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Dan
Dan, Master Tech and Repair Facility Trainer
Category: TV
Satisfied Customers: 7177
Experience:  USAF trained; A.A.S Electronics; A.A.S. Education; Currently teaching advanced troubleshooting and repair for the DoD.
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I have an RCA TV, chassis CTC169BJ5, 35" screen. It lost its

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I have an RCA TV, chassis CTC169BJ5, 35" screen. It lost its horizontal video amplification, producing only a narrow vertical band up the center of the screen. I am an electronics tech (analog) but unschooled in TV repair. Any advice/tips re. repair vs. replacement, DIY, etc.?

Dan :

Thanks for the question. I'm Dan.

Dan :

This is not an easy repair.

Dan :

You've lost the HOT (horizontal output transistor) for sure.

Dan :

So that will need to be replaced.

Dan :

But WHY did it die...?

Dan :

That's a can of worms. Usually it's a few bad caps. But that normally leads to some open resistors and diodes, too.

Dan :

We're not really talking big money here, but the time and knowledge will be extensive.

Dan :

I'll await your thoughts.

Customer:

Hi Dan, thanks... For quite awhile before that, the set had jittery video when cold, usually improved after warming up a half-hour or so. Would that be related to the failure? My tech experience involves mainly musical instrument amps (tube and discrete ss), so I don't know if this is something I should tackle...

Dan :

Yes, those symptoms make sense. Considering the age of the TV, you almost certainly have some cold / broken solder joints, too.

Dan :

Honestly, we're probably looking at a pretty significant overhaul based on the symptoms.

Dan :

The thing is...

Dan :

If you've never worked inside a TV before, I really wouldn't want to start with this one.

Dan :

I would start with a more modern LCD / LED or even plasma to work on. They're much safer, and a little more black and white.

Customer:

I see... would you be able to guess any kind of ballpark figure for what an in-home repair might cost? In other words, should I just replace it with a flatscreen and call it a day?

Dan :

Of course. For parts, we're looking at $25-$50.

Customer:

"more black and white"...great pun!

Dan :

The HOT is $15, then some little caps / diodes / resistors.

Dan :

Haha you caught that!

Dan :

The labor is gonna get you, though... you're probably looking at 1.5 hours maybe 2... so add $100 or so, to the part cost.

Dan :

That would be in-shop, though. In-home would vary quite a bit by location, but would be more.

Customer:

So, likely $150-$200 then? That's not ridiculous...

Customer:

Right...it about killed my roomie and me getting it in the house, so that'd be necessary

Dan :

Nah, it's not bad. But you can get a brand new 37" LCD for about double that.

Dan :

So you're right on the tipping point. Usually if it's going to cost more than 50% of a new one, the rule of thumb is that you replace it. Some people say 75% but I think they're being sentimental.

Customer:

I'd agree on that. Maybe if I can get a free estimate (do shops do that anymore?) it'd make my mind up for me

Dan :

In my area, a TV that size would be $35 for diagnostics.

Dan :

If the estimate is outrageous, you'd just have to eat that fee then replace the TV.

Dan :

But at least you would know for sure.

Customer:

Right...well, I guess I'll inquire local shops re. their dx policy and go from there. I appreciate your candid opinion on this!

Dan :

My pleasure. If you need anything else, don't hesitate.

Dan :

If you want, I can leave this question open and you can get back to me with what the guy says.

Customer:

I will do that, thanks.

Dan :

No problem.

Dan :

To close this particular session, kindly leave a service rating (smile face, then submit).

Customer:

Will do, have a great day Dan, TTYL!

Dan :

OK, take care!

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