It doesn’t matter if the lines on your TV screen are vertical, horizontal, pixelated, black or white—it’s a problem that almost always leads to an issue with hardware. Fixing it will be no small task, though individuals with technical knowledge will have no problem.

Regardless of how the lines appear, the signal is being disrupted in some way. Let’s take a look at what could be the problem and how you’d go about fixing it.

What Could Be the Culprit?

Determining the problem is difficult, considering any one of the culprits listed below have similar side effects. However, there’s a few details that can help distinguish, say, a loose wire from a T-CON failure. Due to the sheer number of TV brands and models, you’ll get a general overview.

Your T-CON Board is Failing

Timing is absolutely important when displaying information. If a portion of your screen is out of sync, what could result is lines. Those lines can be a side effect of information being displayed at different times. In other words, the timing is wrong.

The T-CON board, otherwise known as the ‘Timing Control’ board, is directly responsible for making sure the timing is right. It’s essentially the brain of the operation, creating a link between your TV’s processor and display. A failing T-CON board will display horizontal and vertical lines, and pixelation more and more until it fails entirely.

The solution? Replace it. And just so you’re aware, that often leads to replacing the LCD screen as well. At that point, you might as well buy a new TV.

You’re Experiencing TAB Failure

You like the colors you see on the screen? They’re nice, right? Not with TAB failure, they aren’t.

TABs, otherwise known as ‘Tape-Automated Bondings,’ are directly responsible for displaying the beautiful colors you see or you would see if they were working correctly. Failing TABs is linked to black lines and missing pixels. Because the TABS aren’t connected properly, the signal isn’t reaching your display.

Unlike a T-CON board failure, TABs can generally be reattached. If you have the technical knowledge, search for your model and fix them. If you do not, then a technician can. However, it should be noted that over time they may become loose again. When they come loose again, it’ll be time to invest in a new TV. You deserve it.

A Damaged LVDS Cable

Your TV relies on copper wiring to transport data from the processor to the screen, known as LVDS cable, or ‘Low-Voltage Differential Signaling.’ Damage those wires in any way—electrical or physical—and what you end up with is portions of your screen replaced with pixelation, and vertical and horizontal lines.

To fix the vertical lines, the LVDS cables need to be examined for any damage. If evidence of electrical and or physical damage is found, they need to be replaced as soon as possible.

It’s Due to a Bad Signal

Yes, vertical lines can appear due to a bad signal. If there’s anything wrong with your TV, this is what you hope for because this isn’t a hardware issue, but rather an issue with the signal you’re getting.

What can you do to fix it? Absolutely nothing. When the source corrects the error, the lines will stick around, but until then, you’ll have to deal with them. Alternatively, you can stream on another device if your service offers that.

If All Else Fails…

Repairing a TV screen that has vertical lines takes skill and knowledge of electronics, even knowledge on the brand itself is necessary. If you don’t have any kind of training, you really shouldn’t be tampering with the TV. For starters, you might lack the knowledge; it takes more than unscrewing a few nuts and bolts. Secondly, you could damage your TV even further. Think vertical lines are bad? Try a broken TV or worse, you hurt yourself.

In other words, take it to a technician that can repair it. However, before you consider that, determine if it isn’t better to just buy a new TV. Unless the TV is some kind of legacy device, it’s best to junk it. TVs these days, even 4K, are coming down in price more and more. And if you want to save yourself a bit of cash, consider buying from brands that aren’t quite in the mainstream. Wal-Mart, for example, has several brands that won’t put your wallet in a coma.

Bottom Line

Without proper technical knowledge, there’s very little you can do to fix vertical lines on your TV screen. There’s even a small chance that it’s the signal you’re getting that’s producing them, which rules out the possibility that it’s caused by hardware. If you don’t have the skills, the best way to fix it is by the assistance of a technician or buying a new TV.