Samsung is known for its displays. The displays on its phones, TVs, laptops, etc., are among the best in class.
Several brands use Samsung-made displays in their products. Apple, for instance, incorporates Samsung’s OLED panels on its high-end iPhones.
That said, Samsung panels have their issues, too—for instance, burn-ins on their OLED panels.
On the other hand, the displays on Samsung TVs could develop quite a few other issues—for instance, “blurriness.”
But what is a “blurry screen?” Is it what it means, or do other things lend to a “blur”? And if your Samsung TV screen looks blurry, what are the possible causes and fixes?
Read on to find out and more.
Before delving into why your Samsung TV is blurry and the solutions, let’s understand “blur.”
A blur in a picture is essentially a pixelated, out-of-focus image. Graininess could also count as blur, but not usually.
If you’re watching low-res content on a pixel-dense panel, the stretched image could result in blurred visuals.
Before trying to break your head over the causes, ensure the following on your Samsung TV:
- Make sure the picture isn’t stretched.
- Set the TV’s picture modes and other image settings right.
- Unplug the cable and plug it back in to eliminate cable-related concerns. Use new cords if the existing one is faulty.
- Ensure the source content is not blurry.
If the above aspects are already in order, there may be a bigger, more underlying concern. But before that, reboot your TV.
Turn the TV off and unplug it. After a few minutes, plug the cord in and power on the television. A simple power off and on is sometimes all that’s needed to fix most TV problems.
But if the image still looks fuzzy, there could be some other significant concerns.
Blurry motion is essentially the TV’s inability to keep up with the pace of fast-moving objects (in action movies or fast-paced sports) on the screen, resulting in a distorted or blurred motion.
Slow refresh rate, improperly optimized picture processing algorithms, slow pixel response time, etc., could be the reasons for the problem.
Image processing algorithms can be complex, requiring a considerable amount of computational resources. If your Samsung TV’s processor isn’t capable of handling the algorithm, the pictures could look blurry.
The issue can usually be remedied by turning on motion enhancement features, such as “motion smoothing.”
Slow pixel response time is similar to a slow refresh rate but is not the same. It is essentially the individual pixels not changing colors quickly enough to keep up with a fast-moving object’s pace on the screen.
The slow response time could lead to a ghosting or trailing effect. Trailing is a slight afterimage of a character or an object on the screen following the original image and appearing like a blur.
The term “ghosting” denotes the same thing as trailing but doesn’t trail the object or character. It simply appears.
To address trailing or ghosting, make certain adjustments to your Samsung TV’s motion enhancement or smoothing settings.
Your Samsung TV comes with the Auto Motion Plus feature to help with ghosting concerns. The feature is typically found under Picture Options in the Picture setting.
Also, fiddle with judder and blur reduction settings, which should be there under Auto Motion Plus. Do note that not all Samsung TVs have this feature and the exact location could vary between models.
Although not common, many Samsung TV users have reported online about their TVs looking blurred on just one side.
The cause of the problem is not clear yet. Backlight failure could be a plausible cause. A malfunctioning TCON (timing controller) board may also be the reason.
The TCON board helps convert the main board signal into a display signal ascertaining the individual pixels’ activity (turn off/on).
Turning the TV off, unplugging its power cord, and powering it again may help. Checking the cables are properly plugged in, ensuring the TV’s OS is up to date, etc., are other things to be on top of.
If the TV is under warranty or its replacement window has not elapsed, you can always turn the product in for repair or get a replacement. Maybe the display is faulty and cannot be fixed with a repair or firmware update.
If your Samsung TV is a 4K panel and the content being played is lower resolution, the visuals may appear blurry.
One of the reasons a 4K TV looks great in the showroom but feels underwhelming is the source content.
The video demos stores use are stored in Blu-ray discs or DVDs. The video quality, therefore, is extremely high, and the images are sharp.
Your HDTV stretches out the low-res content to fit the display—the phenomenon referred to as “4K upscaling.”
The upscaling usually works as intended. But, at times, it could cause blurry and fuzzy images. That’s because upscaling, albeit technical, entails quite a bit of guesswork.
Some TVs upscale each individual pixel. Other TVs, which do an excellent job of upscaling the image, consider the surrounding pixels too.
Most high-end 4K TVs excel at upscaling videos. However, the mid-range and low-end 4K TVs tend to suffer, which is where video concerns arise.
The bigger the display, the more advanced the TV’s upscaling abilities should be.
When upscaling is causing blurriness or other image quality concerns, your best bet is to look for alternative source content, preferably in native 4K.
Another option is to affect the upscaling at the source device level—for instance, a gaming console, cable box, streaming player, etc.
In other words, set the connected or input device’s output resolution to coincide with the native resolution of your TV.
If using a streaming service, head to the app’s picture settings and set the bandwidth usage preferences and video quality that matches your Samsung TV.
Although 4K is very close to becoming mainstream, not all streaming apps have come on board—at least not all of their content is recorded in 4K.
To confirm the blurriness is due to the source content, play a high-quality 4K video. If the problem persists, keep looking for other possible causes.
The TV’s Picture Settings Could Be Wrong
As mentioned earlier, your Samsung 4K TV’s picture settings may not be set to optimal levels by default.
Although the default picture settings generally serve the purpose, they may sometimes falter.
For instance, the picture mode may not be suitable for the content played.
The brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness levels may not be set to ideal too, which could vary with the ambient setting.
For instance, individual image settings for a dark room will not be identical to a natural or artificial light environment.
Although the above picture settings don’t directly contribute to blurriness, they could indirectly impact the final visuals.
For example, lowering sharpness levels would soften the picture. The sharpness setting could be set too low, causing the images to look fuzzy or blurry.
If your TV’s sharpness level is the reason, increasing the same will help deal with the blurriness effectively. However, ensure you don’t go overboard and cause the oversharpening effect.
To learn more about the best picture settings for your Samsung TV, click here.
Anti-Blur Feature Could Be the Culprit
Check your Samsung TV’s motion smoothing or frame interpolation setting.
The feature helps eliminate blurring and ghosting that occur when playing fast-moving visuals. Samsung calls the feature Picture Clarity or Auto Motion Plus.
The motion smoothing works well when playing live TV, such as sporting events. They are usually shot at 30 fps (frames per second).
Movies and TV shows, however, are shot at 24 fps and don’t require smoothing. If you see blurriness when watching movies, ensure motion smoothing is disabled.
When turned on, the outcome will be the cowering soap opera effect. To learn more about this, watch this video:
To enable or disable the motion smoothing effect on your Samsung television, head to Settings and then Picture. Next, select Expert Settings and access the Auto Motion Plus Settings option.
It should be set to Auto by default, meaning the feature turns off and on automatically based on the content. Turn it off if you think it’s not doing a great job.
Besides On and Off, there is a third option called Custom. It provides you with three extra choices: Blur Reduction, Judder Reduction, and LED Clear Motion.
The Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction options help adjust blur and judder (shakes and vibrations), respectively.
The LED Clear Motion option helps alter the LED backlight and sharpen fast-moving visuals. Disable it when watching slow-paced content, like movies.
Like smartphones and mirrorless cameras, TVs also do indulge in post-processing. While the former devices process captured images, televisions work on displayed visuals.
The secret “post-processing” algorithms help render a better picture, affecting color, brightness, tone, etc. However, the processing could sometimes be extreme, resulting in blurry and soft images.
Disable the feature if your Samsung TV is blurry and post-processing is on. Check the TV manual for information on your TV’s post-processing options and how to turn them off.
If there are multiple options, disable them all at once and enable them one at a time to check how each impacts picture quality. Noise reduction, for instance, is a post-processing feature.
Possibly, only a few or just one would have contributed to the excessive blur.
Internet May Not Be Speedy Enough
If you stream content on your 4K TV, particularly high-res 4K videos, ensure your Wi-Fi has adequate bandwidth for the task.
If the internet is slow, the stream will usually buffer. In some cases, however, the resolution will drop, resulting in pixelated visuals.
Most live TV broadcasts are in HD or Full HD. The network should have no problems streaming 720p or 1080p content if you’ve got faster internet than the average household.
But some shows are available in 4K, and some internet connections could struggle to stream them. In such scenarios, the live broadcast drops the resolution, which could result in blotchy or blurred visuals.
Since the program is “live,” buffering is usually not an option.
Do note that the various video resolutions have varied quality bitrates.
That means even if you could be streaming at 4K, for example, there could be fuzziness, blurring, or other visual artifacts if the bitrate is low.
Faulty Power Strips
Some of the blur on your Samsung TV could be faulty surge protectors or electrical interference. This usually happens when your TV is not directly connected to its power source.
To eliminate blur that could have been caused by intermediary sources, unplug your TV from the bridge device and insert the cord directly into a wall outlet.
If mains power is unstable, an intermediary device such as this CyberPower AVRG750LCD Intelligent LCD UPS System to eliminate those spikes should be fine.
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HDMI Could Be an Issue
Generally, the HDMI standard does an excellent job of transmitting audio and video signals.
The interface is backward-compatible, meaning no special cables or connectors are needed for specific versions.
However, despite being digital, the connection sometimes may not work correctly.
Image degradation happens if the total electrical damage or interference to a port or cable is beyond a specific threshold. Bad cables or ports causing image artifacts are not unheard of.
Using another HDMI cable or port on your Samsung TV can help fix the blurriness or fuzziness if the port or cable is indeed defective.
If your Samsung TV came with an HDMI cable bundled in its box, use the particular cord, not leaving anything to conjecture.
A blurry image on your Samsung TV is less prominent a problem than it may seem. It is primarily a setting gone wrong.
Checking for the above causes will usually get you to the problem’s root.
The display is seldom the cause, particularly not on a brand-new TV. And if it’s broken, you can always get it fixed.
If your TV’s hardware is fine, you’ve checked your TV for the above causes, and the blurriness remains, let a professional assess the situation.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.