How to degauss a TV

So my TV has been playing up, and I’ve finally mended it, and so I’m putting up this post in case anyone googles their way here to find a solution.

I turned on my TV the other week and was confronted with the colour distorted into a strange circular/bullseye effect (see below). The picture was fine apart from the colour, and so I was hoping it would be something that I could sort out myself as I was unwilling to immediately take it to a TV repairman and part will with hard-earned cash, or think about buying a new TV.

I didn’t really know what I was searching for and so resorted to Yahoo Answers, where I got a response from a TV technician who tipped me off and had this to say:

The Degausser in your TV mis-fired causing the bulls-eye pattern….give it a day or two to disappear.

If it doesn’t disappear, you either haven’t turned off your TV for 30 minutes, or your degausser actually has a problem with it….Call a TV engineer to degauss it and check the operation of your TV’s degausser…..

I followed his instructions but they didn’t work will but it gave me an idea of what I should be trying to do, and so I continued my search around the web and around forums for how to degauss a TV and in particular what degaussing actually means.

“Degaussing is the process of decreasing or eliminating an unwanted magnetic field” – Wikipedia

From what I understand there are magnetic fields everywhere which can interfere with your TV/monitor, and every time you switch on your TV the inbuilt degausser kicks in and re-calibrates the screen by causing a magnetic field inside the tube to oscillate rapidly with decreasing amplitude until everything is hunky dory. As I said this works for everyday magnetic interference but when your TV gets effected by a powerful magnet, etc, which I’ve decided is what happened to mine (due to a stereo speaker), then the inbuilt degausser simply doesn’t have enough power to re-calibrate the screen.

Several forums recommended getting a more powerful degausser, a degaussing coil, but searching around I couldn’t find any UK stores that sold them, and the only place I could see where to get one was from Uxcell.com, which is based in Hong Kong. I had doubts in my mind about buying from a Hong Kong shop but as it only cost £10 in total I ordered it and figured that it was worth a try and I had very little to lose. I ordered the deguasser on Thursday and it arrived on Tuesday, so only 5 days to come from Hong Kong, which was pretty great.

The degausser came with no instructions and just in a jiffy bag, but it did come complete with an adapter plug, and luckily I had read about how to use it effectively with the TV.

Instructions for degaussing this way is too hold the degausser next to the TV screen (already on) and hold down the power button on the deguasser and then slowly move away from the screen whilst circling it to cover the whole of the screen. Once three or four feet away the screen should be back to normal and then rotate the deguasser so it’s smallest profile is facing the screen and turn it off.

An important thing to remember is that degaussers are also used for wiping magnetic recording media such as tapes, floppy discs, and hard-drives, so when using it keep all that stuff away! I shifted anything like that out of the room.

I did exactly as above and could see the colour returning to the screen, and then it was perfect! Great news and it only cost me £10 instead of calling out a professional to do it. I really do enjoy learning new things like this, especially when it saves me money!