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Decoding the Silence: What to Do When Your TV Has Picture But No Sound

Decoding the Silence: What to Do When Your TV Has Picture But No Sound

It’s been a long week. You want nothing more than to settle in for a cozy movie night, but you quickly realize that your TV’s sound has stopped working. Before you turn on subtitles or start planning a funeral for your favorite show, here’s how to troubleshoot a TV that has picture but no sound.

Why Is The Volume On My TV Not Working? 6 Possible Causes

1. Your TV May be Muted or Set to Low Volume

We’re pretty sure you ruled this one out before performing an internet search, but sometimes the simple things elude us. So try turning up the volume or unmuting your TV before going any further. Who knows, maybe your furry friend or not-so-furry kid accidentally sat on the remote and muted the TV!

2. Your Remote Batteries Might be the Problem

If you try to turn up the volume or unmute your TV and don’t receive any confirmation that it’s doing anything, your remote’s batteries could be the culprit:

  • Check to see that the batteries haven’t been dislodged or installed incorrectly. Reinstall them if needed.
  • Look for corrosion, which often looks like white deposits on the ends of a battery. Replace your batteries if you notice any.
  • If the batteries pass a visual inspection, replace them — they could be dead.

After replacing or reinstalling your TV remote’s batteries, try turning up the volume or unmuting the TV. Hopefully, your issue has been resolved! If not, continue troubleshooting with the steps below.

3. Your Sound Could be Outputting to the Wrong Device

If your TV has no sound, but it’s not muted, ensure that the audio is being outputted to the correct device:

  • If you have an older TV, it’s possible that an RCA or auxiliary cable was left connected to the wrong device. This can cause your TV to pull audio from a different source device than the one you are trying to use.
  • If you have a newer TV, check to ensure that you haven’t accidentally left a wireless device or pair of Bluetooth headphones connected. Your sound could be going there!

The exact method for checking sound outputs depends on the make and model of your TV, but generally, you can find this information under the “audio” subsection of your TV’s settings.

4. Your Cables Might Be Malfunctioning

If audio is being sent to the correct output, your cables could be the culprit. Faulty or loose input cables can cause various issues — from black TV screens to horizontal TV lines. This is because many types of input cables (like HDMI) transmit both audio and video signals at the same time. Here’s how you can troubleshoot your TV’s cables:

  1. Find the HDMI cable that runs to the source (DVD player, game console, etc.) you are trying to use. Unplug it from both the TV and the device.
  2. Inspect both ends of the cables for bent pins and other abnormalities. If you notice any, replace the cable.
  3. Replug the cable into the TV, and if possible, a known working device like a computer. Check to see if the connected device is outputting sound to the TV. If it is, the cable probably wasn’t faulty — you can plug it back into the TV. If it still isn’t delivering sound, it could be the cable. Try replacing the cable and see (or hear, in this case) if that fixes your audio issue.

5. Your TV May Need a Restart/Reset

Still no luck? This may sound like classic tech-support advice, but if it can fix a TV that turns off by itself, it may fix your soundless TV, too! Here are three ways to restart or reset your TV, ordered from least to most effort:

  • Soft Restart: While your TV is on, press and hold the power button on your remote. On some TVs, a reset option may appear — select it. If that option does not appear, continue holding the power button until your TV turns off.
  • Hard Restart: Locate your TV’s power cord and unplug it from the wall. Hold down the power button for about 30 seconds to drain any remaining electricity from the unit. Wait another 30 seconds and plug your TV back in.
  • Factory Reset: The exact instructions for this type of reset will vary depending on the make and model of your TV. However, you can normally find the option to reset your TV to factory settings within the settings menu. Your owner’s manual should also tell you how to factory reset your TV. Be warned: resetting your TV this way may remove any custom settings, so note them down for convenience before proceeding!

6. Your Main Board Might be Fried

Your TV’s mainboard is responsible for processing various signals — audio included. So, if you’ve exhausted every other avenue of troubleshooting, your audio woes could be caused by a faulty main board. Though a professional (or even a tech-savvy DIYer) may be able to replace the mainboard, chances are that something else in your TV will fail down the line. For this reason, malfunctioning main boards are often a sign that you should upgrade your TV.

Need help selecting a replacement? Read our guide on how to shop for a TV!

Upgrade Your TV at Rent-A-Center

Are your TV’s audio issues becoming louder than ever? Get a convenient, budget-friendly replacement at Rent-A-Center. We offer a large selection of name-brand, rent-to-own TVs that come with various financial perks, including flexible payments, free delivery, and free product repairs for the life of the agreement. From the 75″ Samsung option to 55″ LG – 55″ 4K UHD Smart TVs, you can upgrade your living space all without using credit! Shop online or at your nearest Rent-A-Center for a TV upgrade today!

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