As part of my weekend relaxation, I either watch something on TV or choose a movie or show that I had been meaning to watch. When I decided to watch some TV last weekend, the TV connection had other ideas. The picture abruptly came to a halt, and my TV’s No signal screen appeared.
My cable box was still turned on, but there was no signal on the TV. I wanted to figure out what was going on and prevent this from happening again. I looked through my cable provider’s troubleshooting guides and online user forums to see what works best for resolving a no signal error.
This guide is the result of that research, and it will tell you what you can do if your TV says there is no signal but your cable box is still turned on. Check all connections between the TV and set-top box to resolve the no signal issue on the TV when the cable box is turned on. Also, contact your cable company to see if there is a service outage in your area.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A “NO SIGNAL” PROBLEM?
Most TV manufacturers have an auto connection mechanism that detects and displays the device on screen as soon as you turn on the remote. If your TV says there is no signal even though it is set to the same source or input as the cable box, you have a network reception problem.
You can try turning off the TV, waiting a few minutes, and then restarting it. If the problem persists, you’ll need to troubleshoot the individual connections one by one. It’s a straightforward process of elimination.
If you’re connecting a laptop/computer or other screen-sharing device to one of the HDMI ports on the TV, you must first disconnect it.
NO SIGNAL WHEN CONNECTED TO WINDOWS 10
When attempting to connect your TV to Windows 10, you may receive the No Signal message for a variety of reasons. While hardware issues are addressed elsewhere in this guide, there are a few things you can try on the Windows software side.
To begin, press Win + P on your keyboard until you reach the Extend, Duplicate, or Second Screen Only options. One of these should cause the image to appear.
If that doesn’t work and your computer has an HDMI port on both the GPU (graphics card) and the motherboard, double-check that you’re connected to the correct port. Normally, if you have a GPU connected, the HDMI port on the motherboard will be disabled.
If you want to re-enable the motherboard HDMI port, you can sometimes do so by right-clicking the desktop and switching there, but you may need to do so through the BIOS (though it’s generally better to use the port on the GPU because you’ll be utilizing your GPU’s power that way).
WHY IS THE “NO SIGNAL” ERROR HAPPENING EVEN WITH THE CABLE BOX ON?
There could be a number of reasons why there is no signal even when the cable box is turned on. It could even indicate that your cable provider is experiencing an outage. But it’s not out of the question that your box has died.
Because there are so many possible causes for the problem, it’s best to jump right into troubleshooting.
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CHECK ALL CABLES AND CONNECTIONS
Because the most common cause of a No signal error is, well, a loss of signal, double-check all connections between the cable box and the TV. Examine the ports and remove any dust or dirt with a dry microfiber cloth or an earbud. If your cable box supports HDMI, make sure the connector ends are not bent or damaged.
If so, choose ones with gold-plated ends, such as the Belkin Ultra HD HDMI cable. This one also supports 4K and high bitrate audio. Replace any damaged cables or wires, including those supplying power to the box and television. This is also what you do if your Digital TV continues to lose signal.
REBOOT THE TV AND THE CABLE BOX
The next option is to restart the cable box. Use your remote or the power button on the box itself to accomplish this. Then, wait a few minutes before turning it back on. After that, restart your television. Turn off your TV and wait a few minutes before turning it back on.
CHECK IF YOU’RE USING THE CORRECT INPUT SOURCE ON THE TV
Another reason your TV is showing No signal is that the input mode to which your TV is currently set is not the same as the one to which your cable box is connected. Change the inputs until you see the TV.
To access the inputs menu, press the input button on your TV remote. Check each input using either the input button or the directional keys.
LOOK FOR SERVICE OUTAGES
If you still don’t have a signal, contact your cable provider. Inquire if there are any outages in your area, and if so, how long it will take for them to be resolved.
After you finish the call, and if there is an outage, the best thing you can do is wait for the service to be restored. Take a walk around the house, watch something online, or do anything else to pass the time while they fix the outage.
CHECK THE CABLE BOX/SET-TOP BOX
In some cases, a no-signal problem could be caused by your set-top box. Regardless of whether you have an SD or HD box, the provider may release new firmware and update it in the background.
This indicates that new satellite settings have been uploaded, but the device has not yet fully integrated the changes. To resolve the issue, unplug and re-plug the power cable. Check that the television is turned off.
You should also remove the smart card/viewing card and allow the cable box to cool for a few minutes. Do it firmly but not too forcefully. Rep the card with the chip facing down, following any visible arrows.
HDMI CABLE/PORT ISSUES
The cause of a no-signal problem can usually be traced back to the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables or the ports. If the connections are not tight enough or are slipping out, the ports may sustain minor damage.
It’s nothing major that a TV mechanic can’t fix, and you can simply switch to another HDMI port. (The majority of television manufacturers include at least two HDMI ports.)
Disconnect the HDMI cable and re-insert it into either the old or new HDMI port. You might want to consider upgrading your HDMI connector cable to a self-locking one that will keep it in the port position. Once you’ve resolved these HDMI issues, your TV signal should be operational again in no time.
In some cases, your television may experience a High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) error. This is an anti-piracy measure that states that non-licensed devices should not receive cable TV content. Almost all modern televisions must be HDCP-compliant.
If you try to connect a Kodi box, for example, to your cable TV via HDMI, the no-signal message will appear due to HDCP errors. You’ll need to unplug the offending device to reestablish the connection.
If none of these steps work for you, you may require professional assistance. Inform your cable provider’s support team of your problem. Inform them of the circumstances surrounding the problem, as well as the troubleshooting steps you’ve taken.
They may request that you try something else specific to your cable provider, or they may send someone in if necessary.
GETTING BACK THE CABLE SIGNAL
Check for internet problems once you’ve regained your TV signal. If the cable TV connection had problems, it’s likely that the internet would as well. If you have Dish TV and there is no signal, look for a green light on your receiver and try the TV2 default channels.
Are you experiencing slowdowns, slower speeds, or a lack of range throughout the house? Consider purchasing a mesh WiFi system that is WiFi 6 compatible. Mesh systems are also very useful when you are just getting started with home automation.
Your TV may need to be switched to a different base channel from time to time. While 1 or 2 is the default setting on the TV remote, you should occasionally change it to 3 or 4. This modification only affects the TV remote and has nothing to do with your cable or streaming service provider.
You can also reverse the order in which the cable box and TV are activated when compared to an earlier sequence. This enables both devices to reconnect and receive signals.
It can be aggravating when a TV displays a no-signal message. However, in most cases, you do not need to seek outside assistance. You can solve the problem on your own by dealing with one of the troubleshooting issues in this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has my TV suddenly got no signal?
Examine the cable connections between your television and your video device or receiver. Change the channel, or experiment with a different input device or movie. It is possible that the received signal is weak. If your TV is equipped with a cable or satellite box, you may need to contact your service provider for additional assistance in increasing signal strength.
Why does my TV say there is no signal when I plug in an HDMI cable?
A TV’s “no signal error” is caused by using the incorrect HDMI cable, a faulty graphics driver, or a damaged HDMI port.
Why does my Spectrum TV say no signal?
The majority of issues can be solved by sending a refresh signal to your Spectrum Receiver. You can also try rebooting your receiver by unplugging it and waiting at least 60 seconds before plugging it back in. Allow at least 20 minutes for the receiver to recover before powering it back on.