Is my TV toast?

I have an RCA 25" TV that I bought about 7 years ago. Last night, the top of the screen started to warp, growing downward, and finally ending with no picture besides the horizontal line through the middle, which seems to contain the entire picture squashed into 1/8".

I was playing the new Zelda game at the time, which was very enjoyable, and now, if it’s toast, I can’t continue that particular adventure for another two weeks.

You witnessed the picture tube dying. Too costly to repair since the tube makes up 90% the cost of the tv.
Buy a new one, skip the extended warranty, tubes last forever these days.

clashing contradiction???
the tube is tko

I have a 27-inch RCA that I bought about 7 or 8 years ago that did the same thing. It’s called “Vertical collapse”, and is easily fixed by changing a chip. It conked out on me about 6 months after I got it, but after that was fixed I never had a problem.

Incidentally I just bought a 36" Wega, and that broke after about 6 months. The TV tuner crapped out, and was replaced with a new chip. I expect years of flawless performance ahead.

I don’t mind the TV curse, but I seem to be going through DVD players once every year or so.

Holy Coincidence, Batman!

My tv is 7 years old, and just today the on/off switch went. Plug it in, and it just repeatedly clicks, trying to turn on, but it won’t catch.

criminalcatalog. It almost certainly is not the picture tube. A capacitor has probably gone out. Or a semiconductor or …

You can read the faq on TVs to get an idea of what might be the cause. I strongly recommend against DIY on TVs though. But it might indicate whether it would be a big thing to fix. By Consumer Reports guidelines, 7 years old is too old to be repaired econimically in general (as opposed to your particular case).

Enola Straight. It’s not the switch. Certain high voltage circuits have to come on and the clicking is the set trying to force the circuits to fire up. The horizontal output voltage circuit in particular needs this or may in fact be causing the problem. A service person would probably try to replace the HOT first.

One good way to find out if your problems are common problems is to search by model number at Google, both web and groups.

I had a Sears tv that did that. I had to replace a verticle size module.

I would tend to agree that the tube is probably ok, and what’s dead is some piece of the circuitry that controls the electromagnets that “steer” the electron beam in the tube.

Your TV is not toast. Toast implies that it’s edible, and a 25" TV is pretty hard to chew. It’s just sick.

As for what’s wrong, the vertical scan circuitry has taken a dump. The description of it slowly warping and shrinking implies a capacitor failing. Caps often die progressively. A semiconductor - whether a chip or an idividual transistor would tend to go “pop” and you’d go from full picture to tiny picture in an instant.

The good news is capacitors are readily available. The bad news is in finding someone willing to determine WHICH capacitor on the board died and replace it and its neighbors that were also affected. These things often seem to have mass-suicide pacts. I can’t remember the last time I saw a shop that would do component-level repairs on TVs. And, do you want to spend $75 for someone’s labor to diagnose and replace $1.36 worth of parts? Now, it’s all module-swapping. Spend $56 to replace the module containing that bad part, and $35 for labor.

The bad news is finding the parts. After 7 years, manufacturers are not required to stock repair parts, so if the part you need is gone, well, it’s gone.

My advise? You can get a new 25" TV, with a whole fresh set of parts and a warranty now for under $200.

I used to do component level repairs on TVs… 13 years ago. Is there no one out there now who can troubleshoot criminalcatalog’s vertical output?

Not without direct access to it. It’s definitely a vertical problem, but it could be anything in the vertical output circuitry. From the description, I’d guess an overheated cap or resistor. Really, it could be anything in that circuit. If he hasn’t done any serious work in electronics, I’m not going to suggest he take the back off and poke around. This can be extremely dangerous!

The way it is with most electronics these days, you’re probably better off just replacing the entire unit instead of dealing with the repair bill of whatever board or chip or component needs to be replaced.

Besides, now you can do something I’ve always wanted to try. I want to hook up an old tv to something that’ll give a high voltage jump and see if I can blow the CRT apart like they always show in the movies.

CRTs are designed to work with high voltage. Sorry to burst your bubble there, buddy, but nothing would happen (except some interesting patterns on the screen).

Okay, how about a high current instead?

Look, all I want to do is get an electrical surge that will destroy a CRT. How hard could it be? Could I hook it up to my car battery and crank the car?

Harder than you might think. Ok, if you can get a source of very high voltage and very high current (say, a 750,000 volt overhead line), you might be able to make it implode. But really, a big rock is so much safer and more effective.

[sub]Disclaimer: Do not throw rocks at CRTs, since glass in the eye is a Bad Thing™.[/sub]

There are threads on this board that explain how very bad that idea is. The thread was about someone wishing to destroy a crt as part of a stage act (Wendy O. Williams comes to mind!) From what the contributors to the post said, glass will fly everyhere and will be very hazardous. Not to mention all of the lead in an average crt.

What if I just leave it plugged in and on during a thunderstorm?

I hope you have really good homeowner’s insurace. You seem like the sort of person that needs it. :wink: