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TV troubleshooting 101

TV troubleshooting 101

“We love the capabilities of new-generation smart TVs,” says Jacques Bentley – sales manager at Skyworth. “From streaming entertainment services to voice search and synchronised content cast between your phone and the big screen.

“Let’s be honest, though: the more high-tech the TV, the more likely you are to encounter glitches for a multitude of reasons.”

Here are some of the most common problems and tips on how to troubleshoot them so you can get back to enjoying an optimal home experience that supports your tastes and lifestyle.

Pixelated image

Whether you’re watching satellite TV, a streaming service or a DVD, a picture that keeps pixelating or breaking up is typically the result of a weak signal. This interruption could be caused by bad weather, fluctuating internet connectivity or a loose cable connection in the case of these three scenarios. The point is that it’s probably poor reception and not your TV causing the problem. You can’t do much about a storm, but you can check your Wi-Fi and wired connection points to resolve the headache.

A frozen screen

You don’t have to get complicated when it comes to fixing this one. It may be an issue with reception again (see above), or that the on-screen app you’re using has crashed – as can happen on any piece of computerised technology. Simply reset your TV. How you do this will depend on the model, but typically it involves holding down the power button on your remote or the TV unit itself. Check your TV’s instruction manual or support page on the brand website for exact step-by-step instructions.

For the record, restarting your TV, with at least 30 seconds of “off” time, is one of your easiest first steps toward fixing any issue. This is because it will effectively clear any cached information on your system.

Unwanted smoothing and other display issues

Have you ever started watching a movie on your TV and it just looks strange, like it was filmed on an old home video camera? What’s happening is that your TV is automatically smoothing the footage to match its own high frame-rate capabilities. If the effect feels too smooth and unnatural, you can turn it off through your TV’s Settings menu. Look for options under Picture or Advanced Picture Settings that include the words “motion,” “action” or “smoothing,” and disable those features.

At the same time, Picture Settings is where you want to head if you’re having any other display issues, such as a stretched or cropped image. It may require some testing of the different Picture Size options but try those that refer to “fitting”, or “matching” the visual to the screen. As TVs become more advanced, expect this problem to disappear as AI-integrated sets will automatically optimise resolution, colour and other display aspects in the same way they auto-tune channels now.

Finally, one of the best ways to avoid a lot of problems is to make sure your smart TV’s operating system is up to date. Android TVs make this especially easy as they are regularly updated to solve issues, add useful new features and improve performance.  Regardless of brand, though, run software updates whenever a notification appears on your screen to help ensure a seamlessly enjoyable experience.

Clare Petra Matthes

Hi, I'm Clare and I am a freelance writer and Tech journalist as well as the owner and founder of where I review tech devices and also cover emerging technology news. Outside of I write for a number of publications and have regular tech slots on chaiFM radio station and eNCA's Tech Matters national breakfast TV news show.

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