No electronic device is entirely immune to bugs, glitches, and hardware problems. That said, you can expect to deal with a glitchy or flickering TV screen once in a while, however much it’s a pain in the neck. So, how do you fix a flickering TV screen?
A flickering TV screen could be caused by bad cable connections or a faulty backlight. Try reconnecting the cables and/or adjusting the TV brightness. If the issue persists, consider disabling Eco mode. Past that, problems with the backlight or TV itself will likely require replacement.
The fixes we’ll discuss in this guide are manageable, and you don’t have to be a tech guru to figure them out. Let’s get to the bottom of everything, so you get that smart TV up and running like it never ran into a problem in the first place.
Why is Your Smart TV Glitching?
If your screen shows fluctuations in picture quality and displays bright or dark frames intermittently, it’s primarily due to hardware problems. This especially goes for TVs that use an LCD screen. The following are the main reasons why your smart TV could be glitching:
Poor Cable Connections and Damaged Ports
Your HD TV screen can drop out and flicker if the video input is interrupted due to loose or damaged cables. Likewise, if the HDMI, coaxial, or optical cables are faulty, video signals will come at irregular rates or be incomplete, causing flicker and other display inconsistencies.
Your TV could be glitching only from a particular video source like a satellite, game console, Blu-ray player, or cable box. If that’s the case, you can try replacing the cables or troubleshooting the devices themselves.
If all your video sources are okay and cables show no apparent signs of damage, it could be that your HDMI, coaxial, USB, or optical port is faulty. So, try connecting to a different port if available.
Faulty Internal Connections
TV technicians confirm that LCD screen flicker is sometimes attributed to a loose or failing connection in the TV itself. This goes for connection ribbons and various coupling circuits, and the problem will be persistent irrespective of the video source.
In this case, only a trained electronics technician can help you get around the issue.
Inconsistent Screen Refresh Rate
Curiously, LCD screens are constantly flickering while in use; it’s only that the human eye can’t see that fast to notice the rapidly fluctuating screen updates.
But if you’re viewing your screen under extreme lighting conditions-whether too bright or too dark, you may see your screen flickering. Adjusting the room brightness and TV picture presets can fix this issue.
Flicker in the Original Video Source
You’ll see flickering in your TV set if there was such a glitch in the original video source because your TV interprets images and displays them just as it gets the input.
The program and hardware dealing with the video conversion could’ve mishandled the video conversion, including bad flicker frames in the original recording. Unfortunately, you can do nothing to decode and eliminate this kind of flickering.
If you’re using a streaming box of any kind, the issue could be at that source. For instance, have a look at this article about how a RokuTV could end up with sound issues. Note that it could be the TV, or it could be the Roku software. If you have a streaming box, be sure to check other streaming sources to verify if it’s the TV or the device causing the issues.
The Ambient Light Detection Feature May Cause Flickers
Modern smart TVs like the Samsung H series have sensors that measure the light in the surroundings and adjust the screen brightness accordingly to reduce glare and save power.
If the ambient light sensors of your TV or the programs driving the feature experience a hitch, your TV screen may start flickering erroneously.
The Backlight Could be Faulty
Unlike OLED TVs, any other TV model with a backlit LCD screen can have display issues if the backlight system runs into a problem. Since the backlight illuminates pictures on the screen and controls your TV’s brightness, the screen will be glitchy if the backlight malfunctions.
Your TV screen will also misbehave if there’s a problem with the T-con (Timing Controller) board, which processes incoming video signals and controls how the screen displays images.
For an OLED TV, the screen can experience a serious issue called Burn-In. This means the pixels in a significant portion of the screen can fail irreversibly, causing a static dark image you can’t get rid of.
Weak Signal Strength
Your TV screen can be glitchy due to weak signal strength or poor signal quality from the externally connected device. This can be due to a service outage, damaged cables, or faulty antennas.
If your smart TV’s firmware is obsolete, it may frustrate you with a flickering screen, among other issues. You, therefore, need to reset your TV and update the firmware to keep it running smoothly.
How To Fix A Flickering TV Screen
Before you ditch your smart TV for a new one, these are the eight practical ways to fix a glitchy or flickering TV screen:
Fix Connections Properly & Replace Damaged Cables
Turn off the TV, unplug the power, then disconnect all your HDMI, coaxial, and optical cables. Next, reconnect the cables one by one, ensuring you’re hooking them up to the appropriate ports.
This is because ports like HDMI ARC and HDMI eARC can’t work with regular HDMI cables. And if you notice obvious signs of damage like knots, kinks, and tears, be sure to replace your cables.
Fingers crossed, you have a simple cable malfunction. Either plugging it in incorrectly or something simple like that. A cable failure is preferred to a TV or issue, since replacing an HDMI cable with a cheap eARC HDMI cable (on Amazon) doesn’t hit the wallet so hard.
Turn Off the Ambient Light Detection Feature
Depending on your TV brand, the ambient light detection feature goes by Environmental Control or Eco Sensor. Deactivating it usually makes your screen consistent irrespective of changes in the surrounding lighting conditions or movie scenes.
For a Samsung smart TV, go to Settings > Eco Solution > Eco Sensor, then turn it off to see if the screen becomes steady.
Change Your Room Lighting & Adjust TV Brightness Level
For plasma TVs, you can fix the flickering issue by reducing or completely removing fluorescent lighting in your room. Since some models can also have a constant flicker due to their refresh rate and are particularly sensitive to ambient lighting, use a white gloss TV stand with LED lights to improve the lighting condition.
You can also adjust your TV brightness by going to Settings > Picture > Advanced > Brightness. Tweak the brightness level until you get the best viewing experience.
Ensure the Refresh Rate & Resolution Can Work With Your TV
Since modern TVs display content at 60 Hz and can handle as much as 4K HD resolution, you may run into issues if the input is consistent with your TV standard. Therefore, check that the input device and content being played operate at a refresh rate and resolution compatible with your TV.
Turn Off the TV and Let it Cool
Since your TV screen can be glitchy due to overheating, turn off the TV and let it sit for half an hour. You should also remove nearby electronic devices that may add to the overheating problem.
Reposition Your TV or Change Seating Arrangements
You may notice flickering if you’re not sitting at the best viewing angle or distance from the screen. Therefore, you could change the sitting arrangement or move your TV to a different position to see if your viewing experience improves.
Additionally, make sure your TV is kept far from other electronic devices that may cause electromagnetic interference, like computers and mobile phones. Also, plug the set into a different power outlet since improper grounding and electrical disturbances can cause flickering.
Reset and Update Your TV
Perform a hard reset on your TV to clear incorrect settings, bugs, and other software errors that disrupt standard picture display.
In general, here’s how to reset your smart TV:
- Press the Menu button and go to Settings > Support.
- Choose Self Diagnosis or Advanced, depending on your TV model.
- Select Reset and confirm your choice.
- Enter the PIN when prompted and press OK to initiate the reset.
Next, you should update your TV firmware to get the most out of it in terms of advanced features and optimal performance. For most TVs, press the Menu button and navigate to Settings > Advanced > Software Update > Update Now.
Please check your TV manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to figure out these steps if unsure.
Take Your TV for Professional Servicing
If all the above solutions don’t work for you, it could be that your TV has run into a serious hardware problem and will need professional servicing. Do not attempt to repair your TV if you’re unsure about what you’re doing.
On the other hand, a qualified electronics technician can quickly figure out the issue, remove faulty hardware components, and install new replacements.
If your purchase warranty is still valid, you might want to take the TV for servicing under the manufacturer’s guarantee.