Is your Toshiba TV already causing you problems?
As a Toshiba fan I'll be the first to say that I've encountered my fair share of issues with the my TV (this is my trusty model below):
My model is the
All in all it is an awesome smart TV, but like many of these modern sets they're not without their faults. Here's a guide to 10 of the most common problems you can expect to encounter at some point of owning your Toshiba, and some quick ways that can both diagnose and attempt to fix the issues before you resort to breaking-out that warranty or sending it back to the store.
10 common Toshiba TV problems explained
1. A noticeable lag when gaming
This was the first issue I encountered with my Toshiba, and after some initial searching realised that it's not only a Toshiba problem in of itself, but a very common smart TV problem in general. It all comes down to your default settings.
Your Toshiba may be set to a default of ‘PC' mode when you first purchase it. You need to manually switch it to ‘Game' mode if you're experience a lag, which usually manifests as a delay between audio and visual, or what appears to be a genuine lag from within the game itself (which is often not the case).
Game made ensures that there is a minimised frame delay for your game, meaning that there's less of (if any) noticeable delay from the controller, through the TV and into the game.
Here's how to solve this issue and change from the default to ‘Game' mode:
- Select Menu on your remote
- Choose Picture
- Scroll along with the left and right arrows until you find Game mode and ensure you switch it to ‘on'
- You should see a momentary screen refresh which may look like a ‘blink', which is just the TV switching from one mode to the other
2. Picture taking too long to buffer
Buffering issues can be incredibly annoying, especially if you've paid a lot of money for a Toshiba smart TV and expect a certain level of reliability (or at least for your film or video to actually buffer when you need it to…).
For the purpose of this step, we're going to glance over the point that your TV is not always the root cause of a buffering issue. If you're streaming via a VPN or have poor WiFi and/or connectivity in your location in general, then no amount of device quality will help in obtaining the buffering you seek. However, assuming you do actually have good WiFi strength, let's look at the main reason that would cause the buffering to occur via the TV itself:
- Check immediately for software updates within your TV. Just like a console requires regular resets (and even individual games), your TV requires updates to run at the highest rate possible to keep up with the latest streaming services and console developments.
- To check for updates on your Toshiba TV, go to Settings on your remote, select System, then Software Update. Whenever an update is required, you'll see the option to download it
- This may sound obvious, but if you're downloading a huge game (I had this issue with Red Dead Redemption 2…), then you'll likely see buffering issues via streaming services due to the sheer weight of the background activity that your TV is contending with. If you can, shut down any downloads (other than a software update) to ensure that it's simply not an activity overload causing the buffering issues
3, Freezing consistently on specific apps
Similar to buffering issues, you may find that a simple on/off reset or software update stops your TV from freezing. However, if it's freezing on specific apps, then it could be one of two issues:
- Memory – You need to ensure that your TV has enough memory capacity to handle a certain streaming service or game. This is most common on the Toshiba Fire TV's where the service is already integrated.
- App update – For standard Toshiba smart TV's, you may find that it's the app itself that is causing the freezing issue either due to a bug or an update requirement. Reset the TV and the app itself, and if it's still causing issue then look either for a software update within the app (e.g. Netflix, Hulu etc), or delete and re-download to the get the latest version from the app store or console you're using to stream.
- You can also do this update if you're using something like Netflix from within the TV itself by going to Settings, Selecting the app causing the issue, and then seeing if a download update option is present which indicates that a newer version is either present or required
4. Persistent black screen
The biggest issue causing a black screen is often one related to wires or cables which are loose at the back of your TV. For the more common issues like a black screen, it's often the most simplest fix that will do the job.
If in doubt, safely restart your TV (don't just reset the plug socket without turning it off via the remote) and see if the problem persists. It's best that you wait a few minutes too rather than quickly turning it on and off again, as overheating could also be a main cause so you'll need to give your TV a chance to cool down before restarting.
If it's literally just not turning on at all, or you can see that the power icon is green yet your screen remains completely off, then this suggests a deeper issue within the TV that could be internal damage. In this case, you need to contact Toshiba support directly as a replacement may be required if the issue is related to internal damage.
5. New apps or programmes not loading from the outset
Some of the issues relating to newer apps in particular are simply related to the version of the software you're running within the Toshiba TV.
Make sure that you check on the software and perform a software update if you haven't already. If a new app is simply freezing following starting, then reset your TV and give it a minute before turning back on. It could simply be that your TV needs a reset following the download of a newer app (this is again usually linked to software update requirements too), and is often the most common reason behind Toshiba TV apps not working.
If your programme is not loading when you've usually not had any issues, then this could also suggest an update required within the ‘core' apps that come with a newer Toshiba TV. Ensure that, in the same way you check for TV software updates, that ‘core' apps such as Netflix and Prime are also running on their respective latest versions.
6. No sound
The most common issue for a Toshiba TV not having any sound is often not the software itself, but the fault of a broken HDMI cable. Check that the HDMI cable is ‘sitting' within its relevant port at the back of the TV, and is not folded forwarded in a way that could suggest either the port or the cable itself is are connecting as they should.
It helps to also go to ‘Display & Sounds' and cycle-through the sound settings within the ‘advanced settings' tab. If you're living in a shared household then, in the same way that a family member could turn on gaming mode without your knowledge, someone may have tinkered with the advance settings resulting in a sound formatted to a certain piece of external hardware of software, which naturally then means that the ‘default' sound is not enabled.
Finally, anyone using a digital audio out/PCM will likely encounter complete lack of sound issues if they have not connected their TV correctly from the default setting, to PCM. Ensure that you've done this via selecting the digital format as a default within the ‘audio out' option of the ‘Display & Sounds' section within the settings.
For those using external audio cables and/or audio devices, this is often the main culprit due to the default not changing despite an additional audio output being added via an external cable.
7. Distorted sound
The most common cause of distorted audio is either a damaged cable (looking at you again, HDMI!) or a poor signal. Ultimately, if audio transference is interrupted via a bad signal or a faulty cable, then it's natural for distortion to occur. Ensure that you've checked your router strength and the cables at the back of the Toshiba to ensure that no damage or blatant signal interference is occurring.
8. Not connecting to your WiFi
If your Toshiba TV is not connecting to WiFi, then all I can say is welcome to the club as I'm sure we've all been there! Okay, jokes aside, let's looking into how you can diagnose the cause and fix the issue quickly following the below steps:
- Check that your router strength is running as usual, and remove any potential blocking objects that could severely dampen router strength
- Check your passwords on the router and the TV. Are you putting in the correct one, or the default from the router which you changed 2 years ago?
- Properly reset the TV, remove the WiFi name and try again. Sometimes, all that it takes as a manual refresh and reset of the Wifi via removal and addition to get things going again
- Manually reset the router
9. Not able to sync to a VR device
One of the biggest issues with modern VR devices and Toshiba TV's is simply the software required to sync effectively. Some TV's, regardless of whether they're Toshiba or other brands, simply won't have the capability to sync from an app like the Meta Quest from the headset to the TV.
Now, assuming that you have a modern Toshiba smart TV that has this capacity, why would you still not be able to sync properly? Let's take a look at the main reasons:
- Sync from the menu of the VR headset rather than an external app – You need to check within the casting settings on your VR device that your TV model is actually showing as a pairing or sync option, which will then confirm whether a sync is at all possible
- Ensure that you're on the same network as the TV itself. If you're using a personal hotspot for your VR headset then syncing will either completely not working or will be significantly harder due to signal strength alone than if you just paired on the same network that your TV is on
- Cast/sync to an external app via your headset, then use the app to sync to the TV (rather than trying from within the VR headset directly)
- Ensure that your software is updated on the TV, the VR headset, and that if you're using an external app that you have the last update running
10. Picture on screen is too dark (without being modified)
Often, this can simply be that you've left the power saving mode on, and then forgotten about it when turning the TV back on again. To turn this off, go to System Settings and change the power saving mode to normal (or turn from on to off completely if it keeps causing the same issue each time you log in).
For modern Toshiba TV's, it's likely that you will have the auto brightness sensor on as a default, so if there's a lot of natural light in the room then the TV will be dimming to counteract this automatically. Naturally, when you're watching something that is already dark, this can be really frustrating. Go to Picture Setting and select ‘off' on the brightness sensor is you feel this is causing the issue based on it occurring consistently whenever there's a lot of natural light in the room.
Should I just return my TV back to Toshiba?
If you suspect internal hardware issues and you've gone through this checklist to see whether you can fix it yourself, then it might be best to either get a second opinion from Toshiba via their contact page, or send the TV back to where you bought it from to request an exchange or detail your issue for further resolution.
At what point should I ‘give up' with attempting to fix my Toshiba TV?
Again, if you suspect internal hardware damage, or if you already know the the TV itself has either internal or water damage that you can see externally, then it's time to speak to Toshiba directly or find a professional who can analyse and fix the issue.
Are many of these problems specific to Toshiba, or are they common on all smart TV's?
No, many of these problems are specific to modern smart TV's. Many of the issues also usually relate to default external hardware or simple settings changes, however it's best to walk-through the issues and look for brand-specific guides like this one instead of taking generic advice which applies to smart TV's, yet may not directly outline and provide a fix for the issue specific to your TV brand.
I hope this guide has been able to help you in your quest to diagnose the issues related to your Toshiba TV, and provide a fix.
Remember that you always contact where you bought your TV from, and contact Toshiba directly… don't just give up and lose hope completely!