Flat Screen TV Troubleshooting
By Liz Tomas
Updated September 28, 2017
Items you will need
Audio/coaxial/component cables (will depend on your TV)
Flat screen TVs use all different types of technology. To fix a problem, it is important to determine the cause of the problem. There are many issues that you can fix at home easily. However, some more serious issues cannot be fixed at home; for example, hardware failure means the TV will likely have to be completely replaced. By taking the time to do a little problem solving you may be able to save some money, depending on the problem.
Unplug the power cable if the TV is having issues turning on or off. To reset the electronics, it is important to not only unplug the power cable from the outlet, but also to unplug it from the TV. Wait a few minutes for the power to drain from the TV and then plug the cable back into the outlet and TV. A TV that is not working may not be getting enough power. Try plugging the TV into a different outlet or use a different power cable. Tweets, flashes, clicks and flashing pictures are all signs that the TV is not getting enough power.
Check that all cables are plugged into the proper positions and are secure. Normally if there is a problem with the picture, but not the sound, or vice versa, then a loose cable is the cause. If you have spare cables, replace the cable to check if it is the cable that is the problem and not another component of the TV.
Change the batteries if the remote is not working properly. Reset the remote by removing the batteries and then pressing the buttons and holding them down for 30 seconds. Then install new batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, let them charge for at least 6 hours.
Adjust the brightness, contrast and color settings. Many times when the color is funny or suddenly becomes unrealistic, readjusting the picture settings is an easy way to bring the picture back to normal. Adjusting the focus is an easy way to deal with a lack of sharpness in the TV picture.
Check the orientation of the monitor if the picture is not straight. Any sources of a strong magnetic field can also alter the orientation of the picture. Some TVs may also have an external tilt control that can be adjusted. If the TV has been jarred or knocked about, then the internal or external tile knob may have been knocked out.
Run an internal diagnosis on the TV. This internal diagnosis is normally found within the TV menu. It can be called different names depending on the manufacturer. The TV will check all functions and hardware. If a problem is detected, then a specific code is displayed on the screen. Write down the code and call the manufacturer. The manufacturer will be able to decipher what the code means and let you know what is causing the problem.
Liz Tomas began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in the "American Journal of Enology and Viticulture," "BMC Genomics" and "PLoS Biology." She holds a Master of Science in food science from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in oenology at Lincoln University.