You didn’t notice it at first. You were just peacefully watching a rerun of your favorite show. And then there it was!
A black spot on an actor’s cheek that’s definitely not a beauty mark. You keep an eye on it and realize it’s a dead pixel smack dab on your TV screen.
Television manufacturers consider a few dead pixels a common thing. Even new, fresh-out-of-the-box TVs can have one or two dead pixels.
There are millions of pixels working on your TV screen simultaneously. A few are bound to have some errors from time to time.
Dead pixels are black squares on your screen that don’t match the color of the surrounding pixels.
They’re more obvious to the viewer when the surrounding pixels are brighter in color. While they may seem like a cause for panic, these little black specks are actually normal.
What Causes Dead Pixels on a LED TV?
Each pixel on a screen consists of three sub-pixels. These sub-pixels light up in the colors green, red, and blue.
These pixels need electrical voltages to light up and display the right colors. The pixels are what form the big picture you see on screen.
A TV gets a dead pixel when the transistors fail to send power to the pixels to make them light up. When the pixel is not illuminating, it appears as a black dot on your screen.
Dead pixels can happen because of errors in manufacturing. A defective TV will usually end up with a handful of dead pixels.
Physical damage that causes internal issues may also result in dead pixels. Having your TV mounted or placed in an area where it is less likely to be hit or knocked over is the best practice.
As the TV starts to get older, a few pixels may die as well. This scenario can be an indicator of internal wear and tear that occurs over time.
Is It Normal To Have Dead Pixels?
Yes, dead pixels are commonplace on televisions and pretty much any display. Sometimes you may not even realize you have a dead pixel on your screen.
According to manufacturers, one to five dead pixels is normal. The chances of never having at least one dead pixel throughout your TV’s lifespan are pretty slim.
ISO-9241 parts 302, 305, and 307 published in 2008 established the standard by which manufacturers specify the defects of their LCDs. Class 0 would mean that the flat panel display was completely defect-free while Class 3 would have 15 dead pixels.
To be on the safe side, this led to some premium manufacturers specifying their products as Class 1, with 1 dead pixel per 1 million pixels in the LCD matrix, when they could be specified as Class 0.
With millions of pixels lighting up your display, a few may not work as well as the rest.
Do note that dead pixels should not be confused with stuck pixels. Dead pixels turn black because they no longer have access to a power source. This means they can’t light up.
Meanwhile, stuck pixels are bright white, red, green, or blue. The pixels no longer change colors to complete the displayed picture.
Do Dead Pixels Spread on a LED TV?
No, dead pixels do not spread, nor can they get “worse”. However, it is possible to get a cluster of blacked-out pixels because the transistors in that area failed.
Because the pixels are next to each other, they appear as a bigger black dot on your screen. These dead pixel clusters are more noticeable than a few stray pixels found on two separate corners of your screen.
Expect, over time, that more of these dead pixels will pop up on your screen. Electronics do break down the older they get, and more pixels can go black when the TV is near its end of life.
Can You Fix Dead Pixels on a TV?
No, in most cases, dead pixels are irreversible. They are better off repaired by a professional or replaced. However, some dead pixels can be revived at home.
If you have a Smart TV that can connect to a browser, you can run a dead pixel test. You can also connect your computer to the TV as a second display and run the test on full screen from your TV.
Make sure your screen is clean before running the test. Wipe it down with a dry cloth to get rid of any dust or dirt that could be mistaken as a dead pixel.
On your TV’s internet browser, open up a tool like Check Pixels to run a dead pixel test. The test allows you to check for dead pixels by flashing different solid colors to identify any unwanted black dots.
Go ahead and follow the tool’s instructions and simply start looking for dead pixels.
Sometimes, dead pixels correct themselves over time. They may go away on their own, but it is uncertain how long it will take.
If you’re not completely bothered by it, you can simply wait it out and check back on it at a later date.
Some presumed “dead pixels” can actually be stuck blue pixels. If this is the case, it can easily be repaired with the help of JScreenFix.
Simply open the free web app on your TV’s browser and launch it. It can then help unstick the pixel, as it updates along with the neighboring pixels.
I don’t recommend other methods of reviving dead pixels that use pressure or heat. These methods are dangerous and can cause even more damage to your TV.
It is best to send it to a professional for repairs or have the TV replaced.
Should I Return a New TV With Dead Pixels?
A lot of manufacturers cover dead pixels in their warranties. Go ahead and check your television’s manufacturer warranty to see if it is covered.
If you are unsure of your TV’s warranty coverage, contact the manufacturer. A few electronic stores also allow exchanges if you are unsatisfied with your purchase. Just make sure it is within the store’s stipulated exchange period.
Keep in mind that a few dead pixels aren’t considered significant damage to the manufacturer. It’s only ever a concern if there are more than seven dead pixels, Techwalla says.
It is best to purchase from trusted brands. This way, you are more likely to buy a high-quality television and you can reduce the chances of getting a new unit with dead pixels.
Finding dead pixels on your TV screen is normal, even on a brand new unit. While these little specks of unlit pixels don’t spread to their neighboring pixels like a virus, they can be unsightly.
You can use online tools to help you look for them and jumpstart these pixels back to their normal programming. If those fail, it is best to have a professional check it out or have it replaced.
Most manufacturer warranties cover replacements if there are more than seven dead pixels. But to be sure, it is still best to go check your unit’s specific warranty.
Do your research before purchasing a TV, or any electronics for that matter.
Check the reviews as well as the credibility of the manufacturer. This ensures you get a quality TV unit with little to no dead pixels straight out of the box.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.