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just might be the bulb. Have you unpluged you set make sure its cooled down and remove the buld examine the bulb ussally when the bulbs go bad they shatter not always but it good to check them out as the first step
Something like this Id have someone who knows there way around electronics, a qualified tech or someone you trust really well :-) Does the crackling affect the TV picture at all ? My first guess would be dust and or dampness on the audio components. Sometimes this can conduct electricity across small pc chips and reak all sorts of havoc. I had an old Tomas electric organ once, and it actually caught fire because two speaker wires were rubbing together and eventually wore thru the insulation and shorted out, but it was also making alot of crackling and static noises. Try raising and lowering the volume low to high and high to low and see if the crackling noises gets worse. Some audio amplifiers put out quite a bit of power, so I wouldnt trust leaving the TV on without a fire extinguisher handy.
A loud popping noise, like a sharp "snap!", is usually caused by high voltage arcing. Somewhere in the high voltage system an insulator may be cracked or loose, such as the plastic around the flyback transformer or one of the rubber cups on a picture tube. When the high voltage arcs, it momentarily drops and the picture could go out for a split second. High voltage is dangerous in projection sets so allow a qualified tech to service it for you.