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Why Is My TV Screen Red? 5 Causes & Fixes (2023 Guide)

Why Is My TV Screen Red

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you.

Your TV screen really is red.

But don’t panic, friend! We got you covered.

We’ve prepared some easy inexpensive fixes that anyone can do.

Keep reading to discover:

  • 5 reasons why your TV screen is red and how to fix it.
  • How to fix a broken HDMI port in case that’s the issue.
  • What retail mode is and how it affects your viewing experience.
  • The safest way to remove the back of a TV to repair your device.
  • And so much more…

Why is my TV screen red?

Your TV screen is red because of a damaged or loose LCD/LED panel. It could also be due to a damaged HDMI port or pin. Or a software issue with your RGB balance settings. Other possible reasons are a broken backlight array or an issue with your ribbon cables.

Red TV screen: 5 causes & fixes

#1: RGB settings

Have you ever opened your TV and had this sneaking suspicion that something is…off?

Chances are, you’re right. There’s something different.

Sometimes you can notice it right away. Or it can take days before you can spot that your television has slowly turned red.

So far, so good. But what’s causing it?

Some smart TVs implement an AI that helps their users have a better viewing experience.

This feature can edit your settings without you even noticing.

This means that your TV might be color-correcting itself without ever needing to.

How to fix it:

For a Samsung TV, the reason why it might be changing settings automatically is it’s still in retail or demo mode. Demo mode allows the TV to revert to its factory settings by itself. 

Here’s how you can get your Samsung TV out of demo mode:

  1. Open ‘Settings’.
  2. Choose ‘General’.
  3. Go to ‘System Manager’.
  4. Select ‘Usage Mode’.
  5. Choose ‘Home mode’.
  6. If asked for a pin before step 5, enter 0000.

After going into the home mode, you may now change your RGB settings by:

  1. Going to your menu.
  2. Choosing ‘Picture’ mode.
  3. Adjusting the color saturation settings.

#2: A faulty HDMI port

Faulty HDMI Port

Most smart TVs nowadays have all the streaming services already installed.

But, with traditional TVs, you may need to use external devices to watch your favorite series.

Two examples of these external devices are Android TV boxes and Apple TVs. They allow users to have Netflix and other streaming services on older TV sets. They usually connect through an HDMI port at the back of your TV.

Further reading: Is There A Monthly Fee For Apple TV? Is It Worth It?

Today, smart TVs use the HDMI port to connect to gaming devices.

Sometimes you might notice that your screen is turning red as you connect a device through the HDMI port.

But hey, don’t be too quick to blame it on the external device as it’s not usually the case.

Generally, the problem is with the HDMI port itself. Especially if you have not used it for years.

Check out: 3 Easy Steps To Use Smart TV Without HDMI Cable

How to fix it:

The problem with HDMI usually is a broken pin in the HDMI port.

Luckily, you can fix broken HDMI pins without opening the back of your TV by using tools you already have at home. Most handymen, for example, use a pair of narrow-nosed pliers or tweezers.

Unfortunately, not all TVs can be fixed this way. Some need to be opened from the back to repair the damage.

Here’s how to safely open the back of a TV:

Warning: Trying to fix damage from the back of your TV might result in further complications. If you have a warranty, it’s better to have your TV checked out by a professional rather than yourself.

  1. Safely flip the TV on its back. Make sure you rest it on a soft surface.
  2. Unscrew every screw on the back of the TV.
  3. Using a flat-head screwdriver, find a spot in the middle where you can insert it.
  4. Once inserted, carefully run through the screwdriver throughout your entire television.
  5. When it gets unlodged, set aside all removed materials. You’ll have an easier time putting it back together later.

If you’re a visual learner, you might want to check this video. It shows how to properly repair a broken HDMI connector: 

#3: The LCD panel is broken

Red lines are red flags. 

If your TV has an LCD screen, then red lines are early indicators that your screen is starting to give up.

It won’t be long until half your screen is covered with red.

How to fix it:

There are a couple of reasons why this happens. Some of them are:

  • Corrosion caused by a broken power supply.
  • Constant use and age breaking your LCD panel.
  • Electrical short caused by a constant power outage.

You shouldn’t try to fix broken LCD screens on your own. In this case, you need to contact your TV’s customer service center.

#4: The backlight array is broken

A LED TV is just an LCD TV with a backlight, or so they say.

Think of the backlight as small flashlights behind a television.

What they do is illuminate the pictures on your screen. Thus, giving you a brighter and more color-accurate image. 

However, they are not flawless.

Compared to pure LCDs, LED TVs are still young.

So don’t be surprised if, one day, you notice a splotch of red hue in the middle of your TV. Or if the sides of your screen appear reddish in color.

How to fix it:

Fortunately, fixing a broken backlight is easier than you might think. All you need to do is:

  1. Open the back of your TV.
  2. Remove the case that’s holding the backlight using screws.
  3. Identify which light is emitting the wrong color.
  4. Buy replacement LEDs that are compatible with your TV’s model.

Warning: If you replace LEDs with incompatible replacements, your entire circuit will malfunction. It may never turn on again.

Unfortunately, companies like Toshiba and Apple frown upon DIY fixes. They will remove your warranty privilege if they find out that you tampered with the device.

#5: A dirty or loose ribbon connection

There are a lot of different parts that make up your TV.

There’s one that handles the power supply. There’s one that handles the display. There’s one that handles user input.

All of these parts help your TV bring you your favorite movie.

But, perhaps the most important of all parts, is the ribbon cables.

Ribbon cables allow these other parts to communicate with each other.

But, when one cable is loose, all of the other parts might have a difficult time functioning properly.

And that includes the display.

How to fix it:

Be careful when fixing ribbon cables. The connectors attached to it are fragile and are usually bonded into the LCD/LED panel.

Here is how you can fix a ribbon cable connection:

  1. Find a ribbon cable replacement that is compatible with your TV model.
  2. Open the back of your TV.
  3. Look for the part that’s encased with tape.
  4. Smoothly remove the tape.
  5. Using your fingers, very carefully remove the black tab.
  6. Pull out the rainbow cable.
  7. Insert your replacement, you should hear a pop when you’re successful.
  8. Reinsert the tab and the tape.

BONUS: Your gamma chip might be broken

If your TV is red because the colors are inverted, then the problem is with your gamma chip or gamma IC.

The gamma chip is a small device in the TV’s T-con board that controls the image on your screen.

It could get defective when your TV had an electrical short. 

It also can get fried when you’re not plugging your TV in the proper voltage socket.

How to fix it:

Warning: Replacing your gamma chip is a delicate process. One wrong move can destroy your entire T-con board. If you don’t have prior experience in fixing TVs, it’s better to contact your local repairman.

  1. Buy a replacement gamma chip that’s compatible with your device.
  2. Safely remove the back of your TV.
  3. Locate the casing that hides your T-con board.
  4. Gently unscrew the casing to reveal your T-con board.
  5. Identify which is the gamma IC. If you’re unsure which one it is, you can check your TV’s manual.
  6. Brush the gamma chip once with flux paste.
  7. Desolder the chip with a heat gun.
  8. Carefully place the new chip. Use the small circle on one of its corners to properly orient it.
  9. Brush the new gamma chip with flux paste.
  10. Solder the new chip in.
  11. Let it cool for a few hours.