There is no better feeling than getting home from a long day at work, taking a refreshing shower and sitting in front of the TV to enjoy a good film or your favorite sports team with your family or friends. That is why many people decide to design a good looking and functional entertaining area in their homes. And the most important part of such fun zones is the TV. TV’s are usually one of the most preferred gadgets in a household – for the man to watch sports, for the women to enjoy fashion or cooking channels, for kids to watch cartoons and etc. That is why most people are willing to spend significant amounts of money in order to buy high-end TV’s with state-of-the-art functionalities.
When choosing a TV for the home, people usually consider spending tons of money on a high-end one as the safest way to ensure its comfortable exploitation for the long-term. Basically, it is true that cheaper models won’t last as longer as the more expensive ones (although the bigger part of their price is formed by their technical specifications and functionalities), but bear in mind that no matter how much money you spend, there will always be that moment when your TV will need some kind of repair. And for many people the process of finding a good TV repair professionals seem to be problematic.
In this guide you will find useful advice about the most common TV-related problems that may force you to seek repair services, as well as some important questions that you should ask the expert handling your issues. You will also find helpful estimations about the approximate budget that you will need to set aside in order to deal with your TV problems. In the end, after you have gone through this guide, you will feel comfortable that the issues with your TV will be solved cheaply, promptly and professionally.
The most common TV problems
It is a very common practice for homeowners to make their TVs the focal point of their living rooms. But even if that is not your case, you will agree that a TV can sometimes be a massive investment and it is very important to take care of it and keep it in a great condition. For example – if you have a broken TV, not only does it ruin the whole entertainment experience of the room it is located, but it also takes away from its aesthetic appearance. That is why whenever a problem with your TV appears, you are willing to have it solved as soon as possible.
But unlike computers where you may be able to fix some of the most common problems all by yourself, with TVs it’s quite different. The TV-related issues are more complex and specific and usually require to be handled by experienced professionals. Here is a list of the most common problems that you may face when using your TV:
Admit it, this is the most frustrating problem that can happen to your TV. Many of us has gone through that annoying moment during the most sublime minutes of our favorite team’s basketball match when suddenly the screen of the TV turned black. It is even more frustrating if the TV is worth thousands of dollars. The black screen is the most common and unpleasant problem that you may experience when watching TV. But the first rule here is: Don’t panic! Black screen problems are, most of the time, fixable as they are often caused by certain components that had given up working. A simple replacement will do the trick and you will soon have your TV back.
But your TV screen can have other problems than just turning black. Horizontal or vertical lines may often appear as a result of weak input signal, compromised pixels (which unfortunately cannot be fixed) or loosened wires inside the TV.
No matter what the screen problem is, it is always advisable to seek professional assistance. A TV screen is a complex system of many components that are designed to work in harmony. That makes it’s repair a very specific job, that often appears hard-to-handle for non-professionals.
Another very annoying issue that will require from you to seek professional assistance, sound issues are usually caused by various input problems. For example, you may not be able to hear anything coming out of your TV due to loosened wiring connection between the cable box or the speakers. Or even if your TV has experienced some power problems, due to the fact that they are usually affecting sound components, such as the internal speakers.
The main issue here is that sound problems are very hard to be identified if you have no professional experience. That is why, most of the time it is almost impossible for the average TV owner to handle the problems by himself, thus making it necessary to seek professional assistance.
It is obvious that the first thing you will try when you notice the loss of power is checking whether the power strip is switched off or the circuit breaker is tripping. But apart from these well-known procedures, there is not so much to do if your TV lacks power. Most of the time, such problems are caused by burned out fuses. Sudden electric shocks may often lead to more serious problems with other components of the TV. That is why, if you notice that your TV has some obvious power problems, you should better consult a professional, so that he will make sure what is the real cause for that and whether there are further, not so obvious issues that should be handled.
A TV has numerous components and functions that may go down in the course of its exploitation. No matter whether it is about missing channels, Wi-Fi connection problems or remote control malfunctioning, the best thing to do if you want to get back on track with the appropriate exploitation of your TV is to check for manufacturer’s recommendations. As the ‘software’ problems are easier to be fixed (just some options being ensured, you may often end up in a situation when you won’t know what to do. If this is the case, go ahead and search for a trusted TV repair company to give you a hand. That way, you will be quite confident that your TV will soon get back to its best and will serve you effectively for years to come.
TV repair cost
The cost of your TV repair works depends on few important factors, such as:
- the complexity of the problem; the type of the TV;
- whether the parts that should be replaced (if there are such) are available in stock;
Basically, the first thing that you should do when your TV’s problem is diagnosed is to evaluate whether it is reasonable from a financial point of view to fix it or it will be more appropriate to buy a new TV.
For example, if your TV was worth $1000 two or three years ago and now you should deal with a broken screen, then the best thing that you can do is to consider buying a new one. Some parts of the TVs (their screens especially) can be very costly. Adding to that the fact that TV prices drop rapidly and almost every year there are new and more affordable models, often makes the repair works meaningless. With that said, here are some approximate estimations that will help you make an initial judgement about the budget that you will need to set aside in order to have your TV repaired:
|Type of the repair works||Cost range (national average)
|Panel replacement||$500 - $1250
|Main system board||$200 - $350
|Power supply||$200 - $300
|Control board||$250 - $350
|Cooling fans||$200 - $330
|Speakers||$250 - $400
|Inputs||$200 - $350
|Backlight (replacement)||$30 - $80
If you would like to purchase an extended warranty for your TV, then the amount you will need to set aside will depend on the price range of your device. Most of the time, you will be charged as follows:
|Price range of the TV||Extended warranty period||Cost (for the whole period)
|$300 - $399||4 years||$65
|$800 - $999||4 years||$100
|$1000 - $1499||4 years||$170
Bear in mind that most of the time, initial diagnostics are to be paid too. If you take your TV to a local TV repair shop, you should expect to be charged in the range of $40 to $100 just for finding out what the real problem is. If you decide to leave your TV there, this sum will most probably be deducted from the total amount that you will need to pay in the end. This practice is established in order to back the TV repair shops in case you decide to not work with them after your problem is diagnosed.
When it comes to TV’s, the display problems are the most common and at the same time – the most annoying ones. Bear in mind that a regular LCD flat panel display is estimated to last approximately 40 000 viewing hours which is about 20 years.
A great service, right? But the problem is that there are certain screen problems, that if present, will significantly shorten the life expectancy of your TV. For example, screen discoloring is one of the main issues that may force you to seek professional help. With the course of time, the way your screen transmits the colors may be significantly harmed which will most probably prevent you from using your TV before it is repaired. Total screen or pixel burn outs are another widely spread problem when it comes to TV screens. A basic rule of thumb, when it comes to TV screen problems, no matter whether it is about breaks, pixel burn outs or discoloring, is to carefully discuss with the repair professional which is the wiser choice – to fix your existing TV or to buy a new one.
A decade or two ago, every TV out there was made from pretty much similar replacement parts. But nowadays, TVs are becoming way more complicated with different modern sets and complex electronic circuitries integrated inside. Many of the TV sets today contain small details and intricate parts that are model-specific, which can make their repair and replacement a little bit costlier. Nevertheless, if you experience some TV problems, do not hurry to buy a new one. Instead consult a trusted professional and together you will be able to judge how to proceed. Most of the time, a professional repair will be your best choice.
TV repair services useful tips
When you have a problem with your TV, the process is very simple – you take it to the local repair shop and get it back working in a few days. Nevertheless, there are some useful tips related to finding the best repair service provider, ensuring the problem-free exploitation of your TV and preserving it for a long time that are always good to know. Here are some of them:
On finding suitable TV repair services.
Every time you experience a problem with your TV, the first thing to do, obviously is to ask a friend for advice. If that doesn’t work, you will most probably search for suggestions on Google. If after all that you still haven’t found suitable service provider to take care of your TV, a good thing to do is to contact its manufacturer directly.
Ask them to provide you with the contacts of an independent TV repair shop in your area that is officially authorized by them. This has a lot of advantages, like for example – fast and easy access to original parts, components, service data and technical support. There is a high probability that the experts in the given TV repair shop have gone through a professional training, conducted directly by the manufacturer. Factory-authorized facilities will also be able to inform you about approved upgrades and modifications that may be applicable to your TV. In addition, these authorized TV repair centers will be aware of the occasional extensions of the original warranty that may be available for certain issues.
On the appropriate ways to clean your TV
Dust, greasy spots, your kid’s crayons – these and many others can be a good reason for you to decide cleaning your TV every once in a while. Nowadays, almost every TV is equipped with a flat monitor screen. These new screens are way more sensitive when compared with older style TVs as they are prone to scratches and breaks. That is why, it is always good if you focus on ensuring your screen’s protection when cleaning it, by following some simple steps. First of all, it is important that you turn your device off. That way you will easily notice the dirty spots like fingerprints for example. By using a dry, soft cloth (microfiber is preferred), you need to start cleaning the screen gently, without applying much pressure on it. Bear in mind that if you push too hard, you may help a screen pixel burn.
And pixels cannot be replaced. Sometimes, the cloth is not enough for removing the spots. If this is the case, you can go to the local electronic shop and buy a screen cleaning spray (make sure that it is suitable for your screen). Some people use distilled water and white vinegar which pretty much will do the job, but do not bear such risks. A good screen cleaning spray is worth $10 – $15 which pretty much sums up why you should not use homemade mixtures. When you are about to start using the cleaning product, be careful not to spray it directly on the screen as the liquid may run down and get inside the corners of the screen, thus damaging some important electronic components. Spray it directly on the cloth and start cleaning the screen gently. When it comes to the outside edges of your TV, you can use whatever cleaner you want as they are typically made of plastic. Just be careful it does not reach the screen.
On whether to buy a new TV or repair the existing one
As we have already said, it all depends on the severity of the problem. That is why consulting a trusted professional is the best thing you can do. Bear in mind that the TV repair industry has an established rule of thumb for this matter and the professional who will handle the problems with your device will pretty much share it with you. So, what most experts suggest is after receiving a quote with the cost of the repair works, to calculate whether it exceeds 50% of the TV’s value. If it does so, then better invest in a new device. With the rapid pace of technological development, buying a new TV will provide you with a way better quality (and value) for your money.
Most of the time, when you buy a brand new TV, you get a 2 or 3 years’ warranty that for a small sum can be extended even more. And you should agree with the fact that after 5 years, there will most probably be new TVs with tempting features that may force you to consider replacing your old one. So, nowadays, the TV is no longer considered as a long-term investment that you expect using for the next 15 to 20 years. That is why if you experience some problems with your TV, you should not be bothered – there is always an affordable solution out there – be it repairing your existing TV, or investing in a new one. The worst case scenario here is that you end up with a brand new TV. Not that bad, right?
10 Questions to ask your TV repair shop
It is true that TV repair shops can be found on almost every corner in every city. But the last thing you want is to leave your TV to be repaired by some inexperienced enthusiast or someone with bad history in solving TV problems. Most of the TVs on the market are designed and produced in a way that ensures their problem-free exploitation for long periods of time – for example 10 years and above. Although a TV’s functions and characteristics usually become outdated in no more than 5 years, it is always advisable to ensure its good maintenance in order to be able to sell it or use it for a longer period, in case you are not a tech geek who wants that brand new model available on the market every once in a while.
So here is a list of few questions that will make you judge easier whether a given TV repair shop is a good choice to solve the problems that you are facing:
1) Ask about their experience.
Experience, experience and … experience. No matter what kind of service provider you are about to hire, this is the most important thing that you should look for. When it comes to TV repair, experience is even more important, because of the fact that there are various different types of screen technologies, as well as producers’ and model specifications which may sometimes further complicate the process of solving the given problem. That is why it is important to find a TV repair shop that is specialized in fixing issues with similar or exactly the same TV as yours.
Plasma, LCD, LED, OLED – there are different options for the screen type of your preferred TV. Add to that all the different models from various producers that are available on the market and you have an enormous combination of factors and small details that may have an indirect impact on the way your problem should be solved. That is why it is important for you to ask whether the given professionals that you consider leaving your TV for repair have previous experience with the exact same model. That way you will be sure that your TV won’t be the first one from that series that the given professionals will test their skills on.
2) Ask whether they are part of some professional associations or organizations.
And more specifically, ask whether they are a member of the National Electronics Service Dealers Association (NESDA). For the last 60 years, NESDA has established itself as the leading association for professional consumer electronic service providers. It is also the premier trade organization for professionals, part of the electronic equipment repair business. That is why it is important to find a service provider who is a NESDA member.
If the TV repair shop that you consider working with is a member of NESDA, this speaks for itself. Members of the association are obliged to subscribe for a professional comprehensive Code of Ethics that protects both sides – the consumers and the service providers. That is the only true proof that will make you feel quite confident that you are working with an experienced professional, who has declared his professional attitude to an industry-specific organization and will not aim only at getting your money. You will also make sure that in case a further warranty problem arises, you will be backed by an organization that is entirely focused on preserving your rights.
3) Ask how will they back the quality of their work.
If you are visiting a TV repair chain that is certified by the given producer, then things are clear. But if your warranty has run out and you face a certain problem, then you should be willing to work only with experts who are ready to back the quality of their work with some guarantee or refund policy. For example – the sound of your TV stops working and you leave it for repair. A week after you get it back, the same problem appears again. This is the last thing you want. In order to prevent such situations, before leaving your TV in the given repair shop, remind those who will handle your problem that you are going to pay only for professionally-delivered work. And if the same problem appears again, you would like to have it solved immediately and for free. Aside from making sure that you won’t pay for nothing, you will also test whether the TV repair experts will be bothered by the risk of facing additional work in the future. If that is the case, then the aim of the given shop is most probably to rip you off.
Go ahead and seek professional services. They will most probably offer you to back the quality of their work with a money-back guarantee or a pre-determined guarantee period of 1 to 3 months all by themselves, without the need for you to ask them. Remember that you are paying for quality and that is what you request. Do your research in order to feel confident that the delivered repair works are from highest quality and you won’t experience the same problem in the near future.
4) Ask about insurance.
The last thing you want is to leave your TV for repair of a simple problem or just a regular maintenance, jut to find it completely damaged and not working in the end. Although very rarely, such situations may happen. And if you have spent significant funds for your TV, you will be willing to leave it in a trusted repair shop that will provide insurance against potential loss or harm. Bear in mind that you are paying to have your TV fixed and that is what you will require from the TV repair experts in the end. When it comes to the repair shop, it is their responsibility to hire only knowledgeable and certified technicians in order to prevent problematic situations with clients’ equipment. Having additional insurance will act only as their back-up plan in case something goes wrong. But once again, if you leave your TV for repair in a trusted service provider (or NASDA member at best), you should not worry about any complications. Just stand still and count the days till you get your TV back.
5) Ask about the financial side.
This is the first thing that you should ask the TV repair shop that you have chosen to work. Due to the nature of the TV repair process and depending on the type of the TV that you have, sometimes it may turn out that it is cheaper for you to buy a brand new instead of repairing the existing one. For example, if the OLED screen of your TV stops working, it will most probably be a better choice if you a buy a whole new TV, because of the fact that these parts are very expensive. Or if your TV is an old one – this may be the best time for you to consider an upgrade, because it will be meaningless for you to spend money for repair. Most of the time, new TVs are worth repairing as common issues, such as wiring or some small components repair will cost you in the range of $150 to $400. But once again – it all depends on the complexity of the problem and the type of the TV.
That is why it is important to start with a question like this. An experienced and professional TV repair expert will guide you through the whole process and will provide you with helpful advices on how to make a wise choice. Most of them will start with that even without waiting for you to ask, because they are completely aware of all the different types of problems, the prices of the damaged components and the total costs of the repair works.
6) Ask about the working hours.
If you are working from 9 to 5 and meanwhile avoid asking whether the given repair shop where you’ve left your TV has flexible working hours, you risk getting into a very uncomfortable situation and being unable to get your TV back for few days in a row. That is why it is important to ask whether they have extended office hours or work in the weekend. Bear in mind that many professional repair shops offer the service to deliver your TV to your home in suitable hours, but may require some additional payment for that.
Another good thing for you to ask, in case you have a busy schedule is whether your repair service provider can make an on-site visit in order to identify and fix the problem without the need for you to take your TV to their office. Many experts provide such service and may or may not charge you for it. Most of the time, if you are charged for such visit, you should expect to pay no more than $50 if your home is within the area of the given TV repair shop.
7) Ask about documentation.
Most of the trusted TV repair shops will be able to provide you with documentation about the work they have delivered in order to solve your problem. Although most of the time this documentation looks like a simple list with few check boxes, it is always important to have a copy of that for yourself. That way you will be able to track the history of your TV’s problems and if, for example, the next time it faces some issues, you decide to change the repair shop you have worked with, you will be able to help the new one to get acquainted with the previous work, delivered by their colleagues.
Requesting documentation is a good thing to do also because of the fact that it may act as a written confirmation for the type of work and the different components that you have been charged for. And if, in the near future, you face some problems related to the previously delivered work, you will be able to have an additional proof, apart from the issued warranty.
8) Ask to be walked through the problem and how it will be solved.
Even if you do not know anything about TV and electronics and you do not care about the technological explanation of the way your problem will be solved, asking this question is important because it should spark a discussion that will help you judge whether the given repair experts are a good match for your money. The trusted TV repair professional will start explaining you the roots of the problem and how it will be solved. He will go further and provide you with some additional advice on how to properly use your TV and avoid any potential problems in the near future. On the other hand, by asking this question, you will be able to notice if the main goal of the service provider is to just get your money. Bear in mind that a lot can be said about a given TV repair shop through their customer service.
That is why it is important to evaluate the way they are answering your question – whether they become bored and find it unnecessary to explain you in details, or they act professionally and spend some time analyzing the situation for you. If you forget to perform a good research for finding a trusted TV repair service provider, there is a very high probability that you will end up speaking with someone who is annoyed with all the questions you ask. This is the time you should go on and seek for a better solution for your problems. Bear in mind that customer service is vital and if a company does not seem to realize it, they are most probably the wrong choice for you.
9) Ask how long will it take for your problem to be fixed.
The TV repair experts may find it hard to answer this question if they haven’t identified the exact problem that your TV have, but will most probably be able to provide you with an approximate estimate, based on your explanations. You should try to provide as complete explanation of the issue as possible (for example: “Although there is sound, the screen remains dark and the TV does not respond to any remote control commands.”). That way, the expert will be able to judge the potential extent of the problem and the components that may need to be repaired or replaced, thus being able to provide you with an approximate time period for that – 2 – 3 days for example. If you find the given service provider a good choice to fix your problem, you will then take your TV to his office for initial diagnostics.
During the check, further problems may or may not be found, thus extending the time needed for repair. For example, if you have forgotten to mention what was the exact model of your TV during your initial visit, in the end it may turn out that a given part that needs to be replaced is not available in stock and should be shipped. You will then have the final say on whether they should proceed with the repair works.
10) Ask about useful advice that you may use in order to identify future problems with your TV.
Professional and trusted TV repair experts are willing to share their knowledge with you and provide some tips and tricks to ease you in future, because they realize that once you leave their office satisfied, you will most probably come back if you experience any TV problems again. That is why you should not be afraid to ask them whatever you think it is necessary in order to make sure that you use your TV properly.
For example, a good thing to ask is whether they can suggest some quick checks that you can perform by yourself in order to find the reason if your TV stops working. The answer to this question will most probably be an obvious one – to check the user manual or the plugs if they are loosed. But it is more about the follow-up discussion than the answer itself. Depending on the type of the TV, the given expert may suggest some individual and personalized tips and tricks that he has learned through his experience (for example – “For the given model, the buttons on the base of the screen are prone to functionality problems. Try avoiding them and use the remote control most of the time.”).