For the last two or three years, I have used a 19” LCD monitor as my primary display alongside an 18” Dell P990. Three months ago, the LCD monitor started to play up. It would lose colour brightness occasionally, but one day decided it was not going to display anything at all. The common thinking is to dump a broken LCD monitor. The trouble is that it seems very wasteful, and the last thing that a landfill site needs is yet another toxic backlight. So I decided to take the repair route and, not being too adept at electronics repairs, took it into a place which advertises repairs.

The first shot at repair did not go well. I received the unit back but it would only stay up for two minutes. Thereafter, powering it down and back up gotten another twenty seconds of a picture then off again. The second shot at repair saw it work for almost two weeks, but now it is back to not staying up.

There are, as I understand, only two parts which can go wrong, the power inverter and the backlight, and neither part is too expensive. So why am I down $100 and still no working monitor? Incompetence on the part of the repairer maybe? Needless to say that the monitor is out of warranty and sending it back to the North American manufacturer base is a big no-no. I am in Canada, the manufacturer base is in Phoenix AZ. I am going to take it to the repairer for a third time.

How reliable are LCD monitors? I have a client monitor at my base, a ViewSonic 20” LCD. It will power up once every two weeks. If the power cable is pulled or the monitor is turned off using the front panel switch, it’s done for the next two weeks. My monitor was never powered down using the switch on the front panel. I just used ‘sleep’ at the end of the day.

CRT monitors can suffer with power switch problems, but generally will run for years before exhibiting problems. For this reason, I replied to an ad on my local Kijiji site in response to a 19” LG CRT. Assuming that it is still available, I will get 19” of monitor real estate for $30, and it works.

If anybody out there has had similar experiences with LCD monitors, I would be interested to hear about them.