How to Improve the Picture on a Rear Projection Television
By Geoff Whiting
A bad image can ruin a perfectly good TV show or movie, but proper care and preventative measures can ensure your rear-projection television always has a great picture. You can troubleshoot some problems yourself and avoid the expense of bringing your TV to an electronics shop for service. Your rear-projection TV offers some self-help options, but it may just need a good cleaning.
Internal dust or debris may cause a rear-projection TV to display a cloudy picture or otherwise diminish the quality of the picture. This can be remedied by opening your TV set and cleaning the three colored bulbs inside. Unplug the TV and allow adequate time to cool before you remove the back cover. The bulbs should only be cleaned with a microfiber cloth and a lens cleaner. Ammonia-based cleaners commonly used on other bulbs may discolor the mirror in your TV.
Rear-projection TV sets use lamps that typically last for about 1,000 hours before replacement. If the picture quality has dropped significantly – for instance, if the image has become dim or parts of your screen are dark -- you may need to replace the bulb. Most TV sets just require a screwdriver to access and replace the bulb, but check the user manual to determine the recommended procedure. Always wear gloves when changing these bulbs.
Other electronic devices and appliances may cause interference with your rear-projection TV. For example, halogen lights and heaters can cause radio-frequency interference. This shows up as static on the TV and may be the cause of poor video quality. Turn off the sources of interference to resolve the problem. If static persists, try plugging the appliances or your TV into different power outlets.
Sometimes poor image quality is caused by the signal your TV is receiving. To compensate for a weak broadcast or cable signal, activate the digital noise reduction feature offered on rear projection TVs. This feature can cancel out the static and full-image ghosting that may appear on your screen. It is best paired with using the automatic convergence feature on the TV set, which can remove ghosting of just a single color.
Geoff Whiting is a writer and copy editor who has specialized in business technology, consumer electronics and research reports since 2007. He has written for national magazines like "American Shipper" and "BIC Magazine," has written daily news articles for FierceMarkets, and has crafted research reports for Rider Research, Intel and Spotify.