For many decades, when your TV stopped working, the first thing on mind was “I need to get it fixed”.
Many people remember time when they could test their TV or radio tubes in stores. You could also buy replacement tubes at many local stores.
Later with end of tube TV era, it became more difficult to fix a TV by yourself. Solid state parts were not so easy to test and most of them required to be de-soldered to be tested. That required professional TV repairman with skills. It was not exactly cheap to repair a television, however, in most cases was a lot cheaper than to buy a new TV.
As technology moved forward, TV prices came down. TV’s are getting more advanced and better each year. It is also getting harder to find TV Repair Shop to get TV repaired. This will raise a fair question: Should I fix my TV or just go and buy a new one. Let’s try to find out step by step.
Is my TV really not working?
When in middle of watching your favorite show your TV will stop working, the first thing you may think that TV is broken. Before making this conclusion and going to the next step, let’s just make sure that problem is in fact your TV and not something else.
First unplug power cable from your TV and leave it unplugged for at least 5 minutes. Try to turn it back ON. This will reset a processor on your main board and in many cases fix a problem.
If TV is not turning on, check that TV is plugged in and receives power. Try to turn TV manually. On television itself locate and press “Power” button. A lot of times problem could be your remote control. If TV turns ON try to change batteries in your remote. Also remote may need to be programmed.
If TV turns ON but not getting picture or sound, check your satellite receiver or cable box. Try to reset it by unplugging from the power source and plugging in again after 5 minutes.
If you tried these steps and TV still not working, you may need to get it repaired or replaced.
Should I repair or replace my LED / LED TV?
Once you determined that problem is indeed your TV let’s talk about possible cost of repairing it.
Damaged / Cracked screen
These repairs are almost never economical. In this case you better of just buying a new TV. Check our How much does it cost to repair or replace a TV screen? page.
How big is TV
Price of TV really depend on size of the screen. Price of TV goes up with every inch of screen size. At the moment of writing cost of 24″ TV is about $80 – $150. Most common failure parts are main and power supply board. They usually priced $80-$120 for this size of TV. Labor to replace them will vary from shop to shop, but on average will be $50 – $100. Even if you have to replace on of these boards, repair will exceed replacement cost.
If TV is bigger than 50″ it may worth to at least check the TV out. Lately many people try to repair TV’s with help of growing online TV repair resources. Be sure to check our DIY TV Repair Tips page.
2019 UPDATE: Since inital writing of this article, priced dropped even more. Please check out this Walmart link for list of TV’s you can buy under $200 I strongly suggest checking out at least a few electronic stores as you may be surpriced on how affordable TV’s are now.
I have also received many reports of some shady TV repir shops with unfair business practice. What they really do is charge you a service call/diagnostics fee and either never call you back or tell you that parts are no longer available. Many shops charge as much as $50-$100 for a service call. You can put that money towards buying a new TV.
If TV is 50″ or larger and it’s not too old, it would be wise to get it looked at by a professional TV repair man. Many older LCD or LED TV’s are quality build and may last for many more years after repair.
Excuse to upgrade
When your TV breaks it may be a good excuse to upgrade it the newest model. Every year TV models change. They getting bigger, thinner, lighter. Picture resolution gets better (1080HD, 4K UHD, HDR). TV’s also get more features (Smart TV, Voice command, etc). If you always wanted to upgrade and budget allows – this may be the good time to do it. Just think of what you would have spent on repairing this broken TV and put it toward new one!
A QUICK RECAP
Shoud I repair my TV in 2019?
TV’s with damaged screens – BUY A NEW TV
Replacing an LCD/LCD/Plasma TV screen will almost always exceed the cost. Don’t waste your money on diagnostics, just buy a new television.
TV’s under 45″ – BUY A NEW TV
Even if your TV can be repaired, most of the time it will cost you no less than $150-$180. You can buy a decent TV for under $200 (more for higher quality).
TV’s over 45″ – You may want to have it checked
If you have a large TV that is not too old, made by a reputable brand (Samsung, LG, Sony) it may be worth checking it out. Please be aware of some shady TV repair shops that are out there just to collect the service call/diagnostics fee. Check references and reviews.