Q. The sound on my Comcast video is a few seconds behind the picture. I have a TCL TV. The Comcast people said it’s the TV but the TCL people said it’s Comcast. Do you have any ideas what to do? I’m close to throwing out the whole thing!! — George, Miami.
I get questions like this a lot from readers, friends and loved ones.
“The TV isn’t working. The picture is frozen. The sound is delayed. The remote won’t change the channel. What should I do? What should I do? Should I re-set everything?”
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 or cable box may suddenly freeze in the middle of a movie, or even when you are just logging on to a streaming service.
If the player is performing multiple tasks, they will sometimes essentially interfere with each other, causing the device to stop playing, or in your case, delay the audio a few seconds behind the picture.
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, 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, or throwing it away, 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