If your LCD flat panel TV suddenly has cracks, lines, blank spots, or other similar issues, you might think you’re going to have to shell out for a major repair, or a replacement altogether. Maybe you haven’t thought to ask “I’m wondering how to repair my TV screen”, but depending on the damage and model of the TV, you may be able to solve the problem yourself.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • For minor scratches and cracks, there are cost-free DIY methods that are sometimes effective.
  • Professional repair bills for flat screen TVs are often higher than the cost of the TV.
  • Determining whether your TV screen is repairable at all is an important first step before attempting DIY repairs or sending it to a professional.

With a little elbow grease, some patience, and some inexpensive parts, you may be able to save yourself a lot of money, and a wasted TV. Don’t let your top-rated TV go to waste when you can fix it yourself.

Determining Repairability

There are a few ways to determine if the damage or malfunction in your TV’s screen is repairable at home, or if you’ll need to take it in for repairs or replace it altogether. Repairing a TV screen is not the only thing you can do at home. If you have a smart TV, you can learn how to update it manually if the automatic feature doesn’t work.

Cracked or Broken Screen

If your screen is cracked or broken, you can try to replace the screen, depending on the model and design. Some models have a glass panel on top of the actual screen, so you should start by checking to see whether it’s the glass panel that’s broken or the actual screen.

If you’ve determined it’s the glass panel, or if it’s indeed the screen, and the damage has not extended to the LCD, Plasma, or LEDs behind the screen, you should be able to find a replacement screen relatively inexpensively- sites like eBay are a good place to look for good deals on pristine replacement parts- manufacturers may not always have replacements to quickly or easily provide, depending on the model.

If the crack or break has extended through the screen, there’s obvious damage to your LCD, Plasma, or LED parts, or if there is significant damage to multiple parts, you’ll need to bring it to a certified repair technician, however, know that very often, the cost of repairs will be more than price of the TV itself, in which case, replacing your entire TV may be the most sensible solution. Many manufacturers have warranties that can cover part or all of any repair or replacement expense, depending on the cause of damage. If you own a smart TV, make sure you learn as many smart TV tips as you can. This will save you a lot of time and money.

Insider Tip

Though embedded into camera lenses and not the camera itself, in-lens optical stabilization systems can still typically be controlled via a camera’s settings menu.

Repairs for “Dead” Pixels

Pixels that appear to be “dead” or stuck on one color aren’t necessarily out of commission. Here’s an easy DIY fix:

  1. Take a pencil or another dull and narrow object like a crochet pin and wrap it in a damp, soft (non-abrasive) cloth
  2. Rub very gently on each affected pixel to “wake up” the pixel- do not rub too hard, as it can cause more damage

If this proves ineffective, there’s software available online that can “wake up” pixels by cycling colors rapidly that may prove helpful. Otherwise, you may be looking at a screen or TV replacement.

Repairs for Spiderweb Cracks and Light Scratches b

Fine cracks or spiderweb cracks on flat-panel screens aren’t always beyond repair. Here are a few inexpensive and DIY fixes that can sometimes salvage your screen. First, you’ll want to check to see if a repair is even possible:

  1. Lightly run a soft, non-abrasive cloth over the screen carefully. If you feel broken glass or jagged edges, the repair is likely impossible and you’ll have to replace the screen or possibly the entire TV.
  2. Take a clean pencil eraser and rub the scratches or spiderweb cracks very gently, wiping away eraser residue as it collects.
  3. If you start to see results within 30 to 60 seconds, continue over the entire affected area.
  4. If this method proves ineffective, you might try purchasing one of the many LCD scratch repair kits available from online vendors, which generally start at around $20. If the above method works partially, you might try a kit to see if you can completely erase the scratches or spiderweb cracks.

F.A.Q.

How much do TV screen repairs cost?

This can vary a lot- anywhere from $80-500 or more depending on both on the repairs needed and the warranty on your TV- oftentimes based on those factors, the cost of repair can be more than the original price of the TV.


Can a flat-screen TV be fixed?

It depends upon the issue, the warranty on your TV, and the TV itself- some minor issues like spiderweb cracks and scratches can be dealt with using DIY fixes a lot of the time, but larger issues may require professional repairs, which can be expensive.


Is it worth getting a TV repaired?

If the damage or other issues are serious and DIY fixes don’t work, professional repairs may be an option, but depending on factories like warranties and the seriousness of the issue, they can easily be more expensive than the original cost of the TV, meaning a replacement would be the more practical option.



STAT: A pristine condition replacement screen for a 42″ LCD TV starts at a minimum of $150 (source)

Warning

Image stabilization systems tend to quickly drain battery life, so take that into account when looking to shoot sharp images.

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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