Q. I bought my 10-year-old son a Roku TCL TV for his birthday and we really like the picture. But yesterday the sound suddenly went off but the picture is still on. Any ideas on how to fix this? — Carrie, Tulsa.
Carrie, congratulations on your purchase. TCL/Roku TV sales are rising rapidly in the United States thanks in part to the model’s comparably low prices. For example, you can buy a 50-inch TCL Roku set for less than $300 while a 40-inch model goes for under $200.
(Above is an Amazon link. The TV Answer Man receives a small portion of sales related to Amazon links found on this page.)
There may be several reasons why the sound on your TV isn’t working, but let’s start with the most obvious one.
The Mute button.
TCL and Roku have decided to place the Mute button on the side of the TV’s remote. It’s quite easy to hit the Mute button without even realizing it. So, just to be sure, make sure the Mute button isn’t set to On. If Mute isn’t set to On, also check the Volume levels, which are located slightly above the Mute button. Make sure the Volume isn’t set to 0 or another low number that would make it difficult to hear.
If Mute and Volume isn’t the problem, try the Volume on a different channel or show. It’s possible that the problem is with the program, not the set.
If the show or channel isn’t the issue, check your cable connections. A slightly loose HDMI connection could interfere with either the audio or video. Since the Roku/TCL doesn’t require a separate cable, check any cables connected to a different device such as a Blu-ray player. That could still interrupt the audio and video on your Roku program.
If the cable connection isn’t the problem, go to the TV’s Settings and set the Audio Settings to Auto. That will ensure the TV will deliver the best audio format for whatever you’re watching. It’s possible that you have the TV set to Stereo and the show you are trying to watch isn’t available in Stereo. (You never know.)
Finally, after trying all those little things, re-set the TV by unplugging it from the wall. (Also unplug and disconnect any other devices connected to the TV.) After 20 seconds or so, plug everything back in. You would be amazed at how often this simple step resolves what seems to be the most perplexing TV issue.
However, if it didn’t fix it, there’s really nothing else you can do but return it if it’s still under warranty.
Carrie, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann