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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    497

    What's wrong with my tube TV?

    For those of you like me who remember the cave man days, help me troubleshoot my Neolithic technology.

    I have a Zenith CRT tube TV and a VCR (VHS, natch) in my garage pain cave, in front of my bike trainer. (That's right, no high-falutin' Zwift for me!).

    I only use it for watching videos, and only while training. The last time I used it was in the fall (Waterworld never fails to delight!), and it worked fine. I fired it up for the first time since then over the weekend, and the picture is crappy - it's snowy, like if I had bad reception of an OTA signal in the analog days. I tried a few different tapes, but got the same results from all of them.

    There are no tracking controls on the VCR, and the issues with the image are not what I associate with tracking issues anyway. It also says it's "self-cleaning" so maybe dirty heads are not an issue. There are some PC speakers on top of the TV, but what I'm seeing doesn't look like magnetic interference, and PC speakers should be shielded anyway -- I'm pretty sure they were there last time I used the TV.

    The TV only has a coax jack (and maybe an antenna hookup, I'd need to look again). I tightened the coax inputs on the VCR and TV, no dice. Not sure if the problem is the TV or the VCR, but I don't have anything else that puts out coax.

    Any suggestions, or should I just pay to junk this stuff and switch to a tablet and external speakers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    The Cone of Uncertainty
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    well you might try to figure out if the problem is tv or the vcr. Do you have another vcr or can you take that one and plug it into a different tv?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    on the banks of Fish Creek
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    2,119
    You should just take it down to the old TV repair shop. That poor bastard hasnít had any customers in years. He could use some company.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    16,040
    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    You should just take it down to the old TV repair shop. That poor bastard hasnít had any customers in years. He could use some company.
    I just had two pioneer 60 inch plasmaís repaired. $200 each (worth every penny btw). The guy is swamped with work. Replacing component parts is pretty cheap.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    You do realize that new 30" flat screens cost about the same as a sixer of fancy beer?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    4,893
    It's almost certainly the flux capacitor. Just get that replaced. Probably $8 from Amazon...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    You could see if the TV is OK by tuning into an over-the-air broadcast, but you'd need a digital to analog converter box these days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    1,453
    You obviously need a Peloton. You be a little nervous at first, but a year later you'll look ...

    ... exactly the same as you do now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    I smell poutine!!!
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    9,835
    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    You could see if the TV is OK by tuning into an over-the-air broadcast, but you'd need a digital to analog converter box these days.
    Shit, I think I threw out the last one I had.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    497
    Quote Originally Posted by EWG View Post
    You obviously need a Peloton. You be a little nervous at first, but a year later you'll look ...

    ... exactly the same as you do now.
    well, I keep dropping hints, but my wife hasn't picked them up yet. Maybe I need to cringe more.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    497
    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    You do realize that new 30" flat screens cost about the same as a sixer of fancy beer?
    No proper pain cave has room for a 30" flat screen! I'm wedged in between a teardrop camper and a shelf full of garden crap. In fact, given that it's almost impossible for me to tip over, I should switch to rollers.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2008
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    497
    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    well you might try to figure out if the problem is tv or the vcr. Do you have another vcr or can you take that one and plug it into a different tv?
    No way, I can chalk up one VCR to being frugal and using things up, but two VCRs is hoarding.

    Those are the last VCR and tube TV in the house. I'm not going to confess how little trainer time I get, but let's just say they were gently used for a long time and there was never any point to replacing them, but everything else is a flatscreen.

    I might ask around and see if a friend here still has a VCR around.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    19,420
    If a TV only has a coax input a VCR was the way to hook up other stuff like stereo or play dvd's, I still have a VCR but I don't remember the last time I used it, I got it free cuz mom said it was broken but really it was just the tape that was bad, so check that the tape ain't bad

    That woman could cook but she wasnt even very good with a phone let alone a VCR or color TV

    So I inherited her 32" smart tv

    thats the way you do it

    We got to install microwave ovens
    Custom kitchen deliveries
    We got to move these refrigerators
    We got to move these color TVs
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    12,176
    Take all the tubes out, take them down to the neighborhood drugstore and test them, find out which are bad and replace. If that doesn't work call the neighborhood TV repairman and he'll come right over and fix it while you watch. BTW--is it color or B and W?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    The Cone of Uncertainty
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    Opportunity cost on the above suggestion ^^ is like 10x the cost of a new TV

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    16,040
    New on Amazon


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    12,760
    Craigslist free section will be loaded with replacements.

    https://denver.craigslist.org/zip/d/...077230016.html

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    PNW
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    4,308
    1995 called and wants their AV equipment back

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    12,760
    Quote Originally Posted by k2skier112 View Post
    1995 called and wants their AV equipment back
    2020 called and wants your film equipment.

  20. #20
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    12,176
    Around here people leave stuff by the side of the road labelled "Free". Amusing how long the CRT TV's sit there--just about any other kind of junk will disappear but the TV's will be there until covered by snow and destroyed by the first plow of the season.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    LV-426
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Around here people leave stuff by the side of the road labelled "Free". Amusing how long the CRT TV's sit there--just about any other kind of junk will disappear but the TV's will be there until covered by snow and destroyed by the first plow of the season.
    I think I gave away my last tube TV to a friend of Splat's.

    The one before, which broke, got tossed into a dumpster behind a Raley's.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    12,760
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Around here people leave stuff by the side of the road labelled "Free". Amusing how long the CRT TV's sit there--just about any other kind of junk will disappear but the TV's will be there until covered by snow and destroyed by the first plow of the season.
    I think it's the only thing that local thrift stores wont take. Maybe mattresses and underwear? We do have a couple of days a year where you can dump them for free though.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Shuswap Highlands
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    Probably interference from the new 5G installed by Huawei at your local cell tower.

    Or aliens.

    Seriously, doesn't anyone remember how to open up their VCR, and with a cotton swap and a little alcohol, clean the heads? Or blow the dust out of the back of your CRT TV, cause your tubes are overheating. Either that or your connections are fracked. Digital just dies, but analogue cables die slowly. Try a new coaxial cable. You still know how to slice a new one, right?

  24. #24
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    Feb 2008
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    497
    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    Craigslist free section will be loaded with replacements.

    https://denver.craigslist.org/zip/d/...077230016.html
    Thanks! I looked on Craigslist under "appliances" and people wanted $30 and up for their old tube TVs, which is not going to happen. Didn't think to look on "free" initially, but there are a few there, so I'll probably try a new TV.

  25. #25
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    19,206
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Take all the tubes out, take them down to the neighborhood drugstore and test them, find out which are bad and replace. If that doesn't work call the neighborhood TV repairman and he'll come right over and fix it while you watch. BTW--is it color or B and W?
    Good stuff. Definitely something I don't miss from my childhood. I remember that feeling of dread when the picture started shrinking and you knew the tube was starting to go bad.

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