How Do You Know When Your Flat-Screen TV Is Going Bad? Quick Tips And Answers

If you’ve ever bought a flat-screen TV, it’s likely that you don’t remember the last time you had to replace one. After all, they are so ubiquitous that many people have more than one in their homes. And as technology advances, flat-screen TVs are becoming more and more sophisticated

One issue many people run into with their flat-screen TVs is that they may have a hard time telling when the TV has stopped working correctly. If this happens, there are some things you can do to determine if your television needs to be repaired or replaced.

1. Dead Pixels

Dead pixels occur on flat-screen TVs when a component called a transistor fails, turning the pixels black. It’s hard to notice right away because the pixels are tiny, but as the damage spreads, it becomes more visible. 

Tests like the Dead Pixel Test can help you determine if there are any dead pixels on your screen. The test will display a single color on the screen, allowing you to see any inconsistencies in the display.

Most smart-screen TV manufacturers have policies covering dead pixel problems in their warranties because fixing them requires specialized equipment. The other option is to buy a new screen.

2. Color Distortion

Does your TV have an area that’s over-saturated with color on the screen? Then it could be color distortion. It comes off as a monochromatic hue due to a wide range of possible problems.

A common problem would be a mismatch in resolution between the input device like a DVD and the output, which is the screen. For example, if a video has a resolution of 1080p, the television should be configured to display the same resolution instead of a different one. 

The TV could also be showing black and white pictures instead of all visible colors. This could be due to incorrect cabling or a problem with the panel’s transistors. A quick way to fix this is to check if the TV is in a self-test mode. With a bit of troubleshooting, a solution may emerge, but it may take a little bit of finesse to sort these issues out.

3. Bars and Lines

Bars and lines on the display mean that there’s a problem with a connection in your TV. It could be that some cables are loose or a magnet is distorting the image on the screen. 

If there is a surround system near the screen, place the speakers further away. The magnets might be messing with the component in the TV.

Call a professional to help if you notice that it’s not getting better even after removing the magnets. This could indicate a deeper problem, and trying to fix it might actually end up making the problem worse.

4. Fading Screens

The TV is on, and you want to enjoy your favorite show, but the screen is fading. Bummer! Faded screens may be accompanied by the Black Screen Of Death, indicating a deeper underlying issue.

A number of reasons can cause fading screens:

  1. A faulty circuit board
  2. Faulty screen panel
  3. Faulty LED crystals
  4. Bad cable connections

It’s easy enough to replace bad cables, but the other issues listed above will require more than just a run to the hardware store. A technician will need to be called in to look at the screen, lest you risk worsening the problem by trying to fix things on your own.

Replacing the screen is a viable option if fixing it doesn’t seem to be worth the while.

5. Image Retention

Image retention, also known as “Ghosting” or “Burn-in,” is when a screen cannot release the previous image completely, and the image remains on screen as a faded version of itself.

Manufacturers are constantly coming up with ways of reducing image retention, but there are a few things you can do to help resolve the problem.

You can use a screensaver that keeps frequently changing to help the screen refresh itself. This way, images do not burn into the screen from over-exposure.

The image can clear up in minutes or days, depending on the device’s technology and the severity of the problem. Changing screens might be a good idea if the problem is persistent, even after a few DIY solutions.

6. The TV Just Won’t Come On

You’ve sat down on the couch, grabbed the remote to switch the TV on, but nothing happens. You check the sockets, antenna, and everything seems fine. What could be the problem?

For starters, a part of the TV may be fried. Short-circuits may happen due to power surges or damaged insulation over time. It’s important to be extra careful around live wires. 

The other factor could be the age of the TV. 

The TV could be coming on but very slowly, making it appear as though it’s dead. Check if this is the case by sending commands to the TV from the remote immediately you switch it on, such as increasing or reducing the volume.

A broken tv that's falling apart

7. The TV Is Falling Apart

No one wants to see the frame holding their TV together fall off, but it does happen from time to time. This could be as a result of shoddy workmanship or, worse, a knockoff. If you suspect the latter, don’t hesitate to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance. 

You can always take the TV back to the manufacturer if some components were not put together correctly, as long as the warranty stands. The other option would be to call an expert to come over and have a look, that is, if the TV has seen better days. It’s advisable not to void your warranty before it’s time.

Bottom Line

With so many different things that can affect the quality of your television’s picture, it can be hard to know when you should replace the TV. Don’t go by what some people say about whether or not a flat-screen TV has gone bad. Instead, follow these simple pointers, and you should be able to tell if your TV is going bad.

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