A broken TV screen isn’t a pretty thing to look at, but it happens whether by accident or by other forces. When or if it happens, it needs to be addressed immediately or further damage will occur. But fixing a broken TV screen is a very delicate process, one that requires technical knowledge and, of course, a brand new replacement screen.

How to Fix a Broken TV Screen

Before you dive right into the steps, it needs to be stated that these steps are very general. They can change based on not only the brand, but the type of TV it is as well—plasma, LCD, etc. However, when you buy a replacement screen (if that’s what needs replaced), they generally come with a set of instructions. Those steps are incredibly valuable, and may even supercede the steps provided below.

With that said, if you’re without steps, these will help you. Again, keep in mind they’re general steps. Not every television is made the same way.

Here’s what you do:

1. First and foremost: turn the television off and unplug the cable. While you’re at it, remove all other cables from the device as well, such as HDMI cables, coax, and so on.

2. Once the TV is unplugged, press the power button on the TV several times. This will release any leftover charge. You’ll be handling the inside of your TV—leftover discharge can and will shock you.

3. Lay the TV flat on a soft surface, such as a tablet. Try to avoid laying it on fabrics as this can generate a charge. You don’t want to accidentally short the hardware.

4. Begin taking it apart by starting with the frame screws. Once done, the frame of the television can be removed, revealing the inner-workings.

5. Disconnect the cables that are attached to the broken TV screen.

Tip: Label the cables for reconnection.

6. Carefully remove the broken screen and dispose of it properly.

7. Insert your replacement screen.

8. Reconnect cables leading to the screen and put everything back in its proper place.

Use Your Warranty

So, you’ve looked at your TV and realized 1) you aren’t qualified for this, and 2) you have a warranty. It’s time you took advantage of it, assuming you have one.

When you first bought your television, you were most likely asked by the cashier if you wanted to purchase a 2-year warranty. Assuming you bought it, it’s time you put it to good use and claim your warranty.

But there is a catch: is the damage internal or external? This matters because some claims will be denied if the damage is external. The line of thinking is that it was caused by you, so you should be responsible. Internal damage can be faulty wiring, broken internal hardware, and so on. Regardless of how the damage was caused, file a claim anyway. Some companies will cover accidents.

Here’s a list of well-known brands and their warranty support pages:

Unfortunately, if you decided that it wasn’t necessary—sometimes they aren’t—then you are stuck on the river without a paddle. You have no choice but to repair it yourself or seek assistance from a technician.

Employ a Technician

If you don’t have a warranty, and realized you aren’t capable of fixing it, you can always ask a technician to repair your broken TV screen. There are dozens of places that can do the job, even the company that owns the brand. However, choosing the right repair shop is just as tough. Who do you trust?

Sure, you could simply search for repair shops near you, but who knows if their work is good. If you’re stuck questioning the legitimacy of these places, then perhaps you need something like Thumbtack. What Thumbtack does is give you a list of nearby technicians based on a few details you provide.

It works like this: you punch in your zip code first, then use the drop down menu to specify the kind of damage your television is experiencing. Finally, you specify the kind of TV it is, such as plasma, LCD, LED. Thumbtack will then give you a list of shops that are fit for the job. You can message the repair shops for details, ask for a quote, even check availability.

Purchase a New Television

The most obvious way of fixing a television is to simply replace it. Unfortunately, the numbers are against you.

Let’s say you can’t fix the TV yourself and have someone else fix it. If you send it to its parent company without a warranty, you’re paying for shipping and repair costs. At the end of the day, you might end up paying almost as much as the TV was originally worth. You could have bought a new TV with the money you spent.

What are you going to do if technicians aren’t available near you? It’s also possible the damage will cost a complete replacement of parts. You’d practically have a new TV anyways. Why not spend that money upgrading it, especially if it’s an older television.