Home>Troubleshooting>Television>Distorted Picture

Troubleshooting Distorted Picture Problems

Distorted picture problems include a misshapen picture, no color, wrong color, color separation, or bars or interference in the picture.

Black box in the middle of the picture:

This happens when the Closed Captioning is set to Text.  Turn off the closed Captioning or select some other mode.  Sometimes there is a button on the remote control with an icon on it that looks like two letter C’s in a box that does this.  If not, you have to go into the TV’s menu and look in the Settings or Audio menu to figure out how to change the Closed Captioning settings.

Bowed picture; red, green, and blue images not lined up:

Usually, this occurs on CRT projection TV's, and occasionally on CRT direct-view TV's.  It is caused by a failure of the convergence circuit, usually one or more bad convergence IC's.  Frequently, a few soldered-in fuses and resistors will also be bad.  If you can solder, you may be able to replace these yourself.  If not, a technician can easily repair this sort of problem in-home.  Some touch-up of the convergence alignment will also be needed.

Horizontal bars rising slowly through the picture:

Dark, light, or colored bars can be seen rising slowly through the picture, disappearing, and then reappearing at the bottom of the picture.  Known as "hum bars" or "common-mode noise," these result from AC power line hum coming in on the interconnecting cables' ground connections.  This seems to be common when using some cable company set-top boxes with component or composite video cables.  The best solution is to use DVI or HDMI cables, if your TV and set top box will accept them.  If not, ask your cable company for a box that does work with your TV.  Sometimes, you can also minimize this problem by using heavier video cables, or by playing with the ground connections.

No picture, frozen picture, or picture stuck on blue "Welcome" screen (Mitsubishi only):

2009 Mitsubishi models may have a software problem that can cause a whole raft of weird symptoms, including but not limited to: No picture, frozen picture, picture stuck on the blue "Welcome" screen, no audio, noisy audio, no power, will not boot, will not turn off, turns off intermittently, or locked-up controls.  This can often be corrected by upgrading the software with new version v11.03 from Mitsubishi's website at http://mitsubishi-tv.com/support/documents/.  Enter your model number (with a hyphen after 'WD') and download:

Follow the instructions and see if it corrects your problem.

White or black spots in the picture:

On DLP televisions, some of the "mirrors" that create the individual pixels can get stuck in either the "on" or "off" position.  These create either white or black dots in the picture.  Once they start to appear, the spots will continue to multiply until the screen looks like a picture of the Milky Way.  The Texas Instruments Dark Chip 3 DMD device was particularly prone to this problem, and it was used in TV's made from 2007 through 2010 by Mitsubishi, Samsung, and Toshiba.

Mitsubishi has been supplying a free improved replacement part to their customers with TV's under 7 years old, as shown by the paper tag on the back of the set, by the serial number, or by a purchase receipt.  We have installed over 300 of these improved parts since 2011, and none of them has ever failed.  We recommend replacing this part soon. Most of them will eventually fail, and Mitsubishi will not provide this accommodation forever.  The models shown in the table below in black were covered by the free DMD chip program.  We have also seen them authorize some free DMD chip replacements for newer models shown below in blue.  We suspect that these customers negotiated accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

WD57733 WD60C10 WD65835 WD73735 WD73C9
WD57734 WD65638 WD65837 WD73736


WD57833 WD65733


WD73737 WD82737


WD65734 WD65C8



WD60735 WD65735 WD65C9 WD73833 WD82837
WD60737 WD65736







WD73837 WDC657




WD60C9 WD65833 WD73734 WD73C8 WDY657

If your model is shown in the table above, call Mitsubishi at either 800-888-8245 or 800-332-2119, press 2, and explain the problem you are having. The person you speak to will probably want to know:

If they can help, they will arrange for the part to be sent to an authorized service center near you.  Customers who live in one of the Zip Codes we serve and want us to do the repair will need to specifically request us so you don't get assigned to some [other] bozos.  You will only need to pay the in-home repair labor at a reduced rate of $200, and we offer a 10% discount for cash.  This is less than it would cost you to buy the part from Mitsubishi to replace it yourself.

If Mitsubishi will not help you with your DMD Chip repair, we can still do this for customers in our local service area at the reduced price of $350 total, or $330 after cash discount.  Click here for details.  Other authorized service centers near you may offer similar prices for this repair.  You can enter your city and state at:  www.mitsubishi-tv.com/support/service or call Mitsubishi to locate one.

Do-it-yourselfers are advised to buy the original part, #276P595010 at $225.00, directly from an authorized Mitsubishi Parts Distibutor.  Parts advertised on the internet for lower prices may be used parts or "NOS" (New Old Stock).  Either way, these are the original parts that will fail again like yours did.  Also, be sure to clean off the dust that has collected inside the cabinet, on the outside of the light engine, inside the light engine cover, on both sides of all 3 fans, and on the DMD heatsink.  If not, you will end up with either large blurry spots or multiple stripes in the picture.  The YouTube videos seem to leave this step out...

If you own a Samsung or Toshiba set with this problem, the scene is not so rosy.  These companies usually decline any warranty accommodation on their TV's.  I would still suggest calling them to see what you can work out.

Wrong color or no color:

Component video inputs:  Make sure your cables are connected correctly at both ends according to the green/blue/red color code.  If you still have problems, try a different set of cables.  Component video color is carried on three separate cables.  If your blue cable is bad, the picture will be yellowish or greenish.  A bad red cable will cause a bluish-green picture, while bad blue and red cables will give a black and white picture.  A bad green cable will cause no picture at all.
By the way, if you have a bluish-green picture with a buzz in the sound, your red audio cable and red video cable have been reversed.

HDMI inputs:  HDMI receiver circuits in the TV can also cause color problems.  Unfortunately, this will require repair by a technician.  We've never seen a bad HDMI cable cause this problem, but you should definitely try another cable and another source device (DVD, BluRay, etc.) before calling for service on your TV.  See HDMI Troubleshooting for more help.