Tip & How-To about Televison & Video

Flat Panel Television Repair Do It Yourself

This tip is for the novice tinkerer and the method works very well.

If any of you have ever been adventurous enough to actually take the back cover of your old TV off before, you can attest to the fact that nothing inside really makes a lot of sense to the untrained do it yourselfer.

Well that was then and this is now!

While none of it really makes any more sense now, than it did then, the risk of personal injury is actually a lot lower now than it used to be with tube type sets. You no longer have a dangerous Flyback or Super High voltage capacitor to worry about. And though you often see the warning that there are no user serviceable components inside, the reverse is actually more truthful.

If you take the back cover off of just about any Flat Panel TV on the market, you will find pretty much the same basic components that can be found on any other Flat Panel set. These parts will not usually interchange with each other across separate makes and models, but finding new ones and replacing them yourself is actually quite easy.

The first thing to remember here is that the LCD screen itself is usually the most expensive part, and everything else falls at the $150 or below range.
SO, if you still love that old LCD TV, HI Def or not, you will most likely want to repair it and keep it, or at the very least repair it, and pass it on to that relative who has been coveting it since you bought it.

The first thing to remember here is that the backlights that provide illumination to your TV are usually the last thing to die, (unlike VGA LCD screens) so that will be the last thing you need to be concerned with, unless you bought one of those super cheap LCD TV's with the flimsy screen cover that break when you sneeze at them.

In my experience with LCD Television sets, the part that most often fails is the power board. I would rank this at a constant %85 failure rate.
This power board is the easiest to locate by simply following your power cord directly to the plug-in located on the power board

The input board, where you hook up your Cable, DVD etc almost never fails, unless you moved your set and forgot to disconnect the cable wire.

The Second highest failure rate lies with the LCD inverter board.
This is most easily identified by locating several pink and white wires plugged in series to the board, and there can be anywhere from 8 or more sets of these coming from the actual LCD panel to the inverter board,

Before you start a repair, it is usually a good idea to take a picture of the set before you begin disassembly, so that you will remember what goes where.

So, as you look at the back of your LCD or Plasma TV with the back cover removed you should see this.

1. To the left will usually be an inverter board, and on larger sets there can be one on the right as well.
2. In the middle will be the power board, indicated by the power cord connector which leads right to it.
3.To the right will usually be the connector board for Cable DVD etc.
On some sets, this connector board will be located below the power board instead.

Lets move on to symptoms.

If you turn on your TV and the screen looks dim or dark, you will most likely need a new LCD inverter board, but if it looks slightly pink, you will probably have bad backlights in the LCD panel itself, which will require you to replace the LCD panel.

When replacing the inverter board, you will need to order using the TV's model number, and I ALWAYS get my replacements from Ebay. So far this shopping method has resulted in far less cost, and a whopping %100 success rate.

But the REAL secret in shopping for the LCD screen itself is by NOT using the TV's model number. ALWAYS use the make and model number stamped on the back of the actual LCD screen. This will yield the best, most reliable results, since many companies use panels manufactured by the same plant. ALWAYS remember to use the WHOLE model number when shopping, and this includes the VERSION number, such as V5, V1 etc to make sure the match is right. I use Ebay and Google Shopping for LCD panels, just to be sure I have better pricing options, and sometimes buying the exact same model of TV in the Ebay as-is section will guarantee a great screen with some extra replacement parts.

Replacing a damaged input panel is done by using the TV 's model number, same as buying the power board.

Remember that there will be RF shielding covering some of your components. These are there to reduce snow on your screen in case someone nearby is using some type of 2 way radio, or in case there are other types of RF (Radio Frequency) interference.

The power board, on the other hand, is usually the most easy to diagnose.
This is as easy as turning on your set and listening for a light clicking sound, followed by either the power light turning itself off or by the power light flashing, or simply turning red or yellow.

When your LCD inverter board fails, you can still hear audio, but see no video, the same applies for failed backlights on the LCD, but when the power board dies, you get absolutely nothing. So you simply replace it, turn it on and youre back in business!

There is very little chance that you will fail at reviving your old Set simply because ALL parts are replaceable!

So, remember, proper diagnosis is key to a perfect repair.

Good Luck To ya!

Bob S.

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