Total price from samsungparts is $253.69, and then would come the core charge. Not too bad, considering I was quoted $800 for the part and $300 to install it, from the only Samsung-certified repair shop in my state!
I have the exact problems mentioned here -- screen image will freeze at random, green horizontal bars will appear on the screen at times, and also a sequence of dots, in a grid-type pattern, covering the entire screen image (this is a new one, as of the last time I tried to watch the TV). I'll note that the TV seemed to work OK for a short while, after having been unplugged from the wall for a few hours. I have not attempted the hack, or taking anything apart yet. I'm a bit afraid to, but I will have to. I simply cannot allow myself to buy another TV after 3.5 years of use w/ my current one.
My issue now is with the settings... I read that if a new board is installed, settings will likely need to be configured on the new board, and that this is something that a pro should (probably) do:
I pulled the board back out to test the new one that I just got from Samsung. Turns out that the new board was NOT set up even close. It was set in the service menu for a Zeiss engine rather than a Samsung and this flips the horizontal image so the menus were backwards. All of the settings were off, but luckily there is an option to copy the data from the light engine back to the digital board. Still, this is a good example of why I discourage people swapping boards. There can be lots of issues, and unless you know your way around the service modes, have the documentation, have access to tech support at the manufacturer, or are just lucky, you can easily get in over your head. Especially with Samsung.
Since we see that the hack is not working well as a long term solution, this means that a new board is the true solution. Would it be possible to get instructions on what needs to be done once it's been installed, as far as configuration, etc? I would hate to get this new part, and then have it be useless to me.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WORK AND INFORMATION SO FAR!