Q. I work in the computer aid department of a middle school and my colleagues always laugh at me when I tell them to re-set their computers if they have a problem. Well, I’ve been having problems with my TV and I was wondering if re-setting it would help. I feel silly asking, but would it? Is it like a computer?— Mark, Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Mark, I get this question a lot from readers, friends and loved ones.
“The TV isn’t working. The picture is frozen. What should I do? Should I re-set it?”
Most of the time, the answer is yes – and, most of the time, it does fix the problem!
And here’s why:
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Like personal computers, which often require re-setting, too, as you noted, today’s Smart TV devices include more sophisticated parts and internal workings than older DVD players. This enables them to perform more elaborate tasks such as streaming video over the Internet or allowing users to chat with other viewers online.
But the more complicated machinery also creates a greater likelihood that it will overheat, stall or simply stop working. This is why your Blu-ray player, streaming device, or satellite box may suddenly freeze in the middle of a movie or even when you are just logging on to a streaming service. The more technically complex player is performing multiple tasks and sometimes they will essentially interfere with each other, causing the device to stop playing.
That’s why re-setting can fix the problem. By re-setting, you are allowing the player to stop all tasks and start clean, so to speak. (Yes, just like a PC.)
And sometimes, re-setting will stop a task that you didn’t even know was operating in the background, such as a system update. By stopping the unnecessary procedure, it enables the device’s primary functions to work more smoothly.
It may sound a bit complicated, but as many have said before — including you, I bet! — re-setting is your friend.
Now, how should you re-set? Most technicians will tell you to unplug your device for 15-20 seconds before re-plugging and that does seem to do the job. But some companies, such as DIRECTV may first ask you to push the re-set button found on the face of the receiver. If you are uncertain how to re-set your device, consult your manual or call your device’s customer service department.
Re-setting doesn’t always work, but it should be your first attempt at solving the problem. If it works, it beats bringing the device into the shop for repairs, doesn’t it?
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You mentioned overheating as a possible cause. To prevent or solve that, other measures need to be taken. The obvious: leave plenty of space around your components to allow them to stay cool, don’t block the ventilation slots/holes. Don’t put them in a closed cabinet, don’t stack them all close together. All that heat will begin to make them operate erratically, shorten their life or even make them break. Don’t place them next to a heating source such as radiator or heating duct. Or next to a window. That’s a lot of heat from the sun in the summer. Or a in a room that goes above 100° or more in the summer.