Troubleshooting My 4K HDTV

By David Weedmark

Here's a handy troubleshooting guide if you're ever having problems with your 4K or HDTV, including picture, audio and connection issues.

Troubleshooting your TV's resolution, picture problems, audio problems or connection problems is essentially the same process, regardless of which model you have or which manufacturer made it. Most issues with a 4K UHD TV or HDTV fall into three categories: picture problems, audio problems and connection problems. To fix specific issues after you've isolated the problem, you may need to consult your TV's user guide.

Troubleshooting 4K Resolution

On a 4K UHD TV, 4K content should always appear in 4K Ultra High Definition. HD content should always be in High Definition. If the content you're watching isn't as crisp as it should be then you have a 4K resolution problem, specific to 4K TVs.

Step 1

Make sure the source content that you're watching is being streamed in 4K UHD. The video description should say 4K or UHD, streaming at 2160p resolution.

Step 2

Check your Internet connection speed on a computer connected to the same network as your TV. These include, AT&T Internet Speed Test and Xfinity Speed Test. To stream 4K video, your download speed needs to be at least 25 megabits per second.

Step 3

Make sure your subscription with your streaming service allows you to access 4K UHD videos. On Netflix, you need the 4 Screens + HD plan. At the time of publication, YouTube doesn't require a special subscription for 4K UHD content, nor do Amazon Prime members using Amazon Instant Video.

Troubleshooting Other Picture Problems

Picture problems can be caused by picture settings, connection problems or a problem with the source video. If the problem is that the video doesn't appear to be in 4K, make sure the content you're watching is a 4K UHD source.

Step 1

Switch to a different video. If you're watching BluRay, insert a different disc. If you're watching Netflix, try a different Netflix video. If you're on cable or satellite, change the channel.

Step 2

Use a different source, such as a different streaming app, cable or satellite, or a disc. For 4K streaming, you can find videos on Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. If the problem remains, then you know it's not a connection issue or a problem with your video source.

Step 3

Go into your TV's Settings section and review your picture specifications if the problem is the same using different source videos. Make sure the view mode is set to full screen and select the aspect ratio appropriate for your source video. Check the brightness, contrast and back light settings. If you're using custom settings, switch to an automatic picture setting recommended by the manufacturer to see if this fixes the problem, then try customizing your settings again.


Some Samsung 4K TVs have a picture test for which a high definition picture is displayed on the screen; you can examine it for flaws or problems. If you have a Sharp 4K TV, look at any picture that is 8MP or better resolution in wallpaper mode.

Troubleshooting Audio Problems

Step 1

Press the Volume and Mute buttons on the remote. Someone accidentally hitting the Mute button may be the number one cause of audio problems. Make sure there aren't any headphones connected to the TV.

Step 2

Go to the TV's Audio Settings screen. Make sure the speakers are set to the On position. If there is a volume adjustment on the Audio Settings screen, check its volume level.

Step 3

Check the cables and connections to any audio devices connected to the TV, such as a sound bar or receiver. Make sure the audio device is turned on and plugged in.

Step 4

Try a different video source to ensure the problem isn't with the content you're watching. If you're using an antenna, for example, a low signal may cause a loss of audio.

Troubleshooting Connection Problems

If you're not getting any picture on your screen, or if you've isolated a picture or audio problem to one specific source, you likely have a connection issue.

Step 1

Press the Input button on the remote if the TV displays the words "No Signal," as it might on a Vizio 4K TV. Toggle through the input sources to ensure you've selected the right one.

Step 2

Make sure the TV and the components you are using are all plugged in and turned on. If you're trying to use an app on the TV, turn on a computer or tablet connected to the same home network to ensure that you have Internet access.

Step 3

Examine the cables to ensure that they are properly connected and undamaged. If you're using a digital antenna, you may need to adjust its position.

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