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Why Is My TV Screen Black? How To Fix A Black Screen On Your TV

A black TV screen is often a sign that your TV is simply switched off — that’s a no-brainer. But if your screen is black while the TV produces sounds or the power LED is on, you’ve run into a problem. So what causes the TV screen to go black, and how do you fix it?

Your TV screen could go black due to improper connections or hardware problems like a faulty backlight or a damaged panel. It also occurs due to wrong input settings, sleep mode, and outdated firmware. To fix it, check for proper connections and settings, or seek out professional servicing.

A TV screen that suddenly goes blank could point to various technical issues. But the good news is you don’t need any serious tech skills up your sleeve to get around most of these problems. Let’s take a look at how to proceed if your screen is black.

What Could Cause a TV Screen to Go Black?

Black screen on TV and human hand with TV remote control

Your TV screen might go black due to hitches in the hardware. However, your TV could also go blank due to other issues, including:

Loose Connections &  Wrong Input Settings

It often turns out that inactive power sources and loose and improper connections are the main reasons your TV screen goes black.

Therefore, when your TV screen is black and unresponsive, the first thing to do is check if your cables are properly secured. 

Sleep Timer Is On

If someone has set a sleep timer on your TV, it will switch off the TV, and the screen inevitably goes black and unresponsive. In that case, all you need to do is check the sleep timer settings in your TV’s setup menu and disable sleep. 

It could also turn out that someone tweaked the parental controls without your knowledge, meaning your TV won’t do anything during certain hours. Be sure to check other parental controls as well.

Faulty Backlight System

If you have an LCD TV, it uses something called a backlight system to shine light on the screen and make images visible. That means if the backlight experiences any technical issues, you won’t be able to see a thing on your screen. 

That’s almost always the case when you hear sound, but the screen is still pitch black. A qualified technician will quickly diagnose the problem and advise if you need a new backlight system installed.

Failure in the Power Supply Board & T-Con Board

If the power supply board of your TV is damaged or some component on it is fried, the screen will go black. 

Your TV has a power supply board in addition to the T-Con (timing controller) board that processes oncoming video signals and controls how images are displayed on the screen. If either or both of these boards experience a glitch, your TV screen will become unresponsive.

Outdated Firmware

If your smart TV’s firmware is obsolete, it may frustrate you with the black screen issue. In this case, you need to reset your TV and update the firmware, which we’ll explore later on.

Damaged TV Panel

Your TV panel could also be damaged altogether, causing the screen to go blank. This is something to expect if playful pet or child in your household knocked over the TV, for example.

What to Do When Your TV Turns On But the Screen Is Black

TV ultra HD

Here are some easy ways to fix your TV if the screen goes black and unresponsive:

Connect Your Cables Properly

Unplug all connections going to your TV from various sources and auxiliary devices. This goes for HDMI, optical, and coaxial cables. Take note of where each one should go, so you don’t make a mistake when hooking them up again.

Next, reconnect the cables properly, securing them tightly. It’s also important to check that these cables show no obvious signs of damage, such as tears, knots, and loose connectors. 

If you’re using HDMI ARC, ensure it goes into the corresponding HDMI ARC ports, because the cable doesn’t work with regular HDMI.

Troubleshoot the Sources Connected to Your TV

Press the Menu button to check whether the problem lies with your sources such as cable box, SAT Box, DVD player, Roku, AVR, etc.

If the source appears on the input menu, you’re good to go, and you should check the next steps. Otherwise, double-check the sources to see if they’re functioning properly. 

Doing a soft reset by powering them off and then back on again also clears temporary faults that could be causing the black screen issue.

If you have multiple TVs, try connecting the source to a different TV to see if it works. This helps you quickly narrow down the problem.

Apply Correct Input Settings

It’s not uncommon for a TV to show a black screen if someone did the input settings incorrectly. Once you’ve powered on the sources, go to the input setup menu by pressing the Source button on your remote. Next, ensure the TV input is set to the correct device you’re using.

Configure the input settings once you’re sure the correct component is assigned to the input you’re using. It’s one sure way to get rid of the black screen issue. That goes especially if you’ve connected a sophisticated external device like the Denon AVR.

Turn Off the Sleep Timer or Power Saver Mode

The power-saving mode, or sleep timer, can make your TV shut off after a preset period, making the screen go black. It could’ve happened by accident, or someone deliberately did it to avoid distractions, especially for kids.

Here’s how to turn off the sleep timer on your smart TV:

  1. Press the Menu button on your TV remote.
  2. On your screen, navigate to ‘System‘ and choose ‘Time.’
  3. Select ‘Sleep Timer‘ and toggle it off.

The steps might vary slightly. In some TVs, you have to navigate to settings, select ‘Energy Saving Mode,’ and then turn it off.

Reset the TV

If the solutions we’ve discussed don’t fix the black screen issue, it’s probably time to hard reset your TV. This clears all erroneous settings, glitches, and bugs that disrupt the normal display. But it also clears all your data, including WiFi passwords, account details, etc. So be sure you’ve recorded important stuff elsewhere before executing this step.

If you’re using a Samsung smart TV, here’s how to reset it:

  1. Press the Menu button on the remote.
  2. Select ‘Settings‘ on the main menu.
  3. Go to ‘Support‘ and choose ‘Self Diagnosis.’
  4. Select ‘Reset‘ on the Self Diagnosis page.
  5. Enter the default PIN 0000 when prompted to do so. But if you’d changed the PIN before, use the correct one you chose.
  6. Your TV undergoes a reset process and will reboot once it’s done. Set it up afresh by following the on-screen instructions.

For an LG smart TV, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Settings button on your remote. It’s the one with a gear icon.
  2. On your TV screen, scroll down and select the ‘More Options‘ icon at the bottom of the menu. In some models, it’s labeled ‘All Settings‘ or ‘Advanced Settings.’
  3. On the new menu, select General, then scroll down to ‘Reset to Initial Settings.’
  4. Press OK and confirm your choice.

The reset process will continue in the background, and your TV will reboot. You then have to set it up like it’s new.

Generally, these steps will only vary slightly depending on your TV brand. Basically, all you need is to open the Settings menu and choose the reset or recovery option.

Update Your TV Firmware

Updating your TV firmware solves most problems, including the black screen issue. It also helps you get the most out of your TV in terms of upgraded features. Here’s how to upgrade the firmware on your smart TV:

  1. Press the Menu button on your remote.
  2. Go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Advanced.’
  3. Choose ‘Software Update.’
  4. Click ‘Update Now.’

Your TV will automatically download and install new software updates. Next, it will restart, and you shouldn’t see the black screen again. 

Seek Professional Technical Help

If all the solutions we’ve discussed so far don’t work for you, it could be that your TV has run into a serious hardware problem. And lots of these can occur, from fried capacitors to damaged backlight systems, damaged driver boards, etc.

Your best bet is to take your TV to a professional electronics technician for servicing. A qualified technician will quickly diagnose the problem, remove the faulty hardware components and install new replacements. Although it might cost you a pretty penny, you’ll certainly have your TV up and running like before.

Don’t attempt to figure out the problem yourself or repair your TV unless you’re very sure of what you’re doing. If your purchase warranty is still valid, you might want to take the TV for servicing under the manufacturer’s guarantee.