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850 series - IR interference with cable boxes

by jimzzzak / October 25, 2008 7:36 AM PDT

I have heard that the 850 series interferes with the ability to control certain cable boxes via an IR control.

I am aware that there are some possible firmware fixes for this. However, I have heard that this may cause degradation of the picture quality, particularly of the backlight intensity.

Can anyone provide me with more info on this problem?

What cable boxes/DVRs are affected?

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If I may ask....
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / October 25, 2008 2:26 PM PDT

I havne't heard of this yet.

Where did you hear about this?

--HDTech

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AVS Forum
by jimzzzak / October 25, 2008 6:03 PM PDT
In reply to: If I may ask....
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Isolated
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / October 26, 2008 5:16 AM PDT
In reply to: AVS Forum

For the most part, from what I've been able to dig up, those problems are rare and isolated. Most people use IR remote controls without any issues at all.

--HDTech

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IR Interference is True!
by Sweetboz / November 1, 2008 2:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Isolated

I would question rare. I have read many threads about this very issue.

I purchased a 850 series and cannot work my Time Warner cable box due to all of the noise. I have moved the box and still have issues. It seems to get better after about 5 minutes but no one seems to believe or have an answer. Energy saver is off and backlight down but the tv still produces a lot of noise.

I am thinking of returning the tv if I cannot find a fix. Tape on the cable box helps a little, but I do not want to wait 5+ minutes to be able to use the remote.

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Addressing....
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 2, 2008 2:34 AM PST

Very well. I will include this information in a report and send it up. If it's affecting someone here, I can most certainly address it.

I hope you understand that my intention was not to downplay an issue that is "out on the internet", but instead to point out that several forum members who own an LNxxA850 have not noted that they have experienced problems at all on this forum until now.

This is the spirit of the forum. It gives us direct feedback and a chance to address such issues. Which I will happily look into.

What "noise" is affecting the cable box, and which remote is causing it when used? Often times, cable boxes come with (or one is available with) a remote IR that you can place apart from the cable box. How does that affect the use of the television?

--HDTech

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IR Interference
by Sweetboz / November 4, 2008 4:29 AM PST
In reply to: Addressing....

Thanks for replying. My experience may be unique but I will tell my story as best I can to give you the most data to report. Sorry for the length.

Our Samsung 850 and our Time Warner cable box would not function together. When I 1st plugged in the TV and cable straight from the wall jack, cable had no issues. The cable box was then placed in our entertainment center. When I hooked up a Scientific Atlantic cable box and turned on the TV, the "Synergy" remote would not work when trying to change channels or use the guide. After 10 minutes I could use the remote on one side of the room.

I had Time Warner come out and they hooked up 3 different cable boxes and 4 different remotes and they all failed to work the remote. The big break through came when the cable and remote would work on my old sony tube TV. I then happened to turn on the Samsung and the remote stopped working. Turning off the Samsung, the cable box worked.

After searching the internet and further testing we determined that it was the TV putting out a lot of "IR Noise" or the same IR freguency causing the remote to not work with the cable box. We moved the box and attempted to use a IR Extender with no luck.

I am not sure of the power output of the TV or the backlight output but we had all settings set to low and energy saver off.

With no luck, I am sorry to say that we returned our Samsung and purchased a Sony. We plugged in the Sony and it worked without incident in all areas of our room.

I hope this helps share some light on the situation.

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Knowledge is Power
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 5, 2008 7:16 AM PST
In reply to: IR Interference

I prefer length and as much information as possible. Thank YOU for taking the time to supply the information. Happy

I do need to clarify a few things, if I may.

1. What model of Scientific Atlanta cable box do you have? Explorer 8100? 8300?
2. Is there any model numbers on the remote itself that would help us distinguish it? (There may be some under the batteries)
3. When you noted: "The big break through came when the cable and remote would work on my old sony tube TV. I then happened to turn on the Samsung and the remote stopped working. Turning off the Samsung, the cable box worked." ... did you mean you turned on the Samsung television while the Sony television was hooked up to the box, and THEN the remote became inactive?

I appreciate you giving your feedback, even after returning the unit. I do hope that any information you're willing to provide can point us in the right direction of finding a fix.

Thanks for giving us an opportunity to serve you, and I hope you consider Samsung for future purchases.

--HDTech

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Disappointed
by jimzzzak / November 5, 2008 9:47 AM PST
In reply to: Knowledge is Power

I find it difficult to justify such a "high end" set that MAY have a flaw such as this.

I am quite disappointed as the set functions extremely well otherwise.

I have had good luck with my older 32 inch Samsung LCD TV that I currently own.

I suppose I will wait in the wings for the next generation of sets (I cannot afford the LED set currently offered by Samsung)

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Details
by sohonyc / November 9, 2008 1:42 PM PST
In reply to: Knowledge is Power

I also suffer from the same IR interference issue on my new LN46A850 (less than 1 week old). The remote control to my Time Warner HD DVR set-top box (Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD, with its UR5-8400 remote) will not work for several minutes after powering up the LN46A850. In my case, I had replaced an old Samsung plasma monitor, where everything was working fine. Once I installed the LN46A850 the cable remote stopped working, so I know that it was because of the new TV and not due to other factors.

Despite moving the cable box around, for several minutes after turning on the TV the cable box is totally unresponsive. I'm running firmware version 1002 and thought to upgrade to 1004, but refrained after reading that it had no effect on this problem, and in fact may reduce picture quality.

From other forums I've read (avsforum is a good example), I understand that there are many cases of this problem, although the SA 8300 is one of a number of remotes that the LN46A850 (as well as LN52A850) has affected.

I joined this forum to appeal to Samsung_HD_Tech that this is not an isolated problem of a few but rather pretty widespread and needs to be addressed by Samsung, as this is not acceptable performance for a high end product. Also, the 8300HD is a widely used box amongst the major cable service providers (Time Warner (my provider), Cox, etc.), so I believe it would be in Samsung's best interest to address a problem that affects such a large market segment.

Thanks.

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Details
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 10, 2008 5:19 AM PST
In reply to: Details

sohonyc,

Thanks for your input. I've already submitted this as an issue for our engineers to address. Your information is valuable in helping solve this issue, though, and I appreciate you giving model numbers and relevant information.

At this point, I don't have a solution. I have a few guesses, but before I begin to speculate why this is an issue, I should say that I have noted AVSForum responses in compiling my original report. I will be following up with another, which is the best I can do from this end. I just don't have a solution yet.

As soon as I do, I'll be posting it here at C|Net.

--HDTech

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Firmware
by sohonyc / November 10, 2008 5:40 AM PST
In reply to: Details

Thanks. Getting this issue to the engineers is the best that I could hope for. I just hope that they will treat this issue with high priority, since such a highly regarded product with such a critical flaw is bound to affect sales. People like myself who sought the best quality but not able to afford the LED backlit models are likely to choose an alternate product, and that would be a shame.

I noticed that my wait time to using the remote is not limited to my SA 8300. I just tried using my Sony AVD-K600P DVD/VCR combo player (with a RM-U600 remote), and I had to wait until the machine "warmed up". Again, I was able to have it working after several minutes. Can it be that remotes of various frequencies can be affected by this issue? Can you please add the Sony information to the trouble ticket?

On a separate note (although I don't wnat to stray from the topic of this thread) I noticed that Samsung does not provide any detail about firmware releases on its website. In the case of the LN46A850, the latest version is 1004. How do we find out what this version addresses, and how it differs from previous ones? Is there a README somewhere? I wasn't able to find it in the firmware archive file. I ask this because there are rumors about upgrading to address this issue, but those who have didn't like the results (degraded picture quality, didn't address interference issue).

Thanks again.

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Addressing the questions.
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 10, 2008 7:23 AM PST
In reply to: Firmware

I will be more than happy to add the other limited remote functionality issue as well.

I agree with you that we should offer README files to stipulate the changes in the firmware. I get most of them, but not all of them, and I'm a little reluctant for PR purposes to just post them. I'm working on a solution from within to see if I can get clearance for that. I have been known to [ahem] confirm or deny some issues [cough], but at this point, I have to play by the rules. I'm not aware at this point that the firmware addresses the IR interference issue. I do know that our engineers are aware of the issue. I'll see if I can find some updates on what's going on.

As far as rumors go, I make it a policy not to address those. I'd spend days confirming, denying or side-stepping rumors - and even if I knew I was absolutely correct on something (which we jokingly note I hold an accuracy rate of 99%), try telling that to someone who percieves differently. Who is right? The "corporate" technical guy? Or the customer? It's truly a no-win situation for me to even engage. Even if I win, I lose.

I'm trying to bridge between customer and corporation, not push them apart.

I'm here for people. I'd rather spend that kind of time actually helping real people. Happy

I hear you loud and clear, however. I want this issue resolved also, and I'll post when I hear something.

--HDTech

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serious
by jimzzzak / November 10, 2008 9:53 PM PST

This thread that I started has provided me with enough information to make me avoid purchasing the 850 series.

I'm not going to spend 2K only to have my TV peripherals POSSIBLY NOT function correctly.

It's quite a shame as the picture quality and feature set are excellent, but a TV without a cable box or DVR is just a blank LCD.

It's a shame, isn't it?

And I think that minimizing this problem does the forum and user a disservice. Just my opinion.

Thanks.

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Samsung Found a Fix for IR Interference Problem with Remotes
by rchudd / January 29, 2009 9:36 AM PST

I found the following solution on the Samsung support links related to the Trouble Shooting Guide, Other Issues:

My TV is On, I Am Unable to Control My Other Remotes:

RESPONSE:

Samsung engineers have confirmed that some Samsung 8 series televisions, when turned on, emit stronger than expected IR interference. This IR interference prevents some cable box IR remote controls from controlling their respective cable boxes. When the TV is turned off, the cable boxes and IR remotes function normally. To resolve this problem, Samsung engineers have redesigned one of the circuit boards in the TV to eliminate the IR
interference.

If your cable box remote can not control your cable box when the TV is on, please click the Create Online Service Request button below to begin the process of having the new board installed in your television. The board and board installation are free of charge.

See Samsung Web-site:

http://support-us.samsung.com/cyber/popup/pop_troubleshooting.jsp?ia_cd=02010100&model_name=LN46A850S1F

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DON'T BUY!
by footballdork625 / January 30, 2009 6:49 AM PST

DO NOT BUY THIS TV. i recently dished out the $2K for a 46" samsung 850. picture quality was amazing. i was absolutely stunned by how good the picture was, and on an lcd! however, like most people with this tv, my cable remote wouldn't work once the tv was on. i read the forums and stayed away from the firmware update (read that it degraded the picture). i called samsung and they said the firmware was the only update. about 2 weeks ago i got a call back from samsung saying not to do the firmware update and instead they would have a tech come out to replace the board. after waiting 2 weeks for the board to come in, the tech finally arrived to install the board. the cable box and remote now work perfectly again. yay. the picture quality on the tv took a massive dump. it still looks ok, but it's no longer as crisp and detailed as it once was. even hd shows have a type of grainy look. it looks similar to what i see on a lot of lower end hdtv's. you know, the 46"-47" ones you find on sale for like $900 (no joke, quality took a nose dive). blacks aren't even a solid black anymore, has grayish tones. whatever modifications samsung engineered to reduce the ir interference also reduced the picture quality. this is highly disappointing especially since i was guaranteed by samsung that the fix had zero adverse effects on quality. guess i should've known better than to trust a company that just had a spike in product returns. save yourself time, money, and sanity by steering clear away from this tv. samsung failed to do their homework, as did i. don't make the same mistake!

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IR interference with cable boxes
by Gary Winnick / February 5, 2009 1:30 PM PST

I have a Panasonic TC-32LX50 LCD HDTV and a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR cable box. After turning on the TV, I have no control from the remote until after 15-30 seconds. I found out from another forum that the backlights in LCD monitors produce a lot of IR noise when first coming on. This bounces off the walls and back into the cable box IR sensor and overrrides the Time Warner remote control (Universal Electronics Atlas DVR/PVR 5-Device Universal Remote Control) IR signal. I can't change anything on the cable box until the IR noise dies down. Then it works fine. I have verified this by covering the TV screen with a blanket after which I can change the channels, etc. Since this only happens upon TV warm-up, it is difficult to diagnose, so I have to immediately turn the TV off to try different fixes.

To fix this it has been suggested that I put several layers of masking tape over the cable box IR sensor, turn down the TV backlight, reposition the TV relative to the cable box, or switch to an RF remote with an IR repeater mounted on the front of the cable box. I tried all of these but the RF remote with no luck. Scientific Atlanta doesn't respond to consumers technical questions directly and refers questions to the cable company. This is well beyond the ability of Time Warner. Can anyone suggest anything else I can do to overcome this?

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Gary...
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / February 5, 2009 4:48 PM PST

Gary,

I can't really speak to Panasonic's lineup.

For the Samsung units, the inverter was causing the issue, and Samsung is supplying their affected customers with new inverter boards and installing them free of charge.

--HDTech

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Other models.
by zbergquist99 / May 21, 2010 10:18 AM PDT

Hello everyone,
I am experiencing the same problem with a different model Samsung television. My research led me to these forums. I have a 26" LCD TV from the 330 series, and a Motorola HD QIP7100 1 set top box. I spent over an hour speaking to Samsung tech support today and they have told me since this is not a known issue for my model, it cannot be looked at without assessing a charge. Obviously, its not worth my money to pay to fix the problem, it's an inconvenience, but I'd live with it before paying to have it assessed.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced these problems on other models. Is it crazy for me to think that it's related to this issue with the 8 series? Samsung support seems to think so. Their only recommendation for me was to snail mail their corporate office..

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Problem should have been caught by Samsung.....
by ki_supergeek / November 29, 2008 1:40 AM PST
In reply to: Details

This sounds like a radio frequency (RF)interference problem that should have been caught during product testing and certification while the product was being developed. Maybe it was, but deemed a low risk concern by the bean counters and Samsung management.

Sometimes RF interference issues can be corrected with firmware updates, which was apparently attempted with the 1004 firmware release. While firmware updates are fairly easy and less costly, sometimes a fix requires engineering changes to the electronic circuit board or chassis mechanical design which is difficult and costly to do on units already shipped and in use by customers without doing a recall.

Unfortunately, again due to cost, recalls are normally only issued for product safety related concerns and not quality related issues unless Samsung is forced to correct the problem by a government agency if the product is found to be in non-compliance with legal RF emissions standards that all electronic equipment manufacturers must comply with in order to sell an electronic product or device.

Very unfortunate situation for current product owners and Samsung on what appears to be a well done product design otherwise.

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Same problem; new 850
by rlinquanti / January 6, 2009 9:44 PM PST

I took delivery of my new 850 yesterday. The remote no longer is able to control the cable box. The box is Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD. The remote is UR5U-BH8000. I will follow this thread, and any suggested work-arounds are welcome and appreciated. I tried to program the Samsung remote for the cable box and used the published codes 117 and 118, and they do not work. Any ideas about new codes to try?

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Same Problem on my LN52A860 with Harmony One RC
by kstevens4 / January 8, 2009 12:39 PM PST

Wow this is Very interesting~~~~

My wife and I are very pleased with our LN52A860 that we purchased jsut before Christmas, but we have had several strange things happen with our remote controls sine we bought the TV.

We have the following remote control components stacked to to bottom (with one inch spacers for air flow) in the Oak entertainment unit under the TV
- Time Warner Scientific America 8300 DVC
- Samsung BD-P1500 Blue Ray DVD play (for a few days we had a Samsung DVD-1800P8 HD DVD-1080P8 DVD played in the postiion with same symptoms on the A860 TV)
- Harman/Kardon AVR 147 Audio/Video Reciever

All of this worked quite well when we had our Samsung 40" LN-T4069F in the same place as the new A860.

When we received the A860 we moved the 40" upstairs, and placed the new 52" in it's place.

Now and then strange radom things would happen from the various componet remotes:
- When watching DVD, sound would not work
- On the H/K AVR could not switch between inputs using remote
- AVR would go silent
- Time Warner Cable box would not power up/ down.

When the things happened, of course there was a frontal attack using the four remote controls. We would finally power things down, curse a bit, or just go walk the dog for a bit to cool down. Sometimes power down of every thing worked, sometimes it fixed itself.

Since this was Christmas time, and Amazon had a killer deal on the new Logitech Homony One Unified Remote control, I bought the wife one(actually bought to save my sanity from her complaining about having to use four remote controls and getting confused.

(If you have not looked at the Hormaony, you should!!!)

Anyway back to the story....
The magic of the new remote control is that with one button (or screen activity bar on the remote) the tv powers up, the video compontent (cable box or DVD player) powers up, the right input (HDMI-1, HDMI-2, etc.) is selected, and the audio/Visual (Amp/reciever) correct input is all automagiclly selected.

The two biggest issues with the Hormony One now is the power up and power down sequence now and then does not work correctly, and the TV input now and then does not change correctly. I twice connected the Hormony One to the net and re-downloaded the remote codes as directed.

I am so happy I saw this flow, I have been going nuts trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. And of course the symptoms being sort of random as to when they occur did not help.

I had become quite a Samsung fan, and do hope we can get this resolved.

Thanks for being our advocate.

Ken Stevens
Round Rock, TX

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samsung LN52A850S1F ir jamming
by Over20 / February 9, 2009 11:00 AM PST
In reply to: Addressing....

I have this TV and it is jamming all other IR devices for the first 10 minutes or so, very irritating and I will return this tv if not fixed....help

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Did you make a ticket
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / February 10, 2009 5:00 AM PST

Did you call service to create a service ticket?

--HDTech

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Returned TV
by wthien / February 10, 2009 5:17 AM PST

Thats what I did. I just returned the TV and bought a different brand at a cheaper price. They were real good at the store about the return and make copies of these threads for their people. I really loved the TV set and hated to give it up.

Good Luck all

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Return your A850 now while yu can.
by hdbuff / February 10, 2009 6:25 AM PST

Don't walk..but RUN to wherever yu purchased this sink. See if they will take it back!
My issues went to Samsung right after purchase. I actually had faith in them with my $3K 52" Sammy. My bad... now almost 7 months later they finally acknowledge the defect but can't fix it.
They just don't know how.
And my sink sits on my L. Room floor, off the wall mount, til they decide how to replace or upgrade me. No return calls from either Samsung Service or (800)Samsung. Last I heard they said to "please leave the set off the wall mount for the meantime.
A Field Engineer will not so much as touch the TV while it is wall mounted. They won't even help yu lift it off its mount. Liability reasons.

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Same IR issue on Samsung 850
by vourthis / December 22, 2008 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: If I may ask....

Hi -

Just another person with the same issue on the remote not working on the STB. I have a Dish Network 622 STB. It takes a good 5-10 mins before the remote becomes operational.

My manual work around is to turn on the STB first and change the channel to what I want to watch, then turn on the TV. Quirky, but it gets me by.

Same issue with the Samsung BR player 2550.

Anyone try using the Samsung 850 remote to change the STB channels? I can't get mine to program. I tried all the codes but no luck. Since the Samsung 850 remote works when the TV is warming up, I suspect it should be able to also control the STB right away, but need codes for get the Vip 622 to work.

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When Will Samsung Formally Acknowledge This Problem
by mnixxon / December 28, 2008 6:08 AM PST
In reply to: If I may ask....

This problem is now well established and well known. Yet, when I go to the Samsung website there is no mention of the issue.

One would think that there would be some indication that there is a serious technical issue and that Samsung is diligently working to correct the problem.

One would think that under 'News and Alerts' there would be some mention that some users have experienced compatibility issues.

One would think that Samsung would be interested in looking out for their consumer's well being and would want to ensure they don't sell more defective TV's to unsuspecting consumers. Especially considering the current economy and the significant cost involved with this particular product.

A friend of mine warned me not to buy Samsung. He told me they don't care about their consumers and that their electronics are manufactured with substandard workmanship and substandard parts. He suggested I buy a Pioneer TV. I didn't listen to him and I now regret that decision. I assure you I will not make the mistake of buying Samsung again. This experience has been all the evidence that he was right and that I am now stuck with a defective, high $$$ TV.

If Samsung corrects this issue I will be the first person to sing their praises and will retract my statements. However I don't hold out much hope for that and I full expect for them to just move on and screw all the suckers they could convince to buy this defective product.

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I agree
by jimzzzak / December 28, 2008 6:50 AM PST

This is exactly my point.

The defective design is a really a mortal wound for the set and the unwitting consumer that buys it.

I would hope that most people would take the set back and get another model or brand IMMEDIATELY.

I doubt there is a fix except for Samsung to actually put shielding in the set which they should have done in the first place. I would wager the set is so thin because of lack of shielding If they use firmware to try to fix this, undoubtedly that will have an effect on image.

I caught wind of this issue just before I was going to buy, and it changed my mind. I ended up with a Pioneer plasma which has worked out great because my particular home theater needs the wide viewing angle that plasma gives. So actually for me, the recognition of this IR problem in the 850 series made me buy the set I needed anyway.

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Would love to know how widespread this IR issue is
by JpFromOH / December 28, 2008 6:13 PM PST
In reply to: I agree

Out of all of the LNxxa850 and LNxx950's sold it would be helpful to know how many of these sets encountered the IR Interferrnce issue.

Also, as others have said, it would be great if Samsung would post the known compatibility issue and their progress on a solution.

John

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Today I eat my words -- Samsung has made good
by mnixxon / January 26, 2009 7:22 AM PST

A week ago I submitted a service request through the Samsung website and the next day a local service representative called me a scheduled an appointment.

The appointment was 9am this morning and the work took approximately :20 minutes. The fix was immediate. My picture is exactly the same as it was - perfect - and the TV now functions perfectly as well. It no longer interferes with the cable box remote.

I couldn't be more pleased. Samsung has gone a long way towards repairing their reputation as well as this glitch. I for one didn't think they would go through with it but I was wrong. Samsung obviously does care about their consumers.

I encourage everyone that has one of these TV?s that has experienced this problem, to not delay. Book your service appointment ASAP and get this fix - it works and does not degrade your picture.

Thank you Samsung, for correcting this issue. Many companies would have simply moved on to the next model and left their consumers hanging. Today, you proved to me that Samsung is a company that cares about quality and consumer satisfaction.

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