Author Topic: TV screen goes black, audio still good  (Read 1102 times)

dodojojo

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TV screen goes black, audio still good
« on: June 13, 2018, 09:14:20 PM »
They sure don't make them like they used to...CRT tvs that would last for a couple of decades.

I have 40 inch Sceptre tv that I bought in 2014 (for the World Cup) for less than $200.  Tonight, the screen went completely black though the audio was fine.  Turning off the tv for 10 minutes or more returns the screen but after 10-15 minutes of viewing, the screen goes black again.  It's not a fancy tv and all I'm doing is watch OTA tv.  Ironic that the World Cup is kicking off tomorrow. 

So four years is the norm for no-name TVs nowadays?  Is it a case of the dying of the light and the tv needs replacing?  Or am I missing some kind of trick?

Khaetra

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 04:35:08 AM »
With off-brand appliances, it's hit and miss.  Some go early (earlier than yours) and some last awhile.  Reviews on the brand seemed to be mixed, but you got four years while some folks didn't even get a year with theirs so I'd consider yourself lucky. 

Sounds like it's dying.  If you're looking to replace it with something else cheap, check Walmart, as mine had 32" TV's for $98.  If you want to try and fix it, start here:

http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/58169-4-sceptre-black

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 08:22:57 AM »
I watched intently for a few minutes this morning and I do see a bit of flickering before it blacks out.  It does seem like it's on its last legs.  It blacks out in 5-10 minutes.

Thanks for the link but since I know nothing about tv and electronics, I'll probably head down to the shop tonight rather than attempt any tinkering.  I usually comparison-shop and wait for a deal, but with the World Cup starting today, I'm going to do a bit of impulse buying. 

Are the smart tv features worth the extra $$?  Do they add in these features but downgrade the quality of the tv?  I wonder if I'm primarily an OTA tv viewer, if I should just stick with a plain old tv.  I do watch a lot of Youtube on my laptop.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 08:25:30 AM by dodojojo »

dcheesi

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 08:35:09 AM »
Generally I consider "smart" TV features a waste of materials and $$, since they are almost universally inferior to a cheap "stick" streaming device for the same tasks. Clunky homegrown UIs, limited app support, and few if any software updates over time.

The one possible exception is the TCL line of Roku TVs. Roku is a big name in the streaming device market, with extremely broad app/service support, and the interface is decent. And the TVs themselves are quite reasonably priced. The main thing you lose is the ability to tweak the picture settings; at least with my small TV, the only setting seems to be Brightness. But the default settings are pretty good, and my overall impression is quite positive.

Khaetra

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 09:03:58 AM »
I'm not a fan of 'Smart TV's', but having said that I agree with dcheesi about the TCL brand ones.  Those seem to be well made and quite a number of people like them.  If it's just a regular old TV you're after then I'd hit up Best Buy (if you have one near) or Walmart and look at what they have.  You can always grab a Roku or Amazon stick and watch YouTube on the big screen (they are pretty cheap and there's plenty of free programming).

OT: Who you rooting for?

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 09:05:13 AM »
dcheesi, thank you, very helpful.  I was using the old CRT tv up until 2014 so I'm really not up to speed on the latest TV features.  TCL is very popular on Amazon so I'm glad to hear it mentioned here.  I'm going to Best Buy and HHGregg tonight, but if nothing grabs me, I'll consider buying the TCL off Amazon.  I would like a TV pronto though, love the World Cup.  It's great to have many of the games on network tv (Fox).

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 09:10:48 AM »
Khaetra, with the USA being too crap to be there...I've not got a huge rooting interest.  Just want to see some good games.  I'm sure as the tournament goes on, I'll lean one or the other for the teams going through.  I used to root for Italy but they too, were too crap to go to Russia.  One of my favorite players was/is Fernando Torres so I always wanted him/Spain to do well.  But he hasn't played for Spain since the 2014 WC.  Of course, it's always fun to see the underdogs do well.  So if it's Iceland versus Germany, I'll certainly being rooting for Bjork's countrymen.  I also used to live in Japan so hmmm...I guess they're as close as it comes to a rooting interest for 2018.

You?

dcheesi

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 09:12:47 AM »
You might be able to find a TCL locally. IIRC I bought mine at Wal-mart, and the price was comparable to Amazon's.

Khaetra

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 09:28:56 AM »
I'm like you, looking for good matches (and I agree the US sucked this year).  I hope we aren't disappointed!

robartsd

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 10:12:04 AM »
They sure don't make them like they used to...CRT tvs that would last for a couple of decades.

I have 40 inch Sceptre tv that I bought in 2014 (for the World Cup) for less than $200.  Tonight, the screen went completely black though the audio was fine.  Turning off the tv for 10 minutes or more returns the screen but after 10-15 minutes of viewing, the screen goes black again.  It's not a fancy tv and all I'm doing is watch OTA tv.  Ironic that the World Cup is kicking off tomorrow. 

So four years is the norm for no-name TVs nowadays?  Is it a case of the dying of the light and the tv needs replacing?  Or am I missing some kind of trick?
Yesterday my 22" ProScan TV (about 4 years old, used as a computer monitor) had the LED indicate that it turned on, but the panel did not power up (don't run audio through it, so I don't know if sound processing was functioning) and it didn't respond to either the remote or physical power button to turn off. After unplugging it, it returned to normal operation. I don't know if this is an early sign of a similar issue or not. Wouldn't be surprised if the root cause of both our issues is a capacitor going bad (most common failure point of most consumer electronics).

GuitarStv

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 10:14:59 AM »
Solution:  Enjoy your new radio?


:P

snappytom

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 11:32:59 AM »
They sure don't make them like they used to...CRT tvs that would last for a couple of decades.

I have 40 inch Sceptre tv that I bought in 2014 (for the World Cup) for less than $200.  Tonight, the screen went completely black though the audio was fine.  Turning off the tv for 10 minutes or more returns the screen but after 10-15 minutes of viewing, the screen goes black again.  It's not a fancy tv and all I'm doing is watch OTA tv.  Ironic that the World Cup is kicking off tomorrow. 

So four years is the norm for no-name TVs nowadays?  Is it a case of the dying of the light and the tv needs replacing?  Or am I missing some kind of trick?

Often it is heat that causes these types of failures.  Check the vents and fans (if it has them) and get some compressed air to blow out any dust that may be blocking the ventilation ports.    Since it works OK after being turned off and then gets flakey again, sounds like heat may be an issue.
We had an AV receiver that would do the same thing, finally figured out that the speaker placed on top was blocking the vent.  Moved the speaker, blew out the dust, no more problems.

dcozad999

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 01:16:29 PM »
I would also recommend the TCL Roku TVs.

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2018, 10:37:34 AM »
I did consider the overheating angle.  The TV hardly seems warm though--maybe the heat is internal and not radiating? But really the TV barely feels warm at all. In any case, I didn't have any compressed air so I hand-vacuumed the vents.  No improvement.  I may swing by Staples tonight and pick up a can.

WildJager

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 11:31:34 AM »
For screens a common problem (and relatively easy fix) is capacitors that go out.  If you take the TV apart you can look for bulging caps (google for example images).  If you find any, just go online and buy the same ones so soldier onto the circuit board. 

If the backlight unit is dying, that's a bit more intensive and might be more cost effective to just replace the TV. 

getwiththeprogrammer

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 02:11:46 PM »
Great tip by WildJager, except potentially dangerous. I'm not sure how big the capacitors are these days, but I wouldn't personally go poking around in the back of a TV unless I was with someone who knew what they were doing.

robartsd

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2018, 02:53:33 PM »
Great tip by WildJager, except potentially dangerous. I'm not sure how big the capacitors are these days, but I wouldn't personally go poking around in the back of a TV unless I was with someone who knew what they were doing.
The big, dangerous capacitors in TVs are from the CRT days. The capacitors being talked about here are similar to those in other consumer electronics.

Syonyk

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 07:27:28 PM »
For screens a common problem (and relatively easy fix) is capacitors that go out.  If you take the TV apart you can look for bulging caps (google for example images).  If you find any, just go online and buy the same ones so soldier onto the circuit board.

Yup.  I did that on a decade old mainboard a few months back and it's doing just fine again: https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2018/04/on-art-of-repair-re-capacitoring-old-mainboards.html

Quote
If the backlight unit is dying, that's a bit more intensive and might be more cost effective to just replace the TV.

Most modern TVs should be LED backlights, which generally don't die like the old florescent ones.  An easy way to check is to shine a (bright) flashlight at the screen when it goes black.  If you can still see image, it's the backlight.  If there's no image, it's not the backlight.  I haven't run into a backlight failure since stuff went to LED, though.

DreamFIRE

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 08:09:01 PM »

I've had a couple TVs go on the fritz that power cycling would not resolve, yet another easy fix did the trick.  I simply unplugged the TV, waited a while, the plugged it back in and powered up the TVs.   Good as new.  There was at least 17 year gap between the instances I've mentioned with my own TVs, but I've known this to happen many times on LCD monitors at work, where power cycling help, but unplugging temporarily brought video back to life.

I'm happy to say my 10 year old Sony W4100 HDTV is still working like new, although I did have to do the unplug trick once in all those years (it was actually just a few months ago, but I can't remember the symptoms now, just the fix)   I was worried briefly.

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2018, 07:57:06 AM »
Most modern TVs should be LED backlights, which generally don't die like the old florescent ones.  An easy way to check is to shine a (bright) flashlight at the screen when it goes black.  If you can still see image, it's the backlight.  If there's no image, it's not the backlight.  I haven't run into a backlight failure since stuff went to LED, though.

Good tip.  Yep, with my ultra bright bike light, I can see the faintest image.

Regarding advice to unplug--yes, try that multiple times, including all the avi, hdmi cords.  Off to the store.  I'm going to try to keep my head and not be seduced by the latest and greatest ;)  Already advised by one person I have to get 4K--to future-proof the tv.

Syonyk

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2018, 09:31:51 AM »
Good tip.  Yep, with my ultra bright bike light, I can see the faintest image.

Well, that's a backlight failure.  Odd.  I'm guessing you're not the kind of person to trace the circuits?

Quote
Regarding advice to unplug--yes, try that multiple times, including all the avi, hdmi cords.  Off to the store.  I'm going to try to keep my head and not be seduced by the latest and greatest ;)  Already advised by one person I have to get 4K--to future-proof the tv.

I wouldn't go specifically seeking 4k, but I wouldn't turn it down either if you find an otherwise nice unit that happens to be 4k.  We've got a 4k TV, mostly because one of the better reviewed TVs in the size class we wanted (40") happened to be 4k.  It's an entirely worthless feature for our viewing distance, but I wasn't going to not buy an otherwise good TV just because it was 4k.  It's an even integer multiple for both 720p (3x) and 1080p (2x) content, so it doesn't get pixel blurring.  I'm quite happy with 4k because it means the computer driving it can fit a sane amount of content on the screen (it's more of a living room computer monitor for Rhapsody/Pandora than a normal TV).

DreamFIRE

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2018, 10:30:07 AM »

Regarding viewing distance, size, and resolution:


dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2018, 01:59:20 PM »
I looked at a Sharp, LG and TCL, all 43 inches, 4K and smart tv (2 of the being Roku).  The prices being in order of $349, 297 and 279.  And the TCL picture looked pretty decent compared to the other two name brands and I was ready to pull the trigger, but of course they are OOS at all the nearby stores (Target).  I'm just going to order it online.  Bah, I've been watching the games on my iPad--good enough. 

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2018, 02:01:30 PM »
I'm guessing you're not the kind of person to trace the circuits?

I don't even understand the question...;)


dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2018, 02:05:23 PM »
Dumb question time...if a tv is adverstised with Roku, does it work out of the box?  Or do I have to pay an activation and/or ongoing fee(s)?

Syonyk

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2018, 02:53:43 PM »
I'm guessing you're not the kind of person to trace the circuits?

I don't even understand the question...;)

If I were dealing with something like that, I'd be the kind of person to pull the board, trace back from where the backlight connected, and see if I could find what had failed/if it's something I could easily replace on the board.  But I also have surface mount rework equipment and skills - I was guessing that you didn't have those sort of skills/tools.

Khaetra

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2018, 03:07:34 PM »
You don't have to pay for anything you don't want (like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.).  There's plenty of free stuff to be had.

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2018, 06:53:59 AM »
It turns out Best Buy carries TCL but they didn't have the model on display when I was there.  Only found out about it when I was online at home.  So went back yesterday and picked up one.

It's definitely a budget tv--still trying to adjust the picture to get something I like.  I find the over-bright and saturated look to be impressive for a few seconds but after awhile, it's a bit of a headache.  Roku is also pretty overwhelming--wow there's so much on offer! I'm never going to read another book...I love the Roku app and being able to listen via the phone with headphone or a mini-speaker.  What a fantastic feature for those of us who live in apartments with paper-thin walls.  I had been watching tv with captions with the old tv.  I dislike having to find a channel through clicking through a guide rather than simply inputting the number.  But I'll have to get used to it.

Now that I have the tv, advice for the antenna.  The automatic tv setup didn't capture all the channels that I had with the old tv.  I'm using a Mohu leaf antenna.  Is it a case of getting a better antenna?  And if so, what would you recommend?  Or is it down to the tv tuner and a better antenna wouldn't make much difference?  I suspect it's the tuner as my old tv struggled also (though it was able to get more channels).  The tv with the best reception, funny enough, was the last CRT.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2018, 09:45:22 AM »
Yeah, LED backlights are a lot less prone to failure than the fluorescent bulb type, and a lot simpler.  Years ago, when I had a lot more time on my hands, I actually converted a flourescent-backlight monitor to LEDs.  If I lived close to you, I'd be more than happy to take a look.  It's probably a bad capacitor, or a bad solder joint that's just gotten progressively worse with the heat cycles.

iwanttobelive2

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2018, 10:04:06 AM »
I was going to suggest check the capacitors if you've got a voltmeter and a soldering iron. I've switched from TV's to projectors, you can get really good 1080 P projectors for $500 ish, and the bulbs are like $60 to replace. ''200-300'' inch screen on your wall looks pretty good in 1080P. I threw a chrome cast on mine and netflix movies look amazing.

Hellohi

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2018, 10:57:23 AM »
I would try replacing the video cables and also trying a different input. Also Costco usually has good deals on the TCL roku it if you go that route.

Lulee

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2018, 11:25:37 AM »
If the new cables Hellohi recommended don't help, a new antenna may help, especially if the Mohu is old and a bit beat up.  We replaced my Mom's in 2016 after a storm wrecked what was left of the old one.  It had been in rough shape for a long time, looking like a mostly plucked chicken when it was finally brought down.  We went with a Televes DAT790 LR Mix UHF/VHF Long Range Antenna which claimed to have a 75 mile radius that I found on Amazon.  We did replace the wiring along with the antenna so that helped as well.  She gets a huge number more channels than ever before and most are clearer than ever.  YMMV

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2018, 01:21:01 PM »
For recent posters...per my last post, I bought the TCL Roku.  It's clearly a budget tv, but so far, I'm satisfied with it. I really enjoy the phone/remote feature.  The biggest drawback is my tv came with a swivel stand whereas the TCL is on stationary stands.  I'll get used to it, but the swivel stand was really a fantastic feature.  Took it for granted I could get a good viewing angle from the sofa and the kitchen.

I live in an apartment and have to stick with indoor antennas. I may drop the antenna issue and compensate for the lost OTA channels with Roku.

Car Jack

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2018, 01:26:25 PM »
I had a couple year old LG screen go black (audio is fine).  We had an extra TV from our son at college.

For fun, I scrap out electronics.  So one of the donor TVs I picked up (an LCD of some kind) at the local recycling center was about to get pulled apart for circuit boards, copper wire, aluminum and transformers and before I got it out of my Jeep, my son tried it out and it works perfectly fine.  So perhaps look into your local dump or recycle center.  People get a new TV these days and throw out the old one.

Oh....the replacement tv from my son's room is an Insignia, which is Best Buy's store brand.  They use rejected Samsung LCD screens and build a TV around it.  It's still going after 10 years.

robartsd

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2018, 02:31:36 PM »
For recent posters...per my last post, I bought the TCL Roku.  It's clearly a budget tv, but so far, I'm satisfied with it. I really enjoy the phone/remote feature.  The biggest drawback is my tv came with a swivel stand whereas the TCL is on stationary stands.  I'll get used to it, but the swivel stand was really a fantastic feature.  Took it for granted I could get a good viewing angle from the sofa and the kitchen.
You can get a swivel stand for about $50 new. A universal swivel stand would probably still work for you next TV unless you dramatically change sizes.

I live in an apartment and have to stick with indoor antennas. I may drop the antenna issue and compensate for the lost OTA channels with Roku.
Is your Mohu leaf the 30 mile version or the 50 mile amplified version? If your antenna doesn't include an amplifier, the old TV's amplifier may be better than the new TV's amplifier, so a quality amplifier could help.

If the antenna is already amplified, the signal reaching the TV should be plenty strong and the problem is likely that your antenna is no longer getting the signal (if it's behind your TV it could be that the new TV blocks more signal than the old one did).

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2018, 11:55:54 AM »
My Leaf is definitely not amplified, regardless of the range.  Thanks for the tips, I did noodle around on Amazon looking at swivel platforms, but I have decided to be MMM about the antenna and tv stand.  They work and I'm not putting any more money into the whole tv thing. Just paid a for a new one and it works.  Done!

robartsd

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2018, 04:20:45 PM »
My Leaf is definitely not amplified, regardless of the range.  Thanks for the tips, I did noodle around on Amazon looking at swivel platforms, but I have decided to be MMM about the antenna and tv stand.  They work and I'm not putting any more money into the whole tv thing. Just paid a for a new one and it works.  Done!
Stands and amplifiers are things you could always add later if you change your mind, so no reason not to just enjoy what you have right now.

I think Mohu's 30 mile leaf and Mohu's 50 mile leaf are the same antenna except for the amplifier included with the Mohu 50.

You might try at different times and weather conditions to pick up your missing channel.

I did quite a bit of research to try to figure out if I could get a better TV signal in my last home (TV location was opposite side of the building as the broadcast towers). My research into TV antennas and amplifiers lead me to understand that an antenna design will pick up the signal it will pick up in a given environment then the signal loss begins. In nearly every practical case the signal lost ends at the first amplifier encountered. In a completely passive antenna and distribution system, the first amplifier is in the receiver and for consumer electronics that quality can vary quite a bit, but with an external amplifier the differences between receivers can disappear. I also learned that most antennas marketed today are not great at picking up the signals that I was struggling with the most. Before the analog signals were shut down all digital TV was on UHF carriers, so "HDTV" antennas were designed for UHF reception. At the digital transition, two of my local stations elected to broadcast digital signals on VHF so I learned what elements of an antenna are useful for VHF (it's the whips on traditional rabbit ears, or the long varying length elements on traditional rooftop antennas) and eventually got acceptable results most of the time with an amplified rabbit ear type antenna. Now I get reliable reception (except occasional issues with VHF on windy days) with an antenna much like your Leaf placed in a window that faces the general direction of the TV towers.

Secret Stache

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2018, 07:36:31 AM »
+1 on checking the capacitors.  The bad one will be fairly easy to spot and just practice a few times with a soldering iron or get a friend to help you out.  You could fix the TV with less than a buck of parts and a 6-pack for the soldering friend.

Syonyk

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2018, 08:06:20 AM »
Good advice.  I suggest giving a friend the six pack after the TV is fixed. ;)

dodojojo

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Re: TV screen goes black, audio still good
« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2018, 02:19:16 PM »
The old TV is long gone...I'm city folk, live in an apartment, I may or may not own a hammer (pretty sure I bought one from Ikea) and none of my friends own a soldering iron.  I'd have better luck asking to borrow claw clippers for cats or mini-shears for bonzai trees.