Man has on again, off again problem with his LG TV

July 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Prices for big-screen TVs have come way down in recent years, but if something goes wrong, they can be pretty expensive to fix. So, do the new digital TVs last as long as the old style analog sets? 7 On Your Side's looks into that question.

Unlike the simpler televisions of the past, today's TVs run on computers. They give great pictures but as one consumer found out, they can also have strange problems.

Eddy Gin enjoyed his big screen television until he turned it off one night and mysteriously, the TV turned itself back on.

"I said, 'Boy, did I turn off the TV or did I accidentally turn it back on?" said Gin.

So, Gin turned the TV off again, but to his surprise, it came back on all by itself. Now Gin was baffled.

"I used the remote control, turned it off again and right before my eyes, as soon as I turned it off, click the TV clicked back on by itself," said Gin.

Before the picture could fill the screen, the TV shut itself off again. No matter what Gin did, the TV seemed to have a mind of its own.

"It would constantly go on and off on and off on and off," said Gin.

He finally had to pull the plug to get it to stop. The next day, the same things happened.

"I couldn't watch any of the programming because before the picture would even come on, it would turn back off by itself," said Gin.

The TV was two and a half years old and long out of its one year warranty, but Gin thought it was a little soon for a $2,000 TV set to die, so he contacted the manufacturer - LG Electronics. He spoke with customer service several times logging two weeks of phone calls in which agents kept agreeing this whole thing must be frustrating.

"The first thing the person said, one of their executives, is 'Why didn't you buy the extended warranty?' I don't think it should be breaking down after less than three years of owning it," said Gin.

Gin went online and found other folks had the same problem with LG's suddenly turning themselves off.

"It's very frustrating. This is the unique nature of today's TVs which are really computers that have really big monitors attached to them," said Brian Cooley, editor at large for

Cooley is technology expert at He says today's TVs are a lot more complicated than tube TVs of the past, but this kind of problem is relatively rare.

"When your TV dies after two years and goes into something like this, you're really more the victim of bad luck than technology," said Cooley.

Gin wasn't happy with his luck so he turned to 7 On Your Side and we called LG. The company said it had agreed to pay for new parts for Gin's TV -- two circuit boards costing around $300. Gin however, had to cover the $185 labor charges.

LG said: "We have double checked with our experts and found that this is not a common problem. Even though the TV was out of warranty, LG covered the cost of the parts."

"The part they replaced definitely solved the problem. I do feel kind of wary about turning off the TV. I said, 'Oh, no,'" said Gin.

Cooley gave us a tip. He said to prolong the life of a digital TV, use a power strip that moderates the electrical flow into the set, it's called a conditioner. TVs can be damaged not only from a power spike or surge, but also from a brown out that reduces the electrical flow.

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