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Troubleshooting steps for common TV problems

These are some of the most common issues on TVs we are asked about, along with the likely solutions. Please take a look and see if your issue is addressed here, and whether the recommended fixes work, before submitting a question to us.

Try the first listed step before moving on to any others. Once you have solved your problem, do not perform any further steps.

Picture settings

Can’t find your recommended settings

  • Check to see if model was reviewed.
  • Click ‘Settings’ tab at top of review page.
  • If we did not review your model, visit our calibration page.

Screen is too dark

  • Increase ‘Backlight’ setting (‘Brightness’ on Sony TVs).

Colors don’t pop

  • Increase ‘Backlight’ (‘Brightness’ on Sony TVs)
  • Change 'Color Temperature' to something colder.
  • Increase the ‘Color’ setting.
  • Use the ‘Dynamic’ or ‘Vivid’ picture mode.

Picture skips/jumps

  • Disable motion interpolation.
  • Try different playback software/device.
  • Try different video file/disc.

Ball/puck disappears when watching sports
People/objects are moving too fast
Motion is blocky

  • Disable motion interpolation.

White objects/clouds too yellow or blue

  • Reset white balance & color space to default.
  • Change color tone.

Colors look wrong
Skin tones look wrong

  • Reset white balance and color space adjustments to default.
  • Use different color tone/temperature.
  • Use different picture mode.

Blacks look gray

  • Reset the ‘Brightness’ setting (‘Black level’ on Sony TVs).
  • Make sure source and TV RGB settings match.
  • Enable local dimming.

 Note: If IPS LED TV, blacks will always look gray.

 Note: All LED TVs have lighter blacks than plasma and OLED.

Brighter spots in dark scenes

  • Gently massage affected area with soft cloth to improve.

Note: This is a common issue, so if there is no improvement, only make a return if it is so bad that it ruins your viewing experience.

TV not displaying maximum resolution

  • In source menu, set output to your TV’s maximum resolution (if available).

 Note: No other fix. This is just the signal resolution.

Dark portions are pixelated

  • Enable noise removal settings.
  • Improve connection (if streaming) or source quality (if low-quality).
  • If neither works or is possible, you will need to cope with the issue. This is a common problem with low-quality media.

Grain on the picture

Note: Normal for movies.

  • For other content, enable noise removal settings.
  • Improve connection (if streaming) or source quality (if low-quality).
  • Reset color space and white balance settings.
  • Try different HDMI cable and different HDMI input on TV.

Picture looks out of focus

  • Disable motion interpolation.
  • Increase ‘Sharpness.’
    • This makes picture a bit less accurate.
  • Adjust the aspect ratio setting.

Note: Low-quality media often looks fuzzy, so if those first steps don’t help, the only solution is to watch higher-quality video.

Sparkles/banding appearing on screen after calibration

  • Reset white balance and color space adjustments to default.
  • Try new HDMI cable.
  • Try different picture mode.
  • Return, or contact manufacturer support.

Stuck pixels on screen

  • Connect PC to TV, use this tool to try and unstick.
  • Try applying gentle pressure on the stuck pixel. Turn the TV on, and then off, then check.

No other fix. If many stuck pixels, return, or contact manufacturer support.;

Temporary Image retention

  • Watch regular content for a few minutes.

Permanent burn-in

  • No fix. Return, or contact manufacturer support.

Sound

TV not outputting sound

  • Make sure HDMI or audio cable(s) are securely connected to both TV and receiver/headphones.
  • Make sure TV is set to output audio to your source device (sound settings).
  • Make sure source device is outputting compatible sound (PCM, DTS, Dolby Digital are safe bets).
  • Try different audio cable.
  • See if other devices can play on receiver.
  • If receiver does not work for anything, contact receiver manufacturer’s support.
  • If receiver does work for other devices, contact TV manufacturer’s support.

Sound is delayed

  • If using external speakers, try ‘lip sync’ or ‘audio delay’ feature on receiver.
  • If using TV’s speakers, try ‘lip sync’ or ‘audio delay’ on TV.
  • Set input to PC mode.

Apps & WiFi

Can't stream 4k video on 4k TV

  • Make sure service/subscription allows 4k streaming.
  • Make sure wireless network and internet connection have sufficient bandwidth (usually at least 25 mbps).
  • Contact manufacturer support.

Video won't stream in TV's browser

  • No direct fix. TV doesn’t support Flash video.
  • Workaround: Connect PC to TV and watch the video with that.

Can’t connect TV to WiFi

  • Connect TV to router via Ethernet and install updates, then try again.
  • Contact manufacturer support.

Can’t find/download app

  • No fix. App likely not available for your TV.

Cable, Satellite, & OTA

Can't find/change channels

  • Run the programming feature to let TV detect channels, then try again.
  • If OTA, try repositioning antenna for better reception.
  • Contact manufacturer support.

TV channels look fuzzy

  • Make sure source device is outputting at least 720p.
  • Enable noise removal features.
  • Increase sharpness a bit.
    • This makes the picture a bit less accurate.

Note: It’s normal for TV channels to look a bit fuzzy/blurry, since they’re low-quality.

Remote and Power

TV turns off randomly

  • Disable CEC. 
  • Unstick power button on remote (if stuck).
  • Remove batteries from remote (to determine whether remote is responsible).
  • Otherwise, find pattern for the powering off, if one exists.
  • Reset or replace device that is responsible.
  • If no pattern, perform factory reset of TV.
  • Contact manufacturer support.

Remote doesn’t work properly

  • Try pointing remote at all corners; see if one works/works better.
  • Move objects away from front of TV (soundbar, Kinect, etc).
  • Move cable/satellite box farther from TV.
  • Re-pair the remote with the TV (if possible).
  • Replace remote batteries.
  • Contact manufacturer support.

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