How Do I Tell If a Plasma TV Has Gone Bad?

By Harvey Spector

Identifying whether or not a Plasma TV is going to fail can be done by looking and listening for several key symptoms.

Plasma TVs have visible and sometimes audible symptoms that indicate whether the TV is going bad. Several key parts or areas of this type of TV fail. Whether the TV is repairable will depend on the component that malfunctions.

What Are the Symptoms?

Several common symptoms that could indicate to the viewer that the Plasma TV is beginning to fail include:

  • A vertical or horizontal line can appear and remain on the screen.
  • Ghostly images or a greyish effect that appears somewhere on the screen and either disappears after a while or never goes away.
  • A loud humming or crackle and pop sound coming from the back or upper part of the TV where the components are located.
  • White spots that appear and do not go away when you turn the TV on and off.

What Do These Symptoms Mean?

A vertical or horizontal line likely means that there is a fault in the plasma display panel. The actual problem could be a faulty tape carrier, but in both cases, the entire PDP panel must be replaced.

Ghostly or greyish images suggest a problem with the pixels that display the image. The phosphor is what causes the image display in response to light emission. The strength of the phosphor response makes the image darker or lighter. Pixels subjected to strong emissions for 30 minutes or longer may cause the image or remnants of the image to remain on the screen.

White spots mean there is a problem with the pixels. This problem, like the problem associated with vertical or horizontal lines, could indicate a faulty panel.

A loud humming or crackling noise can indicate that a circuit board is going bad and needs to be replaced. A low humming noise, however, is normal.

Is it Worth Repairing a Plasma TV?

Replacing a PDP panel is a common repair. Pixel problems, however, may or may not be worth attempting to fix. If the ghostly or greyish image goes away after a few minutes, then the problem was only temporary and there is no need to have a technician look at the set. If, however, the image remains on the screen and will not go away, then that means there is a problem with the phosphor and associated pixels and image production. The entire TV would have to be replaced.

Circuit boards can be identified and repaired by a qualified TV repair technician.

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