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Why Is My TV Screen Black? 5 Possible Causes and How to Fix Them

Why Is My TV Screen Black? 5 Possible Causes and How to Fix Them

Upset woman pointing remote at TV

After a long, hard day, you finally sit down to catch up on your favorite show. But when you hit the power button on your remote control, your TV screen stays black! You try pressing the remote’s power button again and again from every angle, but still, your TV has no picture. If this sounds familiar, you’ve likely fallen victim to one or more TV screen issues.

What causes a TV screen to go black? Learn about each potential cause and get tips for troubleshooting so you can get back to relaxing with your favorite TV shows, movies, and video games.

Common Causes of a TV Screen That is Black with Sound

1. Power Supply Issues

If your TV screen is black and there’s no sound, the first thing to check is your power sources. Check for an LED light or a small indicator light that tells you the TV has power. If there is no power to the TV while it is plugged in, there may be an issue with the remote, surge protector, outlet, or fuse box in your home.

How to Inspect for Power Supply Issues

In case you’re having problems with your power supply, try running through these troubleshooting steps first.

  • Replace your remote control batteries. If you don’t have any batteries on hand or suspect your remote control may be faulty, try turning on your TV using the physical power switch.
  • If you have a surge protector connected to the TV or its external devices, make sure it’s plugged in and operating properly.
  • Move your TV to a different room and try turning it on using a different outlet. If your TV turns on in a different area of your home, you may want to check your fusebox to ensure it’s functioning as intended.

If you’ve confirmed that the TV is turning on, but the screen is still black, move to the next section.

2. Poor Cable Connections

If your TV screen goes black but the sound still works, check the input source to ensure it is turned on and operating correctly. This includes external devices like cable boxes, video game consoles, laptops, and streaming devices. Once you’re sure the input source is working properly, and you have the right input settings, check the cable connections. In many instances where the TV screen is black but the audio works, poor or misplaced cable connections could be the issue.

How to Check TV Input Cables

Whether you’re working with an HDMI cable, RCA (usually yellow, white, and red cables) set up, or another type of connection, you need to ensure the cables are seated properly and firmly into their connection ports. With a good connection, the cable shouldn’t feel loose or easily disconnect when pulled on or moved around. If all your cables have a snug fit, but the problem persists, try connecting the device to another TV. If your TV screen is still blacked out, you may need new cables.

3. Incorrect Display Settings

Display settings are TV options that allow you to control the visual output of your screen. These settings can vary depending on the television’s make and model, but they typically include options like Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, and Aspect Ratio. Sometimes, tinkering with display settings can inadvertently lead to a black screen.

How to Correct Display Settings

Press the ‘Menu’ button on the TV to see if it appears on the screen. If the menu does appear, check to ensure everything is configured correctly. You may need to adjust settings like brightness, contrast, or resolution to restore picture visibility.

If the menu does not show up on your screen, you may need to do a factory reset. To factory reset your TV when the screen is black, consult your television’s user manual for specific instructions. Doing so may help you navigate the menu without actually seeing it on the screen.

Use the remote to navigate to the settings menu and look for options related to “System,” “Reset,” or “Factory Reset.” Keep in mind, however, that a factory reset may erase all custom settings and data.

4. Issues with the TV’s Software

Like any other electronic device, TVs can experience software glitches from time to time. These issues can manifest in different ways, including freezing, crashing, or compatibility malfunctions. So, if the TV is on but the screen is black, and none of the above issues seem to be the problem, your TV’s software could be the culprit.

How to Soft Reset Your TV

Unplug the TV from the wall, and, if possible, remove the power cord from the back of the TV to perform a soft reset. Hold the power button on the TV for 30 seconds, and then, plug the TV back into a working outlet to test it again. If you’re still having screen issues, you might want to bring in an expert — they’ll know how to fix your TV’s black screen.

5. Backlight Problems

Some TV displays, such as LCD screens, use a backlight to illuminate the picture. If the backlight burns out or stops working, it will result in a blank TV screen.

To check your TV’s backlight, make sure your TV is on. Then, turn off the lights in the room and shine a flashlight on the screen. If you can see a picture with the flashlight, then your TV’s backlight is likely burnt out.

How to Address a Burnt-Out Backlight

While you might be eager to learn how to fix a black-screen TV, a broken backlight does not come with an easy solution. The backlight will need to be replaced, and it’s best to get help from a professional with this task.

If repairs are outside your budget or not worth the cost, considering the age and condition of your TV, you may want to think about upgrading to a new smart TV. When you purchase a new TV from your local Rent-A-Center, you’ll enjoy free product service and repairs for the life of your agreement as part of our Worry-Free Guarantee.

What to Do if Your TV Screen Is Still Black

You’ve run all the tests, checked all the ports, and ensured your TV has power, but your TV screen is still black! There could be a more complicated (and expensive) issue, so it might be time to ditch your old TV for an upgrade.

Whether you’re seeing lines across your TV or the sound is not working, Rent-A-Center makes it easy to lease new TVs like the LG 65″ 4K UHD Smart TV. From OLED to QLED, we’ve got ultra high-definition TVs with picture quality so crisp, you’ll wonder why you didn’t upgrade sooner. Avoid the headache of your old TV, and shop your favorite TV brands online today. You can even get same-day delivery on qualifying leases in select areas!

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The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.