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TV Repair: Can a Damaged LCD be Fixed?

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Ryan Tetzlaff•updated: 4/30/2015

If you have ever had your TV come close to death, this article lets you know what kind of damage is recoverable and what types are not.

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    When the Damage is Done...

    Damaging a flat-screen these days is a bit more difficult than you would think, but it is still the worst feeling when you realize that your thousand plus dollar investment might not work again. Unfortunately if you damage your TV there isn't much you can do by yourself. In some cases you may be lucky and be able to find a replacement circuit board, but besides that screen repair and electronics repair are out of the DIY realm...

    Below you'll find different symptoms TVs may exhibit and what the prognosis is. Keep it or start looking for a replacement?

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    The Screen

    TV 

    Dead Pixels

    The screen of a modern LCD is a technically complex beast. A grid is laid across the screen and at each intersection of this grid lies a pixel. The number of pixels on the screen will dictate the resolution of your screen. A 1080p screen uses 1,920 pixels across the horizontal plane and 1,080 pixels across the vertical plane; resulting in over 2 million pixels.

    Dead pixels are a common issue with TV sets. Sometimes the conductor or transistor behind the pixel will die out and will no longer be able to light up that pixel. A few dead pixels may be annoying but are not worth worrying about.

    Prognosis: Good. Annoying, but not a sign of imminent death. Some warranties will specifically say they will only fix TVs with a certain percentage of dead pixels.

    Scratches

    Like a dead pixel, a scratch in the screen will not likely result in any major issues - other than annoyances. Repairing a scratched screen is difficult and has the chance of making the screen worse. Your best bet is to turn on the TV, turn on a TV show or movie and see if you can notice the scratch - in many cases the scratch will only be noticeable if the TV is off. If the scratch doesn't bother you while watching a show, don't worry about it! Many products claim to be able to fix scratches, but these are usually junk products trying to make a quick buck.

    Prognosis: Good - again, the scratch may be annoying but in many cases won't be noticeable when a show is on.

    Broken Screen

    Oh boy.... you have a broken screen. The prognosis will depend on the type of break. Does the TV still function? If yes, you're in luck. If not, there isn't going to be much you can do. Screens are notoriously expensive to replace and typically can't be performed by the end consumer. It's definitely worth getting a quote from an authorized repair center but don't hold your breath.

    Prognosis: If the screen doesn't work anymore I'd contact a repair center but get your wallet ready. Keep in mind TV prices continuously drop so if you had a $3000 TV from 5 years ago, you can probably upgrade to a better TV today for half the price.

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    Electronics

    TVs are driven by complex circuity. TVs contain a small computer which regulates voltage, pixels and Smart TV apps - all of which require complex electronics.

    Failing Electronics

    If your TV won't turn on or the screen is increasingly dark, missing colors or looks psychedelic you've got electronics problems. The good news is that you can typically find replacement parts on sites like eBay. The bad news is that it is not a trivial matter to replace a circuit board. Some Smart TVs have upwards of 10 circuit boards - each controlling a different function. If you've not performed a repair like this, now is probably not the time to start.

    Prognosis: Your TV needs serious intervention - if you can manage to track down the exact problem and replace the correct circuitry you have a good chance of bringing back your TV. If not, a repair center may be your last resort. Again, prepare your wallet to be shocked.

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    Related Articles

    For more help and how-to tips, check out the Bright Hub articles How to Clean a Flat Screen TV or Monitor and How to Troubleshoot a DVD Player.

References

  • Samsung PN51E550 3D TV - Creative Commons - www.your3dcenter.com