How to Fix Out of Sync Audio & Video on TV

By David Powell

In the days before digital television, connections were pretty straightforward. The cable or antenna wire came out of the wall and connected to your TV. In the digital TV era there are far more boxes, connections and cables to hook up, and sometimes they get out of whack, causing sync issues between audio and video signals. Sync issues are easy to spot while watching TV. You see the character’s lips move, but you actually hear the dialog a split second early or late -- and that can get annoying rather quickly. Luckily there are a few easy steps you can try to solve the problem.

Step 1

Change the channel you’re watching. If the audio and video seem normal, then the problem was with the channel you were watching and not with your equipment. You should try several channels to be sure.

Step 2

Check a TV in another room if you have one. If the issue happens there as well, the problem could be with your cable company. You can give them a call to see if there are any reported audio and video problems in your area.

Step 3

Check all of your connections, starting with the cable coming from the wall to your cable box. Disconnect and then reconnect any composite or HDMI cables. Repeat this with all cables including those going to routers, DVRs, streaming boxes, and audio equipment like amplifiers or sound bars.

Step 4

Restart your cable box or DVR and let it cycle through the setup process.

Step 5

Check the SAP (Secondary Audio Program) feature on your TV, cable box and DVR. Open the menu screen for the device you’re checking. If SAP is on or highlighted, switch it off.