Could a cell phone screw up my computer / DVD?

I just got a new cell phone and had two rather odd failures of electronic equipment.

  1. My computer suddenly cannot make sound of any kind. This morning it worked, now it is absolutely mute regardless of the source - a CD in the drive or normal Windows sounds produce nothing. I’ve checked everything inside and out. The speakers themselves worked when checked with a radio. Nothing changed in the sound card settings.

  2. I have a stand-alone DVD player hooked up to my TV. Same room as the computer, about six feet away. When I put in a DVD today the audio worked, but I got no picture. The TV was working - I could see the menus and such, just no video signal from the DVD. I cycled the power on the DVD player and it came back.

Seems beyond coincidence to have these two problems on the same day I get a new phone. But these two systems (computer and TV/DVD) are separate and don’t interract at all. Could the new cell phone be responsible for both?

IANAEE (I am not an electrical engineer) but I think it’s most likely a coincidence that your new cell phone purchase synched with your computer and DVD player problems. OTOH, I too just got a new cell phone and I noticed that if it is anywhere within 3 feet of my computer at work, my speakers will intermittently emit a patterned series of static sounds, even when the computer is off but the speakers are on. So, from my experience, cell phones do emit enough EM radiation in the right frequencies to negatively influence home electronics, though I doubt this would cause the problems you’re seeing.