Vizio products have widespread popularity because they offer more advanced features compared to other products in the same price range made by other brands. Vizio televisions have high-definition resolutions, among other features that make the TV useful and attractive. For instance, a Vizio TV can work efficiently as a gaming monitor or a family television.
The best thing about Vizio TVs is they are cheaper than most other TV brands but still offer exemplary service to viewers. Unfortunately, Vizio TVs have some downsides. Users have complained of sound issues, the TV randomly powering itself on, and even it not powering on or off.
One annoying problem the TVs have is that the screen can go black randomly while watching or playing video games. A quick search reveals that many Vizio TV owners have faced this issue and are looking for tips on overcoming it.
Keep reading as we address what causes the Vizio TV screen to go black randomly and what you can do to resume the normal operation of the TV.
Troubleshoot the remote – maybe the power button is stuck.
Check for damaged cables and ports. Replace damaged cables and try using different input ports on your TV.
Power cycle your TV. Don’t just use the Reboot option in your TV’s settings – you need to unplug your TV from the power source.
Some TV settings on your Vizio TV could cause your screen to go black randomly – disable the sleep timer and auto power off, and disable the Mute Screen feature.
Try using different picture modes and adjusting the backlight and brightness settings.
Check for updates.
Change power outlets.
Factory reset your TV.
Why Does My Vizio Screen Go Black Randomly?
The most apparent cause is that the connections to and from the television are faulty and require your attention. Whatever the case, you should always check the connections are correctly made before trying any troubleshooting measures.
The TV’s image processing settings could also be interfering with the display. These include streaming in high resolutions or picture modes on the TV. If the sleep timer is set, it will also switch off the TV, which might seem random to many.
The screen could also be black because the ports on the TV are damaged/dirty. Sometimes, the TV’s internal components can be the problem, e.g., the backlight is burnt out and needs replacing.
A bug or outdated software can also cause TV screen issues. Below, we discuss more causes and how to solve the random black screens on a Vizio TV.
Check the Remote
It could be that the power key on the Vizio TV remote is stuck. It might seem negligible but can cause problems when it happens.
You can troubleshoot the remote controller and rule it out as the possible culprit using the procedure below:
- Remove batteries from the remote.
- Press every key on the remote while the batteries are still out to discharge any residual current and unstick any stuck keys
- Restart the TV.
- Return the batteries to the remote and observe if the problem persists.
Fixing Vizio TV Remote
Restart the TV
Restarting the TV, also known as a power cycle, allows it to be set up afresh, resolving any low-level software or power supply issues that might be causing the screen to go black randomly.
However, simply powering the TV off and then on does not always work. Instead, you have to
do it in a way that ensures the power supply to the TV is cut entirely, and any residual power within the TV is discharged.
The procedure to do this is:
- Power off the TV as you usually do and unplug it from the wall outlet.
- Also, power off any external devices connected to the TV.
- Disconnect all other connections to the TV.
- Press and hold the power button on the TV for twenty seconds while the TV is off.
- Reconnect all the auxiliary devices and power on the TV, then check if it still has the problem.
If the screen still goes black during watching, try other methods discussed below.
How to Power Cycle your TV
Vizio televisions usually have multiple inputs, especially HDMI inputs, making this step very easy to try. If the power cycle did not work, then probably the current input is faulty, and you can confirm that by shuffling through the inputs.
Therefore, try using different inputs and remember to observe if the port is damaged or dirty.
Also, ensure you have a quality HDMI cable (Check on Amazon) since cheaper ones tend to lag and cause intermittent blacking out of the screen.
Also, check if other streaming services have the same random black screen problem. Contact the respective customer service if it is isolated to an app, e.g., Netflix or Hulu.
Check the TV Settings
The settings below can cause the screen to go black randomly for a few seconds and then continue working. Others power the TV off automatically after inactivity; therefore, below is how to disable such settings and update them, so the screen does not go black randomly.
Sleep timer & Auto power off
The sleep timer will cause the TV to go off at a particular time, and it will seem random if you do not know the timer was set. A sign that the timer is responsible is that the TV will notify you before going off, or it will go off but have the standby LED on, and you can power the TV using the power button.
If you suspect the sleep timer, you can disable it by navigating Menu > System > Timers > Sleep Timer, then use the left/right navigation keys to select Off.
Note that the TV will automatically power off if it stays on for ten minutes without video or audio. You can disable his feature by navigating Menu > System > Timers > Auto Power Off > Off.
Vizio TVs also have a mute/blank screen feature that will turn off your screen if the screen is idle and the TV is streaming audio only. The feature saves power and reduces stress on the TV’s backscreen LED lights.
Press and hold the Mute key for five seconds, and the TV will exit the mute screen if it is responsible for the random black screen.
Exit the mute screen by pressing any key except the power and mute keys on the remote on newer Vizio TV models.
Picture Modes & Screen brightness
Another suggestion is to shuffle through the various picture modes by navigating Menu > Picture > Picture Mode. Use the left/right navigation keys to cycle through the different picture modes.
Some users have also reported the problem was solved after they lowered their TV’s screen brightness. You can also try this by going to Menu > Picture > Picture Mode. Then, scroll to Backlight and Brightness and make them 70.
Note that these settings will only apply to the current Input and current Picture mode; therefore, update them for every input and picture mode.
Adjusting Picture Settings on a VIZIO Smart TV
Check for an Update
Outdated TV firmware can also affect the normal working of the TV and cause problems such as the screen randomly blacking out on your VIZIO TV. Firmware updates also improve the TV’s operations; hence, it is essential to always have the latest version.
You can check if updates are available on your Vizio TV using the steps below.
- Ensure the TV has a stable internet connection.
- Then press Menu and navigate Admin & Privacy > Check for Updates.
- If an update is available, the TV will ask you to confirm the download, and if there is no update or the message The TV is up-to-date will appear.
How to Check Your Firmware Version (and Update It) on a Vizio Smart TV
Change Power Outlets
Consider testing if the problem happens even if you change power outlets. If the screen goes black and the power indicator on the TV also goes off, then the issue is the power supply to the TV cutting out.
If your TV is connected to a surge protector, remove it or replace it with another one to ensure the power supply to the TV is uninterrupted.
More troubleshooting tips regarding the behavior of the power indicator on a Vizio TV are available on their website.
Factory Reset the TV
The last resort is to erase all settings and information stored on the TV. A factory reset will clear all system information and restore the TV’s OS to how it was at the point of manufacture.
Hence a factory reset will undo any troublesome settings or clear stubborn bugs. You can reset the TV using the remote or buttons on the TV.
To reset your VIZIO TV using the remote, follow the steps below.
- Press Menu.
- Navigate Admin & Privacy > Reset to Factory Settings.
- Enter the system PIN or use 000 if you have never changed it from the default.
- Select Reset > OK once the TV displays “Select Reset to restore all TV settings to factory defaults.”
- Wait for the TV to reset and restart so you can start the set-up process.
Resetting a VIZIO TV to Factory Default Settings
If the screen is permanently black and you cannot use the Menu option, you can use the power button to reset the TV.
Simply press and hold the power button for twenty seconds while the TV is on, and it will restore to default settings. Older models follow a slightly different procedure, as seen in the video below.
VIZIO TV – Manual Factory Reset
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why does my TV screen go black, but it has sound?
Answer: Vizio TVs have a mute screen feature that will switch off the TV’s screen but not the audio when activated or automatically when using music apps like Spotify or Apple Music.
The feature is meant to help conserve energy and extend the lifespan of the TV’s backlight LED.
Press any key except the Mute or Power buttons to get out of the Mute/Blank screen.
Other reasons the TV has no picture are; a damaged TV or cables, a software bug, or low brightness settings.
Question: Why does my Vizio TV go black randomly?
Answer: It could be because of bad cables/ports or settings like the Sleep timer and auto-off feature that can switch off the TV. A bug or damaged components on the TV could also be responsible.
Question: What is the Black Screen of Death on TV?
Answer: This is when the TV’s screen goes dark as if it is off, but it’s supposed to be on. When the TV experience the black screen of death, it is unresponsive to any signal from the remote or any operation attempts by the user.
If the solutions above fail, contact Vizio’s customer support team, and they will arrange for a technician visit. Vizio might also offer another TV if your warranty is valid or more suggestions that will be specific to your TV’s model.
Another option is to consult a reputable technician near you but consider this option after contacting Vizio.