Ackley's In Home TV Repair

TV Repair Done in Your Home

The Highest Quality In Home Television Repair and Service for
Kitsap, Pierce and Mason Counties, Western Washington State

In Home Repair = Best Service
Low Overhead = Bargain Price

Free TV Repair Estimates

Specializing in Big Screen TV, HDTV, Projection,
LCD, LED and Plasma Flat Panel TV repair.

TV Repair Brands Serviced
AKAI, HITACHI, JVC, LG, Magnavox, Mitsubishi, Philips, Panasonic, Pioneer, RCA, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Sylvania, Toshiba, Vizio, Zenith, and others

TV Repair Service Area:
Kitsap, Pierce, and Mason Counties , Western Washington State
Port Orchard, Bremerton, Silverdale, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island
Kingston, Hansville, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend
Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula, Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup,
Fort Lewis, University Place, Fircrest, Fife, Milton, Steilacoom,
Belfair, Grapeview, Tahuya, Shelton, Union
And Surrounding Areas
For TV Repair in other locations use TVRepairPros.com


Jim Ackley, CET, MST
Certified Electronics Technician
With Over 25 Years of Experience.

Proud member of NESDA (National Electronic Service Dealers Association) and certified by ISCET (International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians).

Ackley’s In Home TV Repair
…………

jimackley@wavecable.com

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TV Repair and Recycling (Be GREEN – And SMART !!)


Repair – The Ultimate GREEN

While it’s true that consumer electronics manufacturers and dealers would much prefer you buy a new TV and discard your old one, it isn’t the wisest use of our planets resources. This practice can not only reduce the green on our planet it can also reduce the green in your wallet.

The average TV can have several pounds of toxic materials that don’t disappear simply because it’s discarded. Somebody somewhere has to expend time and energy dealing with materials that are not biodegradable. It is the responsible thing to consider repairing your broken electronics before simply discarding it. And a repair can save you money


Can a repaired TV be “Better than New”?

Most TVs have few if any moving parts and so they are less affected by age – there are few things in them that “wear out”. Most failures are due to common problems that arise because the manufacturers don’t want their products lasting “too” long.

Bad solder connections are responsible for about 25% of all of the failures I see. This is because the soldering techniques used by the manufacturers typically use minimal amounts of solder. When I repair a circuit board I know where to look for connections that should be reinforced with additional solder to prevent future failures.

Many failures are due to inferior parts used in circuits that are under stress. These parts generally have quality ratings that determine their useful life under stress. Wherever possible I always use parts that have the highest quality and performance ratings usable in the circuit.

When you eliminate the common failures, as I make every effort to do, you have a TV that may outlast the new one you might have bought to replace it – a Better than New repair!


Is an older TV more likely to breakdown again if it’s repaired?

The useful life of a Television is determined by many factors:

  • Hours of use
  • Initial Quality (manufacturing techniques and part quality)
  • Technology used by TV (CRT, DLP, LCD, Plasma, LED, etc)
  • Heat production (generated heat means more parts under stress)
  • Most TVs today should have useful lives of at least 10 to 15 years of normal use including one repair. I will tell you if I think your TV is too old for a reliable fix. Because of my experience and repair practices (outlined above) your repaired TV is less likely breakdown after a repair.


“Trashed” TVs – It isn’t pretty – Recycle your old TV

If you determine that it is not cost effective to repair your TV there are many alternatives available that will ensure it doesn’t end up polluting our planet. You can donate it to your favorite TV repairman (me I hope) so that some of its parts may be used to repair another set. This is how some TVs can be cost effectively repaired if a major part (that would otherwise be too costly) is needed. Or you can take it to a designated Recycling Center.



TV Repair Troubleshooting Tips



DEAD – TV Has NO Signs of Life (No Lights and No Clicks)

Make sure BOTH ends of the power cord are securely plugged-in.

Some TVs have a physical “Main” power switch (commonly “Rocker” or “Push-On, Push-Off”) the location of which is not usually obvious.

Make sure the TV is not plugged into a switched outlet and power strip is turned on.


The TV turns Itself Off.

Most newer TVs have an Error Code that is indicated by lights that turn on, or blink, on the front panel. Consult your Owner’s Manual for the meaning of the error indication.

If the error indicates a Lamp problem, see TV Lamp Problems

If the error indicates service is needed, Request a Free TV Repair Estimate


The Picture is OK but the Sound is Low or Distorted or Missing.

If you are using a cable box or a satellite receiver, make sure that its volume is not low or muted. Also check that the audio cable is OK and plugged in properly at both ends.

Look for a switch (usually located on the back) or a menu item that switches off the internal speakers or selects a “Center Channel” mode for the internal speakers.


The Sound is Missing or Bad on some channels only.

On the remote or in the audio/sound menu look for an item labeled “MTS” or “SAP” and make sure that the “SAP” function is off and that the sound is set to “Normal” or “Stereo”.


The sound is OK but the Picture is missing or distorted or the color is bad.

If you are using a cable box or satellite receiver make sure that it is turned ON and the cables are good and properly connected at both ends.

Make sure that the TV is set to the correct channel or input.

If the TV’s internal On Screen Display works, try switching inputs or try a DVD player or similar item to check for proper operations. If the TV uses a projection Lamp it may be weak or broken. ( TV Lamp Problems )


There is a large black or gray Box that appears over the picture.

On the Remote or in the TV menu look for an item labeled “C.C.” or “Closed Caption” and turn off the “TEXT” mode.


The Remote Control doesn’t work properly

On the remote control look for a button at the top of the remote labeled “TV” and press it. Then check for normal operations.

If there is a slide switch, make sure that it is set to TV.

If there is a Compact Fluorescent Light shining on the TV, try turning it off. Some CFLs operate at the same frequency as the remote.

Replace the Batteries with known good ones. Get a Replacement Remote Control


If all else fails or the set is just not right or acting weirdly…

Try unplugging the TV (and Cable Box or Satellite Receiver) from the AC power (wall outlet) for 1 minute. Plug everything back in and then try again. This will RESET the computer(s). Sometimes the computers can get confused by a variety of causes and unplugging the units is the best way to make them RESET.

Request a Free TV Repair Estimate.



Projection TV Lamp Problems and Issues

Several types of projection TVs use a special Lamp as the light source.



Q: How Can I determine if my TV has a Lamp?

If your TV is a projection type TV such as DLP, LCD, HDILA, LCoS, SXRD it probably has a Lamp. CRT type PTVs and Flat Panel type TVs do NOT have Lamps or they are not replaceable. Most TVs that use a lamp have an LED (light) on the front panel labeled “Lamp”.

Q: Where is the Lamp located?

A: Do NOT open the lamp compartment unless you KNOW that the TV is unplugged from the AC power. Most Lamp compartment doors are located on the rear or side of the TV and they are somewhat obvious and usually labeled. Other TVs have the lamp compartment in the front behind a bezel that may be secured with thumb screws in the back. See your Owners Manual if you are unsure or better yet -Request a Free TV Repair Estimate

Q: What tools do I need to get the Lamp Assembly out?

A: Consult your Owners Manual. DO NOT attempt to remove the lamp if it is hot! Some TVs use thumb screws and require no tools, but most only need a common #2 Philips and/or a medium flat tip screwdriver. Some TVs use a HEX wrench. If you are unsure or do not have the correct tools – Request a Free TV Repair Estimate

Q: How can I determine if the Lamp is Bad?

A: Do Not attempt to remove the Lamp if it is hot! Do NOT touch the face of the lamp. Look into the lamp and see if there is broken glass in it or if the glass tube is “crooked” or discolored at its base, if so then the Lamp is Bad. A lamp may look like new and even light for a while and still be BAD. There is NO reliable way to test a lamp that looks good. If your TV’s Lamp Error indicator says the Lamp is bad, then it most probably is (BUT not always).

Q: Can I replace the Lamp myself?

A: (Special Note: some TVs have fans that can clog with dust and should be cleaned by a technician to prevent damage to the TV or a shortened lamp life.)

Most manufactures design their TVs so that you can replace the entire Lamp Assembly yourself and these instructions are included in your Owners Manual. Other manufacturers intend that the lamp be replaced by a technician only. And some models the Lamp must be replaced by a technician. BEST ADVICE – Purchase only the original Lamp Assembly listed in the Owners Manual if you plan to replace the Lamp yourself. Substitute replacement assemblies or Lamp only replacements (without the “cage”) can prove unreliable at best and dangerous at worst. If you are not sure – Request a Free TV Repair Estimate

Q: I installed a new Lamp but I still have problems!

Did you use a factory original part? If not, this could be the problem.

The Lamp Door MUST be securely closed.

Most TVs have a timer that must be reset when you replace the lamp. The instructions for this procedure are located in the Owners Manual or come shipped with the new lamp. Some manufacturers do not publish this information or may even require a special “service” remote control for some models to reset the lamp timer.

You might have cooling fans that are clogged with dust.

You may have a defective Lamp Ballast (electronic power supply for the Lamp) or other problem.

Request a Free TV Repair Estimate



Flat Panel TV Repair Issues



Cracked Screen – Can it be repaired?

Unfortunately a cracked or defective screen can not be reliably repaired and I have never found an instance where it was cost effective to buy a new Display Panel (screen) for a flat panel TV. The only exception would be if a good used panel is available. Display Panels can be broken with very little apparent damage on the outside. “The Wii Effect” is when a game remote gets out of hand and hits the screen, breaking it. It has also been known that a small child tapping (translate: banging) on the screen can damage an LCD panel.


Screen Cleaning

Use a clean lint-free cloth (like an old white T-shirt) or micro-fiber cloth and water (or if necessary a mild soap solution) to clean the screen.

NEVER spray anything directly on to the screen!


Can I mount my Flat Panel TV above my fireplace?

Flat Panel Televisions are designed to be cooled by the air that surrounds them. It is never a good idea to mount a TV above an active heat source. This will significantly reduce the useful life of your TV. Any salesman who tells you different is not looking out for your best interest.



The Transition to Digital TV – DTV and Antenna Reception



What is Digital TV, How is it different from the TV I grew up with?

The TV that you grew up with is known as “Analog TV”. The difference between DTV and Analog TV is similar to the differences between LP phonograph records and music CDs or VHS video tapes and DVDs. This has nothing to do with the resolution or “quality” of the picture. Analog signals can have more resolution and be higher quality than digital signals. An example of this would be comparing a good standard TV signal (analog) with a video clip found on the Internet (digital). Life is Analog and there are more colors and shades and movement in real life than can be captured by a digital medium. Digital signals “approximate” analog signals. The more resolution a digital signal has the more accurate is the approximation. The advantage that digital signals have is that they are much less susceptible to noise and they can be compressed to use less bandwidth (“space” in the frequency spectrum). An example of this would be to compare an LP with a CD. As the record wears, it has more noise (pops, static, hiss etc), but it is considerably larger than a CD. A few minor scratches on an LP are very noticeable, but are not even audible on a CD. A poor (weak) Analog TV signal can still be “seen” (with snow or ghosts etc) but a poor DTV signal may not even be displayed. Much like a badly scratched DVD you might get a perfect picture in places but in others the picture completely “breaks-up” or is not even visible. Examples of DTV digital noise would be blocks appearing in parts of the picture or the picture “freezes” or disappears intermittently. A marginal (bordering on weak) Analog TV signal may look pretty bad most of the time, but a marginal DTV signal may look perfect most of the time.


My TV isn’t Digital, do I need a Converter Box?

If you have Cable TV or Satellite TV – You do not need a converter box. Your service will not change until your service provider notifies you in the future.

The DTV Transition only affects TVs using antennas to receive a broadcast signal.


My Digital TV or DTV Converter Box won’t receive all the stations.

The main problem with receiving Digital TV in our area is that most of the DTV Frequencies are in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) range and not the normal VHF (Very High Frequency) range as with most analog stations.

UHF stations are much more difficult to receive in our area because UHF has fewer “Ground Waves” (signals that follow earth contours). UHF reception requires “Line of Sight” for reliable reception. This means that the antenna must “see” the transmitter tower. Hills will block the signal. UHF requires a different type of antenna than VHF.

Re-Scan the channels. Some channels may move, especially after the transition.


What kind of antenna do I need to get good DTV reception?

Most DTV requires a UHF antenna for best reception.

Avoid using Amplified (electric) antennas. The amplifier will cause far more problems than it solves (this is the short answer).

This is the type of antenna I recommend if there are no hills between you and the transmitter towers: Antennas Direct | “DB2″ The Best Indoor HDTV Antenna. If you are located in a valley or there is a hill near you that blocks your “view” of the transmitter, then I don’t recommend that you pursue antenna reception. Get Cable or Satellite service.


I am located in a poor DTV reception area, what can I do?

My first recommendation is to get Cable or Satellite service. You may spend a lot of time and money and still get unsatisfactory results.

Mount your antenna outside as high as possible.

Follow proper grounding procedures for lightning protection.

Use high quality (satellite grade) RG-6 coax cable.

Weather proof all connections.

Use drip loops

This is the type of antenna I recommend: Antennas Direct | DB8 Long Range Multidirectional HD Antenna


Do you install outside antennas?

No, I do not currently have the proper equipment (ladders etc.) to install outside antennas.


More DTV and Transition related Links

DtvAnswers.com

AntennaWeb.org

TvFool.com



HDTV Issues


Are there Differences between HDTV and DTV?

Not all DTV (Digital TV) is HDTV (High Definition TV). Some DTV is SDTV or simply SD (Standard Definition TV). This is the resolution and aspect that we are all used to. As the name implies HDTV has more picture information, detail or resolution than the old standard.


What is Aspect Ratio or “Format”?

The “Aspect Ratio” (also called “Format”) is the ratio of width to height. The standard we are used to is 4:3 (1.33). This means that the width is 4 units and the height is 3 units. This has nothing to do with screen size – only the ratio of width vs. height. The aspect ratio of widescreen HDTV is 16:9 (1.78) and the aspect ratio of some movies is even greater. This is why some DVDs are “Letterboxed” (black above and below picture) even when viewed on a widescreen TV. Note: Some HDTV is broadcast in 4:3 Format.


Why doesn’t the Picture always fill the Screen Right?

This is probably the most confusing and frustrating issue related to viewing both SDTV and HDTV signals, especially now during this time of transition to HDTV. This problem is because there are two primary types of program formats being viewed on TVs with differing screen Aspect Ratios. Some programs (or commercials) are presented in 4:3 (1.33) while others are presented in 16:9 (1.78). A traditional TV (4:3) signal will not normally fill a widescreen (16:9) TV screen. And conversely a 16:9 program can’t be viewed on a traditional 4:3 TV without chopping off the sides or letterboxing the picture. To compensate for these differences the HDTV manufacturers offer viewing features designed to distort the geometry of the signal to fill the screen. This function is usually accessed by a button on the remote labeled “Aspect” or “Format” or “Width” or “Size” or “Picture Mode”. The easiest way to determine the correct viewing aspect is to simply cycle through the different modes and choose the one that looks most natural while filling the screen and not loosing picture information around the edges. It should also be noted that the best viewing aspect will change between programs and commercials so it is best to simply choose the best format for the program you are currently viewing. Some HDTVs have a function that automatically widens 4:3 programs. This function may cause some confusion and may be disabled in the TVs menu. To further complicate things, some cable boxes and satellite receivers also have a similar function that may need to be changed as well, and both box types have settings in the box setup menu that need to be set to match the type of Aspect Ratio your TV has.


I have an HDTV but HD channels don’t look any better than SD!

This is a problem that I see far too often with cable boxes and satellite receivers. Unfortunately you can not rely on the “Professional?” installer from the cable/satellite Company or “big box” Store to properly connect your TV. There are several different factors that affect this problem. First your receiver Box has to have HD capability. Secondly you need to use the correct cable and Input to the TV. You can’t receive HD signals through the Analog Tuner (Chan 3). You must use a 5 wire Component ( Green, Blue, Red, White, Red) cable or an HDMI or DVI cable to connect the receiver box to the TV. And then the TV must be set to the corresponding Input. Lastly, the output of the box must be set to HD (1080i), with a 16:9 aspect ratio (assuming widescreen TV). Typically this is accomplished on an HD cable box by turning off the box and then pressing the “Menu” button on the box itself to access the appropriate setup menu. Consult the owner’s manual for this procedure if you have an HD satellite receiver.


Where can I get a Replacement Remote Control?

ReplacementRemotes.com

MrRemote.com

RemoteCentral.com



Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Is my TV worth repairing?

A: As a general rule, a TV that can be replaced for less than $250 is probably not worth repairing. Older CRT based TVs have a longer life expectancy than the newer technologies and can have useful lives over 15 years.


Q: How accurate are your free estimates?

A: My accuracy is very good. Better than 90% of my calls are completed in one trip for the price I quote.


Q: Why are you so much less expensive than others?

A: I am a one-man operation and I don’t have a shop so I have very little overhead. This combined with over 30 years of experience makes my service very efficient.


Q: Why don’t most shops repair TV’s in the home?

A: Some Big Box Stores (Srs or B.B. Gk Squd) send out “technicians” who are little more than glorified salesmen. They will probably tell you that you simply need to buy a new TV (because they can’t fix your “old” one). Some shops have only one or two veteran technicians and the shop owner can’t afford to send them out on service calls because of his high overhead.


Q: Should I Buy an Extended Warranty for My New TV?

A: You could have asked if you should play the Lottery. When you buy an extended warranty you are essentially betting against the “House” that your new TV will break. If the warranty company bets wrong it goes out-of-business and if you bet wrong you loose money. If you “win” the Warranty Lottery you get a “free” repair (the quality of which may largely be determined by what costs the company the least amount of money). You should spend the extra money to buy a better TV. Or just play the State lottery – you’ll have more fun and you won’t need to hope that your TV will break.


Q: Where can I dispose of my old TV?

A: Most Goodwill Locations will recycle broken TVs free of charge

(It is recommended that you call first to confirm)

For Other Locations: E-Cycle Washington



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