What to do When Your TV Fails

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

It seems like plasma TVs have only been around for a few years, but already they’re showing up in TV repair shops en masse. First models of any technology tend to have some design flaws, and older plasma TVs may have color integrity for as little as 2,000 hours of viewing time. Other modern TVs and projection home theater systems are also inundating the TV repair market. Unfortunately, there’s often no easy solution when your TV fails.

DIY TV Repair

If you’re attempting DIY TV repair, you’ll probably need a TV repair guide from your manufacturer. More than other areas of home repair, a basic knowledge of electronics may simply not be enough to repair your TV. Without instructions for your specific TV, you may end up making the problem worse and render your TV irreparable. Of course, you’ll want to inspect your TV for the most basic problems. Few things are as embarrassing as hiring a TV repairman to come to your home and find your cat has pulled the power cord out of the wall. Still, any number of TV repairs will be beyond your ability to repair, and you shouldn’t try to play the role of hero.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Replace or Repair a Broken TV

Unless you have a problem with your picture tube, many problems associated with a broken TV don’t require expensive parts to fix. In fact, paying a technician to correctly diagnose your problem may cost as much as the part itself. This can make TV repair the best route to go in many cases, but you’ll probably want to price a new TV as well. TV prices have begun to drop almost as fast as PCs. Your biggest problem is most likely to remain finding a trustworthy technician to accurately and honestly diagnose your problem, quote you a repair price, and then fix your TV set. Keep in mind that even if you’ve been thinking about buying a new TV, repairing a broken TV can be well worth it, anyway. You can put the old TV somewhere else in your home, give it to a friend or family member, or sell it at a yard sale or online.

Plasma and Projection TV Repair

Many homeowners choosing to build a home theater must choose a plasma TV or a projection TV. While a plasma TV is easier to use and doesn’t require separate space for the screen and the projector, projection TVs provide a larger, high quality picture for less money. Projection TVs are especially nice for homeowners trying reproduce the feeling of being at a cinema.

When discussing TV repair, plasma and projection TVs also have relative advantages and disadvantages. Not only are projection TVs cheaper than their plasma counterparts, projection TV repair is typically a cheaper fix. Plasma TVs involve fairly complicated electronics that can require equally sophisticated and costly electronic diagnostic equipment. This tends to make them, on average, more expensive to repair. While cheaper, projection TV repair is a much more common phenomenon. The majority of problems associated with projection TVs can be fixed by replacing the electronic components that regulate voltage (resistors, transistors, and capacitors). These replacement parts may cost more than peanuts to fix, but they usually don’t require the same technical or diagnostic skills of plasma TVs.

In particular, new plasma TVs keep their color integrity for longer than ever before. Burnt-in images are becoming less and less of a problem as well with newer technologies and use guidelines. You may not be able to play video games for hours on end, but today’s plasma TVs are more reliable than ever.

More From Life Cheat Sheet: