I inherited this TV from my cousin over 6 years ago, and we like it quite a bit. Last week, while my wife was watching TV, she heard an audible "pop" and the display went black, with a blinking red light next to the "LAMP" text. From previous experience, I knew it was time to replace the lamp, though this one had only been in service for just over 1 year (my previous lamps lasted 2-3 years each).
I bought a new lamp from a source online that our local TV repair center uses, and it arrived Monday. However, after replacing the lamp, it has some odd behavior. The TV fires up after 10 seconds or so (this is normal behavior with this set that I've observed), and I got picture and sound. However, after 10 seconds or so, the picture disappeared, but the sound continued. Thinking I hadn't connected the lamp fully, I powered it down, unplugged it, allowed it to cool, then removed and reset the lamp. However, it did the same thing after powering it on. I contacted the lamp vendor, and after some emails, they suggested it might be the lamp ballast. I found the service manual online, which gave more troubleshooting info, but it didn't help so much. I've observed that when I power it on (as I did last night to check), the "POWER" light will blink from 3 to 9 times, and then turn solid when the picture appears. After 10-15 seconds when the picture disappears, the POWER light remains solid green, and the LAMP light never blinks red at all.
With the TV off, I tried the "Using the remote, press Display, 5, vol down, power" bit, but nothing showed on screen at all (though I don't recall if the remote was one my cousin gave me, or if it was from my previous Sony CRT that worked). When I tried to access the Diagnostics from the Settings menu with the picture on, I just can't do it quickly enough. Interestingly, when I turned the TV on yesterday, I noticed that the picture would turn off, remain off for 1-2 minutes or so, and then the screen would turn dark grey and the picture would reappear for about 1-5 seconds, and then go blank again.
Any thoughts? If it's the lamp ballast, I'm happy to buy one and replace it myself, but I didn't want to go down that road without checking in here first.
Any local repair shop would charge $25-$75 minimum as a diagnostic fee, so I'd rather try self-repair before taking it in.
Thanks in advance!