I have been using the Toshiba Fire TV for some time. And honestly, it does live up to its reputation. But just recently, the TV randomly gave me a black screen.
Even though I tried a few basic troubleshooting fixes, they did not yield a favorable result. Determined to fix the issue, I went online to various user forums and support pages.
I made this comprehensive guide with all possible fixes to solve the issue. This should help you fix your Toshiba Fire TV that is going black.
If your Toshiba Fire TV is showing a black screen, perform a system restart. If it doesn't fix the issue, check your cable connections and update the device firmware to the most current version. If the issue persists, perform a System Rest. In extreme cases, the backlight panel on LCD TVs can be the culprit, as a faulty backlight panel can cause the screen to go black.
Let's take an in-depth look at some fixes you could try once the screen starts going black.
Reboot the Toshiba Fire TV
As soon as the screen goes black, you can start the troubleshooting procedure by restarting the TV.
A restart, especially a power cycle test, can clear your TV off any stale bugs and static charges that may cause issues on the TV.
Very similar to a traditional "pulling the plug" process, a power cycle test also involves unplugging the device from power and leaving it idle for a few minutes, presumably even hours.
Then, press and hold the power button or any other button on the TV for about a minute. Repeat this step a couple or more times. Doing so will remove the static charges stored on your TV.
Plug back in the cable and power ON the TV. Check for the issue now.
You could also quickly restart the device using a combination of button pushes on your TV.
Press and hold the Select and the Play/Pause button for a few seconds until the screen turns OFF and back ON again.
Check the Cables
One of the most common reasons for black screens on the Toshiba Fire TV is a precariously connected power cable.
Always check and make sure that the power cable is firmly connected to both the port and the outlet. A proper supply of power is vital for the TV to function properly.
If you still experience the issue even after checking the connection, try connecting the TV to a different outlet.
Check the output power of the outlet using a Multimeter, if you have one handy, before plugging in the cable.
Also, make sure to use the supplied power cable to power the TV. Using an inferior power cable can affect the working of the TV.
If you have devices connected to the TV through an HDMI connection, never forget to check the connection and the cables used.
Several HDMI characteristics may affect the working of the TV. Let's talk in detail about them in the next section.
HDMI-Related Issues and Fixes
If you are experiencing black screens only while using an external device, make sure to check the HDMI cable and the connection.
Not all HDMI cables may be compatible with your intended use scenario. Make sure to use the latest HDMI cables (2.0 and above) that support HDCP.
HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a copyright protocol designed by intel to regulate the transmission of digital content across various platforms.
And so, almost all current streaming services require a connection through an HDCP-supported HDMI cable and port for them to work.
Hence, make sure to use premium cables while connecting a device to the TV. Also, don't forget to ensure a firm connection on both ends.
The length of the cable can also affect the picture transmission. Ideally, the cable length should not exceed 10-20 feet.
Check for Updates
Now let's check and update the system.
Outdated firmware can and will cause issues like black screens. If left unattended for a long time, more and more issues may show up on your TV.
All Fire TVs do check for updates automatically while starting up. Even if that's the case, sometimes, the feature may decide to take a hike and leave you in the dark.
If you face any sound issues with the Fire TV, then this step could help in solving that.
Once the black screens start popping up intermittently, it's time you check for updates.
To manually check for updates, follow these steps on your TV.
1. On the Home screen, select the Settings option.
2. Click on Device/My Fire TV, and then select the About option.
3. Scroll and select the System Update option to check and update the device.
The TV will restart after applying the updates. Check for the issue now.
Check the TV Settings
When in distress, look no further, for there are a lot of TV settings to tinker with. And the most pertinent of them all - the video display mode.
Changing the resolution and the refresh rate of the TV can, at times, prove helpful.
You can change the mode in a couple of ways, and one of them is to press a button combination to bring about the change.
Press and hold the Reverse/Rewind button and the Up button together for a few seconds. This will make the display switch between multiple modes or resolutions.
Press the Select button once you find the right screen resolution. Restart the TV and check for further issues.
You can also directly change the settings using the interface commands. Follow these commands to change the screen resolution.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open the Display & Sound option.
2. Select the Display option and then click on the Video Resolution option.
3. Change the resolution to a lower one, preferably 1080p or 720p.
Restart the TV and then check for issues.
Next, let's check the backlight settings for a possible fix.
Change the Backlight Brightness
The backlight panel in LCD TVs determines the brightness of the display. When you change the brightness in such TVs, the backlight panel varies its light pattern to confirm the change.
You can try and change the brightness of the backlight panel as a remedy for the black screens.
Follow these steps to change the brightness of your Toshiba Fire TV.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open the System option.
2. Select the Picture Setting option, and then click on the Apps & Video tile.
3. Click on the Backlight option and change it to 80 or 90.
Restart the TV after making the changes and then check for the issue.
App-Related Issues and Solutions
If the black screens appear while using an app or a service, you may want to check for updates for the app first.
It is not uncommon for apps to have inherent bugs and errors that may cause issues on your TV. Most of the time, developers patch these issues with a hotfix update.
Follow these steps to check for updates on the Fire TV.
1. On the Home screen, navigate to the "Your apps and channels" row.
2. Click on See all if you don't see the app or channel in question.
3. Highlight the app and press the Menu button on the remote to bring up a menu tab on the screen.
4. Click on the Update option and confirm the selection.
Restart the TV after updating the app, and then try using the app.
You can also try and clear the app cache or even uninstall the app as possible troubleshooting steps. Here is how you can do them.
Clear the App Cache
One of the best ways to refresh an app without uninstalling it is to clear its cache.
Clearing the cache memory removes all the nascent bugs and errors that have piled up in it over time.
It will also increase the speed of the app. Follow these steps to clear the app cache on the Fire TV.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open the Application option.
2. Select Manage Installed Application and then select the app in question.
3. Click on the Clear Cache tile to start the process.
Restart the TV after doing so.
Uninstall the App
If clearing the cache was of no relief, try uninstalling the app. You could then try and reinstall the app and check for the issue.
Uninstalling will remove most of the app-related data, which includes piled-up bugs and dissident codes, essentially freeing up a lot of space in the device.
To uninstall an app, follow these steps.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open the Application menu.
2. Click on Manage Installed Application and then hover over the app.
3. Press the Menu button on the remote to bring up an options tab on the screen.
4. Scroll and select the Uninstall option and confirm the selection.
Restart the TV after completing the process. You can reinstall the app from the app store if you want.
Hard Reset the TV
As a last-ditch effort, you can factory reset the TV to clear off any inconsistencies within the device.
Hard resetting will remove all stagnant files (even the ones left after uninstalling the apps), and reset all your personal preferences back to factory defaults.
There are a few ways by which you can reset the TV. The most convenient one, while on a black screen, is to reset the TV using the remote control.
Follow these steps to reset the TV using the remote commands.
1. Press and hold the Back and the Right button simultaneously for about 10 seconds.
2. A pop-up message should appear on the screen, informing you of the imminent reset.
3. Click on Continue to confirm the process.
And all you have to do now is wait.
If you can see and interact with the TV interface, follow these steps to reset the TV using the interface commands.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open the Device/My Fire TV option.
2. Select the Reset to factory defaults option.
3. Click on the Reset option.
4. Press the Play/Pause button to begin.
After the reset is complete, you will have to reconfigure the TV like new. Check for further issues.
The black screen of death is a real serious threat for any TV, especially if the real reason remains a mystery. The fixes mentioned above do help a lot, indeed to a great extent.
But a hardware issue may require an expert's revaluation.
You can check for issues with the backlight panel, which is common among older TVs, by shining a flashlight onto the screen.
Check whether you can see any picture under the shone area while the TV is ON. If you can see the pixels, you might have a dead backlight panel on your TV.
Contact the customer service of Toshiba or Amazon for further assistance.
Sadly, a backlight panel replacement may be costly, so costly that you may get a better value proposition by purchasing a new TV instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you fix the TV when it says "No signal"?
Most of the time, the 'No Signal' message can be interpreted as a caution sign to inform you that you have cable issues on your TV. Check the HDMI cables or the AV cables on the TV and make sure they have a firm connection. If you are broadcasting through an antenna, check the Coaxial cable of both the antenna and the set-top box connection.
Is there a reset button on the Toshiba Fire TV?
Although there isn't a dedicated reset button on the Toshiba Fire TV, there is a workaround with the power button that you can do to reset the TV. Unplug the TV and plug it back, all the while, pressing and holding the Power button. Continue to do so until the display turns ON. Release the button once the interface comes on. Tap the power button to scroll through the options, and then select the Wipe data/Factory Reset option.
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