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You always see the Samsung TV blue screen of death right when you’re sat on your couch with snacks and you want to watch a movie.
It definitely can be a little tricky to fix, but if you try the steps in this troubleshooting guide, I’m confident you can get your TV sorted out and back up and running without too much trouble.
Samsung TV Blue Screen of Death?
Fix a Samsung TV blue screen of death by resetting your TV. With your TV switched on, unplug it and wait for 30 seconds, then plug back in and it should work as normal.
If this doesn’t work, then follow the full steps below to get your TV working again.
The blue screen can vary from a full blue that completely blocks out your picture to a blue tint where you can still see what’s going on on-screen. I’ll cover fixes applicable to both in this guide.
1. Cold Boot your Samsung TV
With modern electronics, it’s possible that the blue screen of death problem on your Samsung TV is caused by something stuck in your TV’s flash memory.
Power cycling or cold booting your TV will clear out any issues with non-permanent memory and reset your main board without losing your personal settings.
This is quick and painless and won’t cause you to lose any of your saved settings.
To cold boot your Samsung TV:
- Plug your TV in and switch it on.
- Pull the plug out of the wall socket.
- Wait a full 10 seconds.
- Plug your TV back in and try switching it on. You should see a red light if you have been successful.
You can also power cycle your Samsung TV if this hasn’t been successful:
- Switch off and unplug your TV.
- Hold down the physical power button on the TV for at least 15 seconds.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes for any residual power to drain from the TV’s capacitors (which are capable of storing charge for several minutes).
- Plug your TV back in and try switching it on.
Make sure you do wait for the full 30 minutes before plugging your TV back in – you would be surpised how long the components within your TV can hold charge, and you want to make sure it has fully reset.
Although this seems a very basic step, don’t overlook it because in the vast majority of cases a simple soft reset fixes most issues.
Most people will now have their TV fixed and back up and running. If this isn’t you, then we’ve got a few more basic fixes to try before getting into the hardware fixes.
2. Check Your External Connections
There’s a strong possibility that an HDMI connection is automatically switching your input even though it is not sending a full signal, resulting in a blue screen on your TV. This is also a common cause of flickering on Samsung TVs.
This comes down to either a:
- Faulty HDMI cable with a break in it
- Damaged HDMI port with broken pins
- Poor HDMI connection where the cable and connector are not fully making contact
To check your HDMI and other cables:
- Switch off your TV.
- Remove any HDMI or other physical cables connected to the back of your TV.
- If you have any compressed air, use that to clean the contacts both of the cable and in the connector on the TV. If you don’t have compressed air, then blow gently on them.
- Firmly push the cables back into their slots on the TV.
- Switch your TV back on again.
It that hasn’t fixed the problem, then try using a different HDMI input. Most TVs have 3 or 4 HDMI ports.
If you have one that is on a different part of the TV then that would be the best one to try, as it this should have a separate connection to the TV’s main board.
Plug you HDMI cable into the new port, note the number next to it, then choose this HDMI input on your TV, by using the Input or Source button on your TV remote or the Input or Menu button on your TV itself.
You can also try removing all external devices, including those connected by Bluetooth and any coaxial or signal cables, so that the TV only has a power cable going into it.
Switch your TV on and try to pull up the on-screen menu. If you can see it, this means that the problem is somewhere in your external connections.
Try re-seating your HDMI and other cables one by one, until you find the damaged cable that needs replacing.
3. Change Your Picture Settings
Most Samsung TVs have an option to change the color temperature or other aspects of the picture.
If you can still make out what’s going on on your screen, then using your remote control, navigate to the Home screen, then Settings and go to the Picture menu.
You can try the various picture modes to see if they fix the blue screen, and if not, then go to Expert Settings.
This allows you to change the color space of your TV and hopefully will let you change it enough to totally remove the blue screen.
You can use the Color and Tint options, and you can also try changing the Gamma and White Balance, and hopefully you will be able to get a decent picture without any color tint.
4. Update Your TV’s Firmware
Software and firmware issues have been known to cause problems with the display on Samsung TVs.
As with any product, you should ensure that you have updated your TV’s firmware to the latest version, even if it is new.
Smart Samsung TVs support auto-updating of firmware, but you can’t assume that this is turned on for you.
If you can see your screen, then to check that auto-updating is on for firmware / software on your Samsung TV:
- Press the Menu or Home button on your remote and go to Settings.
- Click Support.
- Then Software Update.
- Agree to any terms and conditions that may popup, then switch on Auto Update.
For older Samsung TVs, you’ll need to update the firmware by USB. To do this:
- Press the Menu or Home button on your remote and go to Settings.
- Go to Support.
- Then Contact Samsung or About This TV.
- Take note of the Model Code and Software Version currently installed.
- Go to Samsung’s Support site and enter your model number.
- Select Manuals & Downloads and look for the newest firmware version.
- If this Firmware Version is later than the version you noted was installed on your TV, then download it, along with the Firmware Update User Manual which will give you full instructions on how to install your update.
5. Factory Reset Your Samsung TV
Returning your TV back to its factory settings is a more extreme step, as it will delete any personalization features, downloaded apps or connected devices, but it’s always worth a shot when other methods haven’t worked.
To factory reset a Samsung Smart TV:
- Press the Menu or Home button on your remote and go to Settings.
- Then General & Privacy.
- And Reset.
- Enter your PIN, which by default is 0000 (four zeroes) for Samsung.
- Then select one final Reset in the popup.
Samsung have provided a video of these steps in the video below.
If you don’t have your remote, then you can get to the same menu items by using the physical Menu button that is most likely underneath your Samsung TV’s logo, next to the Power button.
Press this and use the Volume + and – or Channel + and – depending on model to follow the steps above.
6. Check Your TV’s Internal Components
The Timing Control (T-Con) board is a small PCB board that drives your TV’s panel, sending the signal to each pixel row of your screen using internal clocks to keep each row in sync.
The Main Board is a larger PCB where you plug your HDMI and other connectors into. This does a lot of the work of translating the input into signal, which then goes to the T-Con board.
The Power Board is where you plug in your power cable, and which converts your home electricity supply into a voltage and current that your TV can use.
TV backlights require a high voltage, and so there will be a small voltage inverter board in your TV to do this. It can either be on a separate board usually located at one edge of the screen, or located on either the Power Board or Main Board depending on TV model.
These boards are hidden away under the back panel, behind the screen, and any can be the cause of a blue screen of death in your LCD / OLED TV.
Either the cable connectors themselves can come loose or get covered in grime or dust, preventing a clean contact, or components on the boards can fail, meaning they don’t power the backlight sufficiently or cannot provide a constant picture signal.
To access the boards, first remove the back panel. If you’re not confident doing this, then now is the time to get an expert in. Otherwise:
- Unplug your TV, hold down the power button and wait for at least 30 minutes. There are large capacitors in the power board for the backlight and these can hold charge for an extended period of time.
- Place your TV face down on a large table or workbench. Make sure there is nothing that can scratch the screen on your work surface.
- Ground yourself.
- Open your TV by unscrewing the screws in the backpanel. It should come apart in two pieces: front and back.
- Put the back panel somewhere out of the way and take a look at the circuit boards that have been revealed.
- You will see a T-Con panel for translating the signal into a TV picture, a power board and a main board.
Or see this in action in the video below.
It’s a good idea to start your investigation with the T-Con board, as one or more of the internal clocks failing is a regular cause of TV screen problems.
The position of the boards will vary by model, but the T-Con board can be identified by the ribbon cables connecting it to the TV’s panel.
Start by giving everything a good clean, preferably with compressed air or a non-static brush. It’s possible that dust in the connections can block the signal.
Then, you should be able to remove the ribbon-like low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) cables on the T-Con board by pushing the locking cover down and they will then easily come away from the board. Don’t try to force them out without unlocking them first.
After removing the LVDS cable, take a look at the individual connectors on the ends of the cables, and the connectors in the socket. You are looking for any signs of corrosion, damage or dust.
The contacts should be a shiny gold or silver color. If they are dull and appear to have a rough, copper-like layer over them, this would indicate oxidation and therefore a new cable is recommended.
Get your TV back into an upright position, and with one of the LVDS cables connecting the T-Con to the Main Board disconnected, switch your TV back on and see if any picture is there. Disconnect that cable and re-connect the opposite cable.
If your TV is now working with either of the cables connected, then you know the problem is either with your T-Con or Main Boards.
Both T-Con and Main Boards can be replaced for around $30 from eBay.
To get the correct board, note the T-Con / Main Board model number written on the label on the board, and put this into eBay.
If the screen is still black, then you can check the boards themselves for failure.
Troubleshooting the main board and power board is easiest to see in video form, so take a look below for the full details on doing this.
The two things that you are looking for are:
- If there is power received by the power socket on the power board, and if all components are receiving power from this.
- No components are showing signs of damage. Particularly look at capacitors as these are prone to swelling after power surges which causes them to fail.
If both the power board and main boards look OK, then take a look at the backlight.
7. Replace Your Samsung’s Backlights
Blue screens are very common on TVs older than two or three years. This is because of the design of the LEDs used in the backlight and the fact that they can easily burn out.
Samsung TV backlight panels use blue-light LEDs as their base, with a phosphor yellow coating over the LED.
The blue light shining through the yellow phosphor creates white light, which is what you see on a correctly functioning TV.
But after a couple of years, the phosphor can burn off, meaning that blue light shines through unfiltered, giving your screen a blue color.
These LEDs must be replaced, but luckily this is not a terribly expensive job, although it does require some work on your part.
If you’re not comfortable totally disassembling your TV, then now is the time to get a professional in, or to get a new TV.
Backlights on modern Samsung TVs come in LED strips of varying lengths. Older models used lengths that spanned the entire frame of the TV, but due to cost savings, more recent TVs use a set 16″ or smaller LED strip which is connected in series for each row to span your TV.
You can get replacement LED strips quite easily from eBay – just put in your TV model number to be sure you are buying the correct type.
If you have a TV backlight tester to hand, then you could get away with testing every backlight strip in your TV individually and only replacing the broken strips, but it’s a lot less work to just replace every backlight and skip the testing, particularly given the relatively low price of LED backlights.
See the full process for replacing backlights below. This isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it will save you a considerable amount of money from either professionally repairing or replacing your TV.
To prevent LEDs burning off their phosphor layer in future, make sure you do not set your backlight to 100% brightness. The phosphor layer is destroyed by thermal degradation of the LEDs, caused by a too bright backlight setting. Reduce this to the lowest level you are comfortable with to prolong your backlight’s life.
Samsung TV Support and Warranty
You can check your current warranty status at Samsung’s warranty site.
Unfortunately, warranties typically only last a year unless you have already paid to extend it.
Because blue screen of death problems can occur at any time, if your TV is under one year old, return your TV under warranty and get it fixed.
You can also try to contact Samsung support directly to see if they can offer any help.
You can use the Samsung support site to help diagnose your problem, but if you are at this stage, then you are better off calling them direct on:
- 1-800-SAMSUNG (726-7864)
They are in office 7am – 12am EST, 7 days a week, but their automated chatbot is available on their site 24/7.
Even if Samsung won’t fix your TV, they might still offer you a discount off a future model if you pester them hard enough! Always worth a try!
So, How Do You Fix a Samsung TV Blue Screen of Death?
If you’re seeing a blue screen of death on your Samsung TV, then you can fix it by:
- Fully unplug your TV.
- Jiggle the HDMI cables.
- Change your picture settings.
- Update your TV’s firmware.
- Factory reset your TV.
- Check the internal components for damage.
- Replace your TV’s backlights.
Hopefully you’ve fixed your TV, but if not, give me a shout in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to help.
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