How to Clean and Repair Projection TV

If you have a projection TV and the picture quality seems so washed out, you might need to do little cleaning up. Don’t panic because it is better then dumping the $2000 TV and buying a new $2000 TV. I had a same issue where my picture quality was bad. I was going to dump the TV anyway, so I disassembled the TV knowing that there are projection bulbs inside the set. I decided just to take a look at them to see if they were dirty or damaged. What I found was a thick layer of dust all over them. After cleaning them carefully, I assembled the TV back again and the picture looks as crisp as ever! It saved me a bulk just doing simple repair that might cost over $400 at my local Radio Shack store.

TV Overview
Here are the directions if you are willing to do it. Don’t move any part of the projector assembly. Contact a technician if you spot any leaking cooling gel around the projector tubes. Do this at your own risk because I do not take any responsibility if anything goes wrong! I take no responsibility at all!

  • FIRST UNPLUG THE SET! So, just because the set is unplugged doesn’t mean you can’t get shocked. Certain parts of the chassis can carry a residual charge that will injure you, by that I mean send you flying.
  • Gently remove the screws from the back cover of the TV set.
    Check to see if you have removed the screws around the connection area because the area will be connected to some sort of board inside. By connection area, I mean:
    TV Connection Area
  • Now, you should have the back cover removed by now. If you still can’t get it removed, look for other ways. I am sure there many ways and different T.V sets have different ways of removing back cover.
  • When you remove the cover, most TV will have a mirror attached to the back cover you removed and you will also see the 3 “guns” red/blue and green.
  • Rear TV view

  • To make sure you don’t damage your own TV, you will need a safe cleaning tool. You can probably use camera lens cleaner. You can find them at a local camera store.
  • Use the lens cleaner carefully to clean the mirror and lenses inside the TV.
  • TV lenses

  • For other sets, like Pioneer, you will want to enter from the front. You can do this by removing the screen first – this will give you a chance to clean the front too.

This should take about one hour if you are careful enough. Don’t use ammonia based cleaners on any plastic components, lens or mirror either. The ammonia can cause the plastic to cloud. To further educate yourself, visits the Web sites listed below.

Resources:

  • How Projection Television Works
  • Precision Image Calibration – Optics
  • Exodus Tech Tips – TV Info
  • Rear-Projection Television – What You Need To Know – Lens, Mirror, Screen, Box
  • How to Buy a Rear-Projection TV
  • Feel free to suggest new sites!

    Gabe said,

    June 25, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

    My 2 sets were different brands. They both needed a simple hex wrench to remove the back cover, but one you could also use a phillips screwdriver. Thats the only tools needed. The older set the lenses were accessible as soon as the cover was off. The newer set had an angled reflector screen that was also remover with 4 hex screws. Just look for the colored lenses and clean them with glass cleaner.

    I am so grateful for your help!

    Mirinda said,

    June 25, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

    I am not sure but what would be the best thing to use when cleaning rear projection tv screen? I tried to search but found nothing. My T.V. Manufacturer states I sound use water with soap only when cleaning. I recently bought a product called Monster Screen Cleaner but since I’m dealing with plastic, I don’t want to do any damage. So any suggestion?

    Thanks!

    Techgeek said,

    June 25, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

    To Mirinda:

    Hmm, If I were you, I would listen to what the manufacturer is saying since they know what they are doing. But if you decide to use the detergent, make it so it is with mild solution.

    To be honest, I simply use a damp cloth to wipe stuff off tv. Don’t try it!

    Jenny said,

    June 26, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

    Anyone know the best/safe way to clean Rear Projection TV?

    Thankkkks in advance!

    bubbleboy said,

    June 27, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

    Jenny, try Windex and it should work fine. Leave the outside surface of your screen untouched since it shouldn’t be treated with anything — — it would be glass and plastic.

    -
    Mike

    Sethal said,

    September 1, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    I fixed mine with soap and water. it worked great but its still hazy when playing video games so im going to buy some kind of cleaning agent. do you think this will do the trick or is it about as good as its gonna get now.

    TechGeek said,

    September 2, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

    Sethal, I think getting a cleaning agent is the last thing I would have on my mind since they are somewhat expensive. Can you tell me how expensive the cleaning agent will be?

    Also, what is the model of your television?

    Thea said,

    September 30, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    I have a CRT Rear-Projection tv that dosn’t have a screen shield. My 2 year old decided to feed Nemo some chocolate pudding. I wiped most of the pudding off with a cloth and soap and water. We now have some staining on the bottom of the screen. What is the best way to clean this screen?

    jose otero said,

    January 1, 2007 @ 9:27 am

    i have a phillips big screen hdtv and right now the picture is hazy and the blues and reds seem to be misaligned can cleaning the bulbs and lenses solve my problem

    Paul Yost said,

    January 31, 2007 @ 1:43 am

    Last night I was moving a dinner tray and tripped over a wire. The tray went flying and took chips out of what I believe is the Lenticular (outer?) screen. I am wondering if there is a way to replace it.

    sreenu said,

    April 19, 2007 @ 3:46 am

    Jose Otero, Did you clean the bulbs and lenses to solve you blue and red color misalignement. I have a samsung rear projection tv with blue color misalignement.

    Brad said,

    April 21, 2007 @ 2:13 am

    I have a Samsung projection tv and It has a yellow tinge to the picture, with flashing blue. How do you change the bulb or gun?

    daddyphatsak said,

    May 7, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

    does anyone have a problem of the whites glowing like u have chlorine in your eyes from swimming? can this be fixed by cleaning the lenses?

    Kory said,

    May 8, 2007 @ 12:14 am

    as for color misalighnment ive got an auto focus on mine but you should clean your lenses and mirrors carefully if your image is blurry or faded but for anything else i would suggest having it serviced for a mere $200 dollars from your local tv repairman than ever replacing the unit..

    Jeremy said,

    June 27, 2007 @ 3:27 am

    i was cleaning my projection tv and as i was cleaning the lences i looked into the blue and it looked like i was looking at a popcorn roof look.so i went to take it apart and some kind of iol started to come out.What is that oil and what can i use to fill it agin????help please

    John said,

    July 4, 2007 @ 1:06 am

    My sweet, angelic little princess of a daughter smeared applesauce, jello and and probably a little slobber along with colored on my proj. scrn. tv. Pict ure is fine, but marks are obvious. How can I clean without disassembling my t.v.? Thanx a million.

    John In Arkansas

    Moo Bell said,

    July 26, 2007 @ 5:36 pm

    Hi, I got a little different problem with a Projection TV, this is the thing:
    I moved to other house and in the while, my Projection TV has a Color Moved, the red one, and I see double the face of the people that are appearing in a show, so I want to know if it’s easy to correct this problem in home or I have to call a technical assisant to repair it? I would thank to anyone who knows that…thnx

    william spears said,

    July 27, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

    i have some little white lines right at the top of tv

    jay said,

    July 29, 2007 @ 2:24 am

    I CLEANED THE LEANS OF MY PROJECTION TV AND WHEN I TURNED IT BACK ON I HAVE THREE DIFFRENT COLORS NOW RED BLUE GREEN WHAT DID I DO WRONG CAN U HELP ME
    ON THE SCREEN

    Eric said,

    August 12, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

    i have a phillips rear screen and the red bulb is out. does anyone know how to replace the crt bulb and what a new one would cost.

    Jermaine said,

    August 14, 2007 @ 10:14 am

    My rear projection tv as cracks in the screen (toddlers continually hitting the screen), does anyone know where I can buy a replacement screen and roughly how much it will cost? Can fit it myself as I figured out yesterday that the front of the tv can be removed which was a life saver as my daughter pushed the screen right in an I needed to fix it back in place.

    Help please.

    justin said,

    August 14, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

    if anybody needs a projection lens like the ones above email me at liveline1@gmail.col

    Bryan said,

    August 15, 2007 @ 11:52 pm

    All you need is a new j-cloth and vinegar and water 3 to 1> 1 being vinegar, wipe off dust and other crap with the wet J-cloth then dry with a dry j-cloth, make sure there new out of the pack.

    debra said,

    October 16, 2007 @ 10:14 am

    Jeremy, did you work out what sort of oil that was? I have the same problem where the oil has leaked out and I dont know what to buy to fix it and no technicians know what to do. Any ideas anyone?? Thanks

    Barbara Hankins said,

    November 9, 2007 @ 9:17 pm

    I have a blue line running through the TV, what is it and how do I get rid of it?

    Steve Jackson said,

    December 18, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

    I have a Toshiba 53 in. Projection T.V. with Color Stream. It is about 4 yrs. old. It has developed a yellowish spot about 3 in. round in approx. the middle of the screen. It is most visable when the screen is light or white. I live in a 100 year old house, which can be somewhat on the dusty side. Could cleaning the tubes and mirrors take care of this problem and is it pretty much done the way it was described above ? What is the safest cleaning solvent ? This set has had no abuse and has been well taken care of. I thank you very much, if you can help.

    grace said,

    December 26, 2007 @ 7:35 am

    I have a zenith rear projection tv that’s about 4 years old. Today (on Christmas) when we turned the tv on there was a yellow leaf-like mark surrounded by a blue haze in the middle of the screen. there is another leaf-like mark just above that to the right in a more faint blue. can someone pleaaase tell me what the problem is and how to fix it? and how much it might cost?
    (we tried auto convergence and it did nothing.)
    THANKS!

    jennifer said,

    December 29, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

    i was cleaning my tv and now i need to replace the oil. does anyone know what kind of oil i need to use and where i can get it from

    stacy said,

    March 1, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    I have a phillips projection tv. on the left side of the tv when I look at it you’ll see double. such as eyes on a person or the ticker on the bottom. I went to the menu to fix the conversion on the multi point. somehow when looking at it on the left side the pluses are crooked. The line going top to bottom of the + is ok but the line going side to side on the + is way off and crooked. One side of the + it is about a inch off and the other side of the + it is about 2 inches off. What could be the problem?

    jorge said,

    March 12, 2008 @ 1:22 am

    my philips rear projection has shadows. i cant get the colors to converge, how can i fix that?

    Matt M said,

    March 14, 2009 @ 11:39 pm

    I have a Mitsubishi WS-55909 that was given to me. It works for a few minutes after turning on but the the color goes red and you can still see whatever it is you were watching. but everything is redish in color. sometimes it flickers back to a normal color. Could this be a heat problem? are there internal fans that could plug up? Can i get a repair manual anywhere for it?

    Linda Cox said,

    March 21, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

    I have a GE projection tv that’s about 5 years old and all of a sudden the whole picture seems to be moving forward and back. It’s making me feel sea sick. What’s going on? My husband is cleaning the back out today, but I think it’s something more serious.

    Patrick said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

    I have a Hitachi rear projection Tv and the color is not crisp as when i purchased it. I looked through the holes in the back of the Tv and it is full of dust. This ia a Hitachi model 51F500 made in Nov of 2002. Does anyone know how to clean the guns on this set or is it most like other sets you go in form the rear of the tv. Thanks

    Holly said,

    June 2, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

    I have a philips projection tv and have the same problem as STACY. Will cleaning take care of this problem or is it something else? What should I clean the inside with? Is there a special cleaning solution or do I vacuum out the dust or what? I’m good working on cars, but afraid to mess with this lol.

    robert greimann said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

    My 54 inch phillips just went black.No picture or sound.Red power light still comes on.So I know its getting power.Cleaned out all the dust.What should I be looking for now?Got tv laying down on it’s face.Removed bottom back panel.HELP

    Mark said,

    July 27, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    10 year old Toshiba Theatre View. Picture and sound quality are okay, but unit makes a fairly constant electronic “pop”. TV is in basement and I’ve quit using it. Any thoughts on the “popping” sound?

    wade said,

    August 7, 2009 @ 4:35 am

    I have a sony rear projection the problem is i got a red and green color misalignment and when i hit the flash focus button which is to realign the colors automatically it doesnt any way i can realign manually

    Jose said,

    August 20, 2009 @ 1:17 am

    i just got a rear projection 52 inch and i notice that anything that is suppose to be white on my tv is really bright does anyone know why?
    thanks!

    Rob Morris said,

    August 20, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

    I have a 50″ rear projection Phillips tv. The screen is reddish and a blue/ white like blur spot comes up in the screnn every now and then. What does this mean?

    Andy Park said,

    September 22, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    I have a samsung rear projection tv and would like to know if anyone knows if it is ok to use a playstation 3 to play video games on it? I have heard a few stories of screen burn but don’t know if this is true. If anyone could clear this up for me. Thanks.

    mike said,

    September 23, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

    i am geting blue shadows behind things what do u think it is

    Michelle said,

    December 6, 2009 @ 1:03 am

    I have a Toshiba projector TV i have the same problem my tv shows double how can i fix it. I don’t have money for a repair man and my sister gave it to me. Is there something i can do my self.

    Michelle said,

    December 6, 2009 @ 1:50 am

    I fixed it. If your TV is showing double u have to play with your convergence and line up the colors then it wont show double anymore.

    Michelle said,

    December 6, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    I fixed the double but i open it this morning and the picture is really dark.How can i fix it?

    cessna823 said,

    December 26, 2009 @ 12:28 am

    NOTE: —-DO NOT TOUCH THE CONVERGENCE BOARD ” ——-

    1. Bring Up 1 Projector Light
    2. Bring Your Color Convergence + Sign and Should Be Center In Your TV
    3. If Not Adjust Center with The 2 Tabs Just Above That Projector Tube You Have Lighted 1 Tab Will Move + Sign Horizontal Then Roll The Other Vertical Then Roll..U Will See–”
    4. Once Your + Sign Is Center Turn Up Your 2 Other Projectors Make Sure They Are Able To Adjust Across The + Sign You used 1st Make Sure the 2 Other + Signs Move Left And Right And Up And Below The Vertical and Horizontal Lines. If Not Adjust There Tab to Make This Possible.
    5. Using Your REMOTE Converge The + Signs Together.
    —————- IF YOU MESSED WITH THE CONVERGENCE BOARD ——————-
    6. Now Lower The 2 Lights So Your 1st Projector Is Lighted
    7. Bring Up A Menue On Your TV — Look At It …Are The Lettering Center and Square ..??
    8. If They are Lower That Projector and Light Your Projectors 1 At A Time To Verify Letters are Center and Square.
    —————If You Have To Adjust The Menue To Bring Center And Square ——–
    9.Looking At The Convergence Board You Will See 3 Rows Of Adjustment Dials Each Row Is For 1 Projector.
    —TAKE NOTE TURN THE ADJUSTMENT Slowly—
    10. Locate The Row that will adjust The Projector You Have LITGHTED”….
    11. Label On A Paper What Each Knob Will Do To The Screen Very Help-Full
    12.Adjust Your Letters Dead Center and Square then Lower That Projector Light And Bring Each Projector Lighted At 1 Time To Verify Menue Is Center And Square.
    13.Leave On Your 3rd Projector and Bring Up Your Light On The 1st Projector
    14. Adjust the Letters Of Your 1st Projector Over The Letter Of Your 3rd Projector
    15. Switch To Your Convergence + Sign To Help –Turn Knobs Slowly —
    16. Make Your Letters Merge Together And Your Lines Square.
    17. I Use The Top Letters and Lower Letters And Keep The box Square
    18. Hey If Your Projector Colors When Looking Through The Rear Of The TV Are Not Equal With Take And loosen The Wing Nuts And Turn The Lens To Focus the Color and Make Narrow Or Wide….All 3 – Equal
    DO NOT GET UPSET THIS WILL TAKE TIME MAYBE ALL DAY SO RELAX HAVE FUN”
    Do Not go Sticking Your Hand Into The TV While TV Is Plugged into The Wall” —

    brad said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 2:27 am

    my tv has letters and such “burned” on to the screen due to the previous owner leaving a black screen with white lettering on for a long period of time. unfortunately, i have been searching extremely high and very low for a replacement screen and have had absolutely no luck. if anyone knows where i might be able to find a screen i would very much be thankful. i have a sony 60″. thanks!

    shannon caldwell said,

    January 11, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

    I have a Samsung 52 inch TV that has lost the vividness of color no matter what I set them to its almost like black and white with a orange-pink color to it.

    I cleaned the bulbs with a flannel soft cloth they were dusty. I cleaned the mirror which was dusty. No change in the color.

    What can I do. I just cant believe my 2000 dollar tv is this bad. It is fuzzy on both sattelite and DVD/VCR so its got to be the set itself.
    Thank you if you can answer my question and give me some guidance.

    nathan said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 2:25 am

    I have a Samsung 52″ rptv and the screen has a yellow tint to it. All white shows yellow, but other then that the picture seems fine. What would you suggest I do?

    Patty said,

    April 23, 2010 @ 7:13 am

    Screen is completly out on my mitzubishi 55 inch projection screen. I can we get it back in

    Dustin said,

    April 28, 2010 @ 10:07 am

    Hey, I did this and it did make the picture clear, but I am having convergence problems. I cant adjust the red convergence up or down in the menu.. does anyone know how to do a real hands on convergement adjustment from the back of the TV? Thanks!

    GEORGE DONKOR said,

    April 30, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    MY PROJECTOR TV HAS RED SHADOS HOW CAN I FIX IT?

    corrine said,

    August 30, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    how do you get the red lense to match the green and blue it will not line up it leaves a shadow of what ever your watching like a double you seee the picture not a problem but it has a red tinge and outline of what you are watching how do i repair it and also how do i get the little screen to disappear from the tv in the bottom corner it won’t go away please help me!!

    corrine said,

    August 30, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

    there should be a response on this page so we can see or read what the trouble was and how to fix it so we aren’t asking about the same problem over and over!

    wanda said,

    December 15, 2010 @ 10:32 am

    hello i have a magnovox 52 inch and my grandson decided that he would pour his drink on the outside of the screen it has now got on the inside of the screen ands i don’t know how to clean it i don’t know how to get the front off i am pretty sure that it come off because it looks like a separate piece and that it is loose but uet fastened to the rest of the tv please advise asap. thanks in advance

    AaronL said,

    December 28, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    I have a 57″ Toshiba and my tv had a hazy picture with more than needed light through everything and it appeared washed out. This fixed it 100%. Thank you for the post it was very helpfull

    Danny said,

    February 24, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Please help, I just got a 1997 Hitachi 55 in, the guy said it needs something with the converge. its seems fine but the colers kind of overlap any help? I am very mechanicly inclined . thanks for any thing that might help.

    star said,

    June 22, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    hey can anyone tell me why my projection big screen tv turns blue every time i turn it on and how can i fix
    the problem please i dont like flat screens purchase one from wal-mart and now its broke

    Phil, Ohio said,

    July 9, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    TV lens cleaner is nothing but rubbing alcohol, but the 50% kind, its marked on the bottle (about $1.00).
    Dampen a lint-free micorfiber cloth (about $1), don’t spray the screen!
    Use the cloth gently in one direction, not circular.
    Fold the cloth over and use the clean side to continue.

    Minerals in our water will leave residue in the cloth and could scratch the screen, toss it and buy a new cloth!

    Tad T said,

    July 15, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

    i iknow this is an old posting, but … what about an old front projection tv? i can take the back off and see the tubes, but it has electronics attached to them. i can clean the front of the lens easily (they are open facing the mirror) but should i try to clean inside the tubes? safety? thanks so much!!
    Mitsubishi VS-507R

    Jacqui said,

    October 29, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    I have a 2005 toshiba and when its turned on the words are fuzzy wiggles really bad. Please let me know if you know what it might be and how to fix it. Thank you very much.

    james said,

    November 3, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    I have a 60 inch rear projection phillips that turns on but haves no picture and makes a whooping sound kinda like an alarm or something, does anyone know what the problem could be and how to fix it …..thanks alot..

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