Question for Television Experts (or semi-experts)

I just bought a 27 inch RCA TV for my apartment, and as soon as I hooked it up, I found some rather annoying distortion spots on the screen. The very right and very left two inches seem to be somewhat wavery and “combed” looking.

Knowing nothing about TV’s whatsoever (and having broken my last one by screwing around with the service repair menu) I figured I’d post the issue on GQ. Could these distorted columns be a result of the TV’s touted “3-line digital comb filter”, or is it just a defect?

Do you have your TV near any large speakers? The magnets in speakers can cause picture distortions on the TV screen. Move the speakers away from the TV, and see if that makes a difference.

It needs degaussing. TV repair people have a wand that can sort that stuff out, if it persists after Fear Itself’s suggestion.

Sounds like a defect, unless speakers are an issue as mentioned above. The job of the comb filter is to separate the luminance and chrominance portions of the video signal. The better the filter, the sharper the image and the more accurate the color. This is also the reason S-video cables may or may not give you a better picture, incidentally: it depends on which device, the TV or the video source has the better comb filter. If it’s in the TV, don’t bother with S-video.

Q.E.D., yup, defect. Deguassing problem would be in spots and would go away after TV was turned off and on again (assumming built in degaussing circuit working.) But OP mentions the left and right side. Horizontal deflection or blanking circuit problem?

I go with the degaussing answer. Distortions like that can come from big magnets, in speakers or otherwise, but can also stem from a misalignment due to movement. I had to move a large tv between rooms once, and for a few months afterward there was a spot in one corner that woulddiplay to color white as yellow. So having just unpacked your tv, the problem might have come from the simple act of getting it from teh store to your house.

Magnetization problems requiring degaussing usually include distorted colors. I’ve seen lots of that sort of problem, but I’ve never seen it manifest itself as “waviness”. It’s almost certainly a defect in the horizontal deflection amplifiers, probably a bad capacitor.