Unless you’ve recently moved from Alaska to Texas and you’re feeling a little homesick, chances are that last thing you want to see when you turn on your TV is snow. Combine a snowy screen with that loud, obnoxious static sound, and you’ve got a problem on your hands. Fortunately you don’t have to be techie to fix your cable box – just follow these simple troubleshooting steps to get picture back in no time.
Cable Box Basics
Make sure your cable box is plugged in. I know that sounds silly, but after troubleshooting these things over phone professionally, you can trust me on this one. Save yourself time and embarrassment of calling a professional just to have them tell you to plug it in. That goes for rest of essential equipment as well (i.e. TV, VCR or DVR if you’re running signal through one, etc.). It wouldn’t hurt to make sure TV is on correct channel – usually channel 3 or 4 or one of input channels.
Make sure all cables are connected. Even if you’re TV and cable box are both turned on, you won’t see a picture unless they are connected. Check each connection to ensure it is tight and that none of wires or connecting pieces is damaged. Also check to see that connections are all correct – meaning, video and audio should be going out of your cable or satellite box to your TV “in” ports. The signal should follow a logical path. If connections are correct but you’re still not seeing any picture, replace cables to see if that solves problem. If you’re running signal through a DVR or VCR and having problems, skip middle man and plug cables straight from box to TV. If you get a picture you know you’re problem is in VCR.
After making sure everything is on and cable connections are all correct, try rebooting your system. Each company’s receivers have different methods of rebooting, but one fairly universal way is to unplug box for 10 to 20 seconds and then plug it back in. Do not just turn box off and back on again – you’ll need to actually pull plug out of wall and then put it back in again. Once cable box is plugged back in, turn power on and cross your fingers. If you’re still not receiving any picture, unplug receiver again for up to one minute and then plug it back in. This may be tedious and time-consuming, especially when you’re missing fight of year or Super Bowl, but give it full minute – you’ll spend less time doing it yourself than you will waiting for a repairman to come out and fix it.
Fuzzy Picture or Sound