Discussions

More than a smart TV—a better TV. Learn more about using your Roku TV, locate help resources, and share your experience.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
SneakJesus
Level 9

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@Visitor45763 its the backlight. I originally bought the tv from target and tried to get some assistance there about replacing the model, but no luck. I had them check to see if the product was recalled and it certainly should have been with so many people experiencing issues. Best Buy won’t touch it unless you buy it from them or have a membership with them. TCL was absolutely no help and they said I need to find a place to get it repaired. @Roku  should end their agreement with TCL and let the company die. No reason for me to stick with Roku after this if they aren’t going to step up

Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@SneakJesus wrote: its the backlight. 

I've been reading that that can be as minor as the power board (inexpensive and easy replacement). The LED strips were $28 USD for someone. You could end up wasting money replacing parts and never get it to work. It might be worthwhile to investigate it further. 

I've seen videos showing the backlight LEDs being easily-removable strips. It didn't look hard to do. I think the hard part would be investigating how to rule out other things (the power board, etc.). It might not be the strips.

I assume you tried this:

Clear the cache (fixes random reboots)
Hit HOME 5 times.
UP once.
REWIND twice.
FAST FORWARD twice. (Clears cache & tv reboots itself. Be patient. It takes 2-3 minutes for the tv to go black, and come back on)

I've seen people say it fixes this problem, and others. But, it doesn't work for everybody. It's not clear what it does (Roku says there is no cache. But, it does something more than an ordinary restart. And, people have reported it fixed something when other things didn't.). It wouldn't hurt to try.

I'm contemplating replacing my 32" TCL Roku with a TCL Android. If I do, I'm definitely spending the extra $40 USD for 4-5 years warranty. I don't usually buy those. I figure they're rigged in favor of the person selling them. But, I'd make an exception for TCL & Roku (especially both together). I like my TCL tvs. Other brands like Samsung look a little animated, "enhanced," overdone & fake to me. TCLs picture looks better to me. I'd buy one again. I'm reluctant to do Roku again. Mostly over the disregard for antenna tv (and customers generally).

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
SneakJesus
Level 9

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@Visitor45763  I just watched a video about replacing the strips and it doesn’t look hard at all. The issue would be procuring through necessary tools to fix the tv. It might be the same price to just have a pro repair it. It’s definitely a frustrating situation because it’s Sunday and no one will be open to help until tomorrow and even then I might have to shell out more money for expedited help. On the video I watched it’s such an easy fix that I would not recommend this product because TCL cheaped out on the production by manufacturing the product in this way.

Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@SneakJesus , I think paying someone to fix it may not save much more than buying a new tv. (Someone recently said that was their experience.).

I was looking at some videos. I see shopjimmy referenced a lot as a source for replacement parts. Apparently you can get all the new boards for $40-$60 USD. That could be a calculated gamble compared to buying a multimeter and trying to narrow down which board (if any). If that didn't fix it, then another $60 for replacement backlight strips (again, without investing in the LED tester to determine which strip is bad -- if any). It sounds like the worst that could happen is you're out $120 gambling that replacing everything should fix it. 

If you're having tv withdrawals, that might not be fun to spend a lot of time on it. I don't know what the odds would be of it not working after replacing everything. Seems like it would be low (especially if you've confirmed with a flashlight you can see the screen is displaying something. I think there would be more risk if the screen wasn't displaying anything. You could replace everything and turn out to be the LED screen itself is bad. At least you know that's not it.).

Something else to consider: If you spend $120 to fix your tv, you'd still be subject to Roku's pestiferous updates (you can't opt out of them. You can't go back to a version that worked for you). People are having tvs broken that way. It would be ironic if you worked to save your tv, then our Roku overlords broke it for you. (That's a real risk.).

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
0 Kudos
SneakJesus
Level 9

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@Visitor45763 I just checked shopjimmy and they’re currently out of the LEDs compatible with my model. I was able to find them on eBay for around $40, so I could just replace all of them and hope for the best, but do you really think I could fall into an issue with the Roku software? If so, then Roku needs to do something because I’m not trying to put money into what is currently a glorified paper weight 😕

 

0 Kudos
Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@SneakJesus , I don't know how to answer your question of risk. It's like the scene on the Titanic when everyone has to decide for themselves (jump, or go down with the ship). Roku definitely confers buggy updates upon its subjects (and treats us as such). There are many people here who regret buying a Roku TV. Not so much for the problem, but for the shunning the company has toward those it effects. The lack of eagerness to improve the source of the problem (lack of testing? lack of hardware standard with the tv makers? lack of cooperation with the tv makers? Whatever the problem is, it's the subject/customer who loses & Roku doesn't care.).

It's possible Roku's untested software update caused your blackscreen problem, and replacing all the boards (and perhaps LED strips) will still be affected. (Or, perhaps -- if it was an untested update -- the problem was a deviation in the hardware used, a chipset on a board, etc., and replacing that will cause it to work. It does seem like the problems with Roku are in this area of too much variation in hardware for Roku to support. Like, maybe they didn't think about it when they expanded into tvs. Or, their partner TCL is playing fast and loose with whatever hardware spec Roku provided. Nobody knows, and Roku doesn't care.).

If it were me, I wouldn't start with the LED strips. I think there's a greater chance it's the power board, or tcon board. Replacing all the boards (even the motherboard, if you don't want to invest in the tools to diagnose which board to place one at a time, and don't want to spend that much time on it either) would be the first step IMO. 

If that didn't work, then either it wasn't a Roku software & hardware issue fixed by replacing a board. It would either be the backlight strips, or a Roku software & hardware issue that wasn't (can't be) fixed by replacing a board. If you proceeded to replace the strips then, you'd end up answering that question. Perhaps wasting $120 USD, or not.

At that point, if you were concerned about a future untested Roku update breaking your tv (which is a valid concern), you could use the tv as a dumb tv (no internet) & stream through HDMI using a $22 Firestick Lite & $25 Sofabaton F2 remote (i can share my key mappings). I'm doing that with mine. I've seen others say they're doing it to fix the long-reported (never acknowledged) lag between audio and video. 

Personally, after my experience with Roku TV, I don't think I want another "jack of all trades" smart tv. To me, that looks like overburdening a tv, putting all your eggs in one basket. If some new standard arrives in a few months, you have to replace the entire basket. I like the idea of plug-n-play modularity. 

If I did go with another smart tv, it would NOT be a Roku. I'd be looking at Android (which Roku wanted to be, and has now seemingly given up). LG's proprietary interface (WebOS) looks simple and clean. It would meet my needs for streaming.

But, when I was looking at tvs a couple years ago, I liked the TCL picture quality the best. The others (Samsung) especially looked a little too synthetic (too much motion smoothing, and cartoonish. Too much soap-opera effect. Maybe it's just the default settings. But, TCL out of the box looked more like a tv I'm familiar with (fat back, crt display). It looked more natural to me. That's the only reason I'd default to TCL. In which case, I'd do the Android version of TCL. And, I'd spend the $40 on 4-5 years of extended warranty (since I'm not sure Roku's entirely responsible for the broken TCLs we see here. It's clear that it's not entire TCL. The untested software updates are definitely a cause. But, it wouldn't surprise me if TCL's quality control is an issue too. It would be worth $10 per year for protect against that. The Android version of any TV should be more stable than the Roku version. I think the way Android is structured, it's up to the tv maker to test and release new versions. I don't think the squishy unaccountability Roku enjoys exists in that relationship. It seems like Roku's pushing junk out without any concern, then blaming the tv maker. Then ignoring customers when they object to how weak that sounds.).

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
0 Kudos
DJSV
Level 9

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

Thanks for posting this, some good info here.

I had done the software update and the very next morning I had the black screen issue. The TV is as good as trash now. Never buying TCL or anything Roku and I will warn others of the horrible QC on their products.

DJSV
Level 9

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

It definitely is the software. I did the update and the very next morning the TV was black and would not show any picture.

SneakJesus
Level 9

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

I am literally on the phone with TCL customer support right now. Our current call is longer than an hour and I had a supervisor hang up on me twice. They don't care that they trick people. TCL is a bad company.

0 Kudos
Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: Black screen tcl roku tv

Jump to solution

@DJSV wrote: I had done the software update and the very next morning I had the black screen issue. 

That's what's confusing about a lot of these problems (green screen, black screen, perma-recovery loop). There definitely are cases where Roku's update caused it (which means Roku isn't testing the updates, or there's too much hardware out there for Roku to adequately test). But, then there's cases where it's just a hardware failure. 

And then the solutions are a box of chocolates. Factory reset works for one person, but not another (who finds unplugging fixes their problem; but someone else isn't fixed until they do the so-called "cache clean."). 

As amazing as all this is: it's more amazing that Roku doesn't care about this anarchy. Roku has relied on blaming the tv manufacturers. But, there's obviously some kind of breakdown (and mass confusion about how to get to the root cause, and which solution to use when, why there's so many, and the one Roku dismissed as pure superstition actually does fix problems nothing else does). It's really hard to say it's TCL's problem. Roku knows enough about what's going on, and never has ANYTHING to say. In the end, it's the customer taking a loss. (And, the way Roku doesn't let opt out of updates, or go back to a previous one. That's some real customer-facing stuff there.).

If I were you (and hadn't tried these things yet, and was confident it was a untested Roku software update which caused my problem), I'd:

1. Clear the cache (fixes random reboots)
Hit HOME 5 times.
UP once.
REWIND twice.
FAST FORWARD twice. (Clears cache & tv reboots itself. Be patient. It takes 2-3 minutes for the tv to go black, and come back on)

This is the one Roku mocked customers about. It actually fixes problems and is doing something the power-menu "restart" doesn't do. Roku could have explained what that was. But, it sounded more edgy to mock customers (Business Insider article).

Since you can't see the screen, you should see the front light flash after a couple minutes. If you don't, then you got the keystrokes wrong. Try it again. 

2. Pinhole reset button (on the back of the tv). Maybe unplug, then hold the power button for a minute (drain electricity out of the boards, capacitors). Wait an hour (this is pure superstition now. But, people say it makes a difference). Then hold the pinhole button while plugging the tv in. Continue holding it 15-20 seconds(?) until the front light flashes & dims(?). 

If your screen comes back to life, I would tell the setup that I'll connect to the internet later. This will use a lighter, perhaps older software version. I'd use that for awhile to see if the problem stays away. Watch antenna tv, stream through HDMI, play games through HDMI. Whatever you've got. 

Eventually you can go to home>settings>network to create the connection to internet. Then go to settings>system>update to update your tv. It's not clear whether the tv has the latest software when you do this network-less reset/setup. The antenna tv interface looks nothing like 9.4's disaster. I've done this reset and still disconnected from the internet so I can watch antenna tv better (and stream through HDMI using an inexpensive firestick lite). But, this doesn't seem to fix many other problems. So, if it did fix yours, then I'd wonder if connecting to the internet would cause it to receive the update again, and break it again. You could immediately check for an update to test that. 

I bet the clear cache will fix it, if you're sure it was an update that broke it.

 

 

 

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
0 Kudos