Step-by-Step Do it Yourself TV Repairby Contributing Writer
Many people rely on their televisions throughout the day as a source of news, information, and entertainment. This makes it especially frustrating when a problem occurs with your television. Whether your TV is a traditional projection model or a newer flat-panel unit, you can take some basic steps to get your television back in working order.
Understand that you're working with a potentially dangerous electronic device. Place your television on a rubber or carpeted surface before working on it. If you plan to open the case of your television, power it down, unplug it and let it rest for at least an hour to let any remaining electricity discharge. Keep one of your hands in your pants pocket as you work on the inside of the television to prevent your body from acting as a circuit. Wear rubber-soled shoes.
Common Projection Problems
The most common problem with a projection television is visual distortion, often presenting itself as incorrect colors, warped geometry, or a blue or green arc on the screen. This is typically caused by an issue with the convergence chips, electronics inside of your television that control the visual display. Begin by pressing the "Menu" button on your remote control and finding the "Convergence" section. Try adjusting the color levels. If this results in no change to the appearance of the television's display, you'll need to purchase a convergence chip replacement kit. Contact your local electronics supply store to find a kit specific to your television. Some owners of older projection televisions notice a burning smell after using their television for an extended period of time. This is generally a result of overheating, caused by dust and debris buildup inside the unit. Remove the back panel from your television and use a can of compressed air to blow the dust and dirt out of the television console.
It's much more difficult to operate on the internals of a flat-panel television, because of the compact nature of the parts involved. If you turn on your flat-panel television and it doesn't display any visuals, use your remote control to change the Input settings of the TV. It's possible the selected input corresponds to a powered-down set-top box. Try removing and reseating all cables on the back of the television. If this doesn't work, swap in a different set of cables to see if this fixes the issue. If you can rule out the settings on the television and the cables you use to connect it to a source device, there's a good chance that your problems are resulting from a faulty power supply. This will require a professional repair that could cost $400 or more. For an older flat-panel television, it might be more cost-effective to simply replace the TV.