In 2020, Vizio was the second-highest seller of flat-screen TVs in the US. The company is known for competitive prices; its TVs are often more affordable than other brands in the same performance bracket.
However, if you own a Vizio TV, you should be prepared to fix the black screen of death. In this situation, your TV screen stays black and doesn’t display pictures.
While this issue isn’t peculiar to a single brand, Vizio TV users have reported repeat occurrences. The problem is often a result of various things, including dirty power, software glitches, and hardware malfunction.
The good news is: you can fix this issue yourself. This article provides the easy fixes, possible causes, and a comprehensive guide to resolving each issue.
Quick Methods to Try
System bugs and connection errors can cause your TV to temporarily malfunction. The black screen can also be a result of a setting you’ve forgotten to turn off.
Below are three easy ways to resolve these issues.
Soft Reset Your Vizio TV
- Unplug the TV from power, and wait for (at least) 30 seconds.
- Hold down the TV’s Power button for 5 seconds.
- Plug the TV back in and turn it on again.
Disconnect All Cables and Source Devices
- Unplug all the video cables connected to the TV.
- Disconnect the power cable too.
- Reconnect only the power cord to the TV and turn it on.
- If the screen comes alive, reconnect the video cables, one after another.
Turn off Mute Screen
The “Mute Screen” feature on Vizio TVs allows users to turn the screen OFF/ON when streaming audio. If it’s activated, the screen will stay black until you deactivate it.
Hold down the Mute button for 3-5 seconds to deactivate or activate this feature.
What Causes The Vizio TV Black Screen (Troubleshooting Steps)?
Faced with a black screen, most users immediately worry that the TV is faulty. However, faulty remotes and power issues are the leading causes.
If your Vizio TV screen refuses to come on after you’ve pressed the remote’s Power button, below is a simple troubleshooting process to run through.
|Press the Power button on your TV panel.||If the screen lights up, the fault is with your remote controller.||Go to Solution 1|
|If the screen remains dark, try the remote and TV’s Power buttons again.
Keep an eye on the TV’s LED indicator light.
|If the indicator is OFF, your TV is not receiving adequate power. There may be an issue with your power outlet, cables, or the TV’s power board.||Go to Solutions 2 and 3|
|If the indicator light is ON, it means that while your TV is receiving power, there is an internal issue. The TV may have some damaged internal components.||Go to Solution 3|
Solutions To Vizio TV Black Screen Based on a Specific Cause
This section outlines several solutions to the issues that cause Vizio’s black screen of death.
1. Faulty Remote Control
If the remote controller is faulty, it won’t send command signals to the TV. A remote stops working if the batteries are dead, the buttons are stuck, or there’s some damage to the remote itself.
Check your remote’s casing and infrared transmitter for signs of damage. Below are a few ways to tackle a faulty remote.
Change the Remote’s Batteries
- Open the battery cover (use your finger to press the latch button).
- Remove the old batteries.
- Insert new batteries—ensure the positive (+) and negative (-) ends align correctly.
- Replace the battery compartment’s cover (align the tabs and press down until it clicks into place).
- Test the remote to see if it works for your TV.
- Dispose of the old battery properly per local regulations.
Note: Check your TV’s user manual or note the markings on your old batteries to ensure you buy the correct type.
Clean Inside the Remote
You need to get rid of dirt and grime that may be causing your remote’s buttons to get stuck. Follow the steps below to do a deep clean:
- Remove the batteries: Open the battery compartment and take out the batteries.
- Open the remote: Find the seam where its two halves meet and carefully pry them apart with a flat object (i.e., a small screwdriver or butter knife).
- Clean the circuit board: Use a soft-bristled brush or compressed air to clean the circuit board and button contacts. If there is visible dirt, dampen a microfiber cloth with alcohol and gently wipe the affected areas.
- Clean the buttons: Use a damp cloth to clean the buttons on the top half of the remote.
- Reassemble the remote: When everything is clean and dry, carefully put the two halves back together. Ensure the buttons line up correctly and the seam is tight.
- Insert the batteries: Return the batteries to their compartment and replace the cover.
Buy a New Remote
If your remote still doesn’t work (after a deep clean and a change of batteries), it’s probably damaged and needs repair. We recommend you buy a new remote for your Vizio TV model or a universal one.
2. Power Supply or Power Cord Issues
Except you’re in an alternate Hogwarts universe, your TV will not come on without electricity. Faulty outlets, bad power cables, and operating voltage differences can cause your screen to remain blank and unresponsive.
If the indicator light stays off, below are four ways to diagnose and resolve possible power issues.
Check the Power Outlet
Unplug your TV from the power outlet and test the outlet with another device (i.e., a smartphone charger). If the outlet is damaged, have it replaced.
In the meantime, switch your TV to a working outlet or use an extension box from a different outlet.
Check the Power Cable for Damage
After resolving your power issues, a faulty power cable can still keep your TV indicator light off. Unplug the power cable from the wall outlet and TV, then plug it back into both.
If this doesn’t work, inspect the cable—replace it if there are signs of wear and tear. However, if the problem persists, the TV itself may be faulty.
Change Your Surge Protector
If you use a surge protector for dirty power issues (i.e., surges and current fluctuations), this is a reminder to inspect the surge protector. Surge protectors can wear out over time and stop working.
Consider replacing old surge protectors so that you can power your TV safely.
Use a Voltage Converter (Power Adapter)
If you purchased your Vizio TV from another country, there may be a difference in standard operating voltage. Check your TV’s specs to know if it is compatible with your outlet’s power output.
If they’re incompatible, you’ll need a voltage converter to step up or step down power—depending on your device’s requirements.
3. Vizio TV is Internally Damaged
If you’ve run through other possible causes and the screen still doesn’t come on, one or more internal components may be damaged. Your Vizio TV may have a faulty backlight or power board.
First, identify the source of internal damage before you begin complex repair processes. Carry out the risk-free assessment below.
- Plug in your TV and press the Power button.
- Turn on your connected source device.
- If you get audio regardless of the black screen, grab a flashlight.
- Darken the room and shine the flashlight onto your TV screen.
If you see a dim image, the backlight inverter board is faulty. If there’s no image, the backlight lamp is not working.
If there’s no indicator light when you plug your TV into an outlet, the power board is probably faulty.
Note: We only recommend the repair sections if you have the right equipment and some fixing skills. Otherwise, contact a TV repair technician.
Open the TV To Assess the Damage
Ready to DIY? We’ll guide you through! Just follow our instructions carefully.
Disconnect your TV from power and give it time to cool off before you open it up. Don’t use excessive force at any point in the repair process.
Steps to open your Vizio TV
- Place it on a soft (padded) flat surface with the screen facing downward.
- Use a screwdriver to unscrew and open the back cover.
- Take clear photos of the internal setup before you touch anything.
- Check the power board for damage (swollen capacitors or burnt parts).
Replace the Backlight Inverter Board
If you noticed a dim image during the flashlight test, the TV works, but your backlight inverter board isn’t sending enough power to the lamp.
After opening the TV, follow the steps below to replace your faulty inverter board.
- Locate the inverter board. It is typically in the upper center of the TV.
- Take a picture of their placement, then disconnect the cables and connectors from the inverter board.
- Remove the screws holding the inverter board in place.
- Gently lift the faulty board out of the TV.
- Purchase a new inverter board whose part number (on the lower left corner of the board) matches that of the faulty board.
- Insert the new inverter board into the TV and align it properly.
- Use the screws to hold the inverter board in place.
- Reconnect the cables and connectors correctly (use the pictures you took earlier for reference).
- Replace the TV’s cover and secure it with the screws.
- Plug the TV back into the outlet and power it on.
Replace the Led Strips
Since 2009, Vizio has only produced LED-backlit TVs. Hence, your TV uses LED strips as its light source (lamp).
If the flashlight test showed no image, your LEDs are probably damaged. Follow the steps below to replace them.
- After opening the TV, remove the two brackets and the speakers.
- Remove the plastic clips, buffer board ribbon cables, and the IR sensors.
- Unscrew the bezel from the chassis.
- Gently remove the buffer boards from the bottom of the TV (You may need a little tool to pry them from the chassis).
- Remove the bezel and carefully flip over the buffer boards (tape them to the TV panel).
- Use suction cups to lift the TV panel from the chassis.
- Pry the filter frame till it loosens, tape the corners to keep it aligned, and remove the filters from the TV.
- Cut along the sides of the LED strips to remove the reflector sheets.
- Unscrew the LED strips from the chassis and unplug them from the TV’s internal circuit board.
- (You may notice discoloration, cracks, or burn marks on the LED strips) Remove the damaged strips and insert the new ones.
- Reconnect the strips to the circuit board, and retrace your steps to replace everything you removed.
- Replace the TV’s cover and screw it back in.
- Plug the TV back into an outlet and power it on.
Note: During the process, take pictures of the TV at different stages before disconnecting anything. The pictures will aid your reassembly process.
Replace the Burnt Fuse/Power Board
The power board supplies power to the different parts of your TV. If it’s damaged, the screen and indicator light will remain off.
When you open up your TV, check for physical signs of damage on the power board, like swollen capacitors or melted components. Follow the steps below to replace a faulty power board.
- Open the TV’s back cover and take a quick picture.
- Locate the (usually 5) TV fuses and check if any have blown.
- Replace the bad fuses and check if it fixes the problem. If it doesn’t, go ahead and replace the power board.
- Locate the power board and disconnect all the cables connecting to it.
- Unscrew and remove the board from the chassis.
- Place the new power board on the chassis, and secure it with the screws.
- Reconnect the cables to the board correctly, and close the chassis.
Last Methods to Try
If you’ve fixed the issues addressed above (or you can’t find any) and the screen remains unresponsive, you have two options left.
Factory Reset Without Remote
A factory reset will erase all the settings and data on your TV, stubborn system bugs, and corrupt data.
Since the screen won’t display remote commands, below are steps to factory reset your Vizio TV without a remote.
- Turn on the TV.
- Press and hold the TV’s Volume Down + Input buttons for 10 seconds.
- After you release, a prompt will pop up, asking if you want to reset the TV to default settings (you won’t see this because your screen is off).
- Press the Input button for 10 seconds to accept.
- Your Vizio TV will erase all user data and restart.
Contact Vizio Technical Support
If your screen remains black after a factory reset, it’s probably a complex hardware problem. We advise you to contact Vizio customer support (if your warranty is still on).
Vizio warranties typically last a year. Their support hours are Monday to Friday (7 am to 11 pm CST), and Saturday to Sunday (7 am to 8 pm CST).
For SMS support: Text 205-301-3729
For phone support: Dial (844) 254-8087
If your Vizio TV’s screen suddenly shuts down, don’t panic. It’s usually power issues, a minor bug, or stray settings. In extreme cases, your TV may have suffered some internal damage.
Follow the detailed guides in this article to troubleshoot and resolve the problem with your TV. Start with solutions like power cycling and changing power cables before moving on to more complex repairs.
If you decide to open up and fix your Vizio TV, ensure it’s disconnected from power and let it cool before you start. Take your time with the process and your screen will be working in no time.