How to recognise TV picture and screen issues and how to solve them
There are lines on the screen, the screen is blurred, has double images, is too bright or dark, or has odd colors.
This article offers help to identify and solve screen and picture issues.
What are TV screen issues?
Screen and picture issues are abnormal changes in the image displayed on the TV screen.
- You can consult our example catalogue with reference pictures below in the article. Skip to the example pictures below.
- The troubleshooting steps apply to most, if not all, picture issues unless you're dealing with physical damage.
Step 1: Does the picture issue apply to the entire TV screen or just to specific content or moments?
Before we start with troubleshooting, it's essential to find out if:
- The picture issue is always present on-screen, regardless of what you're watching. It's visible if you open the settings menu.
- The picture issue is limited to a specific situation: when using an app or a particular device (e.g., console or set-top box), or other instances.
- The picture issue is about pixels, not lines or colours.
What to do?
Run a quick check by opening the Settings menu to see if the picture issue is visible.
Step 2: What are the possible troubleshooting steps for TV picture issues?
The picture issue is always visible on-screen (even on the Home screen or in the settings menu)
- Check your TV screen for physical damage (dents, tears, cracks, etc.). The screen might be compromised if the TV received an impact that caused physical damage to the screen. Usually, the place of impact will be the origin of the picture distortion. Physical damage lines are usually both horizontal and vertical with a visible point of impact (see image below).
- If your TV shows physical damage, please contact one of Sony's Authorised Service Centers to find the best solution for you.
- If you can't observe any physical damage, try a power cycle: unplug the TV, keep it unplugged for 30 seconds and plug it back in to reset it.
- If that fails, please take clear pictures of the issue you're experiencing. The pictures must be taken under normal lighting conditions with the TV displaying content that you'd usually watch on the TV. Ensure you have taken a picture showing four TV corners, as well as a close-up picture focussing on the affected area of the screen. Once you've taken the pictures, please contact us.
The picture issue is only visible in specific instances or moments
Now, if it's clear the picture issue isn't affecting the entire TV, we can try some specific troubleshooting. It's potentially caused by:
- Poor signal strength of internet or broadcaster (might be limited in time)
- A glitch or bug (e.g., app or console that needs a restart)
- Cable connection or faulty cable (poorly connected gaming console or set-top box, old cable)
- Picture settings
- It's inherent to the technology used in certain circumstances
Poor Signal strength
You might be experiencing internet issues or a problem with your service provider, which can affect the image quality and sharpness. Usually, this is temporary, but it doesn't hurt to restart your router or check the service provider's websites for more information.
You might be experiencing a bug or anomaly
If you're suddenly experiencing a strange image when using a TV app, a gaming console, a set-top box or any other device, it might be a glitch. Please restart that device. As for your TV, unplug it, leave it unplugged for 30 seconds, and plug it back in to see if this solves the issue.
Check the cable connection or try a different cable
Check if all cables to and from the TV are correctly attached (sometimes cleaning dislodges them). Alternatively, you can try and replace a cable to see if it improves the situation (E.g., swap the HDMI cable connected to your gaming console if that's where the issue occurs.)
Change or reset your picture settings
Maybe the picture settings you're using are not ideal for the content you're watching (e.g. contrast and brightness issues). Go into the TV's picture settings and reset them to default values if you've changed them before. Otherwise, try to optimise the settings for the content you're watching.
How to adjust the TV picture settings
It's inherent to the technology (LCD & OLED)
Sometimes the combination of imagery and TV technology can cause phenomena like picture noise or backlight bleeding (LCD TVs). Although it’s unavoidable, there are certain setting adjustments you can make to improve the situation. Check out these articles to find out more:
- Flickering, flashing, or blinking picture noise occurs when I watch videos with dark scenes
- White backlight on LCD TVs when watching dark scenes
When it comes to OLED TVs, it's important to consider image retention. If you can see a brief glimpse of the previous image when switching screens, that's image retention. Read our article on image retention and how to avoid burn-in.
What are examples of TV screen or picture issues?
The integrity of your TV screen has been compromised by a physical impact. Please contact one of Sony's Authorised Service Centers to find the best solution for you.
Lines on the screen (vertical/horizontal lines, bands)
Your TV screen displays vertical or horizontal lines in red, blue, green, white or black. The lines go across the entire screen.
Mosaic/Block-Type Noise or scrambled picture
The picture is scrambled or garbled, creating a blocky, mosaic-type look.
Big stains or screen discolouration
Blurred screen (Blurry, hazy, dull)
The TV image is unclear and blurred, the picture is not in focus. Images may look like they are trailing.
Double images (Ghost image, double image)
The TV image looks like there's a mirror image that's slightly out of synch, causing you to see a doubled image.
Cloudy, white shadow or bright spots when there is no input or when viewing very dark scenes (Mura, backlight bleeding, banding, blooming)
The TV picture looks patchy or blotchy when watching very dark scenes or when the TV screen is black.
The screen is entirely black
Picture contrast: too bright or too dark
The TV picture seems too bright or too dark, way beyond the usual setting boundaries.
Grey screen or no colours
The TV display turns grey when watching content.
Abnormal colours on the screen (Solarization, No colour, faded, Intermixing/Spreading of colour)
TV image colours seem overexposed or inverted (e.g., the brightest colours turn dark) or images have an abnormal colour scheme.