Apparently, it's best not to drop television sets.
September 23, 2006 7:10 PM   Subscribe

I dropped my TV a few times, and now the color is messed up in a few spots. Is there anything to be done?

The TV is an old-school 32" Sony Trinitron. We dropped it a couple of times whilst moving it. D'oh! Now there are 3 spots where the color is a little weird - along the top near the left and right corners, and along the bottom near the right corner. When I have it on the plain DVD bluescreen, the two spots along the top are greenish, and the spot along the bottom is reddish.

I looked for a "degauss" button, or something similar, and couldn't find it. Is there some sort of DIY way to fix this?

(I should mention that except for the aforementioned color spots, the TV appears to be working fine.)
posted by Afroblanco to Technology (6 answers total)
Best answer: Trinitron tubes have a unique aperture grill cathode ray tube, which is less prone to mask misalignment and deflector coil shift than conventional color picture tubes. Trinitron tubes are therefore an inherently rugged mechanical design, but they're not designed to be dropped often.

Still, it sounds like you've just got some local residual capacitive charge. The degaussing circuit built-in to Sony sets will automatically degauss the tube on start up, but you may need to power cycle it several times to get enough degauss action to correct your problems. This former AskMe thread discusses a supposedly common cold solder joint manufacturing problem in certian Sony lines, but I tend to think it is more the action of a brief degauss cycle (which is all that is needed for normal operation) not getting all the distorting fields neutralized. Try turning your set off and on, at 10 minute intervals, several times, and see if the problem isn't mitigated. Worst case, you can get a manual degaussing coil, and do it old school style.
posted by paulsc at 7:34 PM on September 23, 2006

If you really want to repair it, you'll need to do it yourself. At that size (32"), parts and labor to get it repaired will be about as much as buying a new one.

We had a set like that blow out last year, and we shopped around for repairs, only to end up having it be a nice nick-nack table in our garage, and its place taken up by a TV one size up for the same cost as the repairs.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:11 PM on September 23, 2006

Unless you are a trained technician in television repair, do NOT try to fix it yourself. TVs are one of the few devices in your house that can kill you if you open them. I've been told (by a monitor tech) that they can kill you years after being unplugged. They hold a charge that long.

They are very, very dangerous devices. If the cost to have it fixed is too high, just buy a new one.
posted by Malor at 9:53 PM on September 23, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you, paulsc. A few power cycles did the trick.

Good thing, too. There was no way I was gonna lug this thing all the way to a repair shop.

You all will be glad to know that my TV-dropping days are officially over. However, for the life of me, I cannot understand how they could build such a ginormous TV set and not think to build some handholds into it somewhere.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:31 PM on September 23, 2006

I know you've fixed the problem, but just for reference, the article paulsc links for the degaussing coil is pretty hardcore (pulling apart a PC monitor and soldering in lightbulbs?!?).

Much easier to get a hold of a degaussing wand, like the one Dan mentions at the top of this article.

Plus, it's fun to use them sometimes and make the TV picture all swirly! :)
posted by ranglin at 12:12 AM on September 24, 2006

I've been told (by a monitor tech) that they can kill you years after being unplugged. They hold a charge that long.

Yup; nasty things. You can discharge a CRT to make it safe, but if you leave it alone for a few days it can mysteriously re-charge itself.
posted by Luddite at 3:41 AM on September 24, 2006

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