Easy Methods To Troubleshoot Your Cable TV


Here is a list of some common cable problems that can be easily fixed without any professional assistance from your cable provider:

  • Display of ‘No Signal’ message on the screen
  • Red ‘Record’ light showing up when you are recording nothing
  • No Power Light in the cable box, or it shows ‘Standby’
  • ‘Snow’ or ‘Ants’ on your TV screen
  • No Audio after changing a new HDMI Cable
  • Getting only basic cable channels and not the digital channels

Display of ‘No Signal’ message on the screen

‘No Signal’ issue occurs mostly due to these issues:

  1. The cable box is either not turned on or it is receiving no power.
  2. The cable which is connecting the cable box to the TV is not plugged in properly.
  3. The TV is set on the wrong input channel.

For Issue #1:  Make sure that your cable TV box is getting power and the power button is on.

For Issue #2: This could be slightly complicated as you should be aware of the cables and their connection. Once you know which cable you are using, plug it into the right plug on the back side of the cable box and on the TV.

For Issue #3: In addition to the generally numbered channels, each jack has its own different input channel. In order to change the set input channel, you need your TV’s remote. After that, you need to press the ‘Input’ button. This will display the choices below:

  • Video 1, 2, & 3 (RCA Cables)
  • HDMI 1, 2, & 3
  • Component 1, 2, & 3
  • PC (Computers)
  • RGB (Computers)
  • DVD
  • Game (XBOX, PS3, WII)
  • Cable (The coaxial cable)
  • TV (antenna jack)

Red ‘Record’ light showing up when you are recording nothing

Unplug the cord from the electrical port and disconnect the coaxial cable from the port. Wait for 10 seconds and then reconnect the coaxial cable first and then replug the electrical cord.

No Power Light in the cable box, or it shows ‘Standby’

If your Cable box is not getting power when the power button is on:

  • Make sure that both ends of the electrical cord are plugged in.
  • Press the power button given on the box (do not use the remote for this).
  • If the above steps don’t work, chances are that the problem is either in the cable box or your home’s power outlet.
  • Plug in the cable cord to a different electrical outlet. If it helps then its great! If not, this means you should get your cable box changed.

‘Snow’ or ‘Ants’ on your TV screen

This usually means:

  1. The input channel is changed to an analog channel. Get your TV remote and press any of these buttons: ‘Input’, ‘Source’, and ‘Video’.
  2. Your cable cord is disconnected. Call your cable provider now.
  3. If don’t have a cable box, just plug the coaxial cable from the wall into the TV.

No Audio After changing a new HDMI Cable

The two most common issues for this situation are:

  1. A lot of cable boxes come with a setting that you would need to switch the output to HDMI digital output from Dolby Digital Surround.
  • Press ‘Menu’ button twice to see the advanced settings.
  • Select either ‘Audio digital output’ or ‘Audio setup’
  • Modify the setting to ‘HDMI’
  • After making the following changes, the sound would come.
  1. There is an uncommon glitch where for unknown reason, the HDMI cable and TV cable stop communicating. For that:
  • Turn off the TV and unplug the cord from the power outlet.
  • Pull out HDMI cable either from the TV or from the cable box.
  • Plug the TV cord back and switch it on.
  • Finally, plug the HDMI cable into the HDMI 1 output and ensure that TV is set on HDMI 1 channel.
  • The sound would work fine now.

Getting only basic cable channels and not the digital channels

If you use a Cable TV box: First call your Cable service provider. It is possible that either you may have been mistakenly downgraded to the basic cable services or there could be a massive signal loss.

In case you don’t use a cable TV box: Do a channel scan first. If this doesn’t seem to help, then you need assistance of your cable provider.

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