Q. I keep getting a blue screen on my TV. It just started happening in the last week. Is there anything I can do to fix it? — Penny, Corsicana, Texas.
The dreaded ‘blue screen of death’ used to be a problem that just afflicted personal computers. But today’s Smart TVs, and smart TV devices, are just as sophisticated and complicated as any PC, and consequently, susceptible to the same technological glitches.
But there several things you can do to fix a blue screen picture, or at least determine if the problem is your TV or something else.
1. Before you do anything, make sure your TV’s receiver 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 receiver 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 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 cable or satellite receiver 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 receivers 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. For example, you may need a new cable or satellite receiver. But if you have multiple devices connected to your TV, and you can’t get a picture on any HDMI port, then it’s likely not a device problem. It’s probably an issue with your TV. I would call your TV’s customer support team and ask for help.
One last note: If you have an A/V receiver connected to your TV, make sure it’s programmed correctly for video. It’s possible the A/V receiver’s Video On feature was turned off by an electrical surge or something else. This happened to me once — I turned the Video feature back to On and suddenly that bad blue screen was gone.
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