The dreaded cracked TV screen is one of the worst nightmares for tech enthusiasts or anyone who dropped a lot of money on a shiny new TV. With how expensive TVs can get, this is the last thing you want to happen. But is there any real reason to panic, or can you just repair the screen for cheap?
You can fix a cracked TV screen, but the cost to repair a TV screen is almost as high as buying a new TV outright. The display makes up most of the TV’s cost, and thus you can guess that a replacement is going to cost almost as much as the TV itself.
We will be going over the various questions you likely have regarding the cost of TV repair when a TV isn’t worth fixing and if a warranty covers a cracked screen.
Cracked TV Screen – The Worst Thing That Can Happen
Cracking an expensive TV screen is enough to make just about anyone’s heart drop. Hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of equipment are instantly made undesirable to use, and it usually stems from user error such as VR users accidentally punching their screens.
While TV manufacturers are trying to make the glass on their TVs more durable, the truth is that glass is glass, and it sure isn’t bulletproof glass that is being put in those TVs. When you have a large, relatively thin sheet of glass, there is a lot of room for things to go south very quickly if something hits it.
This is why it is recommended not to place a TV in a high traffic area where it can’t be knocked over or is in an area where something might hit it. If you are playing VR games, never run forward; there are many examples of people smashing into their TVs because they forgot they were playing a game.
Additionally, ensure the TV stand is big enough to fit the TV. If it is sitting right at the edge of the stand, there is a greater risk of being knocked to the ground.
But when it comes to a TV that already has a cracked screen, all of this advice won’t bring it back to new. Instead, you will have to access the situation and decide which course of action is best.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Cracked TV Screen?
Almost anyone who has had multiple products repaired will tell you that the cost can vary greatly depending on what is repaired, who is doing it, and how much labor is involved. You also have to factor in if the device is out of warranty or not (more on that later).
It can be tricky to say how much a repair will cost you. It all depends on these factors:
- How much damage was done
- Who is repairing it
- What type of display the TV is
If the crack is small, it will likely be an easier repair job, and thus the bill overall will be cheaper. Usually, cracks are smaller if the impact was near the corners of the TV, and so if this is where the damage is in your case, you likely have the best outcome when it comes to repairing a cracked TV screen.
However, impact near the center typically causes more damage since that is the weakest part of the glass panel. Unfortunately, this is where most damages happen due to the middle-ish area being the easiest to hit. In this case, the repair bill is going to be higher since more labor is required.
Finally, the type of display you have is going to make a big difference. Repairing the average 4K LCD TV that you see being bought in droves these days can cost anywhere from $300 to $400 depending on the shop you bring it to. An OLED or QLED TV will have more expensive repairs.
Your Repair Will Likely Cost As Much as the TV Itself
The price you paid for your TV will likely be what the repair bill will be. It may seem shocking at first, but a TV generally has one job to do, two if it is a Smart TV. And that is display content. A giant 4K QLED HDR TV doesn’t cost a lot because it felt like charging that much. After all, those screens are expensive. And as you might guess, the screen is the most costly part of the TV by far.
This differs from other electronics that will quote you a much cheaper screen repair bill. Take a laptop, for instance; even if it has a nice screen, the other components such as the CPU and GPU make up a large portion of the cost if they are particularly powerful. On the other hand, a TV doesn’t need a blazing fast SoC to function, and thus, the cost of the product will be dominated by that large, crisp display.
This leads us into a question that is so commonly asked: is there any situation where a cracked TV screen is worth fixing?
Is It Worth Fixing It?
When you have an object that is entirely 40+ inches of glass in the front, there isn’t much else that is going to break besides said glass if something hits the TV or it gets knocked over. This is why cracked screens are the number one most common fixes when a TV is serviced. But sometimes you have to wonder with some of the prices you can get charged – wouldn’t it be better just to buy another TV?
The answer to that is yes in 98% of cases unless you can somehow get it repaired for cheap locally.
The screen is the most expensive part of a TV and repairing it isn’t easy or cheap. The general consensus is that it is better to just get a new TV than have one repaired because you’ll often be quoted prices that are either near or as expensive as the TV itself.
Related article: Buying a Used TV: Questions You Need to Ask
Does Warranty Cover a Broken Screen?
You would think that manufacturer warranties would cover accidentally cracked screens, but in truth, most of them do not.You might be thinking about what the point of the warranty even is then. In reality, the warranty is there to cover defects such as dead pixels.
As we stated previously, cracked screen repair is one of the most common reasons for a TV to get serviced. Considering how expensive replacing the screen is, it doesn’t make much financial sense for the manufacturer to include this in their warranty since, statistically speaking, you are more likely to break the screen than any other issues you might have. They will lose money if they give you a hefty discount on the repair or do it for free.
If you look at paid warranties, whether from the manufacturer or the store itself, you will rarely see broken TV screens as part of the service. It’s something that pretty much no business wants to touch.
Smartphone warranties differ from this greatly. You can find warranties that offer repairs/replacements if you accidentally crack your screen. This is because it is significantly cheaper to replace a small screen that makes up only part of the device’s cost. AppleCare+, for example, will cover cracked screen repair.
Preventative Measures Are the Only Way to Avoid Losing Money
We know it is devastating for something like this to happen, but the only way to solve this without losing a lot of money is to take the preventative measures necessary. TVs are large, fragile objects with the weakest part of their entire build being exposed to a whole room. It is important to remember that one wrong impact can potentially cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars.
You pretty much have to baby a TV, especially if it is large and expensive. Here are some of the things you can do to lower the chances of breaking it.
Nobody Is Allowed to Touch the Screen
There are zero reasons for anyone to come into contact with the screen on your TV. It probably isn’t touch-enabled and isn’t meant to be interacted with beyond looking at it. If you have kids or pets in the house, it is important to set stern boundaries.
It may be amusing to watch a cat chase and swat a bird that appeared on screen for pets, but it isn’t a good idea to allow this just in case. If your cat’s claws are properly trimmed, they won’t be able to cause damage, similarly for dogs, but it is best to discourage them from touching the TV. They are very much “look, don’t touch” appliances!
Avoid Throwing Anything Around the TV
This applies more to kids than we would imagine. There have been numerous stories of kids accidentally breaking TVs by throwing a ball or another object indoors. It is important to set a rule against throwing stuff around the TV in order to avoid such accidents.
Use a Stand That Will Fit the TV
If your current TV barely fits on the stand, it is time for a new one. By not allowing the TV to have adequate room, minor bumps can potentially knock the TV to the floor. There should be plenty of room surrounding the TV itself. We recommend using a safety strap if you are particularly concerned that it might be knocked around.
Be Careful When Playing in VR
The Oculus Quest 2 has caused many people to pull the trigger and try out VR due to its relatively low cost, crisp screen, powerful SoC, and no need to have a PC or game console to use it.
This also means that many TVs are in danger if someone isn’t used to VR and aren’t looking out for their surroundings. If you are playing VR games while standing up, stand in an area where you have plenty of room around you and try not to wander too far off from that spot. If your headset comes with a guardian feature that tells you when you are wandering outside of the play area – use it! It’s there for a reason.
Lastly, use the straps that come with the controllers. Broken TVs due to motion controls have been a thing since the Nintendo Wii. It’s easy for a slippery controller to fly out of your hand, and it only takes 1.5 seconds to put on the strap. Check out this video to see what will happen if you’re not careful with your controllers:
Having a cracked screen on your TV is pretty much the worst thing that can happen because almost no warranties will cover the damages. This is because the screen is the most expensive part of the TV and if you want to get it repaired, it will cost you as much money as a brand new TV. This is why it is really important to be careful around your TV and set rules to prevent accidents from happening.
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