Monthly Archives: August 2022

How Do You Know if Your Laptop Screen is Damaged?

close-up of an individual working on a laptop computer

Dealing With a Damaged Laptop

Do you have a laptop sitting around that was working fine until the screen got damaged? If you’ve never had a broken laptop screen, you may be wondering, “What causes laptop screen damage?” After all, we handle them with kid gloves and TLC, right? 

Well, accidents do happen, and unfortunately, accidents can happen with our laptop computers. No matter how careful we are, they get dragged off the desk, dropped, or something falls on it. The results often include a damaged screen. So, do you just toss it in the electronic recycle bin or can you get laptop screen repairs

Is Laptop Screen Repair Worth It?

When it comes to computer printers and ink, it is often cheaper to get a new printer than to purchase ink. So, with a laptop screen repair, you have to wonder, is it worth fixing a laptop screen? The immediate answer is ‘maybe’, and while we live in a toss-it-and-replace-it world today, laptop screen repair is possible. Whether it is the best choice all depends on these factors: 

  • Cost: The cost may or may not make sense for a laptop screen repair if it is going to cost 50% or more than buying a new laptop. 
  • Content: Is the content or software on the laptop valuable? If you purchased a software program and installed it on the laptop, the 50% economic value theory is null and void. The same goes if you have valuable documents saved on the laptop; in this case, the cost of a laptop screen repair may be well worth the cost.
  • Additional Damage: If there are more parts broken or other kinds of damage on the laptop other than the screen, like a broken hard drive or damaged hinges, all those repairs in addition to the laptop screen repair are going to go over that 50% rule. In this case, it may not be worth the expense, unless the above-mentioned “content” rule applies. 

What Does a Damaged Laptop Screen Look Like?

Laptops today are manufactured with a focus on fashion and not function. This has resulted in slim, sleek designs, leaving laptops vulnerable to being damaged, and especially laptop screens. If the screen glass is broken or cracked, or if the display has black splotches, it may be obvious that laptop screen repair will be needed.

Most laptop owners will take their laptop in for laptop screen repair or replacement with the comment that they don’t know how it got broken. Any experienced technician will tell you that they “don’t just break”. There had to be some type of accident, known or unknown, that broke the screen. 

A laptop screen is typically broken because of an impact from the lid. Another possible factor that leads to a need laptop screen repairs is improperly opening and closing the lid. As an FYI for all laptop computer owners: Never open and close the lid by one corner. Always use one hand to close the lid from the center and keep the other hand placed on the lid palm side down, gently pressing the lid closed, or holding the keyboard as the other hand opens the lid.

A defective laptop screen may be noticeable even if there is no broken glass. Other indications of a broken laptop screen are:

  • Distorted Images
  • Coloring
  • Pixelization
  • Resolution Lines
  • Backlighting Issues
  • A Blank Screen

Can a Laptop Screen Be Changed?

Yes, most cracked or dying laptop displays aren’t an indication to toss the unit. Laptop screen repair is typically a matter of replacing the damaged part. To have it done by a technician, you can expect to pay as much as $300, which is where that 50% rule we talked about comes into play. 

In some cases, you may be able to purchase the screen for under $100 and replace it yourself. If you’re a technically inclined person, it isn’t that difficult and with all the YouTube videos available today, you can find one that will walk you through the process. However, if you don’t already have some experience working with technology, this is a job best left to the experts. There is a lot that can go wrong if you aren’t certain what you are doing. 

Can Heat Damage a Laptop Screen?

Absolutely!  A laptop that gets overheated can damage the internal components of the entire unit, however, a properly working laptop should attempt to shut down before that happens. 

A laptop can run on the warm side, even too much to sit on your lap. Typically, that isn’t a problem. However, if you notice a burning odor or the fan doesn’t turn on or is running constantly, you probably need to shut it down, unplug it, and let it rest. 

And like your children or pets, never leave your laptop locked in a hot car. Of course, the laptop can be replaced, but if you’ve got one or all of these, never leave them in the car! Keep your laptop out of direct sunlight, even indoors, and leave it inside while working out by the swimming pool. 

Why is My Laptop Screen Flickering?

It is unlikely that you need a physical laptop screen repair. For a laptop that is running Windows, a flickering laptop screen is typical of out-of-date display drivers. Simply update the display driver and that should be the fix. Check your owner’s manual or look for online help using another computer. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to have a technician service the computer. 

laptop computer with a damaged screen

Wrapping Up Our Lesson

The first thing to keep in mind when considering why a laptop screen turns black: you’ve got bad news. This is the screen of death. Your laptop has had a critical Windows system error. So, what is there to do when a laptop screen goes black? Either get professional help or it is time to replace the unit. Again, that 50% rule should be used after getting a quote for possible repair.

But what if your laptop screen doesn’t turn on at all? This may happen when there is a corrupt system file that is preventing the operating system from loading. So, what should you do when a laptop screen doesn’t turn on? Restart Windows and hope it is a temporary issue that rebooting will resolve. If not, you may need to erase the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

How To Design an At-Home Movie Theatre

home theater with a sofa and large screen

Building Your Home Theater

The days of “going to a movie” have changed, and more families have invested in a home theater system. Is it the price of the tickets, the cost of snacks, or simply just an easier way for entertainment for the family? 

Maybe, it’s all the above and more! With the 2020 COVID quarantine, many of us found ways to entertain the kids and ourselves, and watching movies was one of the most popular. Whether a family member had COVID or the fear of getting COVID, many of us discovered a home theater may be a worthwhile investment otherwise. 

Still, for those that haven’t made the investment, there are concerns and questions, which we are going to address in our piece today. Like, what all do you need for a home theater? With a home theater set up, you want to make it the most enjoyable for your listening and viewing pleasure. 

That doesn’t mean you have to go full out with the latest and greatest equipment on the market. You can use your 32-inch LCD/LED television and simply add a soundbar. Or, if your budget allows, depending on the size of the room, you need to consider what you have or want of these things for your home theater: 

  • Ambient lighting
  • Carpeting or no carpeting
  • Replace paneling with drywall
  • Component cabinet or closet
  • Surround sound speakers, ceiling mounted or in the wall
  • Seating

Things you may have already or need to add can include: 

  • TV or Video Projector
  • Receiver or Preamp/Amp Combination
  • Loudspeakers, Subwoofer
  • Source Components – there are many different components to choose from, including: 
  • DVD player, DVD/VHS recorders
  • Blu-ray Disc player or Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player
  • CD player
  • Turntable
  • Antenna/cable/satellite
  • Internet streaming device
  • Surge Protector or Power Conditioner
  • Connection Cables and Speaker Wires
  • Remote Control Options
  • Home Theater Furniture

What size should a home theater room be?

There isn’t a “perfect size” for a home theater, but if you’re wanting a fully immersed experience, experts recommend 20’ x 15’ with a high ceiling.  The number one important factor in deciding the size of your home theater room will be the viewing screen size. Each screen will have a recommended viewing distance. 

The next factor to consider is acoustics. You want speakers to provide adequate sound that fills the room, but the wrong shape can distort the sound waves. The Golden Trapagon is the most often recommended shape by home theater experts. There are no parallel walls to create a bounce with the sound waves, resulting in a clearer sound for your home theater.  This is the shape preferred by industry professionals for both audio and cinema.

The ideal dimensions of a home theater screen for those who like viewing towards the front with a 36-degree field of vision and a 16:9 screen, simply convert it to inches the multiply by .746 for the recommended diagonal size of your home theater screen. 

What type of lights should you use in a home theater?

Home theater lighting should be subtle, creating a theater atmosphere. However, you should have the capabilities to fully illuminate the room when needed too. The recommended lighting options for a home theater are remote-controlled and dimmable. Among the choices are:

  • Ambient lighting
  • Fiber optic or LED lighting strips on the baseboards
  • Recessed lighting
  • Wall sconces
  • Task lamps next to seats

Do you need a projector for a home theater, or are there TV’s large enough for an at-home theater?

A projector is not necessary, but one will bring the ‘real’ theater feel to your home theater. But they are more complicated than a television, requiring extra factors to consider when purchasing. Basically, if the room allows it, a 65” television will give you the same results. 

What type of screen is used for a home theater?

When it comes to setting up a home theater, the least technical element is the projector screen, but it is just as important as the other elements.  You can choose a fixed, portable, or retractable screen, each having pros and cons. Then there is the material used for the screen. 

This is the projector screen gain factor and refers to the amount of light reflected.  It is noted in a ratio number, like 1.0 or 1.5, which represents the lumens being reflected. A 1.5 gain reflects 1.5 times the number of lumens. What does that mean? That means the image is brighter.

Maybe you purchased a cheap projector, or you already have one that is outdated. You want to get a projection screen with a higher gain screen to increase the brightness and get a better-quality image.

How far should chairs be from the main screen?

Remember the days when your parents would tell you “You’re sitting too close to the television!”? Well, those days are no longer because of the technology used in televisions. But, when it comes to seating for a home theater, the standard rule is to have one and half times the diagonal size of the screen for the distance between the seating and the screen. 

young woman enjoying a movie and eating popcorn

Is A Home Theater Worthwhile? 

So, before you go to the expense of building or creating a home theater, you probably want to review the benefits of a home theater first. Some of the benefits you can look forward to as a movie-goer is the money that you’ll save from buying overpriced candy, drinks, and popcorn!  And, you’ll be in total control of the movie choices, and you can pause it for potty breaks too! Don’t forget the family time too.