Every month, I usually have to fix about 8 to 15 TVs. Out of these cases, roughly 20% have common screen problems. These include:
- Backlight not working.
- Screen goes black, but the sound is fine.
- Cracked LCD panel.
- Audio delay, and more.
I typically charge $100 to $180 for fixing a TV backlight issue, $300 to $400 for an LCD panel problem, and $20 to $40 for other minor screen problems.
Why I’m telling this?
Because, if you’re a DIY enthusiast with some basic knowledge, you can save a lot of money.
In this article, I will discuss five common TV screen problems that many users have encountered and how you can fix them on your own.
Let’s dive in…
- Black Screen: Check the HDMI cable and Test the LED Backlight.
- Audio Lag: Check audio settings, update firmware, and ensure all devices are connected properly.
- Blurry text: Adjust screen resolution and font settings on your device.
- HDMI handshake: Power cycle the TV and check for firmware updates on both the TV and connected devices.
1) No Picture, Black Screen But The TV Is On
This is the most common issue among smart TV users, where the screen suddenly goes completely black, but the TV works.
This mainly happens for two reasons:
- TV isn’t receiving any proper signal from your HDMI-connected devices.
- TV’s LED Backlight has been damaged.
So, whenever you encounter this issue, you have to do the following two basic things;
First, ensure that your cable or satellite box is plugged in and turned on, and that all the cables are securely connected to both the box and the TV.
Then, perform an HDMI Reset by following the steps below:
- Disconnect the TV from the power outlet completely.
- Similarly, disconnect all the HDMI-connected devices from the TV.
- Wait for 5 minutes.
- During this time, press and hold the TV power button for about 30 seconds.
- Once you are done, power the TV back on.
Now check whether the TV is working. If not, test the TV’s LED Backlight.
- Close all the windows and doors and turn off all the lights to create a dark environment.
- Power on the TV and take a flashlight.
- Shine the flashlight at different angles across the screen and pay close attention to the edges and corners.
- If you observe a faint glow or images on the screen when the flashlight is directed at it, it indicates that the TV’s LED Backlight is malfunctioning.
However, if there is no response from the TV screen, even with the flashlight test, it might be indicative of a more serious problem with the TV, such as a faulty display panel, a bad T-con board, or even a faulty power supply board.
In a previous article, I wrote a detailed step-by-step guide on how you can diagnose a faulty backlight and repair it on your own.
If you are interested in doing this yourself, check it out at this [Link].
Note: This can also happen due to a faulty mainboard. Mainboard handles various types of input from inside and outside the device and displays them on the screen. If the image processing part of the mainboard is not working correctly, you might encounter this black screen problem.
2) Video Not Matching With Audio
Sometimes, you may notice a delay in the audio when characters are speaking on the screen.
For example, you might be watching a thrilling action sequence in a movie, and the sound of an explosion or a punch lands a split second after you’ve seen the corresponding visual.
This lag between the video and audio is known as an “audio-video synchronization” or simply an “AV sync” issue.
However, there are various reasons why this happens:
- Your TV has a delay in processing the video signal.
- Your external sound system has a delay in processing the audio signal.
- Your cable or satellite box has a delay in transmitting the signal.
Most of the time, the solution is quite simple.
All you need to do is power cycle your TV, source device, and soundbar three times in a row.
If power cycling doesn’t work, enter the TV’s sound settings menu, and from here, turn on ‘AV Sync.”
3) TV Screen Looks Cracked But Isn’t
The problem is that when the TV is switched off, there are no visible cracks on the screen or the front panel.
However, when you turn it on, you see that the screen appears cracked, with lines spreading out like a spider’s web from a particular spot.
Take a look at the picture above; does it resemble your issue?
This problem can occur for several reasons:
- The inner screen of your TV might be damaged, not the outer one.
- Something might be wrong with the part of the TV that generates the picture.
- There could be an issue with your TV’s T-con board or the ribbon cable.
- Your TV might have encountered a system glitch, leading to screen distortions that resemble cracks.
So, what’s the solution?
Well, unless you’re an experienced DIY repair person, there’s not much you can do to fix this problem.
The most likely cause is a faulty LCD panel here and fixing it means taking apart the TV’s LCD panel and replacing it with a new one.
In some cases, it can be challenging to find a suitable replacement panel for your TV model, and even if you do, the repair can be expensive.
So, if your TV is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer.
But if it’s not, get in touch with a knowledgeable TV repair specialist and discuss the potential cost.
Remember: This issue can also be caused by problems with the T-con board, a faulty ribbon cable, or issues with the mainboard. The exact cause depends on the TV’s condition and appearance.
4) Picture Is Pixelating or Breaking Up
If you notice your TV picture turning into small squares or pixels, it’s a pixelation issue.
This can happen for two main reasons: a weak signal or a slow internet connection.
To solve this, get in touch with your cable or satellite provider and ask them to check for any transmission problems. You might also need to adjust your antenna or satellite dish for a better signal.
If your internet is consistently slow, try reducing the number of devices connected to your network or consider upgrading your internet plan.
5) Screen Is grainy
This typically happens due to calibration issues.
If you set the sharpness levels too high thinking that the picture will look more clear and vibrant, then you will encounter this issue.
To know this, you have to understand how the sharpness mechanism works.
When you set the sharpness levels too high, TV algorithm understands that it should enhance high-contrast edges to create a sharper image.
However, this can backfire.
Here’s why: First, TV’s smart system spots the sharp lines, like the edges of a character against a bright background. It then tries to make these lines stand out by making them even brighter, which can look cool but not always in a good way.
Instead of making things look better, it creates odd-looking outlines around objects or people which lead to “ringing” or “haloing” artifacts.
However, most modern TVs are already designed to display images in high definition with a certain level of sharpness that’s considered optimal for most content.
When you overdo it, you’re essentially pushing the TV to create sharpness where it’s not needed and making the picture looks hazy and even grainy.
So, for the clearest and most natural picture on your TV, set your sharpness to a neutral level like 50% or below, where no artificial edge enhancement is applied.
Q: How do I know if my TV screen is damaged?
If your TV screen is damaged, you will see some signs of physical damage, such as cracks, scratches, dents, or holes.
You will also see some signs of internal damage, such as lines, bands, spots, colors, or black areas on the screen.
Q: How much does it cost to fix a TV screen?
The cost of fixing a TV screen depends on several factors, such as the type, size, model, and brand of your TV, the extent and nature of the damage, and the availability and location of the parts and labor.
Generally speaking, fixing a TV screen can cost anywhere from $100 to $700 or more.
Q: How long does a TV screen last?
The lifespan of a TV screen depends on several factors, such as the type, quality, usage, and maintenance of your TV.
Generally speaking, most TVs can last for about 5 to 10 years before they start showing signs of wear.
Abdul Kader, a handy guy and experienced founder of a TV repair shop in Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is mainly an expert in understanding and repairing different types of issues with Smart TVs and providing helpful insights on how to keep them in good working order. Read his Full Story.