Is it worth it to fix our TV?
November 2, 2012 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Our TV is broken. Should we try to fix it, or would it make more sense to just buy a new TV? How much would a repair for our kind of problem cost?

We have a small (19 inch) Dynex flat screen television. While we were using it last week, the screen suddenly went dark. Sound still works, and it us clear that it isa problem with the TV, not with any peripherals. The display is completely dark; it is not lit at all.
posted by ocherdraco to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
There's a lot of things that could make the display go dark and leave the rest of the TV running, some of which are cheap to fix, and some of which aren't. Without someone knowledgeable actually taking a look at what the TV is doing when you turn it on or off and opening it up, the nature of the problem is a mystery.
posted by griphus at 9:50 AM on November 2, 2012

New 19" LCD tvs start at about $100, so I don't think it's worth throwing any money at this. I'd just freecycle it--someone with the tools and training could perhaps make it work, but I don't think it's worth your while.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:50 AM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

As griphus says, it could be a number of things. Some of them are fairly cheap if you're willing to fix it yourself (loose connector, worn-out backlight). Fixing it yourself is likely to be the only cost-effective way to repair it. And unless you know what you're doing, you really shouldn't open up a TV.
posted by pipeski at 9:52 AM on November 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

It sounds like the LCD inverter board (or a similar part) has died. Could be from a minor power surge or just age. Those parts are generally inexpensive; I spec'd one for a Dell laptop yesterday at around $8.00. But you have to get into the case of the TV and make the swap. Even then it might not be the fix. Then it's a question of how long the part will last the second time around.

Or, what Admiral Haddock said. Freecycle it and look for an inexpensive replacement. Newegg seems to have lots in that size range for not a lot of money.
posted by littlerobothead at 9:53 AM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah, please don't open a television if you don't know what you're doing. You can seriously injure yourself.
posted by griphus at 9:59 AM on November 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here's what I did with my Panasonic LCD: I noticed that the issue came with an odd noise. I figured out what part of the TV the noise was coming from. I took off the back panel and discovered it was the power board. I ordered a used replacement on ebay and swapped it out.

That said, this is actually a dumb idea because of what griphus said (capacitors, etc). But it worked for me. And my TV cost $350, so it was a better deal.
posted by selfnoise at 10:47 AM on November 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, folks. I'm not up to learning how to fix it at this time, so I'll probably just take the opportunity to upgrade to a slightly larger TV.

posted by ocherdraco at 12:04 PM on November 2, 2012

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