In 2011, the home television market is dominated by high-definition TVs, which are split into two groups: plasma and LCD. LCD TVs also include the LED subset, and prices on these TVs have dropped to the point that they are widely available and affordable. But as with any home appliance or electronic device, LCD TVs can act up from time to time. Before calling in your warranty, try a few basic troubleshooting techniques to identify common problems.
A few issues that seem like malfunctions of your TV may, in fact, be problems connected to your remote control. If the TV is slow to respond to input, make sure the line of sight between the end of the remote and the infrared sensor on the TV is clear. Check the batteries too if slow responses continue. Having a working remote is important, since a lot of controls can’t be accessed from the buttons on the TV, including sound and picture presets.
LCD TVs will cycle power – that is, click on and off – from time to time if static builds up inside. Unplug the TV and then press and hold the power button for a few seconds to clear any static charge, and then plug it back in. A click sound after you turn the TV off is normal, but repeated clicking when powering on or off is a sign of a power problem and the TV likely requires service. Likewise, if the TV doesn’t power on at all when pressing the button on the side or front, the TV needs to be serviced.
HDTVs are often part of a home theatre setup, so you may not rely fully on your TV for audio. But if your TV is your only source of sound, you may notice a hollow quality to the sound on certain audio modes. Digital HD sources – like a Blu-ray disc player or a PlayStation 3 – output sound differently than an analog source – like a VCR or a TV antenna. Your TV processes sound from an HDMI channel differently than from a component input, and so the sound might be different from different sources. Most HDTVs have an audio preset mode, and you can toggle this mode to improve sound.
Most LCD HDTVs have a complex series of ports for all of your devices in the back, and many picture problems are often related to how you hook up your devices. Toggle through your inputs to make sure that you haven’t simply selected an input without a device. More serious problems include image burn, which is less common on LCD screens than on plasma screens, but still a worry. Don’t leave your TV on with a single image for a long time – the length of time varies from set to set, but you may see a ghost image if you leave the TV on for too long with one image.