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Hey, I had this problem on Thanksgiving Day, trying to watch a dvd on my mother's HDTV. You should be able to hook up most standard dvd players to hdtvs. First you have 3 cords, mine were red, yellow, and white. The connections go as follows:
HDTV: Audio| Component. The white cord should be in a white audio slot. The yellow cord should be in a yellow component slot (video) and the red cord should be in a red video component slot labeled Pr/Cr. Make sure you match the component numbers. For instance, if you want to use component one, then hook all of the cords into the slots for component one. Most hdtvs have multiple component hookups ( think multiple "channels" for your game system, dvd player, etc) so it's important that the corresponding cords go to the correct component slots.
DVD: Match the yellow and white cords to the appropriately colored slots. The red cord should go into the slot labeled component video out Cr/Pr. Not the red audio out. This worked for me. Hope this helps.
Screen works you get a black and white image.
The colour stage works you get colour output to TV
So my guess is the ribbon connector from motherboard to screen is loose or adrift.
Is this something you fell you can fix or 'know a man that can?'
It sounds like the circuitry which actuates the color drives for the screen are not working, this would ba analogous to adjusting for a B&W picture on a color TV you have color but the screen shows black and white. I would get a schematic for this set and measure the voltages on the color processor that connects to the screen since you know that the external jack has color. If possible I can help you troubleshoot this, if you need me to help out.