Q. I have a Smart TV and a Roku and I like them because it makes it easier to watch a lot of shows. But it seems like both of them get a lot of technical gremlins and it makes me unplug them and try again. Why do I need to re-set these things? Isn’t that something that’s supposed to be for computers? — John, Alexandria, Virginia.
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 fixes the problem! And here’s why:
Like personal computers, which often require re-setting, too, 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.
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, 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 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?
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