Question about Westinghouse SK-26H520S 26 in. LCD HDTV

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My display is black. If I hold a flashlight up to the screen, I can barely see the picture. What is wrong? What can I do to fix it?

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  • Westinghouse Master
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The backlights have probably failed. You should also check the inverter that drives the backlights (it's like a ballast for a fluorescent light).

The backlights are sandwiched on the perimeter of the TV (usually under some tape that holds the lamp, reflector and other parts together. You need to order by length and width and get ones for your TV size. Most TVs have more than one backlight. Open up the tv, remove the shielding and carefully separate the screen from the bezel. Remove the tape, and separate the reflector (make a note of how things are put together) then you have to Dremel (or use another rotary tool) to remove the plastic to get the backlight out. (They are often molded into the frame.) Then put in the new backlight and reassemble everything. (http://www.lcdparts.net/howto/default.aspx) but for an overview: http://www.inventgeek.com/Projects/BacklightFix/overview.aspx Then push the new backlights into place, reconnect the wires and close up the sandwich of tape and other parts around the screen. Then replace it in the bezel.

To check the inverter, open up the tv and remove the shielding. Then use a high-end multimeter (able to measure high frequencies - 50 kHz) or an oscilloscope, hold the multimeter probes a fraction of an inch apart about an inch above the board and power up the TV. If you see a 1 or an actual value, you have a good inverter. If you see a reading near 0, the board is bad or the multimeter can't resolve the frequency. While you are looking at the board, check for any scorch marks or bulging or damaged capacitors. (Sometimes other parts will fail on this part but these can be spotted easily. Capacitors look like cylinders on a tripod.)

In either case, you can buy a replacement inverter for $50-150 and just do a simple swap. Disconnect all of the wires (connections are similar to molex and ribbon cables in a computer) and remove board (a few screws usually). Connect the cables to the new inverter. (If you google backlight inverter replacement, you'll find videos and text descriptions.) Note the part number on the board, including the Rev number, and order the exact one (shopjimmy.com or lcdparts.net are good starting points). Universal inverters do exist but can result in reversed controls (up to lower the brightness). Replacing individual parts on the board is cheaper but more prone to not tracking down all of the bad parts.

With a good spare backlight, you can test an inverter for condition (plug together and turn on the tv while the box is open). Similarly a good inverter can test the backlight.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

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