Is My TV Worth Fixing?

Reasons Why You Shouldn't Fix Your Own TV

Warranty Coverage

If your TV is covered by a warranty, take advantage of this and call a service technician (unless the incurred damage is not covered). Most manufacturers warrant their TVs for one year after the original purchase. You can find out what the manufacturer’s warranty period is from either your sales receipt, the owner’s manual, or the company’s web site. If you purchased an extended service plan and you are not sure when it ends, call the store where you purchased it to see if it is still covered.

Physical Damage

If your TV was severely physically damaged (such as being dropped down a flight of stairs) where the panel, bezel, and printed circuit boards are cracked or broken, then it's not worth fixing.

Flood Insurance Coverage

If your TV was involved in a flood and damaged by flood water, your homeowner's flood insurance or renter's insurance may cover this kind of loss.

If your TV was left outdoors where water from rain, dew, or condensation has gotten on the printed circuit boards, this condition is generally not covered by insurance, and is not covered by any manufacturer's warranty.

Flooding and Water Damage

If the TV was immersed in water for an extended period of time, it is not worth fixing.

But if you think the TV is salvageable and you want to try and fix it yourself, you will need to assess the damage by first removing the back cover. See How Do I Get To the Circuit Boards in a TV?. Take a look at the printed circuit boards and see if you can find evidence of a powdery, light-colored residue. This residue is the result of water damage. It is conductive, and will corrode copper traces, electrical contacts and wiring, and can cause permanent damage to electronics.

The best way to repair the TV is to replace every electronic part that has this residue. Keep in mind that most replacement display panels come with the printed circut boards that are mounted on them. See How To Replace Plasma Display Panels or How To Replace LCD and LED Panels. See also Replacement Parts For TVs and How To Order TV Parts

If you do not want to order replacement parts, and if the display panel is still intact, a last-resort alternative would be to wash every printed circuit board and wiring harness in a dish soap solution. See Cleaning Water Damaged Circuits

Lightning Damage

If your TV was the victim of a lightning strike, your homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance may cover this kind of loss. But if you have no insurance coverage for this and you want to fix the TV yourself, you will need to replace either the main signal board or the main power supply board. These are the two printed circuit boards that connect your TV to the outside world, which is why they are susceptible. If the TV does not turn on, and acts dead showing no sign of power, then replace the power supply board. If the TV turns on but some of the inputs don't work, then replace the main signal board.

When lightning hits, it could go anywhere, but it will always seek a path to the earth. While the brunt of the strike may (for example) go directly down the side of the building, it can also take tributary paths, or induce electrical surge currents into nearby wires and cables connected to your home theater equipment. HDMI cables are most vulnerable because they are designed for very low-voltage signals and generally have very little surge protection. The HDMI inputs on the television are located on the main signal board.

Power surges can also develop in power lines and enter into the building's electrical wiring via the electrical service. This is how a power surge can damage anything that is plugged into the wall.

Surge protectors are helpful, but they are not 100% effective. The best way to prevent lightning damage is to anticipate the threat by disconnecting the power to every device in your entertainment system, as well as unplugging any lengthy signal cables connected to your equipment that run along an outside wall, through the attic, or that exit the building (such as antenna cables or cable TV cables).

Cost Prohibative Size

If the television is much smaller than a 50-inch (125-cm), consider the cost of the part that needs to be replaced. For example, if the display panel needs to be replaced it's probably not worth fixing because the cost of the panel might be close to the cost of a new TV.


If the TV is more than 10 years old it's probably not worth fixing (unless you're an antique collector), because parts may not be available for a TV that old. The longevity of the whole TV must also be considered. It's like fixing an old car - as soon as you fix one thing, chances are something else will soon go wrong. To find the year that the TV was manufactured, check the label on the back side of the TV.

What Are Parts Going To Cost?

The articles in the Solution Center can tell you if a part needs to be replaced. Click the blue buttons and find the symptom that most closely resembles the problem. If you need to replace something like a circuit board or some other part inside the television, then it’s a matter of whether the part is available, whether you can afford to purchase it, and whether you are willing to replace it yourself.

If something needs to be replaced, and you want to know how much it would cost, see Replacement Parts For TVs to get specific pricing from parts dealers. You may also want to read How To Order TV Parts

Just to give you an idea of the cost of parts, below is a list of approximate costs (in US dollars) of some typically replaced parts.

Approximate Part Costs
Bezels (frames) & front assy.s $80 to $250
Lamps for projection TVs $100 to $250
LCD/LED display panels $170 to $400
Light engines (optical blocks) $350 to $800
Logic boards $100 to $200
Main (or Signal) boards $70 to $200
Plasma display panels (PDP) $250 to $500
(after core return)
Power boards (or SMPS) $50 to $400
Power inverters (LED/LCD) $50 to $150
Small circuit boards
(such as Function & IR
boards containing push-
buttons or touch-pads)
$20 to $100
Speakers $10 to $40
T-CONN boards $80 to $150
Tuners $30 to $80
X-main & Y-main boards $70 to $200

How Long Should A TV Last?

The longevity of a TV is like anything man-made - it will eventually break down. The useful life of a TV is about eight to ten years.

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