Samsung Smart TV troubleshooting: picture, sound, Wi-Fi, apps

Samsung makes some of the most reliable Smart TVs, but even the best TVs can have problems sometimes.

In the case of Samsung, the most common issues stem from internet connectivity failure. Others occur due to glitches in the operating system, power supply failure, and low memory.

Depending on the issue, you will see an error code when your TV stops working. Error codes are meant to give you an idea of the problem and its probable causes.

However, you won’t get error codes for some issues such as lines on the screen, distorted sound, or poor picture quality. This makes them challenging to diagnose and fix.

Whenever your Samsung Smart TV is not working, the first thing to do is to try and identify the cause of the problem. Once you find it, troubleshooting will be much easier.

How to troubleshoot a Samsung Smart TV

In this guide, we look at a host of common issues with Samsung Smart TVs and provide detailed troubleshooting guides to fix these problems.

Samsung TV is not connecting to Wi-Fi

Samsung Tv network settings
Photo: Samsung

If your Samsung TV fails to detect a specific or any wireless network, start by navigating to Settings > General > Network > Network Settings > Wireless.

Check whether your TV has listed your Wi-Fi network. If it is not listed, you’ll have to check whether the TV has hidden your network. Select Add then enter the name of the network.

Alternatively, you can try out each of these steps:

  • Power-cycle or reboot your network equipment: Unplug your router and modem from your TV and the power source. Plug them back in and try connecting to the network again.
  • Reset your TV: Go to Settings > Support > Self Diagnosis > Reset and enter your PIN (the default is 0000). After the reset, try connecting again.
  • Check for software updates and install them if available: Go to Settings > Support > Software Update > Update Now.

If your TV cannot connect to the internet, perform a network status test. Go to Settings > General > Network > Network Status.

Run the test and pay close attention to any error messages. An error message will guide you in fixing the issue.

Samsung TV is not recognizing the cable box

Your Samsung TV should recognize the cable box automatically when you connect it. If nothing happens, press Source on your remote and select the cable box.

Alternatively, navigate to the Source using the on-screen menu and change to the HDMI port you used to connect your cable box. Check to ensure that you have powered ON the cable box.

You will also encounter the issue if the HDMI ports have a problem. Try reconnecting the HDMI cable, use a different cable, or connect to a different HDMI port.

Apps won’t install on a Samsung Smart TV

If your Samsung TV is not installing apps, try the following:

  • Unplug your TV from the power source.
  • Sign out of the application that’s causing the problem.
  • Check if you have connected your Samsung Smart TV to the internet.
  • Check your router settings.
  • Review your streaming plan.
  • Make sure your TV has the most up-to-date firmware.

Another option is to restore your TV to factory settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Enter PIN as 0000 > Select Reset.

Once you complete the steps, connect to the internet and try installing the app. But if you are trying to install 3rd party apps, there is a different way of doing it.

Samsung TV is not responding to the remote

This is one of the most common Samsung Smart TV problems. We’ve even created a complete troubleshooting guide for it. You can try to troubleshoot this issue in different ways:

  • Reset the remote by removing the batteries, press the Power button for eight seconds, reinsert the batteries, and try using the remote again.
  • Check if the remote sends an IR signal by using a digital camera. Point the remote at your phone camera then press and hold the Power button. Look at the camera screen to see whether a colored light is coming from the remote. That indicates the device is working well.
  • Clean the touch controls on the bezel of the TV and try again.

You can also try to replace the batteries with new ones and try again.

Samsung TV is not turning on yet a red light keeps blinking

When your Samsung TV is not turning on, but you see the red light blinking, it means the surge protectors have worn out or there is an inadequate power supply.

In that case, the protectors will not provide the necessary voltage for your TV. The best action to take is to check whether the protectors are ineffective.

If not, it could be a sign your TV is experiencing some hardware issues out of your control. The best thing to do is visit the nearest Samsung Support Center for further assistance.

Samsung TV is not connecting to a Samsung server

If your Samsung TV is not connecting to the Samsung server, here is what you should do:

  • Power-cycle the TV and try again.
  • Set up a connection with a mobile hotspot to see if the unit will connect. If it does, the problem is with your router.
  • Check the network status of your TV by going to Settings > General > Network > Network Status and run the test.
  • Reset the network by navigating to Settings > General > Network > Reset Network. After the reset, try connecting again.

You can also try to power-cycle your network equipment, including modem and router. If you are connecting wirelessly, use an Ethernet cable. If you don’t own one, we recommend this durable cat8 Lan cable by DbillionDa.

Samsung TV is not showing pictures

If your Samsung Smart TV has picture problems, try to troubleshoot the issues as follows:

  • Check if the red standby light is on. If it is on and the TV is not showing pictures, press the power button on the remote or on the TV itself.
  • If the TV is not turning on and the red standby light is off, press any button on your TV except the Power button.
  • Unplug the TV for 30 seconds from the power outlet and then plug it into a working outlet.
  • If you see dots, spots, or lines on the screen, visit the Samsung Support Center to request service. Lines on the screen can indicate a cracked screen.
  • If TV picture is flickering, turn off LED Clear Motion. Go to Settings > Picture > Expert Settings > Auto Motion Plus Settings > Auto Motion Plus > Custom > LED Clear Motion.
  • Perform a picture test by going to Settings > Support > Self Diagnosis > Picture Test. Follow the on-screen directions to fix the issue.
  • Try turning off energy saving by going to Settings > General > Energy Saving or Eco Solution. Set the option to OFF.

You can fix specific picture problems on your Samsung Smart TV by adjusting your TV settings.

Samsung TV is not recognizing HDMI

Samsung HDMI cable
Photo: Amazon

Your Samsung TV can fail to recognize an HDMI cable if you have not powered on the connected device, you have selected an incorrect source, or you are using a damaged cable.

However, you can troubleshoot this issue as follows:

  • Press the power button on the connected device to verify that you have powered it ON.
  • Set the source on your TV to the same port you connected your device. If your device is in HDMI port 1, the source on your TV should be HDMI 1.
  • Disconnect the HDMI cable from both ends and reconnect it.
  • Try connecting the HDMI cable to a different port.
  • Connect a different device to the HDMI port and see whether it works. If it does, schedule a repair of the previous device or contact the manufacturer.

If you determine your cable and the external device are working well, you have an issue with your TV or the HDMI ports. In that case, visit the Support Center to request repair service.

Otherwise, if the cable has a problem, you need to get a new one.

Apps are not available on Samsung TV

You can download apps on a Samsung Smart TV and run them like you would on a smartphone. But in some cases, the apps encounter errors where they stop working or become inaccessible on the Samsung device.

Here is how you can troubleshoot the issue:

  • Power cycle all connected devices by unplugging your modem, router, and TV. Avoid disconnecting any Ethernet cables, but remove the power cords from the wall.
  • Plug back in your devices one by one and wait for your TV to establish a connection.
  • Plug back in the TV and turn it on.

Try accessing the apps and see whether it has fixed the issue. If that does not work, check for Samsung TV software updates. Go to Settings > Support > Software Update, and then select Update Now.

An extreme solution would be to factory reset your TV. But that would also mean you download and install the apps again.

Samsung TV Smart Hub won’t work

The Samsung Smart Hub is a feature that allows you to access all applications on your Smart TV.  If it is not working, the best fix is to reset it. Here is how:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Support
  • Choose Self Diagnosis
  • Select Reset Smart Hub.

If you have a different model, go to Settings > Support > Device Care > Self Diagnosis > Reset Smart Hub. You can find more information in this Smart Hub troubleshooting guide.

After resetting Smart Hub, try opening it again to access your applications. In case you require a password, enter the default one as 0000.

Samsung TV shows a dark screen

A dark screen can be a cause for concern for many users. But sometimes the screen could be dark because your TV is off. If you hear sound and there are no pictures, then you have a problem.

One common cause could be your external device (such as a TV box or streaming media) and not the TV. In this case, try using a different external device and see whether it fixes the problem.

You can also try to troubleshoot the issue as follows:

  • Press the Home button on your remote to see whether the menu appears. If you see a menu, it means your TV is working well but is not on the correct source. It could also mean the device is not receiving a signal.
  • If you do not see the menu, your TV has power issues.

Also, determine whether you have set your TV to the same source as your external device. For example, if you have a cable box connected to HDMI 1, set the TV source to HDMI 1.

  • Unplug and reconnect the AV connections from both ends, one cable at a time.
  • Replace any damaged wires.
  • After reconnecting, turn your TV OFF and then back ON to see if it has fixed the issue.

Another step you can take is to test your HDMI cable. Here is how:

  • Ensure the source of your TV is on the HDMI setting
  • Go to Settings > Support > Self Diagnosis > Signal Information > HDMI Cable Test > Start Test.

You will have to replace the cable if the test confirms your cable is bad. If you need a new cable, go for the PowerBear HDMI cable.

Samsung Smart TV freezes periodically

You can fix a Samsung TV that freezes periodically by doing the following:

  • Reboot the device by holding down the Power button on the Samsung TV remote until the TV turns OFF and ON again. It should take about 5 seconds.
  • Unplug the TV from the wall outlet or surge protector. Leave it unplugged for 30 seconds, and then plug it back in.
  • Check for software updates by going to Settings > Support > Software Update, and then select Update Now. If updates are available, they will install automatically.

If an app is causing the TV to freeze, delete it from your TV and download it again. Alternatively, update apps on your Samsung TV through these steps:

  • Press the Smart Hub button.
  • Select Featured.
  • Go to the app that needs updating.
  • Press and hold the Enter button until a sub-menu appears.
  • Select Update apps.
  • Click on Select All.
  • Select Update.

All applications with an available update will start updating. The new updates will clear any errors that are causing your TV to freeze periodically.

Conclusion

This Samsung TV troubleshooting guide covers some of the most common errors you are likely to encounter on your Smart TV. Follow the fixes provided carefully.

If the error you have encountered points to a hardware issue within the TV, it is better to contact Samsung support. Otherwise, you risk voiding your warranty if you try fixing it by yourself.

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