Some time ago…
I was watching a movie on my TCL when suddenly…
Half of the screen turned dark.
I thought it was just special effects.
But I realized it was an issue with my TV.
Good thing I figured out both the cause and the fix for that.
Wanna know what they are?
Continue reading to find out:
- 7 effective ways to fix your TCL TV’s half-dark screen.
- The hardware that’s responsible for your TCL TV’s picture quality.
- 3 common reasons why half of a TCL TV’s screen sometimes turns dark.
- And a lot more…
Why is half of my TCL TV screen dark?
Half of your TCL screen is dark due to a faulty T-CON board. That board is the hardware responsible for your TV’s display. And when it’s damaged, you’ll see a distorted image. In some cases, the dark screen might also be due to a software glitch or an incorrect picture setting.
TCL TV half screen darker: 7 fixes
Before we go to the fixes, you should know the possible reasons for your TCL’s issue.
There are 3 probable causes why half of your TV screen is darker:
- Software malfunction.
- Defective T-CON board.
- Incorrect display settings.
Now, the software glitch and settings issues are easy to resolve. And I’ll be walking you through the steps to fix them.
However, you should know that fixing a faulty T-CON board’s much more difficult to do. It’s hardware, after all.
“Hold on, what exactly is a T-CON board?”
Well, T-CON is short for Timing Controller. And this board is the one that manages the pixels of your TV’s LCD screen.
In other words, it’s responsible for the images you see on your TV.
And if that board is damaged, you’ll encounter display issues. Including:
- Color imbalance.
- Horizontal or vertical lines.
- Dark or completely black screen.
“What causes a T-CON board to fail?”
Several factors may contribute to its failure. But some of them include:
- Wear and tear.
- Poor-quality material.
- Sudden power surge.
But regardless of the cause, fixing it requires replacing it altogether. So if you’re not a trained professional, you’ll need to call an expert to do that.
So now that you know the possible causes of your TCL’s half-dark screen issue…
It’s time to go to the fixes.
#1: Verify if it’s an app issue
If half of your screen’s dark, you should verify first if it’s just a video or app issue.
You can never rule out that it’s possibly just a visual effect from a movie you’re watching.
And you also can’t dismiss the likelihood that it’s just a streaming channel issue.
So what you should do is close the video that you’re watching.
This should then take you to the home screen of your TCL TV.
Now, is half of your screen still dark?
If it is, then you’d know it’s an issue with the TV itself.
However, if the dark screen went away…
Then it’s confirmation that the problem’s with your streaming app.
It may be just glitching. But it also might be due to a bug in the app.
Either way, the best way to fix it is by resetting the application.
Now, there’s no direct way to do it on a TCL. So you’ll have to delete the app and then re-add it manually.
How to remove and reinstall an app or channel on a TCL TV
Step #1: Press the Home button on your TCL remote.
Step #2: Click the right arrow button of the remote to go to the Channels section.
Step #3: Highlight the problematic app or channel.
Step #4: Press the Star button on your remote to reveal the Options window.
Step #5: Click Remove Channel. When a pop-up window appears, click Remove to confirm your action.
Step #6: Press your remote’s Home button again. And select Streaming Channels. This will open the Channel Store.
Step #7: Once you’re on the Channel Store, click the Search Channels option.
Step #8: Type in the name of the app or channel that you just removed. Once you find it, click the Add button to reinstall it on your TV.
Step #9: Enter your TV PIN if you made one. Otherwise, just type in 0000.
#2: Power cycle your TCL TV
If the half-dark screen isn’t an app issue, it’s possibly a software glitch.
Most TCL TVs these days come with the Roku OS. And a few models are carrying the Android TV OS.
Both operating systems are excellent. But like any software, they also go through temporary malfunctions periodically.
But regardless of your TCL TV’s OS, the way to fix a glitch is by power cycling or restarting.
This is how to properly power cycle a TCL TV:
- Disconnect your TCL TV to its power source.
- Look for the built-in power button and press it for 10 seconds.
- Wait for about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Plug the TV back into an outlet.
And as an alternative to the steps above, you may also restart via a remote shortcut.
Just press the Home button 5 times. Then click the Up arrow once. And press the Rewind and Fast Forward button twice each.
Note: The remote shortcut will only work on TCLs with a Roku OS.
#3: Check for problems with your external device’s cables
Are you using an external device with your TCL TV?
If so, check the cable connections.
Devices such as gaming consoles and streaming players typically use an HDMI cable. Set-top boxes, on the other hand, use a coaxial cable.
And since those cables affect both the audio and video quality of your TV…
You should also check them. And see to it that they’re plugged correctly.
You may even try to connect them to another port. TCL TVs have multiple HDMI ports. And some models have at least 2 coax plugs.
And if you believe the cable’s defective, look for a replacement.
#4: Temporarily disconnect all external devices
Still on the topic of external devices…
The cable connectors may be fine. But if the device itself is glitching, you’ll still have problems.
So you should also try to disconnect all external devices.
Afterward, restart your TCL TV. And check if half of your screen’s still dark.
If the screen problem went away, you’d know the issue’s with the external device.
And at this point, you should focus on troubleshooting that instead.
Start with the basics, such as power cycling and installing software updates. And get in touch with the device’s manufacturer if the fixes don’t work.
#5: Reset your TCL TV’s Picture Settings
It’s also possible that you tried to calibrate the TV’s picture settings.
And you made too many changes. So it resulted in part of the screen becoming darker.
Of course, one way to fix it is to return to each setting you altered. And restore it to its previous value.
But that’s going to be time-consuming. And it can be downright confusing if you don’t remember which settings you modified.
So rather than do that, it’s best to reset your TV’s entire picture settings.
By doing this, every display-related option would revert to factory default.
But rest assured that all other TV settings won’t change. So you don’t have to worry.
You may follow these steps to reset your TCL TV’s picture settings:
- Press your remote’s Home button.
- Navigate to Settings and select it.
- Scroll down and select System.
- Select Advanced System Settings.
- Select Factory Reset.
- Click Reset TV Audio/Picture Settings.
Note: There’s an even faster way to reset your TCL TV’s picture settings. Just press the remote’s Play button 3 consecutive times. But again, this only works for TCL Roku.
If you’d also like a video guide on resetting a TCL’s picture settings, you may watch this:
#6: Disable the Fast Start option
TCL TVs have a Fast Start option that reduces the time to power on the TV.
It’s actually a great feature when it’s working as it should.
However, when it malfunctions, it can also affect the display quality of your TV.
And that’s why I’d also recommend temporarily switching this off to try to fix your screen.
Here’s how to disable Fast Start on your TCL TV:
- Click the Home button on your remote.
- Select Settings.
- Scroll down and click System.
- Select Power.
- Select Fast TV Start.
- Uncheck the Enable Fast TV Start option.
#7: Install updates for your TCL TV’s OS
As another fix, in case the dark screen’s a software issue…
You should also check if your TCL TV’s operating system is up to date. And if it’s not, you should install available updates.
These updates help get rid of various software bugs. So installing them can also be the solution to your TV’s half-dark screen.
I’ll provide the steps below for updating TCL Roku and Android TV.
How to update a TCL Roku TV OS
- Press Home on your remote and click Settings.
- Select System.
- Look for System Update and click it.
- Select Check Now.
- If your TV finds new updates, click Update Now.
How to update a TCL Android TV OS
- Press the Home button on your remote.
- Click the Settings icon.
- Select More Settings.
- Look for Device Preferences and click it.
- Select About.
- Select System Update.
- Select Network Update.
- When your TV finds updates, click OK to install them.
Bonus: Contact TCL’s support team for repair options
Is half your TCL TV’s screen still dark after trying out the software fixes?
If so, this confirms that it’s a T-CON board problem.
So what should you do next?
If you’re a trained technician, you may try to replace the board yourself.
Just order a replacement T-CON board that’s compatible with TCL. An example is this one from Fall Classics. It only costs $35.
You’ll then have to remove the back panel of your TV. And take out the defective board and replace it with a new one.
However, it’s also perfectly fine if you’re not comfortable doing that.
In fact, I’d much rather recommend that you contact TCL instead.
Trying to do it yourself may only cause further damage. And before you know it, your TCL might not even turn on at all.
So instead, call TCL’s support team. And ask them where you can find an authorized technician to repair your TV.
The support agent should also be able to let you know the potential repair cost.
You may reach them at 1-877-300-8837.
Their hotline’s open from Mondays to Fridays from 9 AM to 12 AM EST. And during weekends, they’re available from 9 AM to 6 PM EST.