Ask Angie’s List: How much does buying and repairing a TV cost?
A scrambled television signal or fuzzy picture is unacceptable when it’s family movie night or time to watch the playoffs.
Fortunately, professionals can diagnose and fix most problems with flat-screen TVs.
Here’s what to consider if that TV stops working, and what you can expect to pay for a new TV.
THE COST OF TELEVISION REPAIR
If, one day, your television starts acting up, don’t panic or start shopping for a new one. Television repair experts can find causes and solutions for most flat-screen problems.
Before hiring a television repair expert, consider what you paid for the TV. If it’s a smaller set that was less than $200, consider buying a new one. Otherwise, the costs of service charges, parts and labor will exceed the value of the television, says Craig Siplin, owner of Cleveland Classic TV in Cleveland.
“Anything under 32 inches isn’t even worth fixing,” Siplin says.
The most common problem with flat-screen TVs involves the capacitor, which is the charging component. As it breaks down over time your television might turn on and off by itself, while channels appear fuzzy or scrambled.
The cost of replacing a capacitor or any other component varies by business. Siplin says he charges about $100. That includes the cost of travel to the customer, parts and labor.
Siplin and other repair professionals also pay to access databases that detail common problems with specific television models. So if you call Siplin with your set’s model number, he can see if anyone else has reported similar problems and how they fixed it.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as adjusting or swapping out an audiovisual circuit board inside the set. Circuit boards typically cost between $25 and $150, depending on the type of circuit board and the TV.
However, Siplin warns against DIY TV repair. If someone without IT or manufacturing experience takes a television apart they could make problems worse, or shock themselves, Siplin says.
“There are so many things that could go wrong,” Siplin says.
BUYING A TELEVISION
Televisions come in sizes large and small, and their costs range from under $200 to several thousand dollars. Before buying your next television, consider where and when you’ll use it.
A smaller, 24- or 32-inch television is ideal if you want a screen for your kitchen or bedroom. Typically, this type of television costs between $100 and $200, depending on the manufacturer.
If you want something larger to mount on a wall or see from anywhere in the house, plan to spend more money.
Typically, the larger the television, the higher the cost. A 40- or 50-inch flat screen will cost several hundred dollars, while larger 60- or 70-inch flat screens cost close to $1,000 or more.
A weatherproof, outdoor television is an option if you want to watch movies or sports in your backyard, but these sets are among the most expensive. Small outdoor televisions start at $1,500, while larger models reach $6,000.
When trying to decide on the TV model, consider how you’ll use it. If you plan to stream programs or hook up additional audiovisual equipment, be sure the television is properly equipped.
Tom Lange is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.
Visit Ask Angie’s List at www.angieslist.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.