Troubleshoot Your TV: A Guide to Fixing Common Problems

TVs – we love them, but they can also cause us a lot of problems sometimes! There are only so many times when we have an issue with our televisions that we can hear the ‘advice’ ‘have you tried switching it off and then back on again before we half debate whether being incarcerated for murder is really that bad. 

TV remote
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With that being said, some problems are a lot more common than others, and they can sometimes have some straightforward fixes. For instance, to fix a Directv signal issue, it can sometimes be just as simple as taking out an access card, waiting around 30 seconds, and then putting it back in. But that’s just one example.

So, when you’re having issues with your TV, what do you do? Here’s our guide to fixing some of the most common problems with your TV.

Not Getting A Picture

You’re not getting the picture on your screen? Maybe you’re not getting sound either. Instead, you’re just met with blackness, a total void. Instead of watching your favorite episode of Suits, you’re instead sitting there contemplating existence listening to the sound of silence. Hello, darkness, my old friend…

There are a couple of things that you can do about it, but let’s get this straight: your cables are loose. Something isn’t quite right with the wiring from one contraption to another. This is a somewhat good problem to have since it just requires you to connect all your cables. If you have a lot of cables, it can seem a little bit like you’re trying to navigate spaghetti junction carefully, and you may need to know the difference between your HDMI and USB, but you should get the hang of it eventually. Take out every wire and then put them back into the TV carefully. You should have your TV back in no time! 

Pixelated Images

Watching your kid’s episode of Peppa Pig on repeat all day is already annoying enough, but it’s even more annoying when the image is getting distorted or pixelated. Pretty soon, you’re trying to console a crying child because Peppa is starting to look like something out of an internet creepypasta (don’t look it up – you’ll be happier that way).

So, why is she Peppa Pixelated instead of a pig? Well, this comes down to having weak signals to your TV. This may be a result of the satellite signal. If, however, it mainly occurs when you’re attempting to watch things in HD, you could have a compression artifact. In layman’s terms, this means you’re having issues with the reception on your TV, so it should resolve once the reception includes. Alternatively, you can also try to play around with your TV’s sharpness settings to resolve the issue if it keeps cropping up.

Issues with the TV Settings

Perhaps you’ve started trying to mess around with the TV because the TV isn’t working, or your dog has sat on your remote. Whatever happened, you’re now left with all sorts of weird things going on with your TV. It can be a little confusing but don’t panic. You can rectify this issue by restoring the TV to factory settings. You can check on your tv’s manual or manufacturer’s website to see how to do this. It would help if you usually pressed a few keys on the remote, and then you’re all sorted.

You Aren’t Getting Sound From Your Computer to the TV

You don’t just need to have a games console or cable to watch TV these days. In fact, you can watch your tv in a wide variety of different ways, including by connecting your computer or laptop to your TV. Perhaps you’ve tried to do this, maybe you’re attempting to play a PC game but want to do so with a family member, and you’re not getting any sound for some reason.

The solution? Double-check that you’re using an HDMI cable. You won’t get any sound if you’re not using an HDMI cable. You can also play around with your laptop or computer settings – it may still be using your computer speakers as its primary sound outlet. 

Squashed or Stretched Images

They often say that the TV adds around 10 pounds to your weight, but it can add even more than this if your computer screen is stretching the image. Alternatively, the image may be so squashed that you can barely see what’s going on. The question, then, is what is going on?

In general, picture settings like this come about because your picture size settings are just off. It really is that simple. These settings are known as wide, zoom, aspect ratio, or picture. If possible, you should be looking for the Direct or Just Fit settings. These will essentially tell your TV to display the video according to the signal that it’s getting. It’s also worth noting that older consoled and DVD players will require slightly different settings. Please set it to a 4:3 ratio, or else the game will be stretched to a modern ratio that will look pretty bizarre since older games and DVD players weren’t designed to do that. You can also turn overscan off if you’ve connected a computer, which will help you avoid any cropping that happens.

When To Call In The Pros

Sometimes there’s just nothing that you can do to fix your TV; sorry to be pessimistic. Sometimes it’s something that requires a little professional help! If you’re having some issues such as dead pixels on the screen, that means the pixels have totally disappeared, and this isn’t something you can fix. If the TV is damaged, you may also need some help or to buy a new TV. Sometimes, it’s just good to know when to quit.


TV issues are a pretty annoying thing, but most problems can be fixed with a little know-how and background knowledge. The next time your TV isn’t playing ball, you may know what to do to solve the problem! 

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