Sunday, February 26, 2012

Home TV Repair, Part I

Got a flat screen HDTV in your home?  These days, almost everyone seems to.  There's just one problem:  Unlike the CRT TV's of old, HDTV's simply don't last very long -- maybe 5 years at best before something goes wrong.

This has happened to me now.  My nearly 4 year old Samsung started to cycle on and off when attempting to turn it on.  If we left it alone, eventually, after maybe 5 minutes, it would finally turn on and stay on.  Then 5 minutes became 10, became 15....  One day I came home from work about 6PM, and I noticed the TV cycling on and off.  I asked my wife, "What time did you turn on the TV?"

"About noon," was the reply.

"You left the TV to cycle for 6 hours?  I think it's safe to say it's not going to turn on."

"Well, it won't turn off."

"Unplug it."

"I can't reach the plug."

Sighing, I went into the den and unplugged the thing.  At this point, I figured the TV was a loss.  It was well past warranty, and I did not purchase an extended warranty because extended warranties are usually a waste of money.  I could well imagine a service call would cost nearly as much as simply buying a new TV.

Then I starting doing a little research Googling the symptoms, and discovered:
  1. This is a common problem with Samsung TVs.
  2. The cause is one or more capacitors on the power supply board going bad.
  3. This is not just a Samsung thing.  In general with modern electronics, if something goes wrong, it is usually a bad capacitor.
  4. Capacitors are dirt cheap and readily available at electronics supply stores.
Then I looked on YouTube and found multiple instructions on how to replace capacitors on a mother board.  I used to do a bit of soldering when I was a kid, I thought.  How hard can it be to try doing my own repair?  Worst case:  I screw it up and need to buy a new TV.  Big deal, I'm already facing that now.  Surely it's worth a shot....

Next up:  The big unscrewing

No comments:

Post a Comment