Discussing the cost of repairing an LCD TV is always a tricky subject, as the cost will depend on what is wrong with the TV. Then again, parts from different manufacturers have different prices, leading to more uncertainty in determining the cost. Labor charges too, depend on the complexity of the TV set in question, and the part that needs to be changes. All this relates to a very varying final bill that you will be presented with. Hence, what is important here is to diagnose the problem, and then determine if spending the estimated amount of money to repair the problem is worth it or not. For simple problems, like replacing the backlight, it is more feasible to repair, as backlight replacement costs about $85 with labor included. If you are a DIY person, and can take the risk of ruining an expensive LCD, you can replace the backlight for as low as $20. The main unit, also called the motherboard, is slightly trickier, and more expensive as well. This cost can go as high as $300, so depending on how old your TV is, it might be better to just buy a new TV. Another instance where you should definitely chuck your old TV and opt for a new one is when the LCD panel itself needs to be replaced. This costs more than half of the TV price and it is never worth spending that much money to replace or repair it. Simply exchange your old TV for a newer one.
Other problems like speakers not working, no sound, remotes not working, or IR sensor replacement can all be done by professionals and these typically do not cost too much. Remember that for these, most of the cost will be for labor. So unless the problem is too severe, you should do all you can at home to resolve the problems. If you do need to send it out, consider the fact that you can get a decent new TV in about $500, which will feature the latest technology. If you are going to spend anywhere close to that amount on repair, it is just not viable.
Basic Problems and Repair Techniques
When you have spent upwards of $500 buying a high-end LCD, you end up thinking that repairing it would also cost a bomb. However, some problems that LCDs typically face can be resolved right in your home, that too without any professional skill. Consider the case of dead pixels. In most cases, dead pixels are simply pixels that are stuck, or have not been energized enough. This can be remedied in a couple of ways – the simplest of these are either tapping the dead pixels gently with a blunt pencil, or by using a pixel corrector DVD. Be careful if you are using the pencil method, as too much force can damage the LCD panel, which is very expensive to replace. Other issues related to fuzzy picture, bad audio, poor picture and the like can also be tried to be solved at home before calling in the professionals. These issues are usually due to bad settings, incorrect wiring and/or loose connections, with HDMI connections being a major culprit. If these simple solutions don’t solve your problems, then it is more likely that some part(s) need to be replaced, and this is what drives the cost high.
Tips on LCD TV Repair
Facts like the warranty period of your LCD TV should be looked at carefully before opting for repair. If the problem is backlight related or a blurred image, then the vendor of your TV can get it done for free, if under warranty. However, if the damage is due to improper maintenance and not following the instructions that came along with the TV manual, then of course, it’s the right time to search for professionals who can repair the TV. Most manufactures also provide extended warranty when you buy an LCD TV. This usually costs about 15% of the TV, and is highly recommended while purchasing a TV. An extra 15% at the time of buying can help in saving hundreds of dollars later on. Also be sure that you give your TV to a certified professional, otherwise you might end up causing more harm than good. And never try to repair an LCD TV at home unless you are 100% sure you know what the problem is, else you might just end up replacing parts without solving your problem.
Remember that LCDs have an average life of about 20 years, or 40,000 hours. If your TV is relatively new and you still have problems, then maybe replacing it is not the solution. For older TVs, replacement is a good option as you get something newer in almost the price you would have paid for repair. However, for those who have newer sets, the silver lining is that after repair, an LCD TV can still have a life of 10 years or more, so all is not lost. While the cost should be the main factor in influencing your decision of repair or replace, keep in mind the age of the TV as well before you make your decision.