The tax season is coming up and almost everyone is looking forward to their returns. If you're like many others, you might be considering putting some of your coming tax return towards a new tv.
With so many bright and beautiful options in the marketplace, not to mention services like Netflix and Hulu, who can blame you?
The real question is this: What do you do with your old TV?
The material in your old TV can sit in a landfill for far longer than you might think. Almost assuredly it will be there longer than you had the actual TV. Given how much of an issue E-Waste is proving to be, many people are looking for other options.
What about refurbishing or upcycling it, though? Giving it new life, instead of dumping or donating it? For those of you with a crafty turn of mind, we've put together a list of projects to help you breathe new life into an old screen.
If you've got one of the older console versions, you can gut the interior bits and bobs and turn it into a fishtank. Your TV would thank you for making it so cool people are compelled to stare at it again.
Two. DIY Information Display
Using the YBOX2, you can take your old TV and turn it into a custom info display. This could be anything from the weather to your missed messages across social media, or anything else you could reasonably think up.
Three. Photography Light Box
If photography is more your thing, consider turning your old LCD or LED screen into a light box.
Four. Upscale Liquor Cabinet
If you like to entertain, consider turning your old set into an upscale liquor cabinet. Over at Reddit, user Mammakjeks took an old Tandberg and transformed it into a beautifully lit display for his decanters.
Five. Pet Bed
The TV takes up space, and so does your pet's bed. Why not combine the two of them? With all of the beautiful inlays and carving, not to mention the nifty knobs and dials, those old sets can make a beautiful bed for one of your favorite companions.
Six. Book or Movie Shelf
You love the cabinet, but you don't have a use for the actual TV components any longer. Why not turn it into a media cabinet or book shelf? By taking out the TV guts, inserting a shelf (or two) and giving it a new coat of paint, you can create something entirely new, and gain more storage for your collection.
Seven. Infinity Table
If you have a newer TV, such as a plasma, you might consider turning it into a coffee table. Over at brunalab, they walk you through how to turn one of these beauties into an endlessly entertaining table.
Eight. Doll House or Closet
With a bit of ingenuity, the old housing for a tv can be turned into a closet for your kids' or grandkids' toys or doll clothes. If you really wanted to go all out, you could even take some particle board and paint and turn the entire thing into a one of a kind dollhouse.
Nine. Light Table
If you're an artist looking for a way to make transferring your designs easier, or if you're working on your own comics, you've probably looked into a light table. While it can be expensive to buy one brand new, making your own is surprisingly simple. The inventive folks over at Hackaday took an LCD TV with a cracked screen and turned it into a light table. Using an old TV even has the added benefit of having speakers already built in, so you can play audio through it while you work.
Ten. DIY Virtual Window
If you're tired of the view from where you live, or you don't have a view to speak of, you might consider a virtual window. It's possible to mount the TV and connect it to a wiimote and an IR tag to create a view of anything you want.
Of course if none of these appeal to you, that's fine too! If you can't find something that you want to make, or DIY simply isn't your thing, there is always another option. Rather than tossing out the TV, consider selling it. Here at our shop in Tucson we take in old TVs of all shapes, sizes and varieties and give them new life. From repairing them to refurbishing them, we take them all. Nick's TVs also makes a donation to a charity for every TV repaired and every refurbished TV sold. If you'd like to get a free estimate on your TV, please call us today!
Please Note: Working with old CRT TVs can be Exceedingly Dangerous. The CRT tubes can hold a charge for years even after being disconnected. You should discharge any capacitors on the circuit boards before going ahead and attempting the removal of... well, anything. We advise caution and proper safety gear at all times for your own health. If being electrocuted is not on your list of things to do, please read up on how to deal with the electronics inside these machines.
If you’re buying a new TV, then getting the perfect size for your house or room situation is going to often be an issue. Here’s some information about how to up your size matching game between rooms and televisions.
The Basic Size Formula
The accepted formula for size matching is to start with the total Distance for viewing in inches, and then divide by three to get the size that you want. So, as an example, if your couch is way on the other side of a cavernous room at 20 feet away from the television, that would come out to 240 inches. If you divide this by 3, you would need one huge television at 80 inches. But, cut this to 10 feet, and you end up with a television of 40 inches. If you get closer to the television at 5 feet and 60 inches, then this goes down to a television size of just 20 inches, which is why most computer screens are under that size.
This is mostly just a rule of thumb though and you don’t have to do it down to the exact inch or anything. This is just supposed to be the ideal. The idea is that if any size larger than that ratio will make it so that you can’t really see the screen properly and hit will hurt your eyes and make you miss things.
This also goes in the other direction, except instead you multiply. So, if you want a television that’s 50 inches, then you multiply by 3 and you get 150 inches. This comes out to 12 and a half feet. So, that’s how far you’d have to be away from the television in order to have an ideal viewing angle.
Other sources do say that if your space is at a premium, you can go with an absolute minimum of 1.5 times instead of the ideal 3 times. So this would just mean you can halve the viewing distances and TV sizes in a pinch. But, it is true that other factors apply.
Room Type Considerations
One important thing to consider when fitting a TV to a room is the kind of room you have. Basically, if you have a bedroom where it’s mostly going to be just you and you only have to worry about viewing it personally, you can go with a smaller television even if you go under the formula a bit. For example, anything from right in front of a TV up to a few feet away will be covered with 20 inches or less. If you want to get something 16 or even less in inches and you plan on sitting right in front of it, this should work for your bedroom because of how you plan to watch it.
It’s also true that you have some flexibility when it’s just you in a bedroom because you can adjust the viewing distance easily by moving your chair back and forth. This means you can worry about the formula less. If you’ll be mounting the television on a wall and viewing it from an immovable bed, however, then this is another consideration and it may be good to stick a bit closer to the formula.
In the case of a television that’s meant for multiple people to watch it, it’s more likely that you’ll have something that’s HD over even Ultra HD 4k, which means that fine details will be easier to pick out. As a result, sitting closer to it is going to be less of an issue. So, you can get away with
Other Considerations for TV Size
If you’re going to be sitting far away from your television and you want to get a truly massive screen like something at 85 inches, this could be a good time to think about 4K, because then the detail might matter. Getting an extremely high-definition television that you’re going to be sitting really close to may be pointless since you’d be able to see all the details anyway.
The recommendation is you should do this only with large televisions, or when you’re playing something with intense graphics like a Blu-Ray or a very high graphic video game such as Crysis.
Other General Considerations
Something else that matters is viewing angle. If you’re using a television with a normal viewing angle at HD, it’s important to set it up so that there’s no more than around 15 degrees in terms of being above or below the eye-level of the television. This is because otherwise you might not see the image correctly and it will look odd. The recommendation is to not go more than 40 degrees to the left or right either. However, this can change based on the screen.
Some televisions will have better viewing angles, and you’ll want to check this if it matters. For example, if you are going for a big screen so that you can seat people in front of it with couches that go in a curved shape, then you’ll want viewing angles that can handle this. You should ask your TV supplier about this before buying. Otherwise, people on the far edges might not be able to see the screen properly and they’ll get negative images.
This also applies if you have to mount the television too high and people have to crane their necks to look up at it.
For more information about getting televisions for the right room size and configuration, please contact us today.
Whether it's no power or a wonky picture, televisions are prone to develop some sort of issue or another during their lifetime. The good news is, these problems are almost always a relatively simple fix. In fact, sometimes they're so simple you can do them yourself at home, and today's post will teach you a few tricks for these very situations.
Of course, before you attempt to fix a TV problem, it helps to know exactly what kind of TV you have! If your TV is about three years old or newer, it is almost certainly an LED or LCD set. Plasma TVs are a similar "flat screen" style that were sold alongside LCDs from the late 1990s until late 2014. If you have an older TV that has a large protrusion at the back, it's a CRT (cathode ray tube) model.
The service menu should have a "picture reset" feature that should be tried first if ghosting won't stop occurring. If that doesn't work, see if the menu has a way to display a very bright white picture for a few minutes, or if you can upload a bright white image from your computer to it.
If you go into the service menu of your TV, you may find that there is a "color cycle" option designed to repair this issue. When you active it, it will rapidly display different colors and patterns around the screen, which in many cases can cause stuck pixels to start functioning properly again. You may need to let this run for up to 30 minutes for pixels to re-activate, and anyone in the household with epilepsy should stay away from the TV during this time.
If a pixel stays permanently black, it may not be stuck, but dead. That doesn't mean it's beyond hope, however. If you have an LCD TV, a very small amount of pressure applied as directly as possible to the dead pixel with a damp cloth or Q-tip may do the trick. Turn the TV off before applying pressure, then turn it back on while continuing to hold the pressure for a few seconds. This may "massage" liquid back into the dead pixel.
First check your connections for tightness, and if you have an antenna attempt to adjust it to different positions to see if the picture becomes more stable. If you are using a small antenna that attaches directly to the television, it helps greatly to have an antenna booster that can be attached to the roof. If you have satellite TV and it's particularly cloudy or windy out, you may just have to wait for the weather to improve.
If you're certain it's not the reception or picture connections, then the next main culprit is the "motion interpolation" feature. This is actually meant to reduce blur, but can end up inducing visual issues in some circumstances, especially when watching sports where the camera is prone to a lot of quick pans to follow a ball or puck. You should be able to disable it through the TV's settings menu.
You've probably already checked to see if it's plugged in, but if it's plugged into a power strip or similar device that adds extra outlets, make sure the master switch is on or the circuit breaker has not been tripped. Then check that the outlet itself is working, either with another device or an outlet tester. Finally, make sure the TV power cable is attached firmly to the TV itself and nothing seems wrong there. If the remote isn't working, there should be power buttons along the bottom or side of the TV -- sometimes these are recessed and hard to see on LCD/LED and plasma TVs.
If none of these options work, try disconnecting the TV from the power for one hour. Once you reconnect the TV, it will force a reset which may be able to fix the issue.
If the chain of power is good but the TV still won't turn on, it's likely time for professional repair. A common issue that crops up with Samsung TVs in particular is that they'll click repeatedly before turning on, sometimes a ridiculous number of times. If you have this issue, it's probably best to just bring it in to the shop as the repair involves cracking the case open and doing some soldering.
If you've tried the above suggestions for your issues and have still experienced no luck, then it's time to bring the TV on in for service. Our Tucson-area shop can repair your LCD, LED or plasma television no matter what model it might be or how old it is. Drop-ins are welcome, and we're always happy to provide you with a free up-front estimate!
Old televisions have a number of series problems with them, of course, but chief among these is often the fact that they suck energy like nobody’s business. This is bad both for you and the environment. Here’s some information on why this is the case as well as how you can correct the problem with a newer television.
Old Tube TVs
If you have one of those big and blocky TVs that ways a million pounds, it’s probably a tube TV or a type called a “CRT.” It’s called this because it's short for “Cathode-ray television.” This technology uses huge tubes in order to perform. It also happens to be tremendously inefficient. Many televisions of all types use energy even when they’re off, and CRTs are no exception.
In fact, they use as much as 30 watts per hour even while they’re off. When they’re on, the consumption can be as much as 150 watts per hour for a large enough TV.
Flat Screen LCD and LED Screens
These screens use a thin transistor liquid crystal display tech in order to put images on-screen instead of the old way of doing it through tubes. One of the reasons why these are more energy efficient Is because they use backlighting instead of trying to do as much as CRT devices do. Many of these screens can use just a few watts while off and as few as 30 or 40 watts while on. At the very least, the entire technology tends to be 20 or 30% more efficient because of how it operates.
LCD TVs That Are Older
Even if you don’t have a CRT and have an LCD flat screen instead, the efficiency of these televisions goes way down over time. This is going to cost you over a long enough time period and with enough devices. This is because a lot of the shortcuts that lead to more energy efficiency tend to degrade over time.
Sometimes, they can be refurbished and this ability can be restored, but if you have a TV that’s been around long enough, you should at least bring it in to see what kind of efficiency it has left if you want to maximize this phenomenon, if not think about replacing it altogether with a different one.
The Importance of Base Efficiency
Most televisions that were made anytime within the last decade or so will have a yellow tag somewhere on the back or the bottom which tells you exactly how much money it’s likely to cost you within a specific time frame such as a year. It will also have kilowatt-hours on it and other information.
It’s important to point out that this isn’t the end all and be all of what the TVs current rate is, however. The age of even modern televisions is going to matter too. Just as the picture quality can degrade over time, so can the efficiency. These two things may even go hand and hand.
Why Efficiency Matters
Well, the most obvious reason why this all matters is because electricity costs money and you’re going to be the one paying for it. Over a great enough time period, you could be paying quite a lot for it, especially if it’s an older TV or if it’s a kind that’s particular inefficient, such as a CRT or an older model LCD or another type. Plasma screen televisions can also be highly inefficient when it comes to energy, for example, especially if they aren’t the kind that has efficiency built into it.
But even beyond that, this is important for the environment. Sustainability is essential to the world. It’s a simple zero sum game. If we continually use more energy than we can produce over the long run, then eventually the system will collapse. The way this has been compensated for this far is by burning fossil fuels, coal, and other problematic energy sources. At some point, it’s true that we’re going to be switching over to more sustainable energy sources, but until technologies like wind, solar, thermal, hydro and others take off and become themselves both efficient and popular, it’s important for everyone to do their part to make for a greener planet.
This might not seem much on an individual basis when you go from a TV that’s older and so average to poor in efficiency to a newer one that uses all the latest technologies at the highest level, and maybe it isn’t.
But, the point is that it matters collectively. If everyone focused their efforts on one TV, one gadget, one solar panel at a time, and slowly added sustainability than it would have a colossal effect on the whole planet. It would be easier to wean off of fossil fuels that cause environmental damage globally, for example. It would also ensure that we can keep using energy the way we want to even when fossil fuels run out entirely.
What You Can Do About It
If you want to get a new television that will start to pay for itself right away with energy savings, please contact us as soon as possible Refurbished televisions of the newer variety can still have this effect on your energy bill, while at the same time not breaking the bank.
The key, after all, is to go with a company that knows what they’re doing in terms of facilitating efficiency. This is how you really maximize sustainability.
It’s the Holiday Season. You know that means stores start advertising their new Holiday electronic merchandise. Nick’s TVs of Tucson is here to provide a value alternative to those big-box high priced televisions. We have a great selection of refurbished Plasma, HDTV, and LCD televisions in our store ready for you to take home and enjoy.
Choosing to purchase refurbished rather than new is a difficult decision. You have to trust that you are buying from a reliable source. A refurbished TV is only a value purchase when you receive a quality product that works reliably.
Understanding your choices with TVs
LCD and LED TVs are essentially exactly the same. Both use the same type of technology, with almost no difference except LCD uses CFL lights, and LED uses LED lights. This makes the LED TV more energy-efficient and the screen can be a bit brighter.
Plasma TVs do not have backlight as every pixel lights up individually which allows the plasma TV to be superior in contrast ratio. Plasma TVs are superior in quality than LCD and LED due to this much higher contrast ratio and color pallet.
New TV's are now mostly LED and LCD TVs. They are being sold at ridiculously low prices right now. Consumers need to understand that you really get what you pay for. Those sets while being really low-cost initially are C grade TVs and will only last a limited amount of time before failing. Most of the LED TVs that are being sold today have a contrast ratio of around 4,000 and a dynamic ratio of 10,000 and about 16.7 million colors in their pallet. However they are marketed as HD since they have a high pixel count. What most people don't understand is that a high contrast ratio is more important than high pixel count, however more expensive to produce. This is why high pixel count is usually advertised on the box.
Most of the refurbished sets that we sell at Nicks TVs are actually plasma TVs which achieve a 40,000 contrast ratio, and 2,000,000 dynamic contrast ratio and usually above 1 billion colors in their pallets. This contrast ratio allows for colors to flow smoothly throughout the entire screen and thus achieve better overall picture quality.
LCD and LED TVs sold on today's market can be really great quality and can compete with plasma TVs but those are going to be the high end models from the more well known brands such as Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. So, a new TV for $329 doesn't necessarily mean a better deal than a refurbished 3 year old TV for $375.
Come in to our Store
Here at Nick’s TVs, we take refurbishment very seriously. We stand behind every TV that we sell. Our units are hand-selected according to strict requirements. We apply our meticulous inspection process to every TV that we sell. TVs are reconditioned thoroughly so that they are in excellent condition when you take one home. We stand behind our products with each TV having a 90-day warranty. We want you to be completely satisfied.
We invite our Tucson customers to come in and check out our refurbished TV inventory. All of our units are set up and plugged in for you to check out in person. This is a great advantage to buying a refurbished TV on EBay, amazon, or another online electronic shopping site. You see in person exactly what you are buying.
Is your current TV broken? We buy broken TVs and will apply the amount that you earn from trading in your TV to the price of one of our in-stock refurbished TVs.
Call us today! We are here to answer any questions that you have about why it’s a great idea to buy a refurbished television this Holiday Season from Nick’s TVs. Make an appointment to come in person to our Tucson shop. We look forward to seeing you.
Now a days, the price of fixing a tv can cost just as much as buying a new one people say. Well, that really isn't always the case. Today, I will teach you a few tips to know if it is even worth calling a repair center for your tv.
The most expensive part of a tv, is what we technicians refer to as the grid, or the panel. This grid/panel, is the actual screen that you see where all the pixels are located. This is not to be confused with the thin layer of plastic covering it. Many people confuse the thin layer of plastic protecting their panel as the panel itself. If the panel breaks, cracks, or gets water damaged, then you are looking to spend more on the repair than you spent on your tv almost every time.The reason for that, is because the cost of the part is extremely high, and can range anywhere between $500 for 42" tvs all the way up to $1500 for bigger 50" to 60" tvs. Now how do you know if your grid needs to be replaced?
Sometimes it isn't always obvious that the screen is cracked, however a sure way to know is to turn the tv on, and look at the image. If the image on the screen looks anything like the picture to the left, then you know your screen is cracked even though when turned off, it may look perfectly normal.
This will occur often when people are trying to clean the tv. If you are trying to clean your tv with some sort of solution, never spray it on the tv itself, and here is why. When someone tells you not to spray the tv itself, it is not because spraying the tv will harm it, after all you are really spraying a piece of plastic. We say this because of what happens after you spray the tv. The solution will start dripping down the screen, and once it reaches the bottom, it will start to go inside the tv. At the bottom and the top of every tv there are several electric boards which we call buffer boards. These boards are directly attached to the panel/grid of your tv, and are not detachable. If one of these boards gets damaged, you will need to replace the entire panel.
For other issues you may be having with your tv, please go to the repair service page, and see if your the issue you are having with your tv matches our list of symptoms we commonly fix. If you find your issue listed there, then your tv is most likely experiencing an internal issue, and can be fixed at a reasonable price.
System reset for LCD, LED, and Plasma TV’s
More and more often you will find that your TV will stop working properly after a few years of use. Sometimes it will only last a year, and sometimes you can go 10 years before something happens. This is partially due to the fact that we are using newer technology, with a lot of different functions, and options we did not use to have. Smart tv’s, 120HZ smooth motion and other options are now available, and can cause firmware malfunctions. Just like a computer, newer tv’s can benefit from a system reset even if it does not have internet or 120HZ capabilities. Here are some symptoms a basic reset can fix:
The idea behind a system reset, is to deprive the tv of all electricity it may store. This will allow your smart IC chips, on your internal circuit boards to reset. A system reset will only fix software/firmware issues, if there is physical damage, such as bad components or shorted electric lines inside the tv, this reset will not fix your issue.
Some TV’s, especially Plasma TV’s can store lots of electricity with very high voltage for several hours after being unplugged. Power supply boards along with other boards inside your tv can have very large capacitors that store all of this electricity which is meant to speed up the process of turning your tv on. In order to perform a reset on your tv, you must unplug the power cable where it meets with the tv. If for some reason your tv’s power cable is hardwired to the tv, then you can unplug the cable out of your wall, or power strip/surge protector. Once you have done that, you must keep your tv unplugged for at least 4 hours if you have an LCD or LED TV. For a plasma TV, you will want to leave it unplugged for up to 8 hours. After keeping your tv unplugged for the durations listed prior, your TV will be deprived of most or all of its electric residue. In order to make sure that there isn't any electricity left in some of those larger capacitors, you will want to press the power button on the side panel of your tv for 30 seconds. You must press the power button on the tv itself, and not on the remote. By doing this, you will trick the tv into trying to turn on, which will take out any residual voltage out of the capacitors. Once you have performed the above test, you may plug your tv back in. I would recommend waiting at least 10 seconds after plugging the tv back in before trying to turn it on again. This will allow the tv time to charge its capacitors back up. If performing this reset doesn't fix your issue, this means that you may not have a software/firmware issue, and that you will need to bring your tv into a technician for diagnostic.