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The several thin white lines at the top of the screen is the warning that the vertical output IC is not getting the boost voltage it needs to run correctly. The IC cannot operate for long like that and shorts out inside, which is when the vertical collapses altogether and you get the thin white line through the center of the screen. The good news for your son is that he had nothing to do with that, and it has nothing to do with the cable F connector. The set needs to be serviced by an experienced tech who will restore the boost supply and replace the vertical output IC, and when I do that I charge $75 but techs in your area will vary, so be sure to ask around.