12 Nov
Jim, in BLOG 15

Today I received a message that is pretty typical of questions that I get every day.

Hello! My son just broke our TV. He threw a remote at the screen. It's a
Philips tv 42pfl. I was wondering if you could give me an estimate please.
thank you!

The question is not a bad one, but the it assumes that the problem is less than a major catastrophe. LCD and Plasma TV's are very delicate devices which can sometimes be broken by nothing more than a dirty look.  Okay, I exaggerate a little. But sometimes it seems that way.

To help to understand how a LCD or Plasma TV can be broken so easily we have to imagine how these devices are manufactured. The LCD display is a complex series of layers no thicker than a sheet of single pane glass. It it usually made of 2 pieces of glass or clear plastics sanwiching a complex layer of liquid crystal circuits which are actually sprayed onto the glass using an inkjet process. This liquid crystal layer is VERY fragile.  Sometimes a customer will call me and say "But the glass isn't broken it's just that thing behind the glass..." I guess it's just wishful thinking. But all I can say is I'm sorry but that is the screen.

Here is an example of the replacement cost of a panel. This is taken from an actual distributor's web page and it shows the cost and recommended retail of the part. Shipping, installation or sales tax are not contained in the bottom line..

Philips 932225209682 Lcd Display Lc420wu2-sla2

Philips parts and accessories 
Philips 932225209682 Lcd Display Lc420wu2-sla2
Part Number 932225209682
Description Lcd Display Lc420wu2-sla2
Substitute Part n/a
Estimated Weight 0.000 lb(s). Oversized Item
(Freight charges may range from $98 - $148.)
Alias part numbers
Box Dimensions Unknown
Total Availability 0

Estimated Ship Date no longer available
On Vendor Purchase Order No
Retail Price 1,029.15
Core Price 0.00
Part Price 714.69
Total Price 714.69
no longer available
This part cannot be canceled and is NOT eligible to be returned as new and unused.
It will ONLY be replaced if received defective.
Prices are subject to change without notice.

As you can see the display is not available. The dealer price of the replacement part may seem like there is a lot of markup . But there isn't a whole lot if you take shipping and handling into consideration.

And who would pay over $1000 for a replacement part for a 42 inch TV these days?.

So the short answer is your very expensive TV can't or shouldn't be repaired if the crystal display is cracked. The only value remaining is in the parts.

Some broken TV's have more value than others and that depends on the market demand for those parts.

But if you do decide to throw the TV away please consider recycling with a local TV repair shop or a qualified recycling center. Never send electronics to the landfill.