What causes vertical lines on a TV screen?

Vertical lines on a TV screen can be frustrating. They distract you from viewing your favorite movies or TV shows or any content on your TV.

The biggest challenge is that you may not know what has caused the vertical lines on a TV screen. That is because the issue could be hardware or software-based.

If it is a hardware issue, the possible culprit is a faulty T-Con board. A software issue can include an out-of-date OS.

Now that you know the possible causes of vertical lines on the TV screen, I’ll explain the solutions. Try them out one at a time until you find what works for you.

1. Reset your devices

Generally, whenever vertical lines appear on a TV screen, the problem is usually a hardware issue.

But before concluding, you must do a soft reset and see whether the lines disappear. Here is how:

  • Unplug your TV for 60 seconds without turning it off.
  • Hold the power button down for 30 seconds after unplugging it.
  • Plug your TV back in.
  • Check if the vertical lines are gone.

Besides the TV, you also need to reset other devices connected to your TV. Consider resetting your cable boxes, routers, Fire Sticks, or modems.

We’ve provided a detailed guide for fixing vertical lines on a Samsung TV. Make sure to check it out.

2. Check for power quality

It is rare to find power quality causing vertical lines on a TV screen.

However, when your TV experiences fluctuating voltage in the AC supply, this can cause issues with the device, including vertical lines.

If you have a surge protector, remove it and power on your TV to determine if it is the culprit. You can plug the TV into a wall outlet and see if the problem disappears.

If it solves the problem, replace the surge protector. But if you do not have a surge protector and the vertical lines appear, consider buying one and see if it removes the lines.

While checking for power quality, also check for overheating. When your TV overheats, it can damage the internal components, such as the T-Con board, causing vertical lines.

You can fix this by placing your TV in a well-ventilated area. Leave enough space around your TV to allow air to circulate. Also, clean the TV vents to ensure the air flows freely.  

3. Faulty connections

Faulty connections, such as loose cable connections, can cause vertical lines on a TV screen.

For example, loose HDMI or video cables can cause this issue. You can fix this by resetting the cables and ensuring they are well-fastened. Also, clean the contacts or reset the TV to see if it resolves the problem.

4. Check the HDMI cables

Faulty HDMI cables can cause problems with your TV display and video signal. Failure can occur at the input sockets or the cables.

HDMI ports on an LG TV
HDMI ports on an LG TV

Here is how to check if the HDMI cables are the source of the vertical lines.

  • Disconnect the HDMI cables from both ends and reconnect them. Once you power on the TV, check if it has corrected the problem.
  • Use a different HDMI cable.
  • Ensure you use a certified HDMI cable.
  • Test the HDMI cable using the test mode.

Also, consider cleaning the HDMI cables.

You can do further checks to determine if your HDMI port has malfunctioned.

5. Check for interference

Sometimes, vertical lines can appear on a TV screen because of interference from other electrical devices.

Devices that can cause these problems include cable boxes, game consoles, and microwave ovens. You can start by unplugging these devices one by one to see which one causes the issue.

Consider placing your TV far away from the device if the lines disappear.

6. Update the TV software

Samsung Smart TV software update

An out-of-date TV software can cause many problems with your TV. For example, the TV will buffer, freeze, or vertical lines may appear on the screen.

Therefore, update the software on your TV and try again. Go to the TV settings to update the software or the manufacturer’s website for further instructions on updating your TV.

7. Check for physical damage

Your TV may have vertical lines because of physical damage. In most cases, the place of impact could be the source of the distorted picture. Also, dents, tears, or cracks on the screen can cause vertical lines.

It is worth mentioning that:

  • An impact on your TV can cause internal components, such as the T-Con board, to malfunction, resulting in the vertical lines.
  • Physical damage on the ribbon cables connecting the T-Con board to the LCD panel can cause vertical lines to appear.

Screen damage can also cause vertical lines on a TV. If you notice a cracked screen, consider replacing it. But if you can repair it, work with a professional.

8. Faulty T-Con board

The T-Con board is responsible for processing images on a TV screen. If this board is faulty, it can affect the display.

A TV T-Con board
A sample T-Con board for a Samsung TV

Also, a faulty T-Con board can cause half of the screen to be missing, no picture at all, or vertical lines on a TV screen.

You have several methods of fixing this issue, including:

Replace the T-Con board.

A faulty T-Con board has no other way to fix it but to replace it. However, use a professional’s help because the repair can be complex.

Check the ribbon cables

The issue may sometimes come from the ribbon cables connecting the T-Con board to the LCD panel.

Therefore, check that these cables are securely fastened. You can start by disconnecting the ribbons to and from your main board and reseating them.

Also, an LED TV with vertical lines can occur if the ribbon cables are dirty or corroded. In that case, consider cleaning the contacts with a soft cloth or a contact cleaner.

How much does it cost to fix vertical lines on a TV?

The cost to fix vertical lines on a TV depends on the primary cause of the problem, the brand type of TV, and your local market. However, it can range from $50 to over $400.

For example, if loose cable connections or software issues cause the problem, you may not have to spend money to fix them.

But a faulty T-Con board or any damage to the screen requires professional help, which can cost you money.

Have your say

Have you encountered a problem of vertical lines on your TV screen, and how did you fix it?

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About the Author
Walter Allen
Streaming Media expert and technology writer. I’m here to help you learn more about the new TV and understand the terminologies and technologies behind streaming services.

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