How to Fix Out of Sync Audio & Video on TV

If there's one thing that can kill a Netflix binge, it's when the actors' lips don't match the sound on your TV, like a Godzilla movie from 1966. There are several possible causes for the audio and video being out of sync on a TV – usually related to the hardware itself, streaming issues or cable hiccups – but only one reaction: extreme annoyance. While every case varies, check for these common causes and their not-too-painful solutions so you can get your binge back on.

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Tweak Your TV Hardware

Whether you're using a Sony, Panasonic, Vizio or Samsung TV, audio delay is never fun. Though audio sync issues are rarely caused by the TV itself, some problems may boil down to your hardware.

To eliminate the TV from your list of potential culprits, find a source that you know has no audio issues such as a fully functional Blu-ray disc or a YouTube video you're familiar with. Play it on your TV's built-in speakers – not an external sound system – and see if you spot any inconsistencies. On some TVs, such as Samsung TVs with audio delay issues, you may be able to find a "reset" or "reset sound" option under the sound settings menu. Reset the sound to get your sync back on track.

Similarly, ensure that you're not using your TV's game mode when watching films or movies and confirm your smart TV is running the latest firmware available.

Ease External Speaker Issues

If you're using external speakers, such as a sound bar or home theater system, try unplugging the TV and your sound equipment, disconnecting the sound system, and letting everything rest for a few minutes before reconnecting and plugging it all back in. If your sound system has audio delay settings, check that the delay is set between zero and 300 milliseconds. You may also be able to find this option on your Blu-ray player.

While you're digging around in those settings, try changing the TV's digital audio out setting to "PCM" and turning its A/V sync, if available, to "Off," "On" or "Auto" and listening for any differences.

Sync Your Streaming Services

If the lips don't match the sound on your TV as you watch Netflix or another streaming service, check out another title or two on the service to confirm that it's a problem on your end and not a poorly synced video on the streaming service's end. If it's the latter, be a good Samaritan and report the iffy video to customer service.

If everything's out of sync, try watching the content from the beginning. Sometimes rewinding or fast-forwarding the video causes a de-sync, and this method may re-sync it. If you're using a streaming box or stick, reset that device and try again. Finally, uninstall your streaming app, redownload it and sign in to a fresh install.

Correct Your Cable

When your cable audio and video are out of sync, look to your set-top box for a potential solution. You already tried power-cycling your cable box by unplugging it for 15 seconds, plugging it back in, and waiting 20 minutes to power it up again, right?

With that out of the way, grab your set-top box remote. From the on-screen guide, access the settings and look for a feature called "Secondary Audio Programming" or "SAP." Set this function to "Off." Likewise, if your TV has an SAP setting, turn it off or set to stereo mode.