This DIY TV repair site is coming to its first month of existence and I have to say that it’s been an interesting first month. Although intended to collate general information only about flat screen, LCD or plasma television panels troubleshooting and repair and at the same time point people to the right direction on where to get them faster, I think I may be able to expand into other areas of electronics repair that involve other types of televisions (like the traditional CRTs). We shall see.
Digging around for material to share here has been quite an experience because as soon as you do it, you’ll realize that it won’t be walk in the park. The information out there are confusing and I was not warned as to how huge this thing is as far as the internet is concerned.
So for this post, I came up with a number of tips on how to look for such information online. This is more intended for the beginners who are looking for do-it-yourself TV repair tips. Experienced electronics technicians should know what they’re doing and may have no need for these tips. Here goes.
Tip # 1: Dig Deep
The top results of the search engines for relevant search phrases usually point you to websites of service shops that are offering repair services for profit and hence are usually useless to us who are looking for information on DIY stuff. The information you need, from my experience, are usually deep in the search results pages and are far in between. It’s very reminiscent of a can of pork and beans. Most of the stuff you will get are beans and you will need to dig hard for that morsel of relevant pork. For example, this Vestel plasma TV service manual (UPDATE: File no longer available) was found very deep in Google results for some relevant search phrases (I forgot which one though).
Tip # 2: Ask Questions
There are a lot of TV repair forums out there that you can check out to get help for specific problems you are having. One that quickly comes to mind is answers.yahoo.com. There’s also that nifty site called FixYa. The only problems with these sites are that first, you are at the mercy of chance because you don’t really know who are going to be able to see your question and if ever you get an answer, you have no idea about his level of expertise in providing you an answer. Second, there’s also a really good chance that you’ll need to wait hours or days or even months for the information you are asking. Some of us, me included, may not have that time to spare. Also, if you do get an answer, it is a good idea to have it verified or seconded by another reliable entity. This route is quite time-consuming.
Tip # 3: Join Communities
One good thing about the internet is the assurance that you’re not alone. There are always other people out there that are having the same problems like you and are looking for answers. Sites like www.TV-Forums.com is an example of f.r.ee membership sites where you can exchange ideas and get information about electronics and TV repair. Again, you should watch out for potential problems as the ones mentioned in Tip #2.
Tip # 4: Pay for Information
There are a bunch of sites out there that offer information (service manuals, e-books, videos) as a business. The ones I’ve seen sell service manuals for a price which is around $10-$30 per electronic copy. If you’re looking to fix just one television unit then this might turn out to be more cost effective if and only if you already know what you’re doing and are experienced in handling electronics. Take note that what you get from these sites are just service manuals and schematics. I’ve seen a lot of those and most of them will look like calculus to the inexperienced. For laymen undertaking a DIY LCD or plasma TV repair projects who are looking for beginner-friendly step-by-step instructions on how to go about it, there are other pay-sites that offer such. An example of these are LCD-Television-Repair and Plasma-Television-Repair sites which offer highly relevant useful information for a really really really low price compared to the online shops that sell manuals per piece (their package includes 400++ manuals).
Tip # 5: Protect Yourself
Digging deep into search engine result pages tend to get you into possible contact with websites that may be of dubious nature. There will be some of those sites that might try to insert computer viruses into your PCs so I will advise you to be careful and to always have your anti-virus programs updated and running when you go surfing. I personally have four things protecting me that you might want to check out: SiteAdvisor, FireFox (w/ No-Script add-on), Avast AV and last but definitely not the least… Common Sense!
Tip # 6: Bookmark this site!
Yes, this is a little self-serving but, hey, this is my site! Hehehe. I will of course continue to provide useful information about LCD and plasma and other flat panel televisions and point you to directions that I hope you you will find useful.
That’s it, folks! Looking for LCD and Plasma television repair information online can be a rewarding experience as it can be disastrous and expensive. My hope is that with the help of these tips you will be able to steer clear any disaster and will not spend more than you really need to.
Thanks for reading these LCD and Plasma TV repair tips.