Q. I have two TVs and they both have a blue screen. I can’t get a picture on either one of them. They are both connected to our outside antenna so they should be working okay. Do you have any ideas? — Claire, Nashville.
Claire, there are several things you can do to fix a ‘blue screen’ TV, or at least determine if the problem is the TV or something else. (In your case, I think it’s something else, but I’ll get to that later in the article.)
1. Whenever you get a blue screen on any TV, make sure your the video source to your TV (cable/satellite box, streaming device, or antenna) is on and your cables are connected securely. You would be surprised at how often cables get jostled by a pet, kid or something else, and become loose. If the video source is on and the cables are okay and you still get a blue screen or a ‘No Signal’ message, go to #2:
2. Pick up your TV remote and hit the Input or TV/Video button to see if there’s a signal coming from another source connected to your TV, such as a Blu-ray player or game console. For example, if you have your antenna connected to the HDMI1 port and it shows a blue screen or No Signal message, hit the Input or TV/Video button until it goes to another HDMI port where you have another device connected. If the second HDMI port also shows a blue screen — and you can’t find a signal or picture or any other port — go to #3.
(Note: If you only have one device connected to your TV, such as a cable or satellite receiver, try connecting it to a different HDMI port. If the second port still shows a blue screen, then go to #3.)
3. Reset the video source and your TV by unplugging them for about 20 seconds. During this time, also take the HDMI cables out. Then re-plug everything and reconnect your cables. If you still don’t get a picture, go to #4.
4. At this point, we’re running out of options. If you only have one device connected to your TV, it’s possible the device is the problem. And, Claire, I suspect this is your issue.
You say your antenna is connected to two separate TVs, and they both show a blue screen. It’s possible, but highly unlikely, then that the TVs are the concern. The most likely scenario here is that both TVs are not getting a signal from your antenna, which could mean you need a new antenna. The odds that both TVs failed at the same time is pretty high. However, just in case, try connecting the antenna to a third TV. If that shows a blue screen, too, then I think we can safely conclude it’s the antenna.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann