How to Troubleshoot a Tube TV


Tube television sets are rapidly becoming an obsolete technology, although millions are still in use. If you own an old-style analog tube TV that's having problems, follow these troubleshooting steps to see if you can get more use out of the set. Simple, do-it-yourself repairs are probably the best solution for tube-style televisions, as the expense of repairs and the limited availability of replacement parts may be cost-prohibitive in the digital age of flat-screen TVs.

Things You'll Need

  • Tube TV
  • Check the power. The TV could be unplugged or the power plug might be loose.

  • Check the batteries in your remote control and replace if necessary. Be sure there are no obstructions between you and the remote, which needs to be within 20 feet of the TV to function.

  • Check the audio-video connections from your tube TV to any components. If your set is hooked up to a Surround Sound receiver, make sure the receiver is set to the correct source for viewing and listening. For example, if you want to watch DVDs, but the receiver is set to the CD or a game system, your TV will not display an image.

  • Check the input setting on the TV. If your components are plugged into a home theater receiver and it, in turn, is connected to Input 1 on the TV, then you will see and hear nothing if the TV is accidentally switched to Input 2 or another setting.

  • Make sure the cable or satellite receiver box is securely attached via a coaxial cable to the television's input jack. If you use an antenna, check the connection and positioning to make sure you are receiving a signal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unusual solid lines through the TV screen or flickering images indicate the tube is going bad. Replacing the TV with a modern flat-screen model will almost certainly be cheaper than attempting repairs or replacement of the old picture tube.
  • There are no parts inside a tube TV that can be repaired or replaced by an untrained consumer. Tube TVs contain soldered, solid-state electronics that can be tested and replaced only by a trained technician. Additionally, tube TVs contain a high-voltage transformer that holds a residual charge even if the set is unplugged. Touching the wrong spot inside a TV with your bare hand or even a piece of metal can be deadly.

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