Samsung TV Has Sound But No Picture – Quick & Easy Fixes!

Author: Richard Clyborne | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

You’ve just sat down with friends to watch the big game. You reach for the remote to switch on your Samsung TV. Your TV turns on, and you may even hear sound coming out of the TV, but alas! There’s no picture. You begin to worry as a handful of worst-case scenarios fly through your head.

At first, this problem may seem unfixable — the black screen of death, a technological demise — but in truth, fixing this problem may be as simple as unplugging your TV.

If your Samsung TV has a black screen with sound, it doesn’t mean your TV is toast. It’s a very common issue with all TVs, regardless of the brand or model. More often than not, solutions to this no-picture problem are quick and easy and usually require troubleshooting the following:

  • Your TV’s Power Source
  • Input Selection
  • HDMI Connection
  • Your TV’s Settings
  • Your TV’s Software

First, Rule out a Faulty Backlight

Pretty much the only time you can’t fix this annoying issue is when it’s caused by a hardware failure, such as a failed backlight (note: this isn’t applicable for OLED TVs, since they don’t need a backlight).

First of all, what is a backlight? It’s the light source responsible for brightening up your TV, so that the LCD pixels of the display are visible to you.

It’s not difficult to diagnose a non-functional backlight, and it’s important to do so before you proceed with the other steps that I’ve laid out below. Because if the backlight is the culprit, no amount of other troubleshooting would fix your Samsung TV.

To make sure it’s the backlight that’s faulty, move very close to your TV, and point a flashlight directly at the display.

If you can spot parts of the picture where you’ve applied the light, that means the display is still functional, but it’s not visible to the naked eye due to the backlight not working. It’s exactly like running the TV at 0% brightness.

If this is the case, I’d advise you not to waste any more time and directly get in touch with Samsung support since you’ll need to replace the faulty backlight.

If your TV is under warranty, they should replace it free of charge. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for it, but it’s not hugely expensive, unlike the display panel itself.

If you can’t spot anything on the panel even after pointing a flashlight at it, you can be pretty sure that it’s something other than the backlight which is acting up, and proceed to the troubleshooting steps below.

How Do You Know Where to Start?

Since it’s tough to pinpoint exactly what causes this issue, you should begin with the easiest troubleshooting method and slowly work your way up to more complex ones. I mean, how many times have you consulted IT, and their first question is, “Did you try turning it off and back on again?”

Solution #1: The Soft Reset

Sometimes, the best solution is the easiest one. A soft reset shuts the TV down completely, rather than just putting it into standby mode.

To do this, find the outlet that your Samsung TV is plugged into. Then, simply unplug the power cord from the outlet, and leave it unplugged for 60 seconds. After the 60 seconds are up, plug the TV back into the wall.

Note: Some also recommend keeping the power button of the TV pressed for 30 seconds after you unplug it from the outlet. This’ll drain any residual power from the device.

Solution #2: The Cold Boot

If a soft reset doesn’t fix the problem, try doing a cold boot. Cold booting drains any residual electrical charge build-up and resets the main circuit board.

With your Samsung TV still on, press and hold the power button on your remote until the TV turns off and back on again.

If you don’t have your Samsung remote, don’t worry, you can still do a cold boot. With your TV still on, unplug the power cord for 30 seconds, and then plug it back in.

Solution #3: Experiment with Different HDMI Inputs

Sometimes, the fix can be as simple as selecting the correct input. Make sure that the HDMI input on your Samsung TV corresponds to the input that your device (cable box, gaming device, DVD player, etc.) is plugged into.

Your Samsung TV should come with at least two or three. If you still get a black screen with sound after testing the different HDMI inputs, the issue may be your HDMI cable.

Solution #4: Check Your Connections

The problem may be caused by either a loose connection between your HDMI cable and the HDMI port on your TV, a faulty HDMI port on your TV, and a faulty HDMI cable.

Sometimes, HDMI cables start to lose their reliability and connectivity after a brief use period. I’ve personally had HDMI cables work perfectly fine for a couple of weeks, then burn out randomly.

The likelihood of an HDMI cable burning out goes up if the cable is continuously plugged and unplugged. A wire burnout can also happen from cord strain over time, ending with a wire splitting inside, interrupting the connection.

If you’re looking to purchase a new HDMI cable, this Amazon Basics High-Speed HDMI Cable is great for the price and I’ve personally used it on several occasions.

But if you have an HDMI cable that you know works, and plugging it into other ports doesn’t seem to solve your issue, the problem may lie within your Samsung TV’s internal settings.

Solution #5: Turn Off Power/Sleep/Standby Mode

Most TVs these days have a smart sleep timer or power-saver, or standby mode which turns off your TV’s display to prolong your TV’s life and save you a couple of dollars on your energy bill.

However, people have experienced the pictureless black screen that still plays audio when this Sleep Timer, Power-Saver, or Standby Mode is enabled.

To disable your Samsung TV’s Sleep Timer Mode:

  1. Press the Menu button on your TV remote
  2. Open the Settings Menu on your Samsung TV
  3. Navigate to General
  4. Select System Manager
  5. Select Time
  6. Select Sleep Timer
  7. Select Off

To disable your Samsung TV’s Power Saver Mode:

  1. Press the Menu button on your TV remote
  2. Open the Settings Menu on your Samsung TV
  3. Navigate to Settings
  4. Select General
  5. Select Eco Solution
  6. Select Auto Power Off
  7. Select Off

To disable your Samsung TV’s Standby Mode:

  1. Press the Menu button on your TV remote
  2. Open the Settings Menu on your Samsung TV
  3. Navigate to Settings
  4. Select Software Upgrade
  5. Select Standby Mode Upgrade
  6. Select Off

Solution #6: Update your TV’s Firmware

If you’re experiencing any issues with your Samsung TV, you should always check to see if there are any software updates ready to be downloaded. Sometimes, TVs won’t automatically download updates unless you allow them to.

To check if your Samsung TV has any readily-available updates:

  1. Press the Menu button on your TV remote
  2. Open the Settings menu on your TV
  3. Select Support
  4. Select Software Update
  5. Select Update Now

Solution #7: Factory Reset

If none of the above solutions work, it may be time to perform a factory reset. A factory reset will effectively reset any changed settings and delete any saved data on your Samsung TV. It returns your TV to its original out-of-the-box state, like you just picked it up from the store.

You can perform a factory reset with your TV remote.

To perform a factory reset:

  1. Press the Menu button on your TV remote
  2. Open the Settings Menu on your TV
  3. Select Support
  4. Select Self Diagnosis
  5. Select Reset
  6. Enter Pin: 0000

I know, I know, how will you be able to see what’s on the screen if it doesn’t even light up? In this situation, you can try the following, though there’s no guarantee that it’ll work with every model out there.

First, unplug the Samsung TV for 10 seconds and then plug it back in.

Next, press and hold the “info”, “mute”, and “menu” buttons at the same time and hold for 5 seconds. Then press 8, and then 2.

That should be enough to reset your Samsung TV.

Solution #8: Consider Consulting a Samsung Technician

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do to fix hardware problems, and sometimes the problem is larger than you.

If none of the previous solutions seem to work, the best thing you can do is talk with Samsung’s Support Team.

The issue could be coming from the TV’s backlight because of a variety of reasons — fall damage, water damage, or just a defective part. Fixing this requires dismantling the unit altogether and replacing hardware.

The Bottom Line

The black screen of death is something you never want to deal with – mainly because it’s difficult to diagnose the root of the problem.

But fixing this problem can be quick and easy, and get you back to watching the big game in no time.

The best way to go about fixing this issue is to start troubleshooting with the simplest solution, then move on to more complex methods.

There are five different categories you should try troubleshooting before you consider taking in to get repaired or purchasing a whole new TV:

  • Your TV’s Power Source
  • The Input Selection
  • The HDMI Connection
  • Your TV’s Settings
  • Your TV’s Software

If the above troubleshooting methods don’t pan out, then it may be time to consult a Samsung technician; the problem might be too complex for a DIY fix.

As always, check to see if your Samsung TV is covered under any warranty, that way if you do end up repairing it, it’s covered.

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About Richard Clyborne

Richard is a guitar player and music producer from Denver, CO. Apart from touring extensively with his band, he has briefly worked as a session musician and recorded at several prominent recording studios across Colorado.

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