How to Check if a Ballast Is Bad in My Samsung TV

by Nina Nixon

It's common for the lamp in a Samsung TV to be misdiagnosed as having gone bad, when in fact, it's the much smaller ballast part that has done so. Often referred to as the "lamp driver," the ballast is the component that fires the lamp. A few tips may lead you to an accurate diagnosis and more TV time.

1

Check for a lamp replacement message or code if you've just replaced the lamp. The Stand By/Temp, Lamp and Timer LEDs typically flash at the same time when the lamp needs to be replaced. If any one of these things still occurs after you've replaced the lamp, the ballast may be bad.

2

Press the "Power" button and at the same time listen for a powering-on surge or a single clicking noise. The TV should make one of those sounds when you press the Power button. If this doesn't occur, do not replace the lamp. Instead, replace the ballast first. Replace the lamp only if a lamp replacement message or code is displayed after you replaced the ballast.

3

Listen out for three to five fast clicks every two to three seconds while the TV is on. This symptom indicates that the ballast is too weak to fire the lamp.

4

Adjust the brightness setting. Press the "Menu" button. Use the left/right/up/down arrow navigational buttons to make your selections. Select "Picture." Press the "Enter" button. Select "Mode." Press the "Enter" button. Select "Dynamic," "Move," "Standard" or "Custom." Press the "Enter" button. Select "Brightness." Press the "Enter" button. Press the right arrow button to increase the brightness setting. Press the "Enter" button, then press the "Exit" button. If the screen doesn't brighten and still looks blank, the ballast is most likely bad. This is because a failing lamp may still show a dim screen, while a bad ballast doesn't fire the lamp at all, so a blank screen results.

About the Author

Nina Nixon has more than 30 years of professional writing experience. She enjoys writing about business and technology. Her articles have appeared on Chron, eHow Business & Personal Finance, Techwalla, and other digital content publishing websites.