Fixing a plasma TV

My father-in-law very, very kindly donated me a plasma TV recently, a 32" Phillips from a few years ago. It was refusing to switch on, the power LED on the front of the screen indicating what the manual calls "protect" mode. This means that the TV has a fault and the LED shows it by blinking red.

Finding information about stuff like this online is always annoying difficult due the variance in search terms. Is that LED blinking, flashing, cycling, going on and off or any of a number of other descriptions. I found several references to this problem on a mix of forums, but eventually found a thread describing how to fix a phillips plasma tv with a flashing red led on avforums.

From there I managed to find that the type of TV I have is covered by the FM23 AC Service Manual, available here in the annoying form of a 16 part rar file which unrars to a single PDF.

Most of the successes in the thread seemed to have come from following Barbusa’s instructions in the thread linked to above, detailing three capacitors that wear out on the main power board. Diagnosing this was based rather loosely on the fact that if I kept switching it off and back on every time it went into protect it would eventually power up and run just fine. I’m guessing that this comes from the caps managing to build up enough charge over several power cycles.

Capacitors like these are really cheap to replace, I bought some from a local Maplin for the grand total of £1.14. I also bought a new soldering iron, a fine tipped butane one as Barbusa recommended for the job, bringing the bill to a lofty twenty quid – far less than I’d have to pay just to get someone to look at it for repair.

Armed with these new caps and the stupidity necessary to play at soldering inside a high voltage appliance I started stripping it down. Lying the screen flat on its front (on something soft) to remove the stand and screws from the back panel which gives us a great view of the insides – click for larger images.

internals

In the middle here I’ve outlined the main power board, it’s the one with big capacitors, transformers and the two really big metal heat sinks (one black, one silver) running up the middle of the board.

power board connectors

To remove it, we first have to disconnect all the connectors, I took a few photos so I could put them back, but it seems the cabling routes and different sizes of connectors means that they will only fit one way. There are several screws all around the edge and one in the middle of the board, there a small torq fitting, the same as the case screws not sure what size these are, but they’re the smallest torq I’ve got in my toolbox.

power board capacitors

Having removed the board we need to find capacitors 2662, 2663 and 2664. In my 32" screen 2662 is a 1000μF 25v 85°C with 2663 and 2664 both 25v 100μF 25v 85°C. I took Barbusa’s advice and bought 105°C rated caps to deal better with the heat. For 2663 and 2664 I couldn’t get the 25v caps, so bought the higher rated 50v ones that are fitted in the 42" plasmas. I’m no expert, but thanks to some friendly advice in #electronics on freenode.net I was confident they would be safe.

Capacitors 2662, 2663 and 2664

Finding them is easy enough, the board is numbered, so with fingers on the capacitor and my new soldering iron on the joints I slowly pulled the caps out and replaced each one in turn.

underside of 2662, 2663 and 2664

The numbering is on both sides of the board, here I have replaced 2662 and I’m just about to replace the other two.

Carefully putting everything back together – deep breath – it all works, powering up first time and running fine. Many thanks to the help of strangers :->

57 thoughts on “Fixing a plasma TV

  1. I had a similar problem with a 50″ philips plasma. It would turn on and then shut down with a red flashing led. If you unplugged it and let it sit for a few minutes and then plugged it back in, it would start up fine. I opened it up and looked at the main circuit board (in the middle of the set) and saw 2 cooked capacitors. You could tell they were bad because the metal tops were ‘bent’ out and were leaking a little bit of capacitor stuff. I removed the board and unsoldered the 2 bad caps (3300mf 10V) and replaced them. The tv worked perectly! It appears that some of the capactors fail over time from heat or something. Anyway, if you are handy with a soldering iron, and you are having this problem with your plasma, try taking the back off and just look around for capacitors that look ‘weird’. Its worth a shot and it might fix it!

  2. 42″ Philips with the red blinking light and no picture. Changed out two Capacitors – identified with “pushed up” tops. The set works fine now.

  3. There is a Firmware upgrade go to philips.com and enter in model # of your t.v. download software to a memory stick and insert into usb port on side of t.v. turn on t.v. and the menu will pop up showing you that it is upgrading. Very simple I had the same problem. I just fixed mine. I am actually registering my t.v. now so I can make sure I stay on top of these upgrades.

  4. I just completed the replacement of the 2 10V capacitors that B Smith mentioned. I have a 42″ Philips. It was just as he said the cap tops were expanded. Only problem I had was a little difficulty with the solder removal. The holes filled in. I put a sewing needle in my Dremel and drilled the solder right out.

    Last thing-the stripe on the capacitor is Negative!!

    Anyone looking for parts I got them at http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com

    Thanks for the information and help, you saved me buying a new TV.

  5. You are the man! I bought a 42inch plasma 42fd9932 (listed as a 32inch on craigslist) for $80.00 because it was broken, no power. I followed your instructions, I replaced all 3 caps same 1000μF and 100μF but the max v was higher for all 3. It works perfect!!!!! I now have a sweet looking 42inch screen. Thanks! Also the great sharp pics you posted helped alot.

  6. Philips 50PF7521D12 (Samsung power and screen driver modules inside, only DVB-T reciever is philips)
    Thanks to everyone for this webpage. Without this I would not have tried to repair my 50″ Philips plasma TV.
    I have designed professionel electronic equitment for 30 years, but have no experience with TV and commercial electrolytic capacitors.
    They have beeen banded from professional electronics from around the time I started 30 years ago.
    I search a lot for the manual and found manualsparadise.com, they where very helpfull and sold me the LC4.41E AB service manual.
    But the manual is worthless for my TV, it only contains schematics for the TVs with Philips modules inside.
    So far I have not been able to find the correct manual. Manualsparadise.com say I must find a Samsung model number that use the same modules.
    My TV still worked, but would turn on at low temperature. At the end it required 22 degrees to turn on.
    This seemed odd because nearly all electronic components perform better at lower temperature. But electrolytics capacitors differs especially when they degrade.
    I found that same two caps as B smith had the hat popped and changed these, very ease but some work to take it down and a hell of a lot of screws, I recommend an electric screwdriver.
    Now let me help you guys out woth some facts on capacitors and soldering:
    I all normal cases you can use caps with higher voltage, higher temperaure rating and higher lifetime, also higher ripple current and lower impedance is fine.
    While the capacitance o f3300uF should be same or only a little higher. Finally the physical size and leg distance must fit.
    About soldering, you do not need a drill or a needle (pretty smart actually), what you need is lizse wire that suck in the tin.

  7. Hi,
    I have the same problem with my Philips Plasma. According to your instruction, I have changed the three caps. It works . But the next day I turned my TV it do the same. Red Light Blinking. PLEASE HELP

  8. I have a 42 inch Plasma (Model# 42PF9631D/37)that was doing the same thing. I updated the firmware and it’s working now. Download the software from Philips web site and extract the software to a USB Thumb drive. With the TV off plug in the USB drive to the TV and then turn the TV power on. You may have to power cycle the TV a few times until it sees the USB drive and installs the software.

  9. Pingback: New (old) Telly | I Really Don’t Know

  10. Firmware download worked for me…I honestly didn’t think it would, but TV came on. Be sure you remember to unzip the file… :)

  11. I tried the firmware update on my 42PF7321A/37, and something curious happened: I could get the TV to turn on, but only if I unplugged it and plugged it back in several times, or if I applied heat to the back of the TV. I cracked open the back and looked, no blown capacitors. I broke out the multitester, everything came back ok, so I resorted to calling the local repairman. He instantly knew the problem: SMPS module. So, since I couldn’t find the module myself, I sent it to the repair guy. $400 later, I now have a working plasma, which is fine with me, considering the schmuck upstairs was pitching it in the dumpster and replacing it with a Samsung, so I got it for literally nothing.

  12. Just fixed my 50″ philips plasma with this info. It was fairly simple. Cost about $7.00 for the capacitors. Great information here.
    Thanks….

  13. have 42″phillips plasma get a blue hue on the right side of tv after its on for a while does anyone know how fix this or what could be causing it

  14. Are there a separate set of capacitors for each HDMI port?
    I have the same problem. TV eventually powers up after unplugging and pulgging back in several times…but In know that won’t last. It’s like they have to store up enough juice to power up the set. Once the set is warm you can turn it off and on again.

  15. I just fixed my 3 year old Philips 42″ plasma TV by changing two of the electrolythic 3300 uF capacitors. I spotted the problem right away by looking at the bulging tops of the caps of the main board. I’m guessing they are used for the PSU. I removed them from the board, measured their capacitance and found out that they were only measuring about 1500 uF each, which could probably be even less when under voltage and temperature stress. I ordered new ones for less than $2 + shipping (NO thanks to Frys and Radioshack who doesn’t carry wide enough inventory), put them right back in, turned on the TV and lo and behold; the TV works! Thanks for sharing your success stories. I wouldn’t have gone through the trouble otherwise, which probably saved me >$600. I’m now the hero of the house, at least for the time being.

  16. hello all, I just got my 4 caps for my 42FD9954/S17 and was about to change them out and my buddy noticed the resistors: 2004, 2005 and the chip: 7001 the soldering looking a bit dark (don’t want to say burnt). Anyone else noticed anything like this on theirs? None ot my caps are buldging though??

    Also, anyone have a schematic for this power board they can share, my email: sheld007n at aol_dot_com.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. So I’ve tried like 3 times to download the service manual from the link above and I keep on getting an error that there’s an error in the files? Anyone successful that they can email me a copy of the service manual at: sheld007n at aol_dot_com.

    Thanks!!

  18. I have the 42″ Philips that has the blinking RED light. I have located the 3 capacitors but none of them have a ‘pushed up’ top. Should I replace them anyway? Reading the comments, it looks like the thing to do would be to use a higher temp and higher voltage rated cap. Is this correct?

  19. I have same issue as Don. My 42″ plasma started playing up around 6 months ago and at first switching it on and off a few times would get it to stay on. But after a couple of months this approach stopped working. So I read on forums about the fix and also that heating the set worked. So since then have been using hair dryer for a minute or so which does the trick.

    I took the back off the other day but caps referred to in fix were not damaged. I did however notice that warming the following caps up 2532, 2533 and 2397 allowed the tv to turn on so am contemplating changing them but having difficultly locating replacements, they are 6e 100 16V. Any ideas wher I can get some from?

  20. I have a 42″ Philps Plasma, which would not turn on and had the infamous red lights (6 long – 3 short). After seeing the posts from this sight, including a video on removing and replacing 2 capacitors, identifying the bad capacitors and also a link to diga-key to order the replacement capacitors.
    I was able to buy replacement capacitors with 5 times the life of the originals for .99 cents apiece. When you order your capactors, make sure you order the correct size. I didn’t realize they came in many sizes until it was mentioned on this site.
    I want to thank everyone for your help, my tv now works fine for under 2 dollars plus shipping.

  21. Great post! I have a Phillips 42″ 42FD9954 Plasma and followed the above instructions and it has fixed the issue.

  22. I ordered the caps but read about changing the power cord as well. I changed the cord first because it was easier. It works like a champ now. I might try the firmware upgrade as well.

  23. my Phillips 46″ plasma about 4 y old ,has a vertical ,3 inch wide margin of different colour than the rest of the display.
    Any suggestion how to fix it ???

  24. fixed my phillips 42″. put the capacitors backwards the first time… replaced them again the right way and it worked like a charm. thanks for putting this fix up…

  25. I have a 42 to a 50 inch Philips Plasma Television that is a 2004. According to a TV repair shop, I need a circuit board; where can I locate one to fix my problem?

  26. Replaced the three capacitors on my 7 year old 42inch Philips FTR9965 – now working just fine! THANKS
    The capacitors did not look faulty so it appears that you cant always tell which ones have failed by just looking at them.
    Our local TV repair shop said that they could not get replacement boards for a TV as old as our one is (2003 model) – so i think having a go at replacing the caps is the only option for the older tv’s

  27. I have a 50″ Phillips tv, replaced defective caps on power board,found that ssb main board was bad replaced ssb board and now I have a skewed left picture about 2/3 normal size. Can anyone suggest a way to shift pic back to center?

  28. Anyone know the proper VS and PFC voltages for a phillips 50pfp5332d/37 plasma? Changed everything but the pwr. supply and still getting no picture.

  29. Thanks to all the advice about changing my capacitor to my 50in. flat screen phillip plasm, I did it myself and being a women I feel proud. The only other thing I did was change the fuse it works great, thanks!

  30. Hello, can anyone help by telling me why my 47″Philips shows a red line down the middle of the screen, it was working fine! turnd it off after a movie came back an hour later and it came on the light and never went away, the Tv is only 2 years old.

  31. Thanks for posting this fix. I just followed your instructions and voila! I’m sure I’ll get another 7 years of chilling out in front of my Phillips plasma.

  32. I have a 42″ Phillips Plasma TV, Model 42PF7220A-37 that I bought in March of 2006. In October of 2009 it started having the color strips, then only the top half of the screen worked, and then in November is stopped working altogether. I took it to a local repair shop and for $335 they replaced the Y buffer. Everything was okay until June of 2011 when it started going black with no sound for 10-20 seconds periodically. This has continued with increasing frequency. I did receive an email notice recently from a law firm that a class action lawsuit was filed against Phillips claiming a faulty power supply was installed in TVs like mine in the time frame that mine was built. If the court okays the claim, Phillips (in all their generosity) will give me a $165 voucher for other Phillips products, or a big bad $65 in cash, if I have it repaired and send them proof of the repair, i.e. a receipt for service that will probably cost several hundred dollars. Of course the lawyers will get over $1,000,000 for their efforts! So….thanks to all of you who have contributed to this site, to my dad who taught me a thing or two about electronics, and to Ampex and Stanford University’s Radioscience Laboratory that gave me jobs as a young adult, I will endeavor to repair this set myself and let you know of my results in a few days, as I will have to get parts.

  33. I have a Philips 50 inch plasma tv, bought in 2006, # 50PF9431D/37. It blinks red 6 times and won’t come on with the remote–only after I unplug the power cord, wait, plug it back in–it comes on.
    After reading your posts, looks like I might have to replace capacitors. I don’t know how to fix tvs/solder, etc. How much would it cost to have someone come out to fix it?
    Please help. I hate to use the excuse that I’m a woman, but I live by myself….

    Thanks.

  34. Thanks for the post, I just fixed my 42″ plasma same way. I actually did the repair after reading about it on another website, just replaced the caps that were bulging and leaking, and when I put it back together it didn’t even turn on so I thought I had really messed up bad. After reading some of the responses on here I figured I should double check everything maybe I had soldered in a capacitor backwards or something. When I got back in the TV I saw the capacitors were soldered correctly, however I forgot to plug in a connector. Plugged it in and it fired right up. Thanks for the help!

  35. I removed 2 bad capacitors from my 42-inch Phillips Plasma before noticing if the replacements needed to go back in a certain way (positive & negative leads)! Can anyone please tell me how to figure this out?

  36. I have a Phillips 42PF9966/37 Ambiant Plasma TV. This TV is about 8 years old. When you first turn the TV on the picture is fine and you have sound. After anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes of being on you will start to get green and red dots appearing accross the picture where images used to be. This continues until the entire screen is basically green and then it starts to turn black. At this point you really can’t see any images on the picture. Sometimes you can turn it off for a couple minutes and then turn it back on and the picture comes back and then begins to go through the process I explained above but much quicker. Most of the time when the picture is basically black with some green and red and you turn it off and back on it will still be the same. In these cases when you leave the TV off for a couple hours and turn it back on then the picture will be fine but start the process over after the 5-15 minute period. The sound is fine no matter if the picture is ok or messed up.

    Any thoughts?

    Mark

  37. LG Plasma 50 Inch power board problem

    when i change the FT’s in Power board after some time they are blown plz help me

  38. Hi hope someone can help! I have a 52′” and TV comes on but no picture. turn it off and then back on somtimes pic. will come on but is rolling with lines, most the time sond but on pic. thnks.

  39. I have a Philips 42PF9631D/37 Plasma 42 inch. The initial problem was TV would not turn on; it would flash red–I replaced power supply board 996500036816. Now with new part installtv comes on stays green light–picture has vertical various sizes and colors pixel lines clear straight up and down–nothing with happen when I try to change channels, volume, etc. Is picture bad?

  40. I have a 50″ plasma tv. # 50PF9431D/37. It blinks red 6 times and won’t come on with the remote–only after I unplug the power cord, wait, plug it back in–it comes on.
    The television is just sitting there and don’t know what to do besides letting it collect dust.
    Please help I’m at wits end Tod

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