Sony TV Blinking Red Light: Fix in Minutes

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It’s very common to see the “Sony TV blinking red light” problem over the course of owning your Sony TV, and I know that it causes a lot of frustration and annoyance.

Luckily, it’s very easy to fix this problem at home, without the need for expensive tools or technician visits, as long as you have a little know-how and time.

I wrote this guide to cover every step that you need to take to fix your Sony TV flashing red light, so let’s get to it!


sony tv blinking red light

Sony TV Blinking Red Light

A blinking red light on your Sony TV means that there is a problem with the power supply or with the power board or main board of your TV. Fix it by changing wall sockets, using a different power cord and checking all cables are firmly connected to your TV. You should also use a voltmeter to see if your power board is working.


Power problems are the most usual suspect if your red light is blinking multiple times when you try to turn your Sony TV on.

Although you might think that the number of flashes should give you an idea of the problem with your TV, this isn’t a very good diagnostic tool in general, so it doesn’t really matter whether your Sony TV red light blinks 6 times, 5 times, or however many times, the fixes you should try are pretty much the same.

We’ll go over detailed steps for how to fix this below, starting with the easiest fixes before moving onto hardware fixes if none of those work.


1. Is Your Sony TV Running a Software Update?

Before rushing into these, you should first confirm that your Sony TV isn’t running a software update via WiFi or Ethernet.

A flashing red light with the TV not responding to your remote is a potential sign that it is updating.

This should only last for a few minutes, but if the red light is still blinking after waiting 10 minutes then it’s possible that the software update has encountered a problem and is stuck in a loop.

In this case, it’s sensible to try to power cycle your Sony TV to reset it.

Resetting 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.

  1. Make sure your TV is switched off and unplug it.
  2. Hold down the physical power button on the TV for at least 15 seconds.
sony tv power button
The power button is usually beneath the Sony logo or on the side of the TV
  1. Wait for at least 2 minutes for any residual power to drain from the TV’s capacitors (which are capable of storing charge for several minutes).
  2. Plug your TV back in and try switching it on. You should see a red light if you have been successful.

Make sure you do wait for the full 2 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, but if your Sony TV still shows a red light blinking after resetting, then we’ve got a few more basic fixes to try before getting into the hardware fixes.


2. Confirm Your Sony TV Remote Works

If the red light is blinking, this means that your TV is receiving power, but there is a chance that its not responding to you because your remote isn’t working.

sony tv check remote

If you are using an IR remote, then confirm that you have a good line of site to your TV.

If you are using an RF remote, confirm that it is connected to the same local network as your TV.

Don’t forget to check the batteries in your remote, replacing the existing ones with brand new batteries if you have no way of checking them.

For IR remotes, it’s possible to check if the remote is working by using your smartphone’s camera.

Simply point the IR transmitter on the end of your remote at your phone’s camera and you will see a red light appear when you press any button on the remote.

checking if a tv remote is working

This doesn’t work for some cameras though, notably some iPhones, so check with another remote if in doubt about your camera.


3. Check Your TV is Getting the Correct Voltage

It might seem obvious, but the most common reason why your Sony TV red light is blinking is because of a household power issue, rather than a problem with the TV itself.

First, you need to confirm that your wall socket is supplying enough power, and there is no interruption of supply during use.

unplug tv

There’s a few methods that you can use:

  1. Unplug your Sony TV from your wall socket.
  2. Remove any surge interruptors or smart plugs so that you have a direct line to your wall socket.
  3. Plug another large device that you know works into the same socket and check that the new device works as normal. (It’s important that this device draws approximately as much power as your TV, to confirm the socket is fully working).
  4. Remove the other device and plug your TV back into this socket.
  5. Switch on the power and switch on your TV using the physical power button located somewhere on its case (usually beneath the Sony logo).
  6. See if the red light is solid. If so, this means your TV is getting sufficient voltage.
  7. If your TV’s red light is blinking 5, 6, 10 times or more, then repeat these steps with another wall socket to confirm your household electricity supply isn’t a problem.

If you’ve tried a number of sockets and are still seeing the red light flashing, then move onto the next step.


4. Check for a Damaged Power Cord

If you didn’t check when changing the wall socket that your TV is plugged into, you should now confirm that the power cord itself isn’t damaged.

In particular, look for kinks and knots in the power cable, which can damage the copper wires both mechanically and from increasing the electrical resistance, which generates heat, causing damage that may not necessarily be obvious.

Because of potential damage within the cable that you cannot see due to the protective sheath, it can be a good idea to use a new power cable, if you have one or can borrow one.

Also, be sure to carefully look at the power connector on your TV to confirm that the port is free from corrosion, dirt and dust.


5. Check Your HDMI Inputs

There’s a strong possibility that a poorly seated cable is automatically switching inputs on your TV, but as it’s not fully connected, it isn’t able to supply a signal and so it looks like your TV isn’t working, with the red standby light flashing.

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
tv hdmi cable

To check your HDMI and other cables:

  1. Switch off your TV.
  2. Remove any HDMI or other physical cables connected to the back of your TV.
  3. 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.
  4. Firmly push the cables back into their slots on the TV.
  5. 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.

tv hdmi port

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.

sony tv remote source button

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.

This is because a flaw with the HDMI-CEC settings can stop your TV coming on properly if you have other devices, particularly games consoles, plugged into your TV.

HDMI-CEC allows two-way communication between your TV and console, allowing your console to switch your TV on automatically.

The problem is that if you do not switch inputs on your TV away from your console’s input before switching off your TV, then your TV will not “listen” to your remote, and will instead just blink its red lights.

Unplugging all cables will temporarily solve this, so if your TV’s red lights are no longer blinking and your TV is working as normal, then try switching off HDMI-CEC before re-instating the cables.

To switch off HDMI-CEC on a Sony TV, look in the Settings -> Watching TV -> External Inputs -> BRAVIA Sync Settings menu for BRAVIA Sync/Link, which is Sony’s name for HDMI-CEC.


6. Check for Main Board / Power Board Failure

If you’ve checked external connections, then all that’s left is internal connections, and in particular the main board and/or power board.

These are hidden away inside the case of your TV and can be checked for failure by simply taking your TV’s case apart and using a multimeter to check that voltages are correct across the boards.

tv main board
tv power board

You should note that this invalidates your warranty, so if you bought your TV in the last year, then contact Sony to have them fix it.

Out of warranty fixes are likely to run to $200 – $400 to check and replace a main board, but if you do it yourself, you are looking at around $30 – $50 in parts from eBay.

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:

  1. If there is power received by the power socket on the power board, and if all components are receiving power from this.
  2. 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 the most likely problem is a failure of the backlight inverter.

This powers the backlight of your TV by uprating the standard voltage and current of your home supply to the higher levels required by the backlight.

It’s a very small board in most TV models (although in some is integrated onto the power board). Check this board with your voltmeter, and don’t forget to also look at the cable. These boards are only around $10-15 on eBay, so are very cheap to replace if they have failed.

tv inverter board

The final thing to check is if your backlight itself has failed.

If the inverter and cable are working normally, with normal voltages shown on your voltmeter, then it’s possible that your backlights themselves need replacing.

This is a slightly more involved job, but is completely possible to do at home. Follow the steps in the video below to see how to do this.


Sony TV Support & Warranty

It goes without saying that if your TV is under one year old, then you should contact Sony customer support to get it replaced under warranty.

You can call Sony directly on:

  • 239-245-6354 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 9pm ET, Sat – Sun, 10am – 8pm ET)

Or text them on 239-245-6354, or ask for a callback.

Even if Sony won’t fix your TV, they might still offer you a discount off a future model if you pester them hard enough! This is always worth a try in my experience.


What to Do if Your Sony TV Red Light is Blinking Multiple Times

To wrap up, if your Sony TV red light is blinking, then to fix it you can:

  1. Confirm your TV isn’t running a software update.
  2. Check your TV is receiving power by testing your wall sockets.
  3. Look for damage to your power cable.
  4. Check your HDMI cables are firmly connected.
  5. Check your remote is working and has batteries.
  6. Test for main board or power board failure.

If you haven’t been able to fix your problem using the steps above, then your next port of call should be customer support, who can advise you if they are able to fix it.

If not, then you can try a local TV repair technician, but if they are unable to help, then unfortunately you are most probably looking at having to get a new TV.


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Follow Tim Daniels:

Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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