD screens, and is not a sign of a malfunction," and asks that PSP owners use theirs for at least a week or two, to see if it still bothers them. User who encounter, "persistent and aggravating dead pixels," are instructed to contact Sony customer support, and will be allowed to mail in their PSP to recieve a unit with a new screen."

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New screen (5, Informative)

nearlygod (641860) | about 9 years ago | (#12088903)

I unit with a new screen does not neccesarily mean a new unit.

Re:New screen (1)

Manip (656104) | about 9 years ago | (#12088946)

Yes... But as long as the replacement works without dead pixels who cares.

I myself would return something with dead pixels because they really do irritate me, I mean this thing plays movies, if you have a black schene with a bright white pixel or visa versa then it can really draw your attention from what you're watching.

Re:New screen - pretty new unit (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 9 years ago | (#12089178)

[A} unit with a new screen does not neccesarily mean a new unit.

It probably doesn't mean a very old unit either, however, since PSP hasn't been around that long and it is unlikely they can send you a banged-up unit in replacement.

Outsourcing ? (1)

mirko (198274) | about 9 years ago | (#12088904)

Is it because Sony don't produce their lcd themselves and can now afford to harass their manufacturers to produce betetr screen for cheaper ?

Re:Outsourcing ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12088944)

Did you outsource your spelling and grammar on that post?!

not malfunction? (5, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 9 years ago | (#12088909)

I love it. How are "not functioning pixels" "not a sign of malfunction [reference.com]"?

I've bought well over a dozen LCD montitors from Apple, Dell, and Philips in recent months and I have not seen a single dead pixel on any of them.

This is just a case of Sony reducing cost by widening manufacturing tolerances. It's fine as long as you manage expectations properly.

Re:not malfunction? (3, Informative)

Kanabiis Atiiva (525166) | about 9 years ago | (#12088961)

you probably just never noticed a dead pixel on such a large monitor. Dead pixels ARE common with LCD screens. As manufacturing techniques improve, the frequency of dead pixels decreases, but doesnt disappear completely.

Re:not malfunction? (1)

bfizzle (836992) | about 9 years ago | (#12089107)

What matters is that this is a smaller LCD than most so it has less pixels. Sony is insisting that it is normal for their LCDs to have as many dead pixels as a full sized LCD.

It would be interesting to see on average what the percentage is compared to other LCDs.

Re:not malfunction? (1)

Shalda (560388) | about 9 years ago | (#12089137)

While dead pixels are common to LCD screens, Sony ought to have a policy of not more than X on the screen, and no more than 1 in the central area of the screen within the first year of ownership. Also, I'd like to see some reliable statistics on how widespread the problem is (with an emphasis on comparisons to similar products - GBA, camrea phones, etc.) If there was a substantial issue, I probably wouldn't buy a PSP without first verifying the screen.

Re:not malfunction? (2, Interesting)

b1t r0t (216468) | about 9 years ago | (#12089019)

I have one dead pixel on my 17" Powerbook. The blue is stuck on. I don't normally notice it because usually something white or bluish is over it, but I can notice it when the screen is black. Sometimes it fails white, but if I rub at it with a fingernail, it goes back to blue.

Re:not malfunction? (0, Flamebait)

ziggy_zero (462010) | about 9 years ago | (#12089187)

Well, Powerbook LCD's suck. The entire thing failed on me and I had to get a whole new screen - not cheap. I eventually sold that fucker and got a Rhodes piano - the Powerbook is not missed haha.

Re:not malfunction? (1)

jZnat (793348) | about 9 years ago | (#12089028)

So say Sony as I use my crystal-clear Vaio LCD screen with no dead pixels. Maybe they just phail at handhelds?

Re:not malfunction? (1)

scovetta (632629) | about 9 years ago | (#12089082)

But have you bought cheap-o LCDs? I was considering getting a Spectre 19" LCD, but newegg [newegg.com] says they'll only allow a refund for >6 dead pixels. I took that to mean, "the majority of our LCDs contain no more than 6 dead pixels", and that to mean "all of our monitors have exactly 6 dead pixels".

For those who DO have an LCD with a few dead pixels, how annoying are they?

Re:not malfunction? (1)

pomakis (323200) | about 9 years ago | (#12089182)

My girlfriend's 17" Sony LCD monitor has a single dead pixel, and it's really frikkin' annoying. It's near the middle of the screen, and is always full red. It makes me really nervous about getting an LCD monitor of my own, because such a flaw would drive me mad very quickly.

It's too bad there's no simple way to manually break a few pixels (in a way that doesn't make it look like they were broken on purpose) in order to get the dead-pixel count above the threshold required for a warranty repair/replacement. ... Is there?!?

Re:not malfunction? (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 9 years ago | (#12089086)

You're lucky.

I've bought 4 LCD panels in the last two months. Two from Dell, One from Hyundai, and one from Acer, and all of them have had either dead, or stuck pixels. Each time the manufacturer (reluctantly) replaced the display, but they were there. My wife couldn't see them at all until I shoed her through a jewelers loupe... Of course once you know where they are, they seem to stand out.

Dell doesn't have a "no dead pixels" policy, but if you mention that you're going to return the monitor to their "LCD support center" (I.E. Some cheap warm bodies on the other end of a long phone line to india) they'll replace your display... Just don't be surprised if the one you get is worse. They consider up to 5 dead or stuck pixels "acceptable".

On high resolution displays, stuck sub-pixels are really small. They're hard to see. If you have bought 12 displays and haven't noticed a stuck pixel, chances are you haven't looked hard enough. You almost certainly have at least one. (Or you're incredibly lucky.)

Check out some dead pixel test patterns [gdargaud.net] and see if you missed something. You have to use all of the patterns. They may all look grey when you load them up, but they really are made up of different colors and will test every sub-pixel on your display.

Re:not malfunction? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 years ago | (#12089127)

If dead pixels bother you so much perhaps you should stick to CRTs.

Re:not malfunction? (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 9 years ago | (#12089171)

Not an option really on laptops...

In general I do. I've got two 21" CRTs on my desk. But I don't want a 15" CRT in my Acer laptop, for example...

Re:not malfunction? (1)

thomasa (17495) | about 9 years ago | (#12089143)

Can you imagine if your DRAM had a few bad memory addresses? I am purchasing over 20 256MB DDR chips for my work and expect all 2,147,483,468 bits to work properly.

Re:not malfunction? (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about 9 years ago | (#12089159)

I've bought well over a dozen LCD montitors from Apple, Dell, and Philips in recent months and I have not seen a single dead pixel on any of them.

I've got an iBook G4. It's got several dead pixels. Except they're almost impossible to spot - there's an always-off red pixel a little below the middle-right of the menu bar, for instance, which I've just spent the last minute finding again. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of apparently-dead-pixel-free screens were like this.

Dust on the screen is a bigger problem for me.

I think you'd need to assess dead pixels on a case-by-case basis, though - my digital camera's got an always-on red pixel in the middle of its screen and it's terribly obvious and highly distracting. The pictures it takes are fine, of course [hylobatidae.org], but if the sole purpose of the device was to show pictures (or video or games) on its screen, then I'd be pretty annoyed, and with good reason.

Sony seems to have the right idea - people complaining about a tiny dark or off-colour speck should certainly be discouraged, but there remains an avenue for those with the real horror stories to tell...

The LCD industry needs to get a grip (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12088915)

All of the dollars I spend on my new monitor work just fine, thank you. So guess what... all of the pixels on that monitor had better work just fine, too.

If a manufacturer doesn't consider "a few dead pixels" to be a warrantable issue, then I'm going to make damned sure that the monitor they get back does have a warrantable issue. Applying 120VAC to the 14VDC power jack for a few seconds should do the trick.

Re:The LCD industry needs to get a grip (1, Insightful)

lintux (125434) | about 9 years ago | (#12089059)

And since when is something you broke yourself on purpose warrantable?

Re:The LCD industry needs to get a grip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089132)

All the time, according to the sales people at Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.

Re:The LCD industry needs to get a grip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089228)

I've had to do this with a bunch of Dells - instead of waiting on their tech support line for 2 hours explaing how their crappy computers halt duing Memtest, Knoppix and Winodws XP, I've gottem to the point of just frying the montherboard with 16v.

My time is valuable, and if Dell doesen't want to believe me that their computers were randomly crashing, then the'll be forced to believe that their computers won't boot up.

Is there a quality problem? (2, Interesting)

PxM (855264) | about 9 years ago | (#12088916)

Why does Sony seem to have a higher level of complaints than all the other LCD makers? Was it a rushed process resulting in dropped quality or do they have the same quality as others and the media is just picking up on their problems?
BTW, requisite PA comic [penny-arcade.com] on the topic
Want a free iPod? [freeipods.com]
Or try a free Nintendo DS, GC, PS2, Xbox. [freegamingsystems.com] (you only need 4 referrals)
Wired article as proof [wired.com]

Re:Is there a quality problem? (1)

carninja (792514) | about 9 years ago | (#12089093)

Yeah, did it bug anybody else that Penny-Arcade posted this long before slashdot got around to it? Is slashdot slackin?

Re:Is there a quality problem? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089222)

Does anyone care about what the morons at penny arcade post?

I sure don't.

Re:Is there a quality problem? (1)

Digz (90264) | about 9 years ago | (#12089158)

It's probably the same. I have a Nintendo DS. The first one I got had 1 dead pixel on the top screen. I exchanged it and got one that had 3 dead pixels on the bottom screen.

Right now it doesn't bother me too much, but I may exchange it in the future if the bottom screen gets used for more than mostly just moving in games.

Yes, it bothers me (4, Interesting)

daveewart (66895) | about 9 years ago | (#12088929)

"Yes, it bothers me. Replace it."

How can they say it isn't a defect? Of course it's a defect.

Seems like 0 is the norm now. (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#12088932)

While commonly referred to as a "defect," Sony says the off-colored pixel problem is common in all LCD screens. "A very small number of dark pixels or continuously lit pixels is normal for LCD screens, and is not a sign of a malfunction," a representative for Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) told GameSpot.

How many pixels are we talking? I have no problem with one or two dead pixels (depending on the screen size). I would think that for the size/resolution of the PSP that 1 or 2 would only be noticable and that would depend on what color they are permanently (white would likely be annoying on dark games).

I received 0 dead pixels for the first time in my life when I purchased a 17" LCD panel (I forgot which company as it's not in front of me at the moment). The second time I received 0 dead pixels was on my work computer's Dell 23" LCD. I would think that in this day and age, at that screen size, if I would end up w/0 dead pixels a PSP could too.

Re:Seems like 0 is the norm now. (1)

diplomaticImmunity (855769) | about 9 years ago | (#12089013)

I received 0 dead pixels for the first time in my life when I purchased a 17" LCD I don't see why you'd accept this - I've asked for every monitor I've bought to be removed from the box and demonstrated for me to ensure there are no dead pixels before I'd accept it. As somebody up above said, you're paying the full value for it, why would you accept anything less? And I'd imagine even a single dead pixel on a screen that small would be incredibly annoying...

laptop screen (5, Informative)

phorm (591458) | about 9 years ago | (#12088935)

My laptop screen is 1440x900px. Of those pixels (1296000) in all, they're all healthy.

Similarly, even the cheaper laptops we get in tend to have fully functional screens to start with.

Sorry guys, but dead pixels are not as common as you might want us to believe. Maybe in a poorly designed portable wherein the manufacturer doesn't care so much about quality, yes... but lately other devices seem to have less pixel-problems.

Re:laptop screen (4, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 9 years ago | (#12089104)

I got a laptop from Rock [rockdirect.com], who are a reputable company with good customer care. It had a few faulty pixels, and they replaced the screen. My dad got a laptop from PC World; it has some faulty pixels, and they refused to replace it. Their policy is that ten adjacent dead pixels constitutes a fault! Serves him right, I warned him not to buy expensive hardware from PCW.

Karma Whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089117)

You (should) know damn well that most OEM's still sell screens with a small number of bad pixels. The cost of perfection often doesnt fit the market.

Re:Karma Whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089186)

I think he's more willfully ignorant and a wishful thinker than a karma whore.

Re:laptop screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089148)

"Sorry guys, but dead pixels are not as common as you might want us to believe"

You don't deal with LCDs enough to provide an accurate sampling.

Of course (5, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | about 9 years ago | (#12088937)

They're just going to reship the units sent back to them without servicing them, so somebody else will get your dead pixels.

It is a common issue (3, Informative)

Catskul (323619) | about 9 years ago | (#12088939)

Its not as if they are making it up. Virtually all lcd manufactures accept screens with a "few" bad pixels. Look it up [wikipedia.org]

Re:It is a common issue (1)

traabil (861418) | about 9 years ago | (#12088980)

They're free to accept anything they want, but it doesn't imply that we as consumers should.

Re:It is a common issue (1)

Catskul (323619) | about 9 years ago | (#12089035)

You are free to complain about anything you want, but would you pay a higher price for the quality. Prices increase exponentially with quality. If it bothers you, vote with your wallet.

My point is that this is not Sony being an asshole and making things up to cover bad engineering. It is a common issue.

Re:It is a common issue (1)

traabil (861418) | about 9 years ago | (#12089193)

You are free to complain about anything you want, but would you pay a higher price for the quality. Prices increase exponentially with quality. If it bothers you, vote with your wallet.

Partly agreed. Quality does and should cost, but it's not as though manufacturing costs are the primary drivers of price in the technology marketplace, anyway. And prices weren't my point, quality was.

Maybe Sony's just conveying a general sentiment among manufacturers. There's still no reason I (or you) as consumer(s) shouldn't crave high quality products.

Re:It is a common issue (1)

Stalyn (662) | about 9 years ago | (#12089214)

Prices increase exponentially with quality.

So Linux will never get better?

Re:It is a common issue (1)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | about 9 years ago | (#12089224)

No, they're not being assholes, but Sony did gamble that people paying $250 for a PSP were not going to grumble over a few dead pixels. By doing so, they can lower the tolerances for screens they accept from the manufacturer and reduce manufacturing costs.

They choose poorly. Of course people are going to want devices with flawless screens, especially if the people buying are early adopters who are notorious for demanding perfection. I never did hear back on my other post asking if Sony did indeed change screen manufacturers for their North American units as opposed to the Japanese units.

So now with all of the griping and complaining, Sony has a bit of a PR problem about their hot new units as well. They're getting hit with a "pay $250 for a flawed display" type press, which will likely cost them in terms of unit sales.

Will that offset the reduced cost of manufacturing if they get lots of returns, or people who are unwilling to buy a unit until the screens are improved? Only time will tell...

I'd be interested in picking a unit up, but I'll wait until there's more good software as well as fewer reports of flawed screens.


Re:It is a common issue (1)

lowe0 (136140) | about 9 years ago | (#12089197)

I've heard reports of as many as 9 stuck pixels, all in a row. I've never seen an LCD sold with that many defects.

My 17" Samsung has one dead pixel. One. I'll live with that. (Stuck pixels, IMO, are unacceptable, but two or three dead pixels are okay.)

Illegal? (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | about 9 years ago | (#12088940)

Isn't it illegal in the US to sell electronics equipment without warranting it for a short period? I seem to remember seeing that somewhere, but can't remember where...

Not that I would EVER call something as cool as a PSP faulty, but the figure in the article of 1/2 their handhelds having pixels dark or light means SOMEONE decided to shave a few cents somewhere they shouldn't have.... And so the axe falls.

They're right! (1)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | about 9 years ago | (#12088948)

Sony still insists that dead pixels are a common problem in all LCD displays

Dead pixels ARE a common problem in all LCD displays. Why is this written like Sony is the only company saying this?

Re:They're right! (1)

GeckoX (259575) | about 9 years ago | (#12089130)

My personal experience would beg to differ.

I've got 2 17" samsung 173T monitors, and a 15" thinkpad. Not one single dead pixel on any of them. For that matter, neither of the cell phones in my house have dead pixels on their screens either.

Now, I do realize and understand why manufacturers have defined tolerances for acceptability. Most tend to concider 2-3 dead pixels on a large monitor to be acceptable. This I can accept as it is indeed quite expensive to scrap any displays that come out of production with a couple of dead pixels. Still though, knowing that in reality it isn't that common to have dead pixels, I would suggest always testing before purchasing. Just don't buy the monitor with the dead pixels if you happen across one ;)

Re:They're right! (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 9 years ago | (#12089192)

Dead pixels ARE a common problem in all LCD displays. Why is this written like Sony is the only company saying this?

Not really.

Firstly, the common ISO thresholds for dead pixels typically range about 1 to 3 full pixels, and up to 7 subpixels on a typical 17" (1280x1024) display (note: cheaper brands may go with lesser quality panels - BenQ, will allow up to 7 full pixels and 17 subpixels(!) before considering replacement). Going for the worst (3 dead pixels == 9 dead subpixels) - there are 1280x1024x3 subpixels on a 17" panel or 3,932,160. If 9 of them are bad before returns, that's ~0.0000023 dead subpixels, or one dead subpixel for every 436,906 subpixels.

The PSP has a nice 480x270 LCD, or 388,800 subpixels. There should be no dead pixels at all on a screen this small!

In a more anecdotal sense, I remember when color TFTs came out and it was really difficult to get 640x480 screens with zero dead pixels (this was over a decade ago). Fast forward a few years, and the incidence of dead pixels dropped quite significantly, and these days, getting a monitor with dead pixels and laptops with dead pixels tend to be a rarity. It does happen, but rarely (unless you just happen to be really unlucky).

I'm pretty sure people don't complain of dead pixels on PDA screens (QVGA and higher, including oddball 320x320 and Half VGA, to full VGA) - and the incidence of dead pixels on these screens is extremely low.

On screens that are VGA or lower resolution, dead pixels are such a rarity that honestly, it shouldn't be tolerated.

Sony can say all they like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12088965)

i have consumer rights, if i want my money back or a replacement my sales contract is with the store i gave the cash to, if sony wont accept returns from the store that really isnt my problem, the shop can always stop stocking them

Where is the planning? (1)

kneecarrot (646291) | about 9 years ago | (#12088967)

I can't help but say that the confusion and conflicting messages of the last week has made Sony look rather unprofessional. They knew they were shipping a handheld that used an LCD screen. Everyone knows LCD screens have these issues. They should have figured out their policy BEFORE they launched, not bumble around for a week and then come to the plate.

Return to store (1)

rbabb (134729) | about 9 years ago | (#12088969)

Rather than spending MORE money to send the product back, just buy it from a retailer with a liberal return policy!!!

It's normal, but not that normal to sell... yet... (1)

tricops (635353) | about 9 years ago | (#12088972)

Well of course it's normal. LCD manufacturers typically write off a large portion of what they make because of minor defects, right? So what ... now Sony has decided to accept lower quality parts?

That's a good thing overall I would think.... less waste=lower cost... but they should give the consumer the option of what they want, maybe with a minor price reduction for the more defective version.

Re:It's normal, but not that normal to sell... yet (3, Funny)

H_Fisher (808597) | about 9 years ago | (#12089215)

they should give the consumer the option of what they want, maybe with a minor price reduction for the more defective version.

Right. Maybe they'll call it the PSP Reduced Pixel Edition.

Suffering aggravation from persistent dead pixels! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12088976)

To stop those pixels 1-2-3,
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free,
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee...
Guarantee void in Tennessee.

Just don't look! Just don't look!
Just don't look! Just don't look!
Just don't look! Just don't look!

Samsung offers zero dead pixel guarantee (1)

karvind (833059) | about 9 years ago | (#12088979)

Old [slashdot.org] Slashdot story about Samsung's zero dead pixel policy. I assume that Samsung has matured their display technology far better than Sony and offering zero dead pixel is not impossible.

Re:Samsung offers zero dead pixel guarantee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089075)

Viewsonic and Phillips also have a 0 dead pixel policy, not that affects the consumer as technically we dont buy it off Sony
regardless of what they might say if its faulty take it back to the store, they are the people i gave my cash to

Re:Samsung offers zero dead pixel guarantee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089162)

Where do you think they are going to ship all their defective monitors now? Just because they offer it in one country doesn't mean that they've increased the quality of their monitors. It's nice to know that even though we live in one of the most powerful countries in the world (US), we still get second rate quality products. *cough*

I don't understand (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 9 years ago | (#12088982)

Can someone please explain to me how having an LCD with dead pixels (even one) is considered "normal"?

I'm sure there is an obvious reason, but unfortunately the only way I see it is that I've paid good money for a good display and if one pixel has failed within the warrenty period then I consider it to be malfunctioning and therefore not doing what it was originally intended for.

So is this a classic case of manufacturers trying to get us to accept mediocrity?

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089078)

>Can someone please explain to me how having an LCD with dead pixels (even one) is considered "normal"?

It's not great, but it is within "standard industry tolerances" for that quality of LCD.

Re:I don't understand (1)

GeckoX (259575) | about 9 years ago | (#12089170)

Sort of, but it is a balancing act. Producing an LCD screen and then throwing it out because of 1 dead pixel out of 1310720 is certainly wasteful and drives cost up. If there is an acceptable balance as to what consumers will accept as functional for their money, then it makes sense to do so. Most monitor manufacturers specify that 2-3 dead pixels is acceptable. I've also never heard of a manufacturer that flat out refused replacement when pushed on this anyways.

Now, if dead pixels aren't acceptable for you, easy solution: Try before you buy.

Re:I don't understand (1)

swv3752 (187722) | about 9 years ago | (#12089190)

A single dark (on) pixel will probably never be noticed. A single colored pixel (half-on) will not be noticeable depending on position and color and screen colors. A single white pixel (off) is very noticeable and will be seen on most any screen.

The problems is that the lcd production is prone to producing screens with a fixed pixel. The take a sheet of glass, line it with velvet, lay the pixel on the velvet, and then afix a matrix to the pixels. Think how likely in this process that out of millions of pixels (calculate out the higher res screens and it is millions of pixels) one or more will get slightly misaligned.

Re:I don't understand (1)

RichMan (8097) | about 9 years ago | (#12089207)

Manufacturing things like integrated circuits and LCD screens face a very predictable statistical distribution of defects due to the nature of the manufacturing process. There is a definite probablilty that a defect will occur on a device of a given size. This scales directly with the device area.

Lets say it costs $10 to make a screen. Lets say there is a 1% probability of making a screen with 0 defects and a 50% probability of making a screen with 10 defects.

The average cost of perfect screens is $1000.
The average cost of acceptable screens is $20.

Re:I don't understand (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about 9 years ago | (#12089226)

Can someone please explain to me how having an LCD with dead pixels (even one) is considered "normal"?

Because the manufacturing of LCD displays produces a lot of devices with dead pixels. It is normal. The only thing that alters that is whether or not the company distributing the end product is willing to charge enough for that product (and whether the consumers are willing to pay enough) to cover their having to throw out any sub-perfect displays.

I've paid good money for a good display

Actually, you've paid the price the manufacturer and their dealers have asked, for what it is they say they're selling. If they say they're selling a unit with an LCD display that may have a dead pixel or two, then that's what your money buys. If they say they're selling you a unit with a flawless display (something Sony is expressly saying that they are not providing at that price), then that's another matter.

So is this a classic case of manufacturers trying to get us to accept mediocrity

But we accept mediocrity all the time. That's the only thing that makes life affordable. If everything we made and purchased was "the best," then that would be the new average, or middle-ground (or mediocrity), and we'd just complain because, gee, at that price, shouldn't it be gold-plated and read my mind, too? This isn't about excellence, it's about price. No doubt Sony weighed very carefully the price they expected to get, the distribution costs, the manufacturing costs, and came to this decision. It was probably tone-deaf from a marketing/PR point of view, but it was no doubt a very deliberate decision made to keep the retail price down a notch or two.

Why does everyone even care about this? Because they want the product, and consider it to be within reach, money-wise. If the thing cost $1000, no one would be talking about it. If the thing cost $49, we'd all shrug at dead pixel or two. It's finding that sweet spot, for Sony and for us, that's hard - and Sony probably gambled a little unwisely with this, and didn't have the PR engine in place as well as they should have. They're not idiots, and it's not like they don't want you for a customer. And if you're absolutely sure that this is an evil plot by a mediocrity-driven company, then surely you don't want their entertainment product anyway, right? I'm being rhetorical, but you get my drift. It's price point, price point, price point.

Hey that car doesnt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12088985)

need a break pedal working all the time. its a pretty common thing for your break pedal to fail sometimes in your car.

Please sony just because your product is crap does not mean you can pass it off as normal. what happend to perfection?

Didn't want a blackeye (4, Informative)

Kirby-meister (574952) | about 9 years ago | (#12088986)

I guess Nintendo's stance on the dead-pixel, offering to replace any DS that has a dead-pixel, forced them into this...otherwise it would've been a blackeye for them. Competition is already making the handheld war good for the consumer. It should make this a good handheld war, much like the golden days of SNES vs Genesis...

good thing about Samsung (1)

jumbledInTheHead (837677) | about 9 years ago | (#12088996)

Samsung is the only manufacture that I know of that will warrant against any dead pixels in their displays. Most usually have some minimum number required to exchange. Until then caveat emptor. - You call that a sig?

extended store warranty? (2, Interesting)

sp5 (867987) | about 9 years ago | (#12088997)

I wonder if it would be covered under the extended warranty that every high tech store seems to be pushing these days at the time of sale. I normally don't go for these warranties -- they are a waste of money IMHO -- but it might make sense for the PSP.


it's a Sony, of course it'll have problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089001)

Every Sony game systems since the original Playstation has had some sort of problem at launch. I think anyone stupid enough to spend $250 on PSP early adoption deserves to have bad pixels.

meh.... (3, Insightful)

Viceice (462967) | about 9 years ago | (#12089011)

Personally, I find that regardless of how much the industry tries to insist that dead pixels are normal, consumers tend to have zero tolorance for them.

Having worked retail before, my experence is that if you even try to hint that it's not a defect, they'll throw a fit and think you're out to cheat them.

And who can blame em? Anything with a colour LCD on it comes at a price premium and nobody in their right mind would want to pay a premium for something that in their mind is defective.

The iritation from that one tiny discoloured dot alone is enough to wipe out any satisfaction to be had from owning that product.

Remember, (1)

keyne9 (567528) | about 9 years ago | (#12089020)

This is coming from the same company that told users that a faulty button was intentional and that they should deal with it.

Of course, they later recanted that atrocious statement assuring design changes, so I'd expect tehm to stop saying stupid things like this at some point in the future. That is, until the next broken thing about their new portable is found, in which case, there will be no problem with that, either (you fools).

Come to think of it, is their PR person that Iraqi Information Minister now?

Re:Remember, (1)

jcuervo (715139) | about 9 years ago | (#12089173)

Come to think of it, is their PR person that Iraqi Information Minister now?
There are no dead pixels! This is a lie told by the infidel! Our units are flawless. Our competitors are throwing themselves at the ground outside our corporate headquarters and praying to be bought out.

It's just a misprint... (2, Funny)

jsoffron (718739) | about 9 years ago | (#12089043)

It was meant to read that "Sony still insists that dead pixels are a common problem in all broken LCD displays."


wow.. (1, Redundant)

JustNiz (692889) | about 9 years ago | (#12089048)

Thankfully my new 24" 1920x1200 panel arrived with no dead pixels.

If Samsung/Dell can get it right, why can't Sony with a much smaller/lower res screen?

They just need better marketing (4, Funny)

tritone (189506) | about 9 years ago | (#12089061)

Maybe: "Life is Random."

Nope. Apple already has used that.

What about: "Sony Introduces PIX, the Personal Identification indeX. In case your PSP is lost or stolen, it can be easily be identified by checking the pattern of unactivated pixels!"

Yeah. That'll do.

Re:They just need better marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089120)

What about: "Sony Introduces PIX, the Personal Identification indeX. In case your PSP is lost or stolen, it can be easily be identified by checking the pattern of unactivated pixels!"

Yeah. That'll do.
I'll do you one better: "DeadPIX", the Dead Pixel Identification indeX.

Won't someone please think about the pixels? (1)

jivinflava (836661) | about 9 years ago | (#12089063)

All this talk about "I want my PSP replaced because of dead pixels"... and no one cares about how the pixels feel!!! There are dead pixels everywhere, and no one seems to care! Won't someone please think about the pixels?

Too many defects (5, Informative)

Gribflex (177733) | about 9 years ago | (#12089080)

My wife - she works at Futureshop (the Canadian arm of Best Buy) - came home last night to tell me of her hatred for the PSP.

On the opening day, about 17% of the PSPs sold were returned due to defect of some kind. Many of them didn't even turn on.

Yesterday, she had person after person coming into the store complaining about dead pixels. With one guy, she went through an entire crate of PSPs to try and find one that didn't have a dead pixel. No luck. He ended up settling for a PSP that had only one dead pixel - rather than the average 3. One of them had an entire vertical column gone.

From what I'm hearing from my wife, it would be much, much better to wait until revision B before thinking about purchasing a PSP. The ones on the shelves today have far too many defects.

This may be related to the slow sales in America. (1)

Zangief (461457) | about 9 years ago | (#12089083)

Because they have spare units to replace the ones with dead pixels.

I will never buy Sony again (3, Informative)

John Seminal (698722) | about 9 years ago | (#12089090)

I purchased a Sony Vaio GRX-520 for over $2,000 when other laptops were selling for half that price. I picked Sony because I expected the best quality moeny could buy. But then I got 2 pixels that are always red. I tried to return the unit to Sony to get it fixed, but they would not help.

It is frustrating, to spend twice as much as other options, to get something that turned out to be lower quality. And what really burned me was their non-existent customer service. It took forever to get a human on the phone, only to be told they could not do anything.

Re:I will never buy Sony again (4, Interesting)

merlin_jim (302773) | about 9 years ago | (#12089150)

And what really burned me was their non-existent customer service.

A close family member used to work at their american tech support center. Turnover was high. Expectations were high. Typical "get the customer off the phone" policies. He was there for about 9 months IIRC, and at that point was the senior member of his team.

IMHO, (and this is an informed second-hand opinion) Sony really needs to stop treating customer service as a cost center, and give it the same branding treatment they give all their other products BEFORE sale.

Or to rephrase: branding doesn't stop just because the consumer has bought your device.

It continually amazes me that a company that is SO great at branding (see: playstation, XPlode, SonyStyle, Walkman, VAIO) drops the ball at such a crucial part of the branding experience.

My PSP (1)

justinstreufert (459931) | about 9 years ago | (#12089099)

My first unit had no dead pixels, but it did have a giant piece of dirt trapped between the layers of the screen. The dirt was even visible when the PSP was off. When I returned it to Best Buy, the service desk lady actually exclaimed, "Oh my god!"

She informed me that at least my particular Best Buy had been accepting PSP returns from anyone with even a single dead pixel. This seems contrary to Sony's policy, but I'm certainly not complaining. :)

My replacement PSP has one dead pixel. It's stuck off (black) and it's in the bottom right corner. I'm not going to return the console again; For one thing, I realize that production costs go up inversely to the allowable percentage of dead pixels, and the PSP is expensive enough already!


Solution (1)

Suicidal Teapot (820232) | about 9 years ago | (#12089118)

Some bright highschool student should come up with software that can address dead pixels directly and make the nearby pixels compensate somehow to hide the symptom. Sort of like how on some inkjet printers you can program in the clogged jets and the others will realign themselves to hide the problem.

1 or 2 weeks of test are necessary... (1)

brainnolo (688900) | about 9 years ago | (#12089119)

Ok while i agree that even 1 malfunctioning pixel IS a defect, i also agree with Sony that you should give it 1 or 2 weeks of time to test it. Why? Because LCD screens sometimes automagically repairs. When i bought my iMac 15" there was a red spot, you can understand my delusion to see that on that expensive thing. However i didn't want to stay more time without the Mac so i kept it. Guess what? After less than 1 week that red spot disappeared from the screen a started working normally. So while claiming that some dead pixels are not a malfunction is really cheating the customer, telling them to wait some time can actually be a good advice.

The end user does not care about complexity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12089152)

Sony, along with all other companies that are slapping LCD screens in their products, need to learn that most end users does not give a crap how many pixels are in a device, they just expect all of them to work correctly. The argument that "This is normal for an LCD device" isn't really going to hold water for the guy who just dropped 250 bucks on a new gaming system. Nor should it hold water for the guy who bought a nice new computer monitor just to see that it has a couple of stuck pixels, but every company has a different replacement policy, and a different level of customer support bullshit you have to go through to get your replacement. Which is why I just bought another CRT monitor when my last one died...
I know the first DS I owned had a stuck pixel right in the middle of the screen. Nintendo was nice enough to mail me a replacement system, and then let me send back my machine with the dead pixel in the box they mailed the new system in. So I didn't have to go without the new system I just bought to have it fixed. Sounds like Sony is doing things a bit differently, but they are replacing the systems rather then telling the end user that "This is normal. Live with it." Which, in the end, is a good thing!

I was waiting to hear Kutaragi... (1)

Zangief (461457) | about 9 years ago | (#12089153)

"Dead pixels are part of the experience we wanted to deliver with the PSP. You don't criticize an architect if some windows are broken. The PSP is a beautiful machine, and you fail to understand its screen fully".

Bottom line: dead pixels are a feature, not a bug.

Since the power shifted at Sony, and Kutaragi isn't the CEO, I guess the high honchos told him to STFU and replace the defective units.

Kids these days.. (1)

Slayback (12197) | about 9 years ago | (#12089155)

Why back in my day, my Turbo Express came with a handful of dead pixels. That was normal, because they were made by HAND. You attempt to return one of those because of a dead pixel or 5, you'd be laughed at. And mind you, this is when you're playing a game that was designed for a 20" TV on a 2.5" screen, so one pixel was really making you miss something.

Seriously though, it bugged the crap out of me back then, and I'd definately be returning my PSP when 0 dead pixels seem to be the norm for much larger screens. Stop cutting corners Sony!

Not just Sony (1)

xfmr_expert (853170) | about 9 years ago | (#12089176)

Dead pixels have been a problem for awhile now, at least since TFT LCD panels became the standard. You'll get the same bullshit party line from everyone..."It's a function of the manufacturing process...there are X million pixels, there will likely be a few defective pixels". There is even an ISO standard covering the topic. Various manufacturers have different policies on dead pixels. It all boils down to money though. Like any other electronic device, it is possible to produce defect free devices, it just costs more. By letting panels with defective pixels through, they save some cash and drive up their profits.

I have been through 3 or 4 laptops in recent years, all with dead pixels. All IBMs. I even went through the trouble of shipping new laptops back under their 30 day guarantee until I got a good one. That screen worked for a few months before it developed a different defect (pixels would fade from white to black over a period of several seconds, allowing you to actually read text that was no longer there). They replaced my panel with, you guessed it, a panel with defective pixels. In that case the onsite tech broke the laptop so badly it had to be shipped to an IBM repair facility where they held on to it for over a month and did not fix the bloody thing.

This is a general trend in all consumer electronics. Times get tough, so rather than showing a less than expected profit growth, they find ways to cut corners. Tech support was one avenue they tried. Dell learned the hard way that this was not the best of ideas. Quality is another way. This includes using "remanufactured" parts, using parts rejected by other vendors, etc. Companies have all been guilty of it in varying degrees. IBM has been one of the worst. When things get to bad, they sell it (their HD business, and now their PC business).

Environmental impact studies? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 9 years ago | (#12089202)

Are there any studies which show the impact to the environment from throwing away thousands of nearly brand-new, 99.99% good LCD screen?

I think dead pixels are annoying, but I'd have to think twice about what the demand of perfection does to the environment.

Sony repairs (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | about 9 years ago | (#12089211)

I hope you get better luck out of sony for you p2p that I did out of them for my th-55 clie. It stopped working. I sent it in for repairs. They fucked it up there and blamed it on me even. Now I have a pda worth shit. Buy sony shit only at your own risk

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