the IC contains the brown-out detector for the 5V supply. so when the 5V becomes stable, the sound IC releases the RESET line. that is how it works.
Finding another one wouldnt be easy.
However, you can do a little bit of hackery and substitute in another control IC for the RESET line.
There is a 3 pin IC that would work good for that. 1 pin would be gnd, other would be 5V, and the 3rd would be reset line. But you would need to re-rig the circuit so the reset button still worked as well, or it wont work.
An easier method would simply be cutting the trace at the reset button, and wire the reset button directly to the reset line.
So if it powers up as a checkerboard or something else, you can tap reset which will pull the RESET line to ground and release it. That would work as well.
Don't want to hijack this topic, so at some point I'll create another topic and/or send PMs. I'll be out of the country for the first half of october, but maybe late october/early november might be a good time?
Never knew we had so many CT members!
i've continued tweaking knobs, and I've got things more useable for now. I think if I shrank the vertical height even more things would be a normal ratio but that's more black bars than I want for now. It seems if I expand the horizontal width farther the horizontal bow doesn't affect the picture.