#1
Old 07-18-2010, 03:52 PM
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My TV picture lost its color.

This sucks. The signal coming in from my cable box has become a black-and-white picture. I determined there is nothing wrong with my TV since the DVD player and Playstation both have color. I went behind the TV and unplugged every cable, then plugged everything back in and made sure all the connections are tight. Still no color from the cable. The picture, guide, DVR, On Demand, what have you, are all still in black-and-white. Comcast is sending a technician tomorrow. The problem could be in the connection outside the house, or the cable box might need replacing.

It shows how spoiled I've become I guess. I grew up without color until my family got our first color set when I was 10. I've never been satisfied with black-and-white since then, and I won't watch it now. Fortunately I can keep myself entertained with DVD's and games.

What else did you grow up without, but take for granted now?
#2
Old 07-18-2010, 04:36 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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How is the cable box connected to the TV? If it is using coax vs. RCA cables for the DVD and PS, then the problem is probably with the tuner in the TV and having the cable guy look at it is a waste of effort.

If you still get analog channels on your cable, plug the incoming cable into the TV, bypassing the cable box.
#3
Old 07-18-2010, 04:42 PM
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My aunt Ritha and uncle Howard used to have this ancient cabinet TV that had started out in color, but eventually it all became shades of green. Sometimes, miraculously, the top third of the picture would flop down onto the rest of it. They watched TV all the time and it took them, I don't know, at least five or ten years to decide to replace it.

Not relevant to you, I know, but you brought back memories of green Hee Haw with the picture flopped over.
#4
Old 07-18-2010, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
My aunt Ritha and uncle Howard used to have this ancient cabinet TV that had started out in color, but eventually it all became shades of green.
The guns go after a while. Same thing happened to my parents' old CRT several years ago; the green gun went, so grass was depicted as purple. They didn't notice for a few years.

The 'rents got a 25" Zenith Chromacolor console, in the Ye Olde Coloniale syle of the day, in 1973. They paid $650 for it; adjusted for inflation, it's $3,103 in 2009 dollars. This is the kind of television you can get for $3,000 today. We were also the first family on the block to have cable; $5 a month in 1973 for 12 channels, one just showing an analog clock and thermometer.

I grew up in a lower middle class household, and there were lots of things we didn't have that the neighbors did; a dishwasher was the biggie. We also didn't have a shower in the bathroom, and the closets were all tiny; maybe 3' x 3' at the most. One phone, hardwired to the wall. One or two electrical outlets in each room, none of them grounded. Most of the lights in the house had string switches. The house was last updated in the late 1940s, and it showed.
#5
Old 07-18-2010, 05:23 PM
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What kind of cable connects the box to the TV? If it is S-Video, a bent pin can leave you with B&W, since the the color and brightness signals are sent separately. Try using a different cable between the box and the TV to rule that out.

If the cable isn't the problem, connect the box to the input that the DVD or PS3 is on. If it works, then the input on the TV is the problem. If it is still B&W, then try a different output on the box. If you are using S-Video from the box, switch to RCA or vice versa. If your TV is a plasma or LCD, try component.

So try a different cable, then try a different input on the TV, then try a different output on the box.
#6
Old 07-18-2010, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
How is the cable box connected to the TV? If it is using coax vs. RCA cables for the DVD and PS, then the problem is probably with the tuner in the TV and having the cable guy look at it is a waste of effort.

If you still get analog channels on your cable, plug the incoming cable into the TV, bypassing the cable box.
Thanks for the answer, but that's exactly how I have it. I have the RCA cable directly connected from the cable box to the set. I also changed around the cables and inputs among the cable box and the DVD player and PlayStation, and still have the same problem. Also, this occurs on all channels, the program guide, and everything, so it's not a question of analog vs digital. I am quite convinced I have a bad connection outside the house or a bad cable box, so a visit from the tech is indeed necessary. Besides, there's no charge, so what's the harm?

This was more of a rant, rather than looking for advice, so I didn't bother putting it in General Questions. But I couldn't muster up enough rage for the Pit. I just wanted to show how you can take things for granted, such as color TV, when you have had it for a long enough time.
#7
Old 07-18-2010, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
The 'rents got a 25" Zenith Chromacolor console, in the Ye Olde Coloniale syle of the day, in 1973. .
Did it have American eagles on it? The one we had when I was a kid did. And a remote that weighed a good three pounds, had two switches, and didn't work. And tasted very metallic.
#8
Old 07-18-2010, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
...I have the RCA cable directly connected from the cable box to the set. I also changed around the cables... Also, this occurs on all channels, the program guide, and everything, so it's not a question of analog vs digital.
Sounds like it's the cable box, then. I think what ftg was saying is you should plug the coax directly into your TV; you probably won't get very many channels without the box, but you should get a few locals, and be able to confirm whether taking the box out of the mix fixes the problem.

I would have first guessed a bad composite cable, but it sounds like you already troubleshot that.
#9
Old 07-18-2010, 06:21 PM
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Yeah, I've troubleshot everything I can think of and the culprit does seem to be the cable box. That's all right, I'm content to have a tech from the cable company look at it, because when I have problems with the cable, it's usually a loose connection between Comcast's line on the street and where it enters my house. Usually the guy can fix it without even having to come inside.

Anyway, I'd like to steer this thread away from giving advice. I know the Dope is a good place to come for answers and I do appreciate everyone who has given advice, but I'd like to get the thread back to this question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
What else did you grow up without, but take for granted now?
#10
Old 07-18-2010, 06:25 PM
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We didn't get around to buying a color TV until something like 1982. I was shocked to discover that the turbolift doors on Star Trek where bright red, and not a tastefull light blue.

It also had a remote control that used high pitched noises, almost like the whine a CRT monitor makes when it is on. I would have fun waving the remote past the tv at different speeds to see how many functions I could make one button do using the doppler effect.
#11
Old 07-18-2010, 06:34 PM
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I remember hearing stories of the old sonic remote controls that the TV would change channels if a dog walked by with its tags jingling.
#12
Old 07-18-2010, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Did it have American eagles on it? The one we had when I was a kid did. And a remote that weighed a good three pounds, had two switches, and didn't work. And tasted very metallic.
Yup. There were three styles of floor-standing televisions made during that time; Te Olde Coloniale Bicentennial-themed consoles, those mounted on 1950s-style peg legs, and funky plastic space age sets.

Our Zenith Chromacolor console didn't have a remote, though.

Also at the time, my grandmother on my dad's side had an ancient Admiral black-and-white console television with closing doors, and a round display. Not rectagular with rounded edges, but porthole round. VHF only, too.
#13
Old 07-18-2010, 06:52 PM
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I am so freaking embarrassed, everybody. I just gave the connections another check. I discovered I had the video connected to the wrong jack on the cable box. I plugged it into the right one and the color is back in all its glory. I admit I was working in a dimly lit room, but even with the aid of a flashlight, I plugged in the wrong connection. As I said, the Dope is a good place to come for help and I appreciate everybody who gave advice. I apologize for being dismissive of that advice, but it goes to prove, even if you are confident you're doing everything correctly, it always pays to double-check. Over-confidence can come back to bite you in the ass. Well, I'd rather be embarrassed in front of all of you than be embarrassed in front of the cable guy for my own screw-up. Off to cancel the service call.
#14
Old 07-19-2010, 03:15 PM
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Huh...and it was just last week that I posted this as my facebook status:

"Anyone know if there are any big screen, high-def, black & white TVs on the market? Not that I want one...just being curious..."

Still curious about it...
#15
Old 07-19-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
I am so freaking embarrassed, everybody. I just gave the connections another check. I discovered I had the video connected to the wrong jack on the cable box. I plugged it into the right one and the color is back in all its glory. I admit I was working in a dimly lit room, but even with the aid of a flashlight, I plugged in the wrong connection. As I said, the Dope is a good place to come for help and I appreciate everybody who gave advice. I apologize for being dismissive of that advice, but it goes to prove, even if you are confident you're doing everything correctly, it always pays to double-check. Over-confidence can come back to bite you in the ass. Well, I'd rather be embarrassed in front of all of you than be embarrassed in front of the cable guy for my own screw-up. Off to cancel the service call.
That's shockingly easy to do, I think, if it makes you feel any better. My boyfriend, who makes his living off video production, has done it. It's hard to see the colors when you're standing on one foot reaching behind a TV set.
#16
Old 07-19-2010, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Briston View Post
"Anyone know if there are any big screen, high-def, black & white TVs on the market? Not that I want one...just being curious..."

Still curious about it...
Take a regular high-def television, and turn down the color level to zero?

I know new color CRT display televisions are common in developing nations, and there's a few at the very low end of the market in the US. Aside from tiny portables, are new black & white televisions still being manufactured and sold anywhere in the world?
#17
Old 07-19-2010, 06:46 PM
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Probably in countries which still have analog TV broadcasts. I don't think it would be cost-effective to sell B&W sets which are compatible with digital broadcasts.
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