How to Stop a TV Humming: 8 Reasons and Fixes

tv humming noise

Last updated: November 18, 2021 at 12:14 pm

As a society, we watch more tv than ever. Binging on box sets is a regular pastime, particularly through the Covid lockdowns. Even though a humming tv isn’t the biggest cause of household noise, it can be extremely annoying if your tv develops one.

Don’t worry though:

Let’s have a look at common reasons why you’re tv is humming and (more importantly) how to fix it.

Initial Steps

Before you begin the steps below, there are two general fixes you can try. These fixes will resolve a surprising number of problems, so they’re always worth a try.

Power Cycling

Similar to fixing problems with your computer, try turning it off and on again. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off the television and unplug it from the socket
  • Press and hold down the power button for a minute to remove any residual charge
  • Leave it off for another minute
  • Plug your tv back into the wall
  • Switch the tv back on and see if it’s still humming

Reset Your TV

Resetting your tv to the defaults it was set to in the factory can also fix numerous issues. Be aware that doing this will delete any setting changes you’ve made and delete any apps you might have installed. If you enjoy changing the brightness, contrast, warmness, etc., you’ll need to set it up again.

Each tv is different but you can usually find the reset option by pressing the Home or Menu button and choosing the Settings option. Look through the menus until you find an option to Restore Factory Defaults.

8 Reasons & Fixes for a TV Humming?

1. Loose or Faulty Cables

If the cables that connect your tv to the aerial or entertainment box are loose, damaged, or plugged into the wrong ports, the picture and sound may be affected and make the humming sound.

To correct the problem, first check that all the cables that plug into your tv are in good condition. Look for kinks, breaks, and fraying. If any of them show signs of damage, try replacing the cable.

Once you’re sure all your cables are in working order, check that all your cables are plugged in fully. Consult your manual to ensure they’re plugged into the correct ports.

If the tv is still making the noise, the cables aren’t to blame.

2. A Speaker Fault

If you’re using the built-in speakers rather than an external sound system, then a fault with speakers can create a humming noise. Causes of damage can include wear and tear, dropping or knocking over the tv, or even excess moisture. The moisture could be due to humidity or dropping liquid on the tv.

Luckily it’s very easy to diagnose if a faulty speaker is the cause of the noise. Simply mute your tv, if the noise stops, then the internal speakers are the likely culprit.

If the speakers are to blame, you can have them replaced if your tv is under warranty. If not, then the manufacturer or a local repairer may be able to replace them for you. Depending on the age of the tv this may not be an economical option.

Your other alternative is to attach your tv to an external set of speakers and use them instead or replace the tv altogether.

3. Check Your Backlight

A TV backlight

It might sound weird, but if your backlight is set too high, it can cause a humming sound. The closer it’s set to 100% to louder this sound will be. The humming can also be a sign that the backlight’s power inverter is wearing out or has a fault.

To resolve it, consult your tv’s manual. Find out how to adjust the backlight and initially try to turn it up. If the noise increases, it confirms the backlight is the problem. Try turning the light down. If the noise goes away and you can live with the brightness, problem solved. If not, then you may need to replace the tv.

4. Electromagnetic Interference

Sometimes other electrical devices can cause electromagnetic interference that can create a buzzing sound. Devices include microwaves, routers, Bluetooth enabled speakers, and more recently, the charging units for electric vehicles.

It may be difficult to track down the exact source of this issue. It should be obvious if it happens whenever your car is plugged in to charge. If this is the case, unfortunately, you only have two options. The first is to plug your car in overnight before you go to bed as you won’t be watching tv. The second is to replace the tv as other models are better shielded from interference.

If you don’t have an electric car, try moving any routers or electronic devices away from the tv. It’s worth doing this one item at a time so that you don’t have to reorganise your living room completely. If moving one fixes the problem, great. If not, then try the other steps.

5. Overmodulation

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Last update on 2021-11-18 at 11:49 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The majority of televisions contain an RF modulator. This device is responsible for converting the signals received from other machines like set-top boxes, satellite boxes and DVD players into a format the tv can display. When these signals are too powerful and the modulator can’t handle them, this is overmodulation. It can cause both video distortions and a humming sound.

To fix this problem, you can try getting a new DVD player or set-top box depending on which one you’re using when the problem occurs. If you’re not certain that the device is to blame, it may be worth borrowing another one from a friend or family member. Then you can see if the noise stops before you spend money.

If you’ve confirmed a particular device is the problem, but you don’t want to buy a new device, you can buy an attenuator. Installing it between the device and your tv will reduce the strength of the signal and stop the hum.

6. Imbalance of Volume Between Devices

Some set-top or cable boxes have their own volume setting separate from the tv’s. If there is an imbalance between the two volumes, it can cause either a humming or a buzzing sound, depending on which device’s volume is higher.

To resolve the buzzing sound, try setting the volume on your tv to low and increasing the volume on your cable box. If you haven’t already done it, make sure you check all the cables are plugged into the correct inputs as suggested in step one.

7. Ground Loops

A ground loop is caused by a difference in the voltage between two different grounding points. The sockets in your house may have slight differences in their electrical potential. This will not cause a problem unless several devices are connected while being plugged into different sockets.

So if you have your tv and cable box plugged into one socket and your DVD player and sound bar into another, it can cause a humming sound. To stop the sound, try buying an extension block with enough sockets to plug all the devices in together.

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Last update on 2021-11-18 at 11:44 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8. Cooling or Ventilation Issues

LCD TVs are not as prone to overheating as the old CRT models, but it can happen. Some TVs are fitted with cooling fans to prevent this from happening. If these fans become clogged or broken, your tv could overheat and start making that annoying hum.

To correct this, you should dust around any vents regularly. You can also clear any internal dust using cans of compressed air. If you can still hear a hum after cleaning, the fans may be starting to wear out or be broken altogether. A repairer may be able to resolve it, but depending on your TV’s age, it may make more sense to replace it.

If your TV doesn’t have a fan, then it’s essential to place them in a well-ventilated area. It’s even more important to do this if you live in a very warm country. If you suspect overheating, then try taking your tv out of any enclosure and putting it on a table.

If the humming stops, then consider leaving the tv on a table permanently or mounting it on the wall where there is ample airflow.

Conclusion

The most irritating noises in our homes tend to be incessant hums or drones we cannot locate. If your tv is found to be responsible, then the solutions above should help you resolve them.

If you are considering replacing any parts of your tv, then make sure you do it safely. Unplug your tv from the socket and leave it a few minutes before attempting any repairs. If you’re not sure of the correct way to proceed at any point, consult a professional repairer.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ writes about living a quieter life, soundproofing tips and recommending the best quiet products here on Quiet Living.

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