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What the heck is wrong with the colour on my TV?
November 12, 2007 10:07 PM   Subscribe

What the heck is wrong with the colour on my TV?

My TV is a Sylvania C6419TE, purchased new in December 2005. It's worked just fine until about a month ago. One day I turned it on and the colour was totally messed.

I put up some photos in a Photobucket album. There are a few of a random show, showing skies and with the blob visible. There are a few others of the cable box menu with a few different solid backgrounds, so you can see the blob really well.

pic 1 / pic 2 / pic 3 / pic 4 / pic 5 / pic 6 / pic 7 / pic 8 / pic 9 / pic 10

As you'll see, there's a magenta blob from the right-bottom edge extending to the middle upper part of the screen. Or, it's a green blob everywhere else. Blue sky displays as bright magenta. Skin tones are greenish except in the part of the screen that's magenta, in which case they're normal-ish. Water displays magenta as well.

I don't even know how TVs work -- do they still use tubes? Do I need tubes replaced? I know that magnetism can affect the picture, but the only things near the TV are the DVD below and the cable box above, and both were present before the colour went awry. No speakers. There could be electrical interference as the TV is against a wall, but again, it was fine for more than a month in its current location. There were no obvious changes made to the setup from one day to the next when it all went to hell.

And yes, I've adjusted the settings via the TV's menu. In these photos everything is set on the default settings dead-centre on each (colour, tint, brightness, etc.)

I have a 13" TV with a dial with 13 channels that my parents bought in 1980 and the colour is better on it than on the TV I actually use.

Does anyone know anything about this stuff? Thanking you!
posted by loiseau to Technology (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Looks like a magnet affected, or is affecting it. See if you can find a degauss option. Also, remove any speakers near it, particularly behind it. If it backs onto a wall, there might be something on the other side of the wall, try testing it in the middle of the room.
posted by krisjohn at 10:16 PM on November 12, 2007


loiseau: I know that magnetism can affect the picture, but the only things near the TV are the DVD below and the cable box above, and both were present before the colour went awry. No speakers.

And no degauss option.
posted by loiseau at 10:28 PM on November 12, 2007


The owner's manual is here. Not very helpfully, it suggests leaving your TV off for half an hour and trying again.

I accept the no speakers thing, but I think you should move the TV somewhere new anyway, just to see.

I would also test it using the composite video in. While your problem seems very much like magnetism, anything you can do to narrow down the problem is worth a shot.

Degaussing is probably a good idea - here are some DIY degaussing procedures.
posted by Chuckles at 10:43 PM on November 12, 2007


Yeah, I've read the (useless) manual. Seeing how the TV is off most of the time I don't think an intentional 30-minute break is going to help. I've tried moving it to the middle of the room but it doesn't change anything.

I don't know what you mean by testing using the composite video in, but I'll look at the degaussing thread...
posted by loiseau at 10:46 PM on November 12, 2007


I had some problems with a little bit of magenta on my TV recently, but nowhere near as bad as yours.

I just took a fridge magnet (not a super-thin one, but not an especially strong one, either) and made spirals with it, getting closer to the TV, then across the face of the TV, then moving away. It worked, so far.

Hopefully yours is as straightforwardly fixed.
posted by robcorr at 11:05 PM on November 12, 2007


I don't know what you mean by testing using the composite video in

There is a yellow video-in port on the front of the set.
posted by Chuckles at 11:13 PM on November 12, 2007


Using a magnet on a TV (as described by RobCorr) is not safe. It can produce X-rays. Let someone do it who knows what they're doing and has the proper tools.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:34 PM on November 12, 2007


As others have pointed out, your television needs degaussing.

Contrary to Mr. Den Beste, there is no danger of kitchen magnets creating x-rays.

What you want is a degaussing coil. Should cost under $50 for a good one. I'm sure you can find a cheap one on ebay.
posted by Argyle at 12:17 AM on November 13, 2007


Seeing how the TV is off most of the time I don't think an intentional 30-minute break is going to help

To clarify, many TVs will degauss themselves if switched on after being disconnected from the wall for long enough, not just left in standby mode. Not sure if yours does but it's par for the course these days.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:07 AM on November 13, 2007


Here's how to do it.

Hey there's a purple spot on my monitor
And ehow to degauss a tv set
posted by filmgeek at 6:09 AM on November 13, 2007


So, waving a degauss coil around in front of the TV does this trick? Waving very slowly, I would imagine?

Back in the days of tape recorders, you had to degauss tape heads. The key was slow movement, as fast-moving lines of magnetic force encourage magnetism, rather than reducing it. And turning the coil off or on also caused these rapid-moving lines. So you press the button far away, move slowly in to the target, then slowly move it back and forth. Again, slowly move away, then turn it off.

Of course, a CRT screen is lots bigger than a tape head. And computer monitors have had built-in degaussing quite awhile, which is turning itself on and off right there in place. Can anyone clarify this point?

(And thanks for asking, I've got a lovely TV sitting unused, with this problem, and didn't realize this was easily fixed.)
posted by Goofyy at 10:44 AM on November 13, 2007


Unplug it for about half an hour - completely, disconnect the power.

A similar thing happens with my Sony DLP - everything goes whitish.
posted by jkaczor at 1:00 PM on November 13, 2007


Wow.

jkaczor for the win, because had he not asserted I should unplug, I would've continued to ignore the off-for-30-minutes thing I read in the user guide... three weeks ago.

That's right -- I unplugged the whole lot tonight around 5:00. Turned it on now, just after midnight, and the colour's perfect.

I'm not sure if I love technology, hate technology, or hate myself -- but for the record, if you're facing the same problem. Just. Unplug. The. TV.

Thanks all!
posted by loiseau at 9:23 PM on November 15, 2007


The thing that is really funny about that is, the user guide specifically says that for your model turning it off is enough, but for the other model the guide applies to you must unplug it. That is the way I read it anyway..
posted by Chuckles at 10:21 PM on November 15, 2007


So bizarre!!
posted by loiseau at 12:37 AM on November 16, 2007


Thanks - I was actually very happy with the solution - we had that TV serviced 3 times in the first year for the same problem.

Then (because I do not buy extended warranty's) on the last time, just before it was about to go out of warranty the repair person stated - the next time it will cost you $1,400 for the part - but, oh "by the way" if you disconnect it completely from power it will reset.

I love that dude.
posted by jkaczor at 1:34 PM on November 16, 2007


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