Discolored picture tube?--"dirty screen syndrome" Anyone else seen this problem?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Grant H, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

    Jul 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    If anyone can help me out here, I'd appreciate it greatly.

    I have an RCA 38310 38" HDTV. I've been trying to get it fixed for months and have run into one obstacle after another.

    The first tech CC sent me replaced caps and diodes, but the problem remained. He wasn't RCA Authorized so couldn't ask for the DM-1 module to see if that was the problem.

    Then I was sent an RCA guy, and after a frustrating 20-30 mins of demonstrating the problem with multiple DVD's he FINALLY saw what I was talking about while watching the Travel Channel on cable:
    My tv is like looking out a dirty window. You can see sort of light-medium grey spots or streaks all through the picture. Looks just like someone with graphite on their fingers was fingering the glass. Don't know how else to describe it. For the longest time I thought it was dirt on the exterior, but no amount of cleaning helped. The problem appears on all video sources regardless of type or cable, BUT is difficult to see if you don't know what you're looking for or don't have the right viewing material. You need something that produces enough contrast with the "streaks and smudges" for them to be visible, but they seem to be always there and completely stationary. Once your eyes adjust you can see it on an all white screen, or even a light blue sky or a bright desert. I first noticed it during the opening of Episode II when the Senator's ship and fighers arrive on Coruscant in all the clouds and fog. What looked like dirt was very obvious in the camera pans. At first I thought maybe they shot it with a dirty lens, but then I realized it was always there. You can even see the problem in tan or beige walls, but it's easiest to see when the camera moves since the spots aren't that dark. The movement reveals them since they are completely stationary.
    CC has it in their center in Philly now (they're the only ones who would move it for me), and the tech guy I talked with today can't see the problem, and I obviously am not there to point it out for him. This is VERY frustrating!! He suggested some of my other equipment might be causing the problem, but it doesn't look like any kind of interference problem I've ever seen; I've had the Center Channel off the set for hours and the problem still showed itself. (Unless being unplugged all that time degaussed it now, but I'd have expected some kind of color bloom near the top of the screen, not grey spots and streaks all through the picture)
    I've seen a few other people on this board who have had the same type of problem with this TV or other large direct-view sets, so I think it must be a rare, but real problem. Even the loaner I have now seems to have the problem, but not as severe.
    Does ANYONE know what this is so I can give the tech guy a clue? Otherwise, I'll just have to have them give it back and call back the guys in Camp Hill who DID see the problem and try to figure out how to move it for them. I hate to move it myself (again) and assume all that risk. I'll have nothing if I drop it.
    Somebody throw me a bone, PLEEEEASE!

    I read in another forum where someone had a 35" tv that had a "slightly discolored picture tube." He said it was only noticeable on white screens. This almost has to be the same problem as mine. The store gave him full credit for it. I just wish the service guy could see it. Maybe he needs glasses.

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