We were watching TV just a half hour ago and a big white, vertical light came onto the screen and then a pop. A whining sound proceeded and then clicking occurred. Thin white smoke appeared from the top of the TV and an acrid electrical smell filled the house. The TV did not respond to the power off on the remote. If the TV is plugged in again, the whine and clicking occur. I have had the TV for 8 years.
Is it time for a new one or repair?
Also, does home owner's insurance cover incidences like this?
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Sounds like a panel fault. Contact any service technician to confirm. If you wish to get some details; check the site linked here. Viewing it in "Mosaic" will make surf easy. Surf the site with patience. Pull up older posts. Surf the site with patience. http://electronicshelponline.blogspot.com/ Screen-shots to defective LCD TV panel is given. You can compare it to that of your TV's, and can make sure.
Most common are soldering problems on the vertical deflection IC's.
If this line is quite bright: shut down the set, it might damage the picture tube permanently. Resolder all pcb connections under the vertical defl. part. With a magnifier you can see "craters" around the footprints. Where is the vert. deflection. ? Mostly an integrated circuit
on a vetically mounted heatsink . Typnumber: mostly something TDA53xx like. Gently knocking with a screwdriver and observing the screen might lead you to it's location if you're not familiar with TV's.
Watch out: lethal voltages !